VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Rescuing the Nazis’ most-wanted
August 6, 2010 by Kate Sands Adams
|Varian Fry at his office in Marseilles in the spring of 1941. "I felt obliged to help," he said of his daring rescue operation.|
It was 70 years ago this week — August 4, 1940 — that the IRC’s Varian Fry boarded a transatlantic flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York on his way to German-occupied France on a mission to rescue 200 leading artists and intellectuals who were on the Nazis’ most-wanted list. Before the authorities expelled him 13 months later, he and his colleagues in Marseille would help more than 2,000 refugees cross the border into Spain.
Among those spirited out of France were the painters Marc Chagall and Max Ernst, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, and Nobel Prize winning medical researcher Otto Meyerhof.
IRC president George Rupp blogged about Fry's courageous exploits as the IRC observed our 75th anniversary in 2008. Read more here.
Print by Marc Chagall for the portfolio Flight [PDF], a limited edition of 12 original prints by internationally renowned artists that was commissioned by the IRC’s Varian Fry.