|The ‘Feldscher Action’|
In 1943/44 Britain asked the Third Reich to extradite 500 Jewish children. The Auswärtiges Amt called this the ‘Feldscher Action’, after the British contact person, Swiss diplomat Peter A. Feldscher, who was the ‘Schutzmacht’ representative of Switzerland in Berlin. The British were willing to allow the children to enter Palestine and hoped to negotiate an exit from Bulgaria and Romania. Negotiations dragged on for eighteen months – without result.
Historical research has revealed that the Auswärtiges Amt was less concerned about the lives of the children than the propaganda value that resistance to the initiative would generate for the political interests in the Near East. For the British, the primary aim of the initiative was to appease public opinion, not save Jewish lives.
The documents in this archive show that the Swedish Legation in Berlin, acting as Schutzmacht on behalf of the Dutch Government, made every effort to negotiate the extradition of – amongst others – these 500 children (entry 506).