Jacques Maritain rescues Dietrich von Hildebrand, 1940

“Arriving with his family in the Portuguese capital, Dietrich found out that the American Rockefeller Foundation had been desperately trying to locate him. He had in fact covered his traces so well that their efforts had been in vain. He was informed that his friend Jacques Maritain had managed to put him on the list of one hundred professors whose lives were in danger because of their ‘impure blood’. Dietrich’s name, along with that of his friend Balduin Schwarz (whose wife was Jewish), was added to the list because Maritain knew that von Hildebrand had fought against Nazism in Vienna and that he was sought by the Gestapo. The Rockefeller Foundation would cover the costs of the trip to the United States. Gretchen, Franzi, Deirdre, and little Catherine waited in Portugal until the middle of October 1940 to obtain the necessary visas that would enable them to depart for the United States. On October 15, Dietrich and his wife obtained an American immigration visa….”

The Soul of a Lion: Dietrich von Hildebrand
A Biography by Alice von Hildebrand
page 321
Ignatius Press 2000
Foreword by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger


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