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The Rescue of Spanish

by Haim Avni
The Rescue of Spanish Nationals · 157 In the meantime, Radigales attempted to implement the repatria-tion plan. On August 17, he asked the Spanish Embassy in Berlin for clarification of his authority, in view of the change in Spain’s policy to-ward its Jewish nationals. He was told that he could organize repatria-tion for groups of twenty- five people, but that the transport of each group was contingent upon special permission granted only after the previous group had left Spain. On August 31, Radigales responded that under these conditions it would take two years to evacuate all his protégés; he there-fore requested permission to organize the repatriation in one group or in small groups of five persons, utilizing all available means of transporta-tion. He received neither permission for this nor the authority to pro-vide Spanish visas himself. On September 30, Ginés Vidal told Radigales that the Foreign Ministry prohibited sending to Spain Spanish nationals whose transport had not previously been cleared and asked him to for-ward a list of the names of the twenty- five people he intended to send. 61 By that time, the situation of the Jews of Athens had changed abrupt-ly. After the surrender of Italy, the Germans controlled southern Greece. In September Wisliceny arrived in Athens with Jürgen Stroop, the gen-eral responsible for the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. They began preparations for the annihilation of the remainder of Greek Jewry. On October 7 and 8, 1943, on the eve of Yom Kippur, Stroop’s first directives to the Jewish population appeared in Athens newspapers and in placards posted in the streets: Jews scattered throughout the city were to be concentrated in one area and registered, and Jews with foreign citizen-ship were to bring their papers to the offices of the Jewish community center on October 18 for registration. Despite Radigales’s protests, those with Spanish citizenship were forced to come at the appointed time and were subject to all the curfew regulations imposed upon the other Jews. The only restriction differentiating them from Greek Jews was that they were not obliged to report weekly to the community center. The Gestapo and the SD in Athens revoked the German transit visas of those who were about to leave for Spain. 62  This was Eichmann’s first step in his plan to eliminate Jews of foreign nationality in Athens and Italy. On November 15, Eichmann explained to the German Foreign Ministry that as foreign Jews had sided with the Badoglio government, they should be treated like other Jews in Nazi- occupied countries— they should be deported for extermination. If the German Foreign Ministry considered this politi-cally undesirable, however. Eichmann proposed that those holding for-eign citizenship be arrested immediately, placed in concentration camps, and from there transferred to their country by group, insofar as circum-stances and means of transportation would permit.   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

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The Rescue of Spanish Nationals · 157 In the meantime, Radigales attempted to implement the repatria-tion plan. On August 17, he asked the Spanish Embassy in Berlin for clarification of his authority, in view of the change in Spain’s policy to-ward its Jewish nationals. He was told that he could organize repatria-tion for groups of twenty- five people, but that the transport of each group was contingent upon special permission granted only after the previous group had left Spain. On August 31, Radigales responded that under these conditions it would take two years to evacuate all his protégés; he there-fore requested permission to organize the repatriation in one group or in small groups of five persons, utilizing all available means of transporta-tion. He received neither permission for this nor the authority to pro-vide Spanish visas himself. On September 30, Ginés Vidal told Radigales that the Foreign Ministry prohibited sending to Spain Spanish nationals whose transport had not previously been cleared and asked him to for-ward a list of the names of the twenty- five people he intended to send. 61 By that time, the situation of the Jews of Athens had changed abrupt-ly. After the surrender of Italy, the Germans controlled southern Greece. In September Wisliceny arrived in Athens with Jürgen Stroop, the gen-eral responsible for the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. They began preparations for the annihilation of the remainder of Greek Jewry. On October 7 and 8, 1943, on the eve of Yom Kippur, Stroop’s first directives to the Jewish population appeared in Athens newspapers and in placards posted in the streets: Jews scattered throughout the city were to be concentrated in one area and registered, and Jews with foreign citizen-ship were to bring their papers to the offices of the Jewish community center on October 18 for registration. Despite Radigales’s protests, those with Spanish citizenship were forced to come at the appointed time and were subject to all the curfew regulations imposed upon the other Jews. The only restriction differentiating them from Greek Jews was that they were not obliged to report weekly to the community center. The Gestapo and the SD in Athens revoked the German transit visas of those who were about to leave for Spain. 62 This was Eichmann’s first step in his plan to eliminate Jews of foreign nationality in Athens and Italy. On November 15, Eichmann explained to the German Foreign Ministry that as foreign Jews had sided with the Badoglio government, they should be treated like other Jews in Nazi- occupied countries— they should be deported for extermination. If the German Foreign Ministry considered this politi-cally undesirable, however. Eichmann proposed that those holding for-eign citizenship be arrested immediately, placed in concentration camps, and from there transferred to their country by group, insofar as circum-stances and means of transportation would permit. < < C h a p t e r >> Home | T O C | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com
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