We are all familiar with Oscar Schindler who used his factory as a cover to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat, who led successful rescue efforts in Budapest during that era; Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania, who provided an opportunity for Jews to flee Europe by providing them with transit visas; or Antonina and Jan Żabiński, who hid Jews in their zoo.
It is 1945. Allied and Soviet armies are winning more battles against the Nazi forces. Heinrich Himmler, commander of the S.S. and chief planner of the Jewish genocide, is aware of Germany’s desperate situation. He becomes more receptive to the idea of negotiating the release of prisoners to affect the allies to sign a treaty.
On April 20, 1945, a two-hour wartime meeting took place between Himmler, and Norbert Masur, World Jewish Congress Swedish delegate.
The location for the meeting was Gut Hartzwalde, (thirty miles north of Berlin) not far from Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, where starving and mutilated women were subjected to suffering and medical experiments.
At this meeting Masur negotiated the release of 7,000 women, half of whom were Jewish, to be transported from Ravensbrück to the safety of Sweden. Masur was risking his life to sit with one of history’s greatest mass murderers, to save other Jews and fellow human beings from death.
On Wednesday, April 10, the Tolerance Education Center hosted Stanley A. Goldman, professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and the founding director of the Loyola Center for the study of Law and Genocide.
Seven years after losing his mother, Stanley A. Goldman traveled to Israel and visited her best friend. While conversing with her family, they encountered a pamphlet about Ravensbrück that contained a picture of…their mothers.
Pursuing details on how they were saved, Goldman began a search culminating in the publishing of his book ‘Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream: The Bargain That Broke Adolf Hitler and Saved My Mother’ in December 2018.
This powerful book is a spellbinding narrative of the horrors his mother endured during the Holocaust, the amazing secret of her survival, and the residual results this had on her and on her son.