Righteous Among the Nations Motion for Aleksander Ładoś and Stefan Ryniewicz — Supporting Documents

Note: Each document can be enlarged by clicking on it.

Document 1 ~ Dec. 1, 1939
Stefan Ryniewicz becomes head of the Consular Section at the Legation of Poland in Berne. The document contradicts the belief Ryniewicz was Rokicki’s sub-ordinate. He was his superior.


Document 2, pages 1 – 6 ~ Sep 1, 1943 ~ and translation
Abraham Silberchein tells the police he was tasked by Stefan Ryniewicz and Konstanty Rokicki and that the two diplomats told him to take over the passport operation. He also admits that all Consuls and Honorary Consuls, apart from the Poles, took part in the operation for profit.


Document 3 ~ April 10, 1943 ~ and translation
Abraham Silberschein to Haitian consul in Zurich: “As we have already explained to you, this is the only means of rescuing these people from a certain death and the Legation of Poland in Berne is informed about these requests because it’s mostly about Polish citizens.”


Document 4, pages 1 – 2 ~ May 5, 1943
Abraham Silberschein requests Poland’s intervention at the State Department: “The operation is fully approved by the Legation of Poland which does everything to help us.”
Ambassador Aleksander Ładoś’ remark at the end of the cable: “I fully support this request.”


Document 5, pages 1 – 2 ~ August 27, 1943 ~ and translation
Abraham Silberschein to Papal Nuncio Msgr. Filippo Bernardini: “The Legation of Poland which wants to rescue their citizens, does everything possible in these matters. In co-operation with it we have addressed several Latin American consuls to issue a certain number of convenience passports for us.”


Document 6, pages 1 – 4 ~ August 16, 1943
A report by Pierre Bonna, Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Minister of Internal Affairs Edmund von Steiger. Bonna names three Polish diplomats responsible for what he calls “passport affair”:
Stefan Ryniewicz, Julius Kuhl and Konstanty Rokicki.
Bonna reports that Hugli said Ryniewicz talked him into the whole affair.


Document 7 ~ August 20, 1943 ~ and translation
Swiss internal note holds Stefan Ryniewicz with main responsibility and charges him with incitement to commit forgery.
Also mentions names of Rokicki and Kuhl.


Document 8, pages 1-6 ~ Summer, 1943
Julius Kuhl testifies that it’s Stefan Ryniewicz who directly tasked him with passport production.


Document 9, pages 1 – 11 ~ Spring 1943
Rudolf Hügli, honorary consul of Paraguay testifies that Stefan Ryniewicz also forged passports and brought them to him personally for signature and stamping.


Documents 10 a – m
Paraguayan passports which were forged by someone other than Rokicki


Document 11 ~ September 6, 1943
Minutes of Rothmund interview with Ryniewicz and translation.
Stefan Ryniewicz intervenes with Heinrich Rothmund, Chief of the Swiss Foreigner Police, and one of the architects of the Swiss refugee policy held responsible for delivering Jews to the Nazis. Ryniewicz requests release of Abraham Silberschein and emphasizes that the operation is meant to save human life.


Document 12, pages 1 – 6 ~ August 18, 23 and 28 ~ and translations
Exchange of letters between Silberschein and Ryniewicz.
Ryniewicz unsuccessfully intervenes with the Peruvian Legation to have Jorge Barreto reinstated as the country’s consul in Geneva. Barreto, later declared Righteous Among the Nations, was one of the passport providers who was caught and expelled from diplomatic service.


Document 13, page 1- 2 ~ August 2 and 19/21
Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, Prime Minister of the Polish Government in exile, requests passport for a Polish Jew, Ernst Bergauer. The instruction is sent directly to Ambassador Ładoś who reports back that he has procured a Paraguayan passport for Bergauer.


Document 14, pages 1 – 5 and translation ~ October 1943
Rescue of the Kruskal family of five.
The Polish Ambassador to the United States, Jan Ciechanowski, supported by the Foreign Minister of Poland, Tadeusz Romer, request Ładoś to organize a passport for the Kruskals. The whole family received a Paraguayan document and was subsequently exchanged.


Document 14 a, pages 1-3 and partial translation
Rescue of the Kruskal family continued.


Document 15 ~ August 17, 1943
Ambassador Lados requests the minister of foreign affairs to support his intervention in defense of the Peruvian, Barreto, the Consul General of Peru in Geneva, Switzerland who later was named Righteous Among the Nations.


Document 16 ~ February 1943
Ambassador Ładoś requests Polish intervention with El Salvadorean government to recognize passports. In 1944, Consulate General of Central American countries issued hundreds, maybe thousands, of documents to protect Jews all over Europe.


Document 17 ~ March 1943
Isaac Sternbuch from Vaad Hatzalah, uses Polish diplomatic code to request intervention with the governments of Honduras and El Salvador. Enabling Jewish organizations to freely use the code and to send cables to the US and the UK was Ambassador Łados’ personal decision.


Document 18 ~ October 1943
Pages 1 – 5 in left column and translation, pages 1 – 4, in right column
Ambassador Lados meets with Swiss Foreign Minister Marcel Pilet-Golaz and requests that he abstains from any police action against his diplomats. Lados blackmails Switzerland with an international scandal. After this meeting, all procedures against Kuhl, Silberschein, Eiss, Rokicki and Ryniewicz were de facto dropped.


Document 19 ~ December 18, 1943
Aleksander Ładoś requests government intervention from Latin American capitals to acknowledge the passports of Vittel prisoners as legitimate.


Document 20 ~ December 19, 1943
Aleksander Ładoś requests government intervention from Latin American capitals to acknowledge the passports of Vittel prisoners as legitimate.


Document 21 ~ February 24, 1944 ~ and translation
Ładoś requests the support of the Red Cross to negotiate the exchange of Vittel prisoners


Document 22 ~ 1943
Chaim Eiss thanks Lados and Rokicki for their role in the rescue operation


Document 23 ~ 1943
Chaim Eiss thanks Lados and Rokicki for their role in the rescue operation


Document 24 ~ 1944
Thank you cable from The British secretary of the Agudath Israel World Organization, Harry Goodman to Aleksander Lados and Konstanty Rokicki


Document 25 ~ January 31, 194?
Harry Goodman of Agudas Israel thanks K. Kraczkiewitz of the Polish Foreign Office in London for the help of Lados and Kuhl.


Document 26 ~ January 2, 1945
Harry Goodman of Agudas Israel names all four Polish diplomats involved: Ambassador Ładoś, Counselor Ryniewicz, Consul Rokicki and Attaché Kuhl. “Without their co-operation this work which has been the means of rescuing many hundreds of Polish Jews, would not have been achieved.”

Document 27 ~ October 7, 1943
Thank you note and translation
Chaim Eiss’ letter to Julius Kuhl, in which he refers to minister (ambassador) Lados as “Righteous Among the Nations”


Document 28, pages 1 – 4 ~ August 10, 1944
Swiss police report: “Silberschein seems to have fulfilled this operation with knowledge and support of the Polish Legation.”