Monday, February 07, 2005

Hiram Bingham, WWII Diplomatic Corp hero

Hiram Bingham IV, of Salem, Connecticut...died in 1988 at age 84. When he was the US vice consul in Marseilles, France from 1939 to 1941, he boldly defied State Department policy by writing visas for those fleeing the Holocaust, by hiding refugees in his diplomatic residence who were most wanted by Hitler, and by coordinating daring escapes to other countries from Southern France. Harry helped rescue renowned painter Marc Chagall...anti-Nazi author Leon Feuchtwanger, Nobel Prize physicist Otto Meyerhoff, and ordinary refugees.

His son's website is a tribute to Bingham with the goal of having his picture on a commemorative postage stamp. Bingham's father was the model for the fictional character in Indiana Jones. Harry Bingham's life and work is a study in how character can prevail in that cesspool of deceit that I complained about the other day. Why would one have to "defy the State Department" to do something good? Tip to kesher talk for the link.

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