New Stamp To Honor WWII Envoy who risked career to save Jews
Sixty-six years ago, Hiram Bingham IV, a blue-blood American diplomat in France, defied U.S. policy by helping Jews escape the Nazis in the early years of World War II.
Bingham's actions cost him his Foreign Service career but won him the undying gratitude of the more than 2,000 refugees he helped save by issuing them travel visas and false passports, and even at times sheltering them in his home. Only in recent years has his heroism been officially recognized by his own country.
Bingham, the Yale-educated son of a former U.S. senator, died in 1988 at age 84. His own children did not learn the extent of his wartime deeds until 1996, when a son found a cache of old journals and correspondence stashed in a hidden closet in the family's Connecticut home. Soon Bingham's face -- and, supporters hope, his story -- will be well known across the United States, as the U.S. Postal Service issues a stamp next Wednesday in his honor.
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