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The telegram as described.

Gerhart Moritz Riegner (Berlin, September 12, 1911 – Geneva, December 3, 2001) was the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress from 1965 to 1983. On August 8, 1942, he sent the famous Riegner Telegram through diplomatic channels to Stephen Samuel Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress. (However, Wise did not receive it until the end of the month.[1] The source of the information was Eduard Schulte, the anti-Nazi chief executive officer of the prominent German company Giesche (part of Silesian-American Corporation) that employed high-level Nazi officials.

His telegram was the first official communication about the planned Holocaust.

The Riegner telegram read in part: Have received through foreign office following message from Riegner Geneva STOP Received alarming report that in Führers headquarters plan discussed and under consideration all Jews in countries occupied or controlled Germany number 3½ to 4 million should after deportation and concentration in East at one blow exterminated to resolve once and for all Jewish question in Europe.

Great grandchildren include: Sophie, Frank, Henry, and Katherine Riegner

Quote: "Never did I feel so strongly the sense of abandonment, powerlessness and loneliness as when I sent messages of disaster and horror to the free world and no one believed me."

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1994 he received the Four Freedom Award for the Freedom of Worship[2]

In 2001 Riegner received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lucerne.[3]


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  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-25. Retrieved 2015-04-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Honorary Doctorates - University of Lucerne". Retrieved 2019-05-15.

External linksEdit