Gerhart M. Riegner
Gerhart Moritz Riegner (Berlin, September 12, 1911 – Geneva, December 3, 2001) was the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress from 1965 to 1983. On August 8, 1942, he sent the so-called Riegner Telegram through diplomatic channels to Stephen Samuel Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress. (However, Wise did not receive it until the end of the month.) The source of the information was Eduard Schulte, the anti-Nazi owner of a prominent German company that employed high-level Nazi officials. The telegram was the first official communication about the planned Holocaust.
The Riegner telegram read in part: Have received through foreign office following message from Riegner Geneva STOP Received alarming report that in Fuhrers headquarters plan discussed and under consideration all Jews in countries occupied or controlled Germany number 3½ to 4 million should after deportation and concentration in East at one blow exterminated to resolve once and for all Jewish question in Europe.
Great grandchildren include: Sophie, Frank, Henry, and Katherine Riegner
Quote: "Never did I feel so strongly the sense of abandonment, powerlessness and loneliness as when I sent messages of disaster and horror to the free world and no one believed me."
Awards and Honors
In 1994 he received the Four Freedom Award for the Freedom of Worship
- Article on Eduard Schulte in the Holocaust Encyclopedia with an image of the cable originating from Gerhart Riegner
- A Final Hitler Decision for the "Final Solution"? The Riegner Telegram Reconsidered by Christopher R. Browning
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