Gisi Fleischmann
Women in Judaism ~ Women in Judaism - Activist and community leader

Gisi Fleischmann

Gisi Fleischmann's name deserves to be immortalised in the annals of our people, and her memory should be bequeathed to further generations as a radiant example of heroism and of boundless devotion.

Gideon Hausner, prosecutor of Adolf Eichman

The actions of Gisi Fleischmann directly led to the salvation of countless Jewish lives during the Holocaust. She perished in Auschwitz herself, in 1944, but she had already put in place through her work founding the underground group the Bratislava Working Group - arguably the best known and most successful Jewish Rescue group of the Holocaust. Fleischmann led the group with her colleague Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl. By bribing high ranking officials, both German and Slovakian, the group almost certainly delayed the mass deportation of Slovakian Jews for over two years – allowing many to escape for good. Her courage as part of this movement and her tenacity as a negotiator with both the Jewish leaders, particularly in Hungary, and the enemy, are the traits for which she is remembered by those who knew her. After her death, the Working group played a pivotal role in the distribution of the Auschwitz Report which led directly to the stoppage of huge numbers of Hungarian Jews being deported to the camps.

A film, Gisi, has been made of Fleichmann’s life, directed by Natasha Dudinski and due for release in 2014.

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