Lutz/Wallenberg Life Saving Passes. A Testimony

Lutz/Wallenberg Life Saving Passes

Carl Lutz and Raoul Wallenberg are iconic names for righteous diplomats saving Jewish life in Budapest, Hungary, during the German occupation. In late 1944, the Germans took any actions to deport Hungarian Jews to concentration camps. But these two diplomats did everything possible to save as many people as possible by issuing, combined, around 80.000 Schutz-Passes (Protection passes) and Schutzbriefe (Protection letters).

Carl Lutz can be seen as the „inventor“ of such protection documents to save Jewish lives. He experienced the use of such documents in his earlier post as Vice-Consul in Palestine in 1934. Wallenberg and other righteous diplomats later „copied“ this idea to save Jews by issuing such documents.

The documents were issued to the wife of Siegmund Simko, and it’s most likely he had the same documents. Simko was the director of a large steel company, as indicated by the business cards. Plus, there is the Hungarian ID card Mrs. Simko.

Finally, there is a protocol issued by the Hungarian army documenting the confiscation of the Simko flat and interior after they could flee from certain death.

Now it’s documented that a person could probably hold both documents – a Lutz Schutzbrief and a Wallenberg Schutzpass – but I would assume such cases are rare. Till today there has been no testimony by physical document evidence. Hence this document set is indeed unique and historically of significant importance.

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During World War II, many ambassadors, consuls, and employees of diplomatic missions used their special position, immunity, and available resources to actively assist persecuted Jews – largely refugees from occupied Poland. 

The title of Righteous Among the Nations is awarded by the State of Israel to people from all over the world for the selfless help they provided to Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War II. More than twenty-seven thousand people from fifty-one countries, including nearly seven thousand Poles, have received the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Lutz/Wallenberg Life Saving Passes