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Germans Against Hitler — The Story of the Helmrich Couple, Holocaust Rescuers

Hosted By: Sousa Mendes Foundation

Eberhard and Donata Helmrich, from Berlin, were anti-Nazis throughout the Nazi period. A major in the German army, Eberhard was the commander of a large farm in Drohobycz, Poland, supplying the German army with food. Almost two-thirds of his 300 workers were Jews from the nearby ghetto, and thanks to his efforts many of them were saved from arrest or the periodic roundups. Donata saved women by finding housekeeping jobs for them in Berlin under false identities. When asked for the reason of their help at great risks to themselves, the Helmrichs responded, “We figured that once we saved two people we’d be even with Hitler if we were caught, and every person saved beyond that would put us one ahead.”

Eberhard and Donata Helmrich were honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Their daughter, Cornelia Schmalz Jacobsen, a retired political figure in Germany, has written a book on her parents’ rescue of Jews, entitled Two Trees in Jerusalem.

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