ADL Honors Hungarian Christian Rescuer Of Jews During The Holocaust
New York, NY, February 12, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored a Hungarian Christian rescuer who courageously risked her life to save the lives of Jews and others following the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944.
Dr. Clara M. Ambrus (nee Bayer) of Buffalo, New York, received the ADL Courage to Care Award, which honors rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era. The award was presented to Dr. Ambrus on February 8 during the League's National Executive Committee Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
"As the Nazis moved across Europe rounding up Jews for extermination, a few brave Christians followed the tenets of their faith and became, against all odds, their brother's keepers," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, who presented the award. "Clara's gift, from her greatness of heart and spirit, made it possible for hundreds of Jews to survive when millions of others all over Europe did not."
Dr. Ambrus attended the award ceremony with her husband, Dr. Julian Ambrus, whom she asked to offer a few words on her behalf.
He said Clara Ambrus believes her actions served as a reminder that "indifference has been a major problem" in confronting genocide, from the Holocaust to the present. "After the war, we said Never Again," said Julian Ambrus. "Yet, right now the same thing is happening, except now it is in Darfur. We all have to pull together and see what we can do to help."
Clara Bayer was in her first year of medical school at the end of 1944 when the Nazis began to liquidate the Jews remaining in Hungary. At great personal risk, she bribed Nazi guards at camps and ghettos to release prisoners, paying one golden guilder for each detainee released (about $5 for each human life). The prisoners were led to various hiding places maintained by her family, where they were fed and kept safe until the war had ended.
It has been estimated that several hundred Jews and non-Jews were saved through the family's efforts. In August 2006, Dr. Ambrus was honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for her efforts to save lives during the Holocaust.
Past recipients of the ADL Courage to Care Award include: Khaled Abdelwahhab, Ernst Leitz II, Mefail and Njazi Bicaku, Hiram Bingham IV, Sir Nicholas Winton, Konstantin Koslovsky, Jan and Miep Gies, Aristides De Sousa Mendes, Jan Karski, Selahattin Ulkumen, Chiune Sugihara, the French town of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, Emilie and Oskar Schindler, The Partisans of Riccione, Italy and Johanna Vos. The ADL Courage to Care Program is sponsored by a generous grant from Eileen Ludwig Greenland.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.