Chilean diplomat who saved over 1,200 Jews honoured in Bucharest

Samuel Del Campo, a Chilean diplomat who saved 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust was honoured at the Great Synagogue of Bucharest.

The ceremony was attended by the Chilean, Polish and Israeli ambassadors to Romania.

Del Campo, who served as Chile’s chargé d’affaires in Bucharest between 1941 and 1943, issued Chilean and Polish passports to Jews who would have been deported to Nazi camps.

As the diplomat of a neutral country, he also began representing the Polish government, which had cut all ties with the Nazi-allied regime in power in Romania at the time.

Ignoring his own government’s non-interference policy, del Campo issued Polish and Chilean passports to over 1,200 Polish and Romanian Jews who were confined by Romanian authorities in the Chernowitz ghetto.

A plaque in Del Campo’s honor was unveiled at the synagogue.

During the ceremony, Chilean Ambassador Pia Busta, Silviu Vexler MP, President of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania. and Israeli Ambassador David Saranga addressed the audience, highlighted the heroic work of the Chilean diplomat during one of the darkest periods in the history of humanity.

“The story and actions of Samuel del Campo in Romania as the Republic of Chile’s chargé d’affaires represent a light of human dignity in a moment of history in which everything was surrounded by darkness,” said Mr. Vexler.

Del Campo was made a Righteous Among the Nations, Yad Vashem’s honorific for people who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, in 2017.


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