God’s Counterfeiters

Aug 9, 2020 | Congregation, Historical Notes

Madrid, Spain.Los falsificadores de Dios” (God’s Counterfeiters) is the title that journalist Julio Núñez has given to an article published in the special El País Semanal, of the Spanish progressive newspaper El País. It is a previously unknown story, zealously guarded for 80 years and now discovered thanks to the research carried out by the University of Extremadura professor Santiago López Rodríguez.

It is the story of how a community of Claretian Missionaries, located in Rue de la Pompe, Paris (France) falsified the baptismal certificates of more than a hundred Sephardic Jews to save them from the Nazi persecution, that is, from the concentration and extermination camps.

The Spanish Catholic Mission that still exists today is dedicated, as it was then, to accompanying Spanish-speaking immigrants who arrive in Paris. Ignorant of this beautiful history, the Claretians have been able to dust off memories buried by silence: memories of how 4 Claretians, Frs. Gilberto Valtierra, Joaquín Aller, Emilio Martín, and Ignacio Turrillas, risked their own security and their own lives to save a good group of Jews coming from Greece and Turkey, forging and putting their signature on baptismal and marriage certificates.

The discovery has also meant that many descendants of those Jews are now trying to recover a beautiful family history thanks to a simple and silent Claretian community.

Complete original text in Spanish: https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/08/04/eps/1596537493_343427.html

Unofficial translation in English:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.claret.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Gods-counterfeiters-Heroic-Claretians-who-saved-Jewish-lives-during-world-war-II.pdf” title=”God’s counterfeiters -Heroic Claretians who saved Jewish lives during world war II”]


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