Jose Arturo Castellanos: An Unlikely Hero of the Second World War from El Salvador

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Joyce Lemus (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: "The purpose of this thesis is to shed light on a Holocaust rescue effort untaken by Jose Castellanos and George Mandel. Mandel has been the subject of several publications while Castellanos' role has largely been ignored. Newly discovered certificates along with cooperation and acknowledgement from the Salvadoran government have opened the door to a deeper look into Castellanos' life and participation in the rescue. Colonel Jose Arturo Castellanos , while a diplomat for the government of El Salvador to various European countries in the 1930s , coordinated a massive effort to provide certificates of El Salvadoran citizenship throughout Europe to Jews under threat of persecution. These certificates saved the lives of countless European Jews because they conveyed El Salvadoran citizenship rights and thus prevented the deportation of Jews who held such certificates to the ghettos and concentration camps. Castellanos , along with fellow diplomat Hungarian businessman George Mandel , secretly organized and carried out this effort independent of the El Salvadoran government for whom Castellanos was working. Colonel Castellanos is celebrated by El Salvador for his humanitarian efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust , and he is the only Central American to be recognized by the state of Israel as ""Righteous Among the Nations."" This honor is given by Israel to non-Jews who risked their lives to help save Jews during the Holocaust. Recent evidence has shown that the rescue mission of Castellanos and Mandel was one of the most significant operations of its kind during the Holocaust and also one of the most secretive."

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Jewish History

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