Refugees outside the American consulate in Marseille, France, 1940-'41.(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hiram Bingham)

When Varian Fry, an American journalist, went to Europe in 1941 on behalf of the Emergency Rescue Committee, he went with a mission: to save a group of European artists and intellectuals from the Nazis. His endeavor succeeded. With the help of a small team, he rescued Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, and more than 2,200 others. But at a time when Oskar Schindler and Raul Wallenberg are familiar names, Fry has been largely forgotten.

Journalist Dara Horn was determined to tell his story. In a revelatory Kindle Single published today by Tablet Magazine, Horn reports on how Fry came to his rescue work and what became of him after the war. (You can read a preview on Tablet.) But how did this hero decide whom to save in the first place? Horn spoke to Vox Tablet host Sara Ivy about Fry’s exploits, the arguably eugenics-like nature of his mission, the cultural heritage that was not protected by his and other rescue missions, and why so few know of his heroic work. [Running time: 22:09]