Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Philanthropy, Social Services, Human Rights > 83. Varian Fry

83.  Varian Fry (1907-1967).  Surrender on Demand. Typed manuscript, with autograph corrections, ca. 1942-45. RBML, Varian Fry Papers

Surrender on Demand, published just before VE Day in 1945, describes the dramatic story of the underground organizations set up by Americans in France to rescue anti-Nazis from the Gestapo. Fry, a 32-year old Harvard-educated classicist and editor from New York City, helped save 4,000 endangered refugees who were caught in the Vichy French area during World War II, including Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt, Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Franz Werfel, and Alma Mahler. In 1991, 24 years after his death in obscurity, Fry received his first official recognition from a United States agency, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. In 1996, he was named as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Heros and Martyrs Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem.

Gift of Annette Riley Fry, 1969 and 1974

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 /