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UN pays tribute to Swiss diplomats

Three Swiss diplomats who helped save the lives of thousands of Jews during the second world war, are among those being honoured today at a special ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Three Swiss diplomats who helped save the lives of thousands of Jews during the second world war, are among those being honoured today at a special ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Dr Harald Feller, who is the only surviving member of the trio, is not attending the ceremony. He was Chargé d'affaires at the Swiss embassy in Budapest from 1944 to 1945 and intervened personally to save Hungarian Jews. He was later arrested by the Soviet authorities.

The other two Swiss diplomats are being honoured posthumously. Friedrich Born headed the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Budapest and Charles Lutz was the Swiss Consul during the same period. They are credited with saving the lives of around 45,000 Jews.

The special ceremony is being organised by Jewish organisations and the diplomatic corps of the United Nations. It is honouring the work of diplomats from 22 different countries who helped save the lives of Jews during the second world war.

Some of the people they saved are among those present at the ceremony.

There is also an exhibition running parallel to the day's events to trace the efforts made to protect Jews during the Nazi era.

swissinfo with agencies



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