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Carl Lutz with his wife Gertrud in America

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.95 | RG Number: RG-60.6976 | Film ID: 4374

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    Carl Lutz with his wife Gertrud in America


    Carl Lutz with his wife Gertrud and parents, possibly in Cincinnati, unknown date. They sit on the steps of a fountain and talk. Carl pulls out a camera, which Gertrud looks at. Gertrud sits by a pond looking at and touching flowers. Carl's mother stands with her arm around Gertrud, next to Carl's father. They all look at and touch the different flowers. Carl joins them. The parents and wife walk in this garden, continuing to look at and touch the flowers. More shots of Gertrud amongst the flowers. Carl joins her. She picks a flower and pins it to his lapel. They both stop and smile at the camera. His wife smells flowers on a tree. Carl's mother and father smell them as well. His father poses next to the flower tree. His mother joins. More shots of Gertrud with the flowers, smelling the flowers. Carl and his wife pose in front of the flowers with his arm around her. They smile at one another and the camera.
    United States
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Archiv für Zeitgeschichte
    Camera Operator: Charles R. Lutz
    Charles (Carl) Lutz (1895-1975) was the Swiss vice-consul in Budapest between 1942 and 1945. Born in Walzenhausen, Switzerland, Lutz moved to the United States in 1913 at the age of 18. While studying at the George Washington University, he joined the Swiss diplomatic service and became chancellor at the Swiss legation in Washington, D.C. In 1935, Lutz was sent to Palestine, where he was appointed vice-consul at the Swiss consulate in Jaffa. On January 2, 1942, Lutz was reassigned to the Swiss consulate in Budapest, where he was appointed Chief of the Department of Foreign Interests of the Swiss legation.There he represented the interests of the U.S., Great Britain and twelve other countries that had severed formal relations with Hungary because of its alliance with Nazi Germany. In his capacity as neutral Swiss representative of British interests in Hungary, Lutz organized the issuing of Palestine certificates (endorsed by the British authorities), to Jews seeking to escape from Hungary. Lutz also pioneered the use of the Schutzbrief, an official letter issued by the legation to protect the young emigrants from being drafted into the Hungarian labor service and later from deportation while they awaited passage to Palestine. Soon after the German takeover of Hungary in March 1944, Lutz placed the staff of the Jewish Council for Palestine in Budapest under his diplomatic protection and renamed it the Department of Emigration of the Swiss Legation. This department was soon moved to the Glass House on Vadasz Street and ultimately became a refuge for more than 4,000 Budapest Jews. At this time Lutz also began to issue new Schutzbriefe (eventually numbering more than 50,000) to Jews waiting to leave for Palestine. When Hungarian and German authorities initiated the ghettoization of Budapest Jewry, Lutz established 76 safe houses in the Saint Stephen ghetto and put them under his diplomatic protection. In addition to being repeatedly compelled to rush out to stop Arrow Cross bands from raiding the safe houses, Lutz was called upon on several occasions to drive to the Obuda brickyards concentration camp to rescue Jews who were about to be deported. In November 1944 he was responsible for liberating an entire column of 1,000 Jews who had been dispatched on a death march from Budapest to the Austrian border. After the war Lutz received a letter of reprimand from authorities in Switzerland for overstepping his authority in helping the Jews of Budapest. Lutz divorced his first wife, Gertrud in the late 1940s, and in 1949 married Maria Magdalena Grausz (Magda), one of the Hungarian Jewish women he protected during the war. He also adopted her daughter, Agnes. Lutz retired from the diplomatic service in 1961. Lutz was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.

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    This archival media can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations.
    Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Archiv für Zeitgeschichte - Archivleitung
    Conditions on Use
    No publication and copies of the records and finding aids to the 3rd party users without the written permission from the Archiv für Zeitgeschichte (AfZ). The Museum may not transfer the materials or duplicate records thereof or any of the finding aids to any third party, except as permitted in the Cooperation Contract, Article II paragraph 5 herein or as otherwise permitted in writing by the AfZ. The Museum may not publish the reproduction material or finding aid on the Internet, World Wide Web, or any publicly accessible on-line network without the written permission of the AfZ. Contact

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    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s International Archives Project acquired a copy of this archival collection in March 2017 from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Archiv für Zeitgeschichte (AfZ), Switzerland under archival signature NL Carl Lutz.
    The Carl Lutz films are available online at the Archiv für Zeitgeschichte catalog:
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    Film Source
    Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Archiv für Zeitgeschichte - Archivleitung
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: NL Carl Lutz 333_001
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:54:10
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