Budapest: Ministry of the Interior, 1944. 24mo. Single sheet. Original photo identification document for Gyuláné Heller with b/w passport photograph. Signed by the secretary of the Hungarian Minister of the Interior and countersigned by Carl Ivar Danielsson, the head of the Swedish legation in Budapest.
Photo identification issued for Raoul Wallenberg's employee at the Swedish Legation Gyuláné Heller. Official exemption from the obligation to wear the yellow badge. Original text in translation: "the owner of a verifiable certificate has been awarded an exemption from the obligation of distinguishing markers."
After the occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany in March 1944 a decree was issued to make it mandatory for Jews to wear a bade, the yellow Star of David, on their outer garments to easily identify Jews. A humiliating act to segregate them and control their movements. Furthermore it facilitated the enforcement of curfews and their deportation.
Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest in July of 1944 as Sweden's special envoy. His expressed mission was the rescue of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis. Soon after his arrival he set up the Swedish Embassy's Humanitarian Department Section B (Abteilung B), which served as the headquarters for his rescue mission, and issued a "Provisoriskt Pass," an official temporary Swedish passport and citizenship for Hungarian Jews with family in Sweden, those who had substantial business relations with Sweden and for the Jewish employees of the embassy. The bearers of this document gained exemption from wearing the badge. According to Hungarian law edicts concerning Jews, e.g. wearing the yellow badge, were not applied to "foreign citizens of Jewish race." Since the "provisoriskt Pass" was a temporary document Wallenberg convinced the Hungarian Minister of the Interior to issue special identification cards which affirmed the immunity of the bearers.
Our document is one of these extremely rare ID cards. It was issued to Mrs. Gyula Heller, b. Flóra Hegedüs, who was one of the roughly 250 people, according to Wallenberg's report on September 12, 1944, worked day and night ("...it should be noted that the majority of our workers have on several occasions had to work 24 hours without a break") at the Swedish legation where the lifesaving, protective documents were produced and the logistics for the safe houses and other rescue actions were conducted. (Lévai, p. 66-67; Levine, p. 90). The image of Mrs. Heller's employment pass at the Swedish Embassy (Arbeitsbescheinigung) is featured on the first day cover of the Australian commemorative stamp issue of Raoul Wallenberg in 2015. Text in Hungarian. Minor smudges to document. Overall in very good condition. Item #43559