Varian Fry, an eccentric and shy Harvard-educated
classicist, saved nearly 4000 Jews from German-occupied
France during World War II. Yet this man, known as "the
American Raoul Wallenberg," died in obscurity, without
recognition, having been reprimanded by the US government
for his actions.
Fry saved almost four times as many people as Oskar
Schindler, made famous in the movie "Schindler's List," but
was only recently recognized for his role in saving such
prominent persons as artists Marc Chagall and Max Ernst,
writer Hannah Arendt, and sculptor Jacques Lifchitz.
Finally in 1996, more than 50 years after his courageous
actions saved thousands of innocent lives, Varian Fry was
named one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel's
Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial -- the first American-born
recipient of the award.