Perlasca: Resources

Deaglio, Erico. The Banality Of Goodness: The Story of Giorgio Perlasca (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998).

In a strange twist of circumstances, the Italian Giorgio Perlasca found himself stranded in Nazi-overrun Budapest near the end of World War II and made his way to the Spanish embassy for safety after the collapse of diplomatic relations between Italy and Germany. Using Spanish connections, Giorgio was rechristened Jorge, and, safe for the time being in the Spanish embassy, went to work for the Spanish ambassador. Part of his work was to visit the Spanish safe houses that harbored Hungarian Jews under threat of deportation.

In a story reminiscent of Schindler's List, Perlasca's diary details his heroic efforts to protect these Jews at risk of his life. When diplomatic ties between Spain and Hungary became strained, the Spanish ambassador departed for home, making an offer of escape to his Italian staff member. Perlasca, making the rounds of the safe houses, decided he could not leave the Hungarian Jews unprotected. From that point, Perlasca, "the great impostor," bluffed and blustered his way into recognition as a Spanish diplomat by the Hungarian government, then sparred with German soldiers over one Jewish life after another. In a particularly chilling moment, Perlasca recounts grabbing twin boys in line to be deported at the train station, pushing them into the Spanish embassy car, and then fighting with a German major and a colonel over his right to protect them. The colonel, relenting, turned to Perlasca and said, "You keep them. Their time will come." Moments later the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg informed him that he'd just won an argument with Adolf Eichmann.

 

LLC Publishers.  Italian Righteous Among the Nation (LLC Publishing, 2010).

Individual chapters on: Francesco Repetto, Guelfo Zamboni, Giorgio Perlasca, Pietro Palazzini, Carlo Angela, Raimondo Viale, Rufino Niccacci, Giovanni Palatucci, Vincenzo Fagiolo, Angelo Rotta,and Lorenzo Perrone.



Paldiel, Mordecai. Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women Who Defied the "Final Solution" (Schreiber Publishing, 2000).

According to an old Jewish legend, in every generation there is a handful of righteous persons thanks to whom the world endures. During the Holocaust, there was such a handful in Europe and around the world. Working mostly alone while putting their life at risk and defying their own society and their higher-ups, they saved many lives, and have been recognized as "Righteous Gentiles."

In story after amazing story, the author, who directs the "Righteous Gentiles Program" at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, paints a picture of great pain and suffering, but also of great courage and nobility of good people who serve as a model of human behavior and give us hope for the future.