(London): Office of the U.S. Special Counsel, 1945. Softcover. Small thin folio.13x8". 10pp. Original mimeographed and stapled pages. This important historical document is a direct translation from Rudolf Kastner's sworn affidavit, recorded September 13, 1945 in London, providing a detailed account of the events relating the Holocaust in Hungary, the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz, the effort to save them, and the roles of SS officers Kurt Becher and Adolf Eichmann. This statement was used as part of the Nuremberg Trials and related investigations into Nazi crimes.
At the time Kastner was working as executive vice-president of the Aid and Rescue Committee (ARC). This Jewish organization helped Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust during the German occupation of Hungary, in 1944-1945, and Kastner was its de-facto leader. It was during this period that Kastner made a financial bargain with the Nazi leadership (under Adolf Eichmann) in charge of the deportation and murder of the Hungarian Jewish community. In exchange gold, diamonds and cash the SS officials involved allowed a train of 1,670 Jews (June 30th 1944) to be re-routed to Switzerland, where they were protected and ultimately saved from being gassed at Auschwitz. This famously came to be known as the "Kastner Train".
Included in the statement are some statistics related to the deportation of Hungarian Jews, and the final pages of this affidavit contain a detailed list of individuals and organizations related to the testimony, ranging from Nazis who perpetrated crimes to individuals responsible for saving and protecting Jews.
Kastner's testimony is most infamous for his defense of Kurt Becher in an attempt to have him exonerated, which was ultimatley ultimately successful, saving him from criminal prosecution in the Nuremberg Trials. This fact was seen as a key piece of evidence in the 1955 libel case involving Kastner in Israel, in which it was ruled that he had been a Nazi-collaborator. The guiltly verdict lead to Kastner's assassination of by a group of hardline Israeli vigilantes in 1957, but the ruling was later overturned by the Supreme Court of Israel.
Pages with minor age toning along the edges. Front cover with some minor smudging and a black ink stain. Light chipping to the lower right corner of the front cover. Protected by modern mylar. In very good condition overall. vg. Item #43838