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The Controversial Deal to Save the Jews of Hungary! -The Kastner Report

The Kastner Affadavit

The Kastner Report

Affidavit of Dr. Rudolf Kastner, former President of the

Hungarian Zionist Organization, 9/13/1945

 

This report has been transcribed from the original report and sworn statement made by Dr. Rudolf Kastner in London to the United States Major Judge Advocate General Warren Farr.

[The photo's have been added to enhance the text]

 

 

Rudolf Kastner

Dr. Reszco (Rudolf) Kastner, being duly sworn deposes and says:

I was born in 1906 at Kolozsvar (now Cluj, Romania), solicitor and journalist, residing at Chemin Krieg, 16, Pension Sergey, Geneva, now temporarily at 109, Clarence Gate Gardens, London.

I was in Budapest until November 28, 1944; as one of the leaders of the Hungarians Zionist organization. I not only witnessed closely the Jewish persecution, dealt with officials of the Hungarian puppet government and the Gestapo but also gained insight into the operations of the Gestapo, their organization and witnessed the various phases of Jewish persecution.

The following biographical data of mine might be of interest:

Between 1929-1931 - Political editor of “Uj Lelet? Jewish daily newspaper published in Koliszvar; Secretary-General of the Parliamentarty Group of the Jewish party in Romania.

Between 1929-1931 -Worked in Bucharest; member of the Executive of the Palestine Office of the Jewish Agency.

In Dec. 1940 -Being a Jew I was excluded from the Chamber of Lawyers. “Uj Kelet” the daily, was closed down by the Hungarian authorities: I moved to Budapest.

Between 1943-1945 -Associate President of the Hungarian Zionist Organization.

July 1942 -I have been called up for Labor Service: together with 440 other Jewish Intellectuals and citizens we worked in South-Eastern Transylvania on fortifications along the Hungarian-Rumanian border.

 

In Dec. 1942 -I was demobilized, and later returned to Budapest. Some time before being drafted I have begun to organize relief work for refugee Slovakian Jews. After my demobilization I succeeded in establishing – through diplomatic couriers – contact with the Relief Committee of the Jewish Agency, working in Istanbul. On their instructions I have taken over the leadership of the Relief Committee in Budapest.

 

Our task was:

  1. To help smuggle Jews from Slovakia and Poland into Hungary to save them from the threat of the gas-chamber.

  2. To feed and clothe them and to assist in their emigration to Palestine.

  3. To forward the minutes based on the declaration of the refugees on the question of deportation and annihilation of Jews to Istanbul, later to Switzerland, to the hands of the representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Joint distribution committee.

  4. To co-operate with the Relief Committee of Bratislava in matters concerning saving, hiding, of refugee Jews and exchange of information. After German occupation of Hungary, on the 19th March 1944, the Relief Committee concentrated its efforts on the saving of Hungarian Jewry.

  5. The Relief Committee of the Jewish agency which I was a president was engaged in helping Allied prisoners-of-war. More-ever we sent confidential reports to the Allies thru Istanbul and Switzerland about our connections with officials of the German government. We helped to hide and supported leaders of the Hungarian underground and gave a wealth of information to those Hungarian authorities which were working against the Germans. During the siege of Budapest, when I was already out of the country, other members of the Relief Committee participated in street fighting against the Germans.

On 15 May 1944 One of my collaborators, Eugen Brand was sent by the Germans to Istanbul to pass on certain business proposals in connection with the saving of Hungarian Jews.

On 21 August 1944 I travelled from Budapest under German escort to the Swiss frontier and acted as intermediary for the first conversation between Kurt Becher and Saly Mayer, Swiss representative of the Joint D.C to discuss the price of abandoning the gassing.

 

The conversation took place between St. Margaraten and Hochst on the bridge. From there I returned to Budapest.

On 14 October 1944 I travelled for the second time to St Margathen.

On 30 October 1944 I travelled to St. Gallen, accompanied by Kurt Becher and Dr. Wilhem Billitz, director of the Manfred Weiss Works. On this occasion an interview took place between Becher and McClelland, Swiss representative of the War Refugee Board in the Savoy Hotel, at Zurich. I returned to Budapest.
 

The house in Budapest where the meeting with Becher and Saly Mayer first took place

On 28 November 1944 I left on German instructions to the Swiss Border.

On 20 December 1944 I entered Switzerland.

On 27 December 1944 I started out to travel back to Budapest but could only get to Vienna. The Red Army had encircled Budapest.

On 29 Dec. 44 thru 28 March 1945 I remained in Vienna. Afterwards toured Bratislava-Spitz an der Donau – Berlin – Bergen Belsen – Hamburg – Berlin – Theresienstadt.

On 19 April 1945 I crossed the Swiss border.

The Germans entered into discussion with leaders of the Jewish community for reasons of administrative efficiency. We conducted the discussion in the hope that we might be able to save some human lives. By holding the axe over our heads they made them responsible for financial contributions and other extractions imposed on the Jewish community.

Ultimately the leaders of the “Jewish Council” and other intermediaries were also scheduled for extermination. The SS and the Gestapo were particularly bent on liquidating those who had direct knowledge of their operations.

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/kastner.html

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

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Copyright 2009 Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T

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