Visas for Freedom – Spanish Diplomats and the Holocaust

Opening: February 18, 2010

Exhibition Curator: Belén Reina Casanova

During the fateful years of the Holocaust, certain Spanish Diplomats were able to transcend the difficult political situation, and use their influence to change the fate of many Jews, showing solidarity, courage and humanity.

1389.5 Holocaust I

Jews arrested by German troops in Salonika, where diplomat Romero Radigales struggled to save Sephardic Jews as Spaniards.

“Visas for Freedom” tells the stories of Angel Sanz Briz and Giorgio Perlasca in Hungary, Eduardo Proper de Callejon and Bernard Rolland de Miota in France, Sebastian Romero Radigales in Greece, Carmen and Jose Ruiz Santaella in Germany, Julio Palencia and Tubau in Bulgaria and Jose Rojas Moreno in Romania.

These Spanish diplomats were able to evade the prohibitions and restrictions of the authorities in the countries they were accredited in an attempt to save lives. They risked their own political position by eluding the rules set by their own superiors from Madrid.

Contemplating pictures and documents, and listening to the testimonies, visitors will be able to share the narratives of these men and women who during turbulent times enabled thousands of Jews to escape the concentration camps and use Spain as a passage to freedom.

Their actions saved lives and alleviated the suffering, defending the freedom of their Sephardic compatriots, as well as mitigating the persecution and massacre of the Jewish people.

On display until April 30, 2010.