Archives reveal the untold stories of diplomats who helped Jews escape Nazi death camps

Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT) May 2, 2019

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(CNN)In 1942, two Jewish men were operating between the safety of neutral Switzerland and the danger of Nazi-occupied Europe. With coded messages they knew could be read by the Nazis, they smuggled the names and pictures of Jews hoping to escape death.

The destination of those names was the Polish Legation in Bern, where diplomats would bribe a counsel to Paraguay for blank passports and forge them under the nose of the Swiss government. The two men would then have to get those passports back to Jews in need of citizenship that would hopefully spare them from Germany's death camps.
And in the shadows was Stefan Ryniewicz, deceiving authorities and convincing diplomats and police to ignore the life-saving, but illegal, scheme that could get them all classified as "persona non grata."
It was a story Alexandra Van Ryn Reiter's grandfather, Ryniewicz, never shared with her.
"Unfortunately, I wasn't told anything at all," she told CNN. "I just knew that my father's side of the family was in Argentina and left Poland because of the war."