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January 31, 2012 10:27 am

Champion Cyclist to be Honored for Saving Lives of 800 Jews During Holocaust

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Piazza Gino Bartali in Florence. Photo: wiki commons.

In 1943, the fascist government of Italy assigned Gino Bartali  – one of the worlds premier cyclists during World War II- to the country’s traffic police.  According to research undertaken over the past 3 years, Bartali then made the decision to smuggle photos of Italian Jews to an organization that provided fake documents in order for people to move through military checkpoints.

Now, almost 70 years later, Yad Vashem (the holocaust museum in Israel) is considering granting Batali the “Righteous Among the Nations” honor.  This is given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The 2 time Tour de France winner and 3 time Giro d’Italia champion passed away 12 years ago.  His son, Andrew Batali, has been instrumental in continuing the research that has uncovered this story.

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