US diplomat who helped Jews flee Holocaust gets highway marker
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US diplomat who helped Jews flee Holocaust gets highway marker

While stationed in Tangier, James Rives Childs arranged for 1,200 Hungarian Jews to obtain visas to Spanish Morocco

The official portrait of American diplomat James Rives Childs, who helped save 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.
The official portrait of American diplomat James Rives Childs, who helped save 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.

LYNCHBURG, Virginia— A state historical highway marker will be dedicated this month to a diplomat from Virginia who helped 1,200 Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust.

Lynchburg native James Rives Childs served in the US Army as a code breaker in France during World War I. After working for the American Relief Administration in the Balkans and the Soviet Union, Childs began a 30-year diplomatic career.

During World War II, as charge d’affaires for the American Legation in Tangier, Morocco, he helped Hungarian Jews obtain visas to Spanish Morocco.

In 1946, President Harry Truman presented Childs with the Medal of Freedom. Childs also served as a US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. Childs died in Richmond in 1987.

The highway marker will be dedicated in Lynchburg on June 25.

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