Holocaust museum in Amsterdam
Holocaust museum in AmsterdamiStock

The Spanish government is looking for the descendants of Hungarian Jews who escaped capture by the Nazis with the aid of a Spanish diplomat.

The project of the Centro Sefarad-Israel – a Sephardi cultural institution affiliated with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – aims to tell the stories of the Jews who were saved and their family members.

In 1991, Angel Sanz-Briz was recognized for saving Jewish lives by Yad Vashem, who gave his family the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

A diplomat who served under Francoist Spain during the Holocaust, Sanz-Briz saved the lives of over 5,200 Hungarian Jews from being sent to Auschwitz.

He is referred to as the “Angel of Budapest.”

In 1944, for a period of eight months, he and his staff gave fake Spanish papers to Jews who would have been sent to concentration camps.

Though he had only received authorization to help 200 Jews, he continued to provide papers until he had saved 5,200.

He also used his own money to rent houses to provide shelter to the Jews, placing Spanish flags in front of the apartments to make them official Spanish properties.

One of the methods he used was to tell Hungarian officials that Spain had given Spanish citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, based on a Spanish law from 1924, that unknown to the Hungarians had been cancelled in 1930.

Centro Sefarad-Israel has released a list of names of the Jews that Sanz-Briz saved, along with personal details, in the hope that their descendants can be located.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)