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Hiram Bingham IV, WWII Hero

A campaign to support U.S. Postage Stamp recognition of
Hiram Bingham IV for his efforts during World War II.

Email me to receive more information on how to be involved in our campaign.
Robert Kim Bingham, Esq.

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 Joseph I. Lieberman, U.S. Senator, CT

February 5, 1999

Dr. Virginia Noelke
Chairperson
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
475 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Room 4474E
Washington, D.C. 20260-2437

Dear Dr. Noelke:

In 1996, the U.S. Postal Service issued an historic stamp honoring Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued many thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. I was very proud to
actively support the Wallenberg stamp and even more proud that the United States Postal Service issued a stamp of such great dignity and importance.

At this time, I want to express my support for a stamp proposal to honor another hero of the Holocaust, the late American diplomat, Hiram Bingham IV of Salem, Connecticut, whose
story only recently came to light. I was privileged to pay tribute to Hiram Bingham IV on the Senate floor in February 1998 and to present his remarkable story to my colleagues.

Hiram Bingham IV was a U.S. diplomat stationed in Marseilles, France, in 1940. Acting against orders, and at great personal risk, he issued visas, safe passes, and letters of transit to Jewish refugees. Working in collaboration with American journalist Varian Fry's Emergency Rescue Committee, Hiram Bingham IV is credited with helping to save more than 2,500 Jews from the Holocaust. I understand that many were Jewish artists, intellectuals, scientists and authors, including Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Andre Breton and Heinrich Mann.

Hiram Bingham's son tells me he did not know the extent of his father's valiant efforts until his personal papers were discovered after his death in 1988. Mr. Bingham was nominated by
Yad Vashem, Israel's National Holocaust Memorial, for the Righteous Among the Nations award. Varian Fry, whom I understand also lived and died in Connecticut, was the first American to receive Yad Vashem recognition. In 1998, Hiram Bingham was memorialized by Yad Vashem, along with 10 other "righteous diplomatstt, with the planting of a semicircle of pine trees overlooking the city of Jerusalem. I am told he has been featured in exhibits and memorabilia at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, the Jewish Heritage Museum in New York, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C.

 

Dr. Virginia Noelke                                 -2-                                            February 5, 1999

 

It is estimated that there are as many as one million living descendants of the Jewish people rescued by the eleven "righteous diplomats" during the Holocaust. Hiram Bingham IV risked his life and career to save Jews from suffering and death. He never sought glory for himself. Hiram Bingham IV was an American hero, and I urge that he be considered for the honor of a commemorative stamp. This stamp would be a source of pride and inspiration to
all Americans, as well as a continuing reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust so it never happens again. In the case of Hiram Bingham IV, in history's darkest hour, goodness prevailed over evil.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Joseph I. Lieberman

JIL:sdh


March 4, 1999

Mr. Robert Kim Bingham, Esq.
42 Round Hill Road
Salem, CT 06420

Dear Mr. Bingham:

As you know, I wrote a letter to tne Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee supporting a commemorative stamp honoring your father, Hiram Bingham IV, for his heroism during the
Holocaust. I also sent a copy to the U.S. Postal Service so they would be aware of my interest in this proposal, and I received the enclosed response.

When I receive any further information, I will let you know. As you know, the Committee receives thousands of suggestions but I hope it will favor this worthwhile
proposal.

Best personal regards.

Sincerely,

Joseph I. Lieberman

JIL:sdh


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