MIL-OSI USA: House of Representatives Passes Salazar’s ‘Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust Congressional Gold Medal Act’

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar’s (FL-27)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 537, the Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust Congressional Gold Medal Act, with unanimous support. The bill was introduced by Reps. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) in January 2023 and has since garnered the support of nearly 300 Members of Congress, making it one of the most cosponsored bills in Congress.

At a time when Jews around the world face a terrifying increase in antisemitism while Israel is under attack, Representative Salazar is working in Congress to show that the United States will always defend the Jewish community at home and abroad and remember the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Honoring the heroes of the past helps us acknowledge the Holocaust as a real event and serves as a chilling reminder of the devastating consequences of silence in the face of intolerance,” said Rep. Salazar. “By passing this legislation, we will honor the memory of these heroes. We will preserve the truth of the Holocaust for current and future generations. We will continue to fight antisemitism in all its forms today. And we will help ensure the American people never forget what happened.

These diplomats risked their careers and their lives to help Jewish people flee Nazi persecution and the brutality of concentration camps,” said Rep. Torres. “I’m proud to be working in a bipartisan fashion and pass this measure to help honor those brave few souls who saved thousands of lives with a Congressional Gold Medal.

H.R. 537 would grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the 60 diplomats from around the world who, through various means, saved the lives of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. In most cases, diplomats would issue passports and travel visas to Jewish families often at great risk to their own lives. These actions alone saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.

The Senate version of this bill is sponsored by Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

The list of diplomats honored posthumously in this legislation include: Per Anger (Sweden); Jose Maria Barreto (Peru); Lars Berg (Sweden); Philippe Bernardini (Vatican / Italy); Hiram (Harry) Bingham IV (United States); Friedrich Born (Switzerland); Manuel Antonio Muñoz Borrero (Ecuador); Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho (Portugal); Eduardo Propper de Callejón (Spain); Samuel del Campo (Chile); Aracy Moebius Carvalho de Guimarães Rosa (Brazil); José Arturo Castellanos (El Salvador); Carl Ivan Danielsson (Sweden); Luis Martins de Souza Dantas (Brazil); Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz (Germany); Harald Feller (Switzerland); Francis (Frank) Foley (United Kingdom); Jean Edouard Friedrich (Switzerland); Carlos Almeida Afonseca de Sampaio Garrido (Portugal); Raymond Herman Geist (United States); Feng-Shan Ho (China); Constantin Karadja (Romania); Alexander Kasser (Sándor Kasza) (Sweden / Hungary); Elow Kihlgren (Sweden); Joseph Willem (Joop) Kolkman (Netherlands); Julius Kühl (Switzerland); Aleksander Ładoś (Poland); Valdemar Langlet (Sweden); Charles (Carl) Lutz (Switzerland); George Mandel-Mantello (El Salvador); Florian Manolio (Romania); Aristides de Sousa Mendes (Portugal); Salomon Jacob (Sally) Noach (Netherlands); Giorgio (Jorge) Perlasca (Spain / Italy); Ernst Prodolliet (Switzerland); Franjo Punčuch (Yugoslavia / Slovenia); Sebastián de Romero Radigales (Spain); Konstanty Rokicki (Poland); Angelo Giuseppe; Roncalli (Vatican / Italy); Angelo Rotta (Vatican / Italy); Albert Emile Routier (Turkey); Stefan Ryniewicz (Poland); Gilberto Bosques Saldívar (Mexico); José Ruiz Santaella (Spain); Ángel Sanz Briz (Spain); Abdol-Hossein Sardari (Iran); Henryk Slawik (Poland); Robert Smallbones (United Kingdom); Ján Spišiak (Slovakia); Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara (Japan); Ireanaeus Typaldos (Spain), Alexander (Sándor) Újváry (Vatican / Hungary); Selahattin Ülkümen (Turkey); Gennaro Verolino (Vatican / Italy); Vladimír Vochoč (Czech Republic); Ernst Vonrufs (Switzerland); Raoul Wallenberg (Sweden); Guelfo Zamboni (Italy); Peter Zürcher (Switzerland); and Jan Zwartendijk (Holland).

This is Congresswoman Salazar’s fifth bill to be passed in the House of Representatives this Congress, including several that became law.

Listen to Rep. Salazar’s remarks in support of her legislation here.

The text of the bill can be found here.