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Benjamin Sagalowitz

SAGALOWITZ, BENJAMIN (1901–1970), journalist and historian. Born in Vitebsk, Russia, he graduated in law in Zurich, Switzerland. He wrote for Jewish and non-Jewish papers and from 1938 to 1964 was in charge of the JUNA (Juedische Nachrichtenagentur), the news agency of the representative body of the Jewish communities, the SIG (Schweizerischer Israelitischer Gemeindebund).

In July 1942, a German industrialist, Edward Schulte, approached Sagalowitz about the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jewry. Sagalowitz transmitted this information to Gerhard Riegner, the representative of the WJC in Geneva, who informed the free world. However, the U.S. delayed the official publication for months.

After 1945 he was a correspondent for the influential paper Neue Zuercher Zeitung and reported from the Nuremberg Trials and later Nazi trials, and also from the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.

He built a comprehensive archive about antisemitism and the rise of the Nazi system, but also about Jewish-Christian dialog. He was an active Zionist and supporter of Social Democracy. He received Swiss citizenship after living 39 years in Switzerland.


J. Picard, Die Schweiz und die Juden 1933–1945 (1994), 130–35.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.