- The Rezső Rudolf Kasztner collection comprises letters, documents, certificates and protocols given to Holocaust researcher Dov Dinur by the Kasztner family that document Kasztner’s activities as a member of the "Vaad Ha-Ezrah veha-Hatzalah be-Budapest " (Aid and Rescue Committee of Budapest). Letters, reports, and an aide mémoire from July-August 1944 pertain to the early stages of negotiations Kasztner conducted with Adolf Eichmann, Kurt Becher, Hermann Krumey, and other senior Nazi leaders on behalf of the committee in an attempt to secure the liberation of hundreds of Hungarian Jews. Includes an early draft report by Dr. Kasztner around 1946 about the activities of the Vaad Ha-Ezra veha-Hatzalah. Correspondents include Kurt Becher, Joel Brand, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, Herbert Katzki, Saly Mayer, and Nathan Schwalb. The collection also includes a report about the JDC by Yehuda Bauer.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection. The acquisition of this collection was made possible by the Philip and Janet Levin Foundation
- Collection Creator
- Rezső R. Kasztner
Rezső Rudolf Kasztner (1906-1957) was a leader of the Budapest Jewish Rescue Committee during World War II. The Committee consisted of a group of Zionists who helped smuggle Jews into Hungary from German-occupied countries. After Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, the Committee shifted to negotiating with the SS to let Hungarian Jews leave Hungary. In part of these negotiations, Kasztner was able to negotiate with Adolf Eichmann, a senior officer in the SS, for the release a group of 1,685 Jews to Switzerland in exchange for money. After the war, Kasztner moved to Israel and became a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He was later accused of being a Nazi collaborator by Malchiel Gruenwald because of his negotiations with Eichmann during the war. Kasztner sued Gruenwald for libel, but after an 18 month trial the judge ruled in Gruenwald's favor. Kasztner was forced to resign from his position with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and was later assassinated outside his home in Tel Aviv in 1957. The Supreme Court of Israel overturned most of the judgment against Kasztner in January 1958.