The true, heart-wrenching story of Rezso Kasztner, a Hungarian lawyer and journalist, who rescued thousands of Jews during the last days of the Second World War - and the ultimate price he paid. Summer 1944 - Rezso Kasztner meets with Adolf Eichmann, architect of the Holocaust, in Budapest. With the Final Solution at its terrible apex and tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews being sent to Auschwitz every month, the two men agree to allow 1,684 Jews to leave for Switzerland by train. The wealthy Jews of Budapest will pay an average of $1,500 for each family member to be included; the poor will pay nothing. In addition to those on the train, Kasztner negotiates with Eichmann to keep 20,000 Hungarian Jews alive - Eichmann called them 'Kasztner's Jews' or the 'Jews on ice' - for a deposit of approximately $100 per head. These deals would haunt Kasztner to the end of his life. After the war, Kasztner was vilified in an infamous Israeli libel trial for having 'sold his soul to the devil' in collaborating with the Nazis. In 1957, he was murdered while he awaited the Supreme Court verdict that eventually vindicated him.
Kasztner's Train explores the nature of Kasztner: the cool hero, the proud Zionist, the man who believed that promises, even to the Nazis, had to be kept. The deals he made raise questions about moral choices that continue to haunt the world today.
Anna Porter was born in Hungary, settled in New Zealand after the 1956 Revolution, and moved to Canada in 1969. Founder of Key Porter Books, she is the author of four previous books, including The Storyteller, a childhood memoir. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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- ID: 9781845297176
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