Beyond Duty

On View June 8, 2019–Spring 2021

While the countries of the free world were reluctant to help Jewish refugees, and while most diplomats continued to employ standard procedures, only very few felt that extraordinary times required extraordinary action and were willing to act against their governments’ policy. Only a small minority mustered the necessary courage to recognize the significance and consequences of obeying their superiors’ instructions. When faced with the plight of the Jews, they decided that although they were of a different nationality and religion, they were unable to continue with their professional routine, and 
hence chose to defy their superiors and, if necessary, suffer the consequences.

The core of the exhibition is comprised of the stories of 9 diplomats who were recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations”. The stories represent diversity: different countries of origin, various countries where they operated different types of rescue actions taken in various stages of the Holocaust. The stories are woven into the historical chain of events of the Holocaust, along with more specific historical background relevant to each of the 9 stories.