This bill would award the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl in recognition of his acts of valor during World War II attempting to save the Jews of Slovakia from the Holocaust. As a leader of the Bratislava Working Group, Weissmandl sent letters that alerted Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to the plight of Europe’s Jews under Nazi rule. By bribing diplomats, he managed to obtain visas for 60 rabbis to flee to Britain by bribing diplomats, and he was among those to propose a plan to bomb the rail lines leading to the death camp at Auschwitz. Weissmandl escaped from a railcar when he and his family were deported to Auschwitz, but his family was murdered at the camp.
After the war, Weissmandl founded the Nitra Yeshiva in Somerville, New Jersey which combined agricultural work with religious study. He remarried and started a new family prior to his death in 1957.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the U.S.