Saturday, September 02, 2006

El Salvador's Holocaust Hero

One of the unsung heroes of World War II was a Salvadoran. The Foundation for Self Sufficiency in Central America has on its web site an article titled El Salvador's Holocaust Hero written by Dartmouth University professor, John Lamperti. Lamperti tells the story of George Mantello:

Most Salvadorans have never heard of him, although he was a fellow citizen and an official of their government. Mantello was an unusual Salvadoran who spoke no Spanish and never set his foot on its soil. He fought for his adopted country and for humanity against one of the worst evils this world has known, and his weapons were not guns or bombs but dedication and truth. The victory he helped to win was saving tens of thousands of human beings from death in the Holocaust.

The article describes how Mantello instigated a program, backed by the Salvadoran government, to give tens of thousands of Jews Salvadoran citizenship papers. In addition, when the Nazis began the mass extermination of Hungarian Jews in the Auschwitz death camp, Mantello organized a publicity campaign which finally broke the silence about the Holocaust in Allied and neutral press and governments. This publicity campaign is credited with bringing a halt to the shipment of Hungarian Jews to the death camps and saving thousands.

Read the article, and learn about this unknown Salvadoran hero.

John Lamperti has also written Enrique Alvarez: Life of a Salvadoran Revolutionary And Gentlemen. Enrique Alvarez Córdova was assassinated along with five of his Democratic Revolutionary Front colleagues in November 1980 by forces associated with the ruling privileged classes in El Salvador. Yet Enrique Alvarez had been born into that ruling privileged class, and this biography chronicles his development into a leader in the struggle for social justice in El Salvador. In so doing, Lamperti also portrays the social and political issues in El Salvador which led to the civil war. I recommend the book.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Salvadorans can be "noble". One, who ironically isn't really Salvadoran... but helped save Jews from murder. The other, a perfect example of the things the retrograde scum that rule us is willing to do, in order to keep the country in the feudal period, be it "politically" or by murder.

Yes, El Salvador is and has been living it's own Holocaust. The Hitlers and Nazi of our country is ARENA, their death squads, their accomplices on silincing those who want social justice and freedom from opression.

Thanks for this nice article.

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