Dangerous Diplomacy, by Theo Tschuy

One of the most unusual rescuers of European Jews during the Holocaust was Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz. Long ignored, his story is well told in this account by historian Theo Tschuy (with a preface by Simon Wiesenthal). As a free-spirited young man, Lutz emigrated to the United States and worked at a variety of jobs before deciding to study diplomacy at George Washington University. He became a career diplomat for the Swiss government, serving in Palestine and London before becoming Swiss consul in Budapest from 1942 to 1945.

In those years Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia were the site of a diabolical chess game that pitted the Nazis against regional leaders and international diplomats. Tschuy brilliantly portrays the political complexity of that region and the dilemmas that confronted diplomats. Faced with ruthless Nazi leaders such as Adolf Eichmann and Proconsul Edmund Veesenmayer, most diplomats (and their governments) responded timidly and hedged their bets.

 

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