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The Irish Schindler


FutureTaoiseach

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Ireland's Schindler

Clan O'Flaherty has an illustrious past, with many colorful characters. In the 20th century alone the name O'Flaherty has been associated with a number of great people, among them, short story author Liam O'Flaherty, The Reverend Colman O'Flaherty, a chaplain during WW1 who won the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery, two mayors of Galway, Michael O'Flaherty, elected in 1949, and Cir Birdie O'Flaherty elected in 1986.* There are many others as well who have proudly born the name, and many who continue to do so. But one of the most notable, who will always be associated with the preservation of life and a true example of God's love and mercy, was Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty.

Monsignor O'Flaherty, was born in Lisrobin, Kiskeam, Co Cork in 1898, and grew up in Mangerton View, Killarney. He earned his Bachelors from the Urban College of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, and was ordained a priest in 1925. He stayed on at the college as rector for a number of years, while earning several doctors degrees. From there he was appointed to the Vatican diplomatic services, and later, a notary of the Holy Office. Engaging in activities that, because of his position in the Church were deemed undesirable (i.e. golfing, which was prohibited for diocesan Roman priests), he managed to make contacts with Italian high society that would help him later in his campaign to help the Jews and others the Nazis and Fascists persecuted.
His rescue operations began in the fall of 1942. Until then, the Italian officials had been somewhat lethargic in their Nazi colleague imposed roundups of Jews to be sent off to extermination camps. But with the occupation of Rome by the Germans, that was no longer the case. Mgr. O'Flaherty saw many of his Jewish friends, and other non-Fascist/non-Nazi friends being persecuted. He took some of these people into his own home, and others he hid in monasteries and convents, and even in the Vatican itself.

By the spring of 1943, his efforts expanded to include the rescue of many British POWs, mostly downed pilots over Italian soil. He kept many of these in his home, in the Vatican, but after some time set up a line of apartments where these men could go to stay in hiding until they could escape Italy and rejoin their branches in the British military.

Eventually the Monsignor's activities drew the unwanted attention of Colonel Herbert Kappler, Rome's Gestapo chief. Kappler did all he could to discourage Mgr. O'Flaherty, threatening him with arrest, and even setting up an assassination attempt on his life. But none of this deterred Mgr. O'Flaherty.
This is very interesting and I think it shows that those on the forum who have tried to make out Ireland was anti-semitic back then and indifferent to the fate of the Jews (such as Jack O Bite) are wrong and should own up to that fact.
 

thegeneral

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Immortalised on television by Gregory Peck in the film The Scarlet and The Black. The former Supreme Court Judge, Hugh O'Flaherty, was his nephew if memory serves.
 

fergalr

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The Irish State and the actions of an Irish man working for the Holy See are not the same. What this man did does not excuse what Ireland did not do.
 

Aindriu

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Sadly, FT, the actions of just one man cannot be taken as proof that we are not anti-semitic. He was a good man though. I wonder if he was ever granted the status of 'Righteous Gentile' as Schindler was?
 

pauriceenjack

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He has no proper monument and has been honoured by other nations, while we have not remembered him.
 

joel

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fergalr said:
The Irish State and the actions of an Irish man working for the Holy See are not the same. What this man did does not excuse what Ireland did not do.

Ireland does not need lessons from a fascist like you. We know which side you would have been on.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Agreed a statue should be built and placed on a pillar like Nelson was.
 

fergalr

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joel said:
fergalr said:
The Irish State and the actions of an Irish man working for the Holy See are not the same. What this man did does not excuse what Ireland did not do.

Ireland does not need lessons from a fascist like you. We know which side you would have been on.
LOL :lol: Damn! I've been outed.
 

fergalr

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FutureTaoiseach said:
Agreed a statue should be built and placed on a pillar like Nelson was.
They're usuall posthumous and I've some decades to go.
 

Andrew49

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AndrewSB49
thegeneral wrote:
Immortalised on television by Gregory Peck in the film The Scarlet and The Black. The former Supreme Court Judge, Hugh O'Flaherty, was his nephew if memory serves.
And there is a DVD available on [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pimpernel-Vatican-Amazing-Monsignor-OFlaherty/dp/095487952X"]Amazon DVD[/ame] testifying to his exploits.

 

jmayo

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Ireland like a lot of other good Catholic countries would be considered fairly antisemitic.

There are a few things that irk about Irelands display particularly at the end of the war and after the war.
One was dev going to offer his condolences to the German ambassador after hitlers death, the other was the position his government adopted in allowing know war criminals enter and stay in Ireland.

AFAIK O'Flaherty was honoured by a number of Allied countries for the work he did in rescuing downed airmen and smuggling them out of occupied Italy.
He was awarded the Commander of the British Empire and the Congressional Medal of Freedom to name but two.
Also the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Authority conferred on him the title "Righteous Among Nations" and a tree stands in his honor in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Also he not alone had to battle the Germans, the Pope and the Vatican were not pushed about his actions either since of course they were neutral and knew nothing or rather wanted to know nothing about German atrocities :rolleyes:
 
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hughj

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thegeneral wrote:And there is a DVD available on Amazon DVD testifying to his exploits.

In fairness they really couldn't have put that price sticker in a worse place :)

I read about him a while back,After the war he still visited the former nazi chief in prison every month untill he repented just before his death,the same man that persued him during the war
 

Rep_of_pals

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Perhaps it was the environment in Italy that helped him do the right thing: Italy was one of the safest places in Europe for Jews until the German occupation.
 

Andrew49

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EPIC FAIL on the Sticker Placement! ... Must go through my DVD collection .....
 

sandar

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anyone got any more information on colum o'flaherty as mentioned in the OP, would love to do an article on him as well as the Irish scvhindler o'flaherty
 

pete2

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I don't want to feed the trolls but its basic historical fact that Ireland did loads for the Jews during WW2 and after.

Do you not think helping the allied war effort and hindering the axis effort in the colossal ways a supposed neutral did is not enough? Do you not think all those Irish who fought in the Brit army were helping the Jews? I fear its the usual suspects on the left drumming up charges to guilt people. Ireland has nothing to be ashamed of :D
 

Lao-Tse

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I don't want to feed the trolls but its basic historical fact that Ireland did loads for the Jews during WW2 and after.

Do you not think helping the allied war effort and hindering the axis effort in the colossal ways a supposed neutral did is not enough? Do you not think all those Irish who fought in the Brit army were helping the Jews? I fear its the usual suspects on the left drumming up charges to guilt people. Ireland has nothing to be ashamed of :D
Out of curiosity, does anyone know how many Irish fought
in the US, Canadian and other Allied armies during WW2?

We know Beckett was in the French Resistance, for instance.
 
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