Kasztner Kastner, Rezső Rudolph Israel

Birth Name Kasztner Kastner, Rezső Rudolph Israel [1]
Birth Name קסטנר, ישראל רודולף (רז'ה)
Call Name Rezső
Call Name ישראל
Gender male
Age at Death unknown


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth April, 1906 Cluj-Napoca Kolozsvár, județul Cluj, regiunea de dezvoltare Nord-Vest, Transilvania, România  

Occupation     Rezső Rudolph Kasztner was a Jewish-Hungarian journalist and lawyer

Event Note

Between 1929-1931, Rezső Kasztner worked ad Political Editor, Uj Lelet, the Jewish daily newspaper published in Koliszvar.

Event Note

In December, 1940, Rezső Kasztner, as a Jew, was excluded from the Chamber of Lawyers, and Uj Kelet was closed down by the Hungarian authorities.

Marriage 1937   Rezső Rudolph Kasztner married Elizabeth Fisher

Membership 1942 ועדת העזרה וההצלה בבודפשט Vaada Aid and Rescue Committee Rezső Rudolf Kasztner was one of the leaders, with Joel Brand and Samuel Springmann

Event Note

Between 1929-1931, Rezső Kasztner served as Secretary-General, Parliamentary Group of the Jewish party, in Romania.

Event Note

Rezső Kasztner worked in Bucureşti, as member of the Executive of the Palestine Office, of the Jewish Agency.

Event Note

Between 1943 and 1945, Rezső Kasztner served as Associate President, of the Hungarian Zionist Organization.

Event Note

After March, 1944, Adolf Eichmann, under orders from Himmler, summoned Joel Brand and offered him “trucks for blood”: 10,000 trucks and consumer staples, tea, coffee, sugar, and soap, for one million Jews.
Joel Brand was sent to Istanbul to contact Allied intelligence, to rescue the Jews of Hungary. , along with Bandi Grosz, a Jewish espionage agent; they were to negotiate a deal for the Sicherheitsdienst SD for a separate peace with the Americans or British.
From Istanbul, the two went to Syria, where they were arrested and taken to Cairo for interrogation by the Allies, who refused to negotiate with the SS.
Joel Brand was released, and he was sent to Palestine.

Military Service July, 1942   Rezső Rudolph Kasztner was called up for Labor Service

Event Note

Together with 440 other Jewish Intellectuals and citizens, Rezső Kasztner worked in South-Eastern Transylvania on fortifications along the Hungarian-Rumanian border.

Event Note

In December, 1942, Rezső Kasztner was demobilized, and returned to Budapest.

Transport June 30, 1944 Kasztner train רכבת קסטנר Rudolph Kasztner Transports  

Event Note

Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler believed it most important to transmit their report to Hungary, and to alert Hungarian Jewry to their own potential fate.
Oskar Krasnansky wrote out the report in German, and gave it to a typist, Gisi Farkas, who made several copies.
Oskar Krasnansky cites "One copy we sent to Istanbul. But it never arrived there. The man to whom we gave it, who was making the journey, had been sent from Istanbul as a "reliable courier". But possibly he was a paid spy. As far as we later learned, he gave it to the Gestapo in Budapest."
Oskar Krasnansky handed a second copy of the report to the Slovak Orthodox rabbi, Dov Weissmandel, who had contacts with the Orthodox community in Switzerland, and who offered to try to smuggle it there, for transmission to the West.
A third copy of the report was given to Monsignor Giuseppe Burzio, Papal Chargé d'Affaires in Bratislava, who went it on to the Vatican on May 22, after hed had personally questioned Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler ; but Vatican records suggest that Burzio's Report only reached them five months later.
He translated the Vrba-Wetzler Report into Hungarian, and prepared to give it to Rudolf Kasztner the head of the Hungarian Jewish rescue committee, on his next visit to Bratislava.
Rudolf Vrba cites: "the truth about Auschwitz had reached those who had the ability to make it known to the potential victims, and the offer had been made to negotiate 'goods for blood'. Those Hungarian Jewish leaders who wished to follow up the negotiations Were unwilling to risk the negotiations by publicizing the facts about the annihilation process at Auschwitz. Yet that process was known to them from April 28, three days after Eichmann's first meeting with Brand, when Kasztner travelled to Bratislava, where he was given a copy of the Vrba-Wetzler report, and took it back to Budapest. But by then Kasztner and his colleagues in the Zionist leadership in Hungary were already committed to their negotiations with Eichmann, and to the dispatch of their colleague, Joel Brand, to Istanbul. They therefore gave no publicity whatsoever to the facts about Auschwitz which were now in their possession."
"It is my contention that a small group of informed people, by their silence, deprived others of the possibility or privalage of making their own decisions in the face of mortal danger."
In his memoirs Rudolf Vrba cites: "I am a Jew. In spite of that, indeed because of that, I accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war. This small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler's gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them was Dr. Kasztner, leader of the council which spoke for all Jews in Hungary. While I was prisoner number 44070 at Auschwitz - the number is still on my arm - I compiled careful statistics of the exterminations . . . I took these terrible statistics with me when I escaped in 1944 and I was able to give Hungarian Zionist leaders three weeks notice that Eichmann planned to send a million of their Jews to his gas chambers . . . Kasztner went to Eichmann and told him, 'I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall keep quiet.' Eichmann not only agreed, but dressed Kasztner up in S.S. uniform and took him to Belsen to trace some of his friends. Nor did the sordid bargaining end there. Kasztner paid Eichmann several thousand dollars. With this little fortune, Eichmann was able to buy his way to freedom when Germany collapsed, to set himself up in the Argentine."

Death March 3, 1957   srael Rudolph Rezső Kasztner was assassinated

Event Note

Israel Rezső Kastzner "was murdered for what some would consider 'playing God,' determining which Hungarian Jews to save from extermination during the Holocaust. Like Oskar Schindler, Rezső Kastzner negotiated with the Nazis to save lives, but unlike Schindler, however, Kasztner's actions and motives were questioned by Hungarian Holocaust survivors whose families were not included in the select group of Jews to be saved."



Date Street City County State/ Province Country Postal Code Phone Sources
1945 Chemin Krieg, 16, Pension Sergey Genève   Canton de Genève Suisse      
1945 109, Clarence Gate Gardens London     United Kingdom      

Source References

  1. Killing Kasztner, the Jew who Dealt with the Nazis


    1. Kasztner Kastner, Rezső Rudolph Israel