As a teenager, Adolfo Kaminsky saves thousands of lives by forging passports to help children flee the Nazis. His life focuses on helping others escape atrocities around the world.
Produced by: SAMANTHA STARK, ALEXANDRA GARCIA, PAMELA DRUCKERMAN AND MANUAL CINEMA STUDIOS
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Here’s the background about Adolfo Kaminsky in a video from the New York Times.
The Producer’s Request – Adolfo Kaminsky documents
“My name is Jenny and we’re working on a story about a French forger named Adolfo Kaminsky. He lived in Paris and worked for the resistance forging documents to save Jews during the war.
Most of his work done between December 1943 and mid-1944.
Many of those he saved are children who became hidden children in France.
I’m trying to get in touch with a survivor who may have been saved by Kaminsky’s work.
If you were, or know someone who was, originally living in the Paris area and then hidden in France during the war, I would love to talk to you. I’m also wondering if you might still have your forged documents.” CBS News
Let’s see if you have suggestions to look, or specific people who’d be open to being contacted, any help is appreciated!
About Adolfo Kaminsky
“In 1940, after the German invasion of France, the family house in Vire was taken by the Germans and Kaminsky temporarily lived in another house, in which Michel Drucker’s father was also hosted.
His mother was killed by the Nazis in 1941. Aged 17, Adolfo Kaminsky entered the Resistance.
At first he watched the railway station at Vire from where railcars of the Todt Organization, loaded with material for the Atlantic Wall, transited. He sent messages to London about these trains.
However, in 1943 his family was interned in the camp of Drancy, as a prelude to deportation.
Thanks to support from the Consul of Argentina, which had broken diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany under pressure from the United States, they were freed on 22 December 1943, and moved on to Paris.
Adolfo then worked in an underground laboratory in Paris (17, rue des St Pères) where he spent the rest of World War II forging identity papers for Jews and people sought by the Nazis.
He was introduced to the network, the Resistance group, while researching a false ID for his father. This group, made up of Jewish people from the General Jewish Union (including Marc Hamon, alias “the Pingouin”, Suzie, Loutre, René, etc.) and called La Sixième, was having problems removing Waterman blue ink stains from papers.
Adolfo suggested they use lactic acid, and thereafter joined the group, finally becoming responsible for the chemical forgery lab. They notably had to respond to the challenge of the invention of the watermark.
Kaminsky also quickly learned photogravure under a false pretext, and set up a new lab in order to create “real-false” documents.
The Kaminsky Lab became the main producer of false IDs for northern France and Benelux, although ties with other clandestine groups were discontinued, each group working as a cell.
He used to say: “Keep awake. The longer possible. Struggle against sleep.
The calculation is easy. In one hour, I make 30 false papers. If I sleep one hour, 30 people will die.”] Over the course of the war, Kaminsky created documents that saved the lives of 14,000 Jews.” Source: Wikipedia