Under Swiss Protection: The Story of Holocaust Rescuer Carl Lutz

Under Swiss Protection: The Story of Holocaust Rescuer Carl Lutz
Presenters: Agnes Hirschi-Grausz and Charlotte Schallié, PhD.
February 28, 2021, at 11 am central
This is a VIRTUAL event and will be streamed on Facebook Live.

Former St. Louisan Carl Lutz was the Swiss Consul in charge of the visa section (Department of Foreign Interests) of the Swiss legation in Budapest, Hungary, 1942-1945. In this position, he issued tens of thousands of visas to save Jewish refugees from the Nazis and the Hungarian Arrow Cross party.

Scholars credit Lutz with organizing the largest civilian rescue mission of the entire Holocaust. He is recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three times.

At 18, Lutz moved to Granite City, IL, where he worked for five years before attending Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton, Missouri, and George Washington University in Washington, DC. After college, Lutz lived and worked in downtown St. Louis in 1933 and 1934.

Speaking about Lutz will be two people who know his heroic story well.

Agnes Hirschi is a Holocaust survivor and the stepdaughter of Carl Lutz. Agnes was a child in Budapest and witnessed her father’s heroic actions in saving Jewish refugees. During the last 20 years, she has travelled the world lecturing on the role of diplomatic rescue in the Holocaust.

Charlotte Schallié is a professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Her research interests include post-1945 German literature and film, memory studies, visual storytelling, Jewish identity in contemporary cultural discourse, teaching and learning about the Holocaust, and human rights education.

The pair co-edited the book Under Swiss Protection: Jewish Eyewitness Accounts from Wartime Budapest, which retraces Lutz’s rescue efforts in wartime Budapest through the lens of eyewitness testimonies.