Dr Rezso Kasztner: The Hungarian Oscar Schindler?!
About the course
As a so-called "2nd Generation" of a Holocaust survivor family I was faced with this theme from a very early age. Hearing fragments from my grandmother (z"l) and my father (z"l) and also remembering the number from my grandfather he got in the KZ of Auschwitz Birkenau. I also remember the shouting in Polish and Jidish of my uncle from the US in his dreams when he once came to visit.....still I was never educated and told the context of the Shoah, it was simply part of my childhood.
1978 a first-ever TV Mini-Series named "Holocaust" was streamed in the evening 4 parts of the family Weiss and for me, it seemed that I knew already parts of the story. My parents did not allow to watch me the series, I was too young and it was in the evening, but I could, not watch it and we had several TVs in our home, so I managed to hide and watch the whole series. With this MY Shoah education started, very early...at school we just dealt with it many years later....so I read some history books, later on I had a time where I learned a lot about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Oscar Schindler Movie, The story of the US Jews while the Holocaust, Founding of the State of Israel and the Shoah...so when I was in my 30ies I felt the Shoah has his place as part of my family history and of course a strong impact on my nation, and also on me, but I never defined myself as a victim.
Many of my friends kept on reading about the Shoah a lot, while for me this was not the main topic for many years, but once Shabat Dinner at a friend house she told me if I knew the story of the "Jewish Oscar Schindler" who saved nearly 2000 Jews in a train from Budapest...I said, never heard about it....and she gave me the book....it sounded like a fiction book or wishful thinking....but I started to read about Dr. Reszo Kasztner and found out that he was negotiating with Eichmann directly to release Jews from Budapest "1.000.000 Jews for 10.000 trucks" ...what kind of deal was this? Where would Dr.Kasztner get 10.000 trucks for the Nazis in the middle of the war? How would Eichmann release 1.000.000 Jews and where would they go? Was there a deal in the end? Why is Dr.Kasztner not known as a hero throughout Israel and the world like Schindler.....and why was he shot down in 1957 in Tel Aviv?
There were so many questions, so I started to search and the summary and conclusion I found I would like to share in this lecture with you.