Genocide and the politics of remembering: The nameless, the celebrated, and the would-be Holocaust heroes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Vrba-Wetzler Report was the first data on Auschwitz that reached the Czechoslovak embassy in Switzerland, probably on June 10, 1944, or June 13, 1994 or to the latest on June 19-20. On March 13, 1944, when Vrba was Auschwitz, planning his escape, and a week before the Germans invaded Hungary, three Jewish parachutists from Palestine were parachuted into Yugoslavia, where they spent three months with Tito’s partisans. The Vrba-Wetzler account was the first document by Auschwitz inmates to reach the free world and be believed. Its accuracy and authenticity broke the barrier of skepticism and apathy that had existed up to that point. The escape of Vrba and Wetzler was preceded by that of Siegfried Lederer, a prisoner in Birkenau and a former officer of the Czechoslovak Army. On April 5, 1944, Lederer fled, dressed in an SS uniform and with the help of an SS guard, Viktor Pestek.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNazi Germany
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781351915564
ISBN (Print)9781315248271
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Harald Kleinschmidt 2007.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

Cite this