Plaque unveiled in Marseille in honour of Czechoslovak diplomat Vladimír Vochoč

Photo: Embassy of the Czech Republic

A memorial plaque was unveiled in the French city of Marseille on Friday dedicated to former Czechoslovak diplomat Vladimír Vochoč, who helped to save hundreds of Jews from France during the Holocaust. Despite his service to the country, he was persecuted by the Communists and spent more than seven years in prison.

Vladimír Vochoč, who served as Czechoslovakia’s consular official in Marseille between 1938 and 1941, enabled hundreds of Jews to escape from France by providing them with Czechoslovak passports. His actions were linked to a rescue operation organised by US journalist Varian Fry.

The two men allegedly struck a deal: While Vochoč issued a passport to anyone proposed by Varian Fry, the American financed the printing of the false documents. They are believed to have saved around 2,500 people in this way.

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Authors: Anna Kubišta, Ruth Fraňková