Papal Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Bern, Switzerland, 1942-45
Monsignor Bernardini repeatedly intervened on behalf of Jewish refugees who were stranded in Switzerland after fleeing Germany and Nazi occupied countries. This prevented them from being deported from Switzerland during the war. Bernardini placed couriers of the Vatican diplomatic service at the disposal of Jewish relief agencies. They were thus able to issue visas through Ambassador Lados and Dr. Julius Kuhl in countries that had severed diplomatic relations with Poland. Bernardini personally intervened on behalf of the Jews of Slovakia. In addition, Bernardini helped Jewish relief agencies to save Jews by acquiring and distributing fictitious South American passports. Bernardini also worked with the Red Cross to obtain recognition of these documents by South American governments.