Budapest Hungary 1944. Once considered a “safe haven” for European Jews, it is now looking ominous as German troops occupy the city and news of deportations outside of the capital abounds. Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who is representing the allied countries in Budapest has been helping Jewish children emigrate to Israel and realizes a decision must be made. Does he remain “neutral” or should he radically expand his rescue action to the 250,000 Jews in Budapest who are facing imminent deportation to Auschwitz?
Carl chooses to follow his conscience and go beyond his diplomatic mandate. Working with Jewish pioneers, he creates a unique method of providing protective papers to thousands and establishes 76 Swiss-protected “safe houses.” In the end, Carl’s work with the Jewish pioneers and other neutral diplomats helps save 124,000 Hungarian Jews. Tens of thousands of these owe their lives directly to Carl’s courageous actions.