July 27, 2010

Coronel José Arturo Castellanos

Consul General for El Salvador in Geneva, Switzerland, 1942-45

Colonel José Arturo Castellanos was the Salvadoran Consul General in Geneva, Switzerland in 1942-45. He appointed George Mandel-Mantello, a Romanian Jewish refugee living in Geneva, as the First Secretary at his consulate. He authorized Mantello to issue thousands of ”citizen certificates” to Jewish refugees throughout Nazi occupied Europe. These certificates stated that the holder was a recognized citizen of El Salvador who was then protected from deportation. In 1944, Castellanos requested that Switzerland represent El Salvador’s interests in Nazi occupied Hungary. Soon, Mantello was issuing thousands of Salvadoran citizenship papers to Hungarian Jews through the office of Swiss Consul Charles Lutz.

A Ceremony in Honor of Coronel Castellanos held in El Salvador

The Official Ceremony honoring Colonel José Arturo Castellanos, who was recently declared Righteous Among the Nations, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of El Salvador on Tuesday, July 27 2010. The IRWF was part of the team that worked on achieving this recognition.