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A German military officer who became known as the "Nazi who saved Jews" was honored Monday by Israel's Holocaust memorial for rescuing hundreds of Jews from death camps during World War II.

Maj. Karl Plagge was named "Righteous among the nations" in a posthumous ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem. The honor is reserved for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

From 1941 to 1944, Plagge served as a Wehrmacht officer in Lithuania, where he was in charge of a factory that employed hundreds of Jews. According to Yad Vashem, Plagge employed unqualified people to save them from deportation and warned his workers in June 1944 that German troops were approaching and they would be handed over to the Nazis. The warning enabled some 200 people to escape and survive.

Johann-Dietrich Worner, president of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, accepted the honor on behalf of Plagge, a graduate of the university. Plagge, who died in 1957, has no surviving relatives.

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