Exceedingly Rare Schutz-Pass initialed by Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg to Protect Anna Glucksthal from Wearing the Yellow Star
Single page contemporary photographic copy Document signed Schutz-Pass, (a protective "pass" functioning as a Swedish passport), in Hungarian, the copy captures what in the original was Raoul Wallenberg's signature along the bottom left corner with his iconic "W", pen stroke, and "R", one page by sight 8" x 11.5". Completed in typescript and inclusive of black and white ink stamped photo. Dated "October 10, 1944". Expected folds, else near fine with slight toning. The word "Masolat" is penned along the top edge (translated as the word "copy"). The verso has the original signed certification stamp which loosely translated states the signatory is signing a copy and has seen the original document. Signed on verso with an additional red number and initialed.
An exceptional document signed by one of the 20th-century’s greatest humanitarians, created in response to efforts to save Hungarian Jews. Jews in Hungary had been subjected to discrimination. But because of Hungary's alliance with Germany, Hungarian Jews had, until that point, been insulated from the horror experienced by Jews in other parts of Europe. That was to change drastically - Der Fuhrer had begun to distrust the Hungarian leader Miklos Horthy and on 19 March 1944, German forces occupied Hungary. In the weeks and months that followed, hundreds of thousands of Jews across Hungary were rounded up, moved into ghettos and forced on to deportation trains. With the help of the Hungarian government, there were 440,000 deported Jews from Hungary in the space of two months - most were sent to the largest and most infamous death camp. So in the summer of 1944, Sweden - with US backing - agreed to use its diplomatic mission in Budapest to help Hungary's remaining Jews.
Thirty-one-year-old businessman Raoul Wallenberg came from one of Sweden's wealthiest and most important families - he had no diplomatic experience and had studied architecture at university, but his charisma marked him out. Before Wallenberg's arrival, the Swedish embassy in Budapest was already issuing travel documents to Hungarian Jews - these special certificates functioned as a Swedish passport. The papers had no real authority in law but the Swedes managed to persuade the Hungarian authorities that people holding them were under their protection.
When Wallenberg arrived, he decided that the certificates needed to look more official so he redesigned them. He introduced the colors of the Swedish flag, blue and yellow, marked the documents with government stamps and added Swedish crowns. It was known as a Schutz-Pass or protective pass. This document is one such rare example. Armed with such documents, Jews fell under the protection of Sweden, an officially neutral nation.
These priceless lifesaving documents, granting escape from otherwise certain death, were paid for dearly with the life of one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century. “When the Soviet army was closing in on Budapest and the other diplomats left the city, Wallenberg chose to remain there in order to protect ‘his Jews’ in any eventuality which might arise. He went to the Soviet headquarters in Debrecyn for that purpose; all trace was lost of him and he was never seen again alive” (Encyclopedia Judaica). This example is an authentic contemporary copy of the pass but with original and contemporary manuscript and handstamps and provides a genuine and afforadable opportunity to own a Schutzpass at a fraction of the normal $10,000-20,000 original!
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