Auction No. 096

Rare Books & Manuscripts, Rabbinical letters, Zionism, Erez Israel, Judiaca objects & art, numismatics & archeology

November 29, 2016

Auction: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at 17:00.

Exhibition Schedule:

Thursday November 24, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Sunday, November 27, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Monday November 28, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Opening $ 8,000
Estimate $ 10,000 - $ 12,000
Sold for $ 9,760
Including buyer's premium

An extremely rare set of double diplomatic salvation: A Schutzpass protective passport signed by the Righteous Among the Nations Raoul Wallenberg and a Schutzbrief letter of protection from the Righteous Among the Nations Carl Lutz, both of which were given to save the life of one woman. Budapest, September-October 1944.
These are historical documents of Mrs. Semko, the wife of Sigmund Semko, the director of a steel factory in Budapest:
[1] leaf, a Swedish diplomatic "protective passport" Schutzpass (of Raoul Wallenberg), no. 01337, dated September 22, 1944, with a stamp and two signatures. 34x21 cm. Folding marks, a slight tear on the fold.
[1] leaf, a diplomatic Swiss safe conduct document - Schutzbrief (of Carl Lutz), an original document with title letters in red, a watermark of the Japanese postal authority, no. 2523, dated October 23, 1944, with a Swiss diplomatic stamp. 30x21.5 cm. The ink of the number is smudged, slight holes as a result of the fold. Fine condition. 
[2] leaves, Jegyzőkönyv "protocol," Hungarian. A governmental protocol with precise details of the confiscation of the Semko couple's property. 34x21.5 cm. Many signatures on both sides. Folding marks. Fine condition. 
[4] business cards of the manager of the steel factory, Mr. Sigmund Semko. 7x11.5 cm. 
[1] Hungarian identity card of Mrs. Semko with the original photograph from 1944. 11.5 cm. A few rust signs on the staples. Fine condition. 
With the German conquest of Hungary and the arrival of Adolf Eichmann in March 19, 1944, approximately half a million Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz and other death camps in the course of a few short months. During these months, diplomatic letters of protection were the Jews' greatest desire and literally saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews. These documents provide new historical testimony, previously unknown, that a Jewish woman managed to attain these letters of salvation from two diplomats, both Wallenberg and Lutz, together! 
Raoul Wallenberg (1922-1947?), one of the most famous Righteous Among the Nations, a Swedish diplomat who disappeared after the war after being arrested by the Russians, and who is known for his daring actions in saving thousands of Jews in Budapest. Wallenberg was a Swedish businessman who served as the secretary of the Swedish consulate in Budapest in the critical months of the summer of 1944. During those months, Wallenberg worked tirelessly to save Jews by issuing protective passports (which were not actually valid) and transferring the Jews to international safe houses. In addition, he established two hospitals, soup kitchens, and orphanages. With the deportation of Jews by the fascist Arrow Cross party, led by Ferenc Szalasi, Wallenberg worked constantly to save tens of thousands of Jews from deportation, including from the trains and the death marches. His brave activities endangered his life and led Eichmann to threaten to shoot him, and to refer to him as a "Jewish dog." After the war, Wallenberg was arrested by the Russians and accused of espionage, and since 1947 his tracks were lost, with many different versions of his final fate.
Carl Lutz (1895-1975) one of the most prominent Righteous Among the Nations, a Swiss diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the destruction of Hungarian Jewry and their deportation to Auschwitz. Lutz worked to save the Jews of Budapest by issuing Swiss "letters of protection" to Jews who had entry certificates into Palestine, and negotiated with high-ranking Nazi officers, including Adolf Eichmann. Lutz was the initiator of the idea of letters of protection (an idea adopted by Raoul Wallenberg and others) from the model with which he was familiar from his time as Deputy Consul in Palestine in 1934. Lutz issued a total of 8,000 letters, which he expanded in order to save the lives of 30,000 Jews, and he was involved in the establishment of the "International Ghetto" which shielded the Jews who were in possession of letters of protection. Lutz was one of the first to be recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations, and a governmental medal and stamp were issued in his memory.   

Antisemitism & The Holocaust