Sun, 21 Apr 2019

Poland's president and descendants of Holocaust survivors have held a graveside ceremony to honour a Polish diplomat in Switzerland who helped Jews escape Poland during World War II by issuing phony Latin American passports.

The ceremony held on Tuesday took place at the cemetery in Lucerne, Switzerland where Konstanty Rokicki was buried in 1958 after dying in poverty.

Rokicki was vice-consul at Poland's consulate in Bern when diplomats and Jewish activists worked to get Jews out of Nazi-occupied Poland.

During 1942-43, he obtained blank passports, mainly from Paraguay, and filled them in with names of Polish Jews. The forged documents were smuggled to them, and it's estimated that several hundred Jews survived World War II because of his actions.

The ceremony was part of President Andrzej Duda's state visit to Switzerland.

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