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Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations

April 4, 2022 @ 8:00 am - April 27, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

The Martin L. King Library in San Jose will be hosting the Beyond Duty Exhibit: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations exhibit between April 4 and 27 in the Martin L. King Library in San Jose.  The exhibit is hosted by Hillel of Silicon Valley, the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, Students Supporting Israel of San Jose State University (SJSU) and the Jewish Faculty & Staff Association of SJSU.

The Holocaust was an unprecedented genocide, total and systematic, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, with the aim of annihilating the Jewish people, culture, and traditions from the face of the Earth.

Between 1933 and 1941, Nazi Germany pursued a policy that dispossessed the Jews of their rights and their property, followed by the branding and concentration of the Jewish population. This policy gained broad support in Germany and much of occupied Europe. In 1941, following the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Nazis and their collaborators launched the systematic extermination of the Jews. By the end of 1941, the policy had developed into an overall comprehensive, systematic murder operation that the Nazis called “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”

A person should see humankind as partly innocent and partly culpable; a single good deed can tip the scales. ~Maimonides

While the countries of the free world were reluctant to help Jewish refugees, and while most diplomats continued to employ standard procedures, only very few felt that extraordinary times required extraordinary action and were willing to act against their governments’ policy. Only a small minority mustered the necessary courage to recognize the significance and consequences of obeying their superiors’ instructions. When faced with the plight of the Jews, they decided that although they were of a different nationality and religion, they were unable to continue with their professional routine, and hence chose to defy their superiors and, if necessary, suffer the consequences.

The core of the exhibition is comprised of the stories of 9 diplomats who were recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations”. The stories represent diversity: different countries of origin, various countries were they operated different types of rescue actions taken in various stages of the Holocaust. The stories are woven within the historical chain of event of the holocaust, along with more specific historical background relevant to each of the 9 stories.


April 4, 2022 @ 8:00 am
April 27, 2022 @ 5:00 pm


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