Katarína Hradská: The activities of Gizy Fleischmann in time of the deportation of Jews in Slovakia

The personality of Gizy Fleischmann has been written in the history of the Holocaust as an endeavour ensuring the greatest chance to avoid deportations. Her relations with the international aid organizations greatly contributed to this, but she considered as most helpful—with regard to the “solution of the Jewish question”—the cooperation (but not collaboration) with the appointed German counsellor. Her rescue actions actually remained uncompleted, because she became victim of her own helplessness, too. This is the other dimension of her courage manifested in the protection of the deported people: she was not a political principal who could have used her power of a high-ranking civil servant or a member of parliament or an influential politician. On the contrary, she herself has become part of the unprecedented tragedy in Slovakia´s modern history. Her heroism was confined to the simple logic that she must unselfishly help to those condemned to death. She has never been mentioned as a hero who saved thousands and thousands of lives, her activities came to light only several decades after her death in Auschwitz. She is clearly to be accounted as someone who sacrificed her life for the lives of others, and this role of hers is definitely admirable and praiseworthy. In addition, the life of Gizy Fleischmann can serve as a keynote topic for a discussion on the forms of heroism and on the real sense of words and especially of deeds.