Written by Anna Popper

The extraordinary humanitarian deeds of the legendary Spanish diplomat, Ángel Sanz Briz during the Holocaust in Hungary, in which more than 5200 Jews were saved, inspired a Hungarian author to dedicate a book to his memory. The official presentation of the book “The Spanish Diplomat” was hosted by H.E. Anunciada Fernández de Córdova, Ambassador of Spain to Hungary, and opened with her speech:

“It is a pleasure to welcome you at the Embassy of Spain.

Today is a sad occasion in which we remember the victims of the Holocaust, all those who lost their lives to an unfathomable and twisted ideology. May their memory be blessed.

We remember those who lived, thanks to the help of others: Hungarians who hid their Jewish neighbours, and diplomats from neutral states and international organizations who found creative ways to protect people in peril. Ángel Sanz Briz, Raoul Wallenberg, Carl Lutz, Angelo Rotta, Jorge Sampaio Garrido, Giorgio Perlasca, Henrik Slawik, József Antall Senior, Sára Salkaházi and many others, whose names might have been forgotten, took this courageous, committed step and, in doing so, they set an example to all of us.

We remember today especially Ambassador Ángel Sanz Briz, my predecessor, of whom I am very proud, who passed away 41 years ago.

I bow my head in remembrance of all of them, in the very building where Sanz Briz signed Spanish passports and laissez-passer documents. Refugees were hiding in the cellars here at a terrible moment of history.

However, today is a happy occasion, a new book has been published on Spanish humanitarian work during the Shoah. That is remembrance and hope. The author of the book is Dr. Erzsébet Dobos, an excellent expert in Spanish studies and a good friend, who has spent many years investigating and collecting the acting of Sanz Briz and the Spanish diplomatic representation. Thank you, Erzsébet, for your dedication and thorough work in providing readers with a deeper insight into those terrible times, an example and a lesson not to be forgotten.

Special thanks go to Dr. József Sebes, President of the Hungarian Wallenberg Association, for publishing this book and including it in the Wallenberg booklet series. The main goal of this collection is to convey this information to the youth in the country and beyond, to learn about a high moral stance in the scary tempest of history that should never happen again. Not with any community.”

The Ambassador shared a message from the children of Ángel Sanz Briz, sent on this occasion.

Source: Diplomatic Magazine