|LAWYER, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (GERMANY)|
BORN 12 Sep 1911, Berlin - DIED 3 Dec 2001, Genève|
BIRTH NAME Riegner, Gerhart Moritz
GRAVE LOCATION Genève, Genève: Cimetière de Plainpalais, Rue des Rois
Gerhart Riegner studied law in Heidelberg and Freiburg and worked as a lawyer in Leipzig before he fled to Switzerland in 1933. He finished his studies at the Sorbonne and settled in Switzerland a an international lawyer.
On August 8, 1942, he sent the 'Riegner telegram' through diplomatic channels. In it he warned that the Germans were planning to exterminate all Jews in the occupied countries. He had received this information from Eduard Schulte, the owner of a company in Leipzig that employed several nazi officials in high positions. But Riegner wasn't believed in the free world. In reality the Holocaust had already started in September 1941.
After the war he became a champion of human rights and he worked on the relation between Jews and Christians. From 1965 until 1983 he was secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress.
Gerhart M. Riegner - Wikipedia