Aid and Rescue Committee

The Aid and Rescue Committee, or Va'adat Ha-Ezrah ve-ha-Hatzalah be-Budapesht (Vaada for short; name in Hebrew: ועדת העזרה וההצלה בבודפשט) was a small committee of Zionists based in Budapest in 1944-45, who helped Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust during the German occupation of Hungary.[1] The Committee was also known as the Rescue and Relief Committee, and the Budapest Rescue Committee.

The main personalities of the Vaada and the efforts of Jewish rescue in Hungary were Dr. Ottó Komoly, president; Rudolf Kastner, executive vice-president and de facto leader; Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who resided in Hungary; Per Anger, Swedish diplomat who was awarded the "Righteous Among the Nations" title[2]; Samuel Springmann, treasurer; and Joel Brand, who was in charge of tijul, or the underground rescue of Jews.[3] Other members were Hansi Brand (Joel Brand's wife); Moshe Krausz and Eugen Frankl (both Orthodox Jews); and Ernst Szilagyi from the left-wing Hashomer Hatzair.[4]

The Entering of Germans into Hungary

The Aid and Rescue Committee was founded following the Nazi invasion into Hungary after Hungarian head of state, Miklós Horthy, refused to work and display an accord with Germany. As Hitler sent troops into Hungary to battle their denial of German legitimacy, Hungarian Jews were punished with being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. In hopes of defending themselves from the German occupation, Jewish citizens of Budapest worked with the embassies of neutral countries through being issued provisional Swedish citizenship if they had connections with the country. In doing so, the Swedes were able to negotiate with the Germans and make the agreement to treat the qualified Jews as if they were citizens of the neutral country. The Swedish legation was successful in providing approximately 700 provisional passes to the Jewish in Hungary which protected them from Nazi oppression[5], yet German forces were still able to deport nearly 800,000 Jews from Hungary at the time[6].

Personalities of the Vaada

Raoul Wallenberg played a major role in the saving of approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the German occupation in 1944[7].

See also


  1. ^ Bauer, Yehuda. Jews for Sale: Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945, Yale University Press, 1994, p. 152.
  2. ^ "Raoul Wallenberg". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  3. ^ Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 901
  4. ^ Bauer 1994, p. 153.
  5. ^ "Raoul Wallenberg". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  6. ^ Hevesi, Eugene (1945). "Hungary". The American Jewish Year Book. 47: 423–431. ISSN 0065-8987.
  7. ^ "IN HONOR OF RAOUL WALLENBERG". International Journal on World Peace. 6 (1): 92–92. 1989. ISSN 0742-3640.
Auschwitz Protocols

The Auschwitz Protocols, also known as the Auschwitz Reports, and originally published as The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, is a collection of three eyewitness accounts from 1943–1944 about the mass murder that was taking place inside the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War. The eyewitness accounts are individually known as the Vrba-Wetzler report, Polish Major's report, and Rosin-Mordowicz report.

Brand (surname)

Brand is a surname. It usually is a patronymic from the Germanic personal name Brando (="sword") or a short form of a compound personal name like Hildebrand. The surname originated separately in England, Scotland, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and North Germany. [1] Also many Scandinavian Brands immigrated across Scandinavia and Europe. Notable people with the surname include:

Adam Brand (born 1970), Australian country music singer

Adolf Brand, (1874–1945), German activist for homosexual rights

Alexander Brand (born 1977), Colombian boxer

Andrea Brand (born 1950s), American molecular biology professor at the University of Cambridge

Arie van den Brand (born 1951), Dutch GreenLeft politician

Aron Brand (1910-1977), Israeli pediatric cardiologist

Arthur Brand (1853–1917), British Liberal politician

August Brand (1863–1930), German botanist

Charles Brand (1871–1966), U.S. Representative from Ohio

Charles Brand (1873–1961), Australian Army brigadier-general in World War I

Charles Amarin Brand (1920-2013), French prelate of the Roman Catholic Church

Charles Hillyer Brand (1861–1933), American politician, businessman, jurist and lawyer

Charles John Brand (1879–1949), United States Department of Agriculture official

Chris Brand (1943–2017), British psychologist

Christian Brand (born 1972), German football player and coach

Christianna Brand (1907–1988), British crime writer and children's author

Christine Brand (born 1973), Swiss writer and journalist

Christoffel Brand (1797–1875), South African statesman

Colette Brand (born 1967), Swiss freestyle skier

Daniel Brand (born 1935), American wrestler

Daphny van den Brand (born 1978), Dutch cyclo-cross, road bicycle and mountain bike racer

David Brand, 5th Viscount Hampden (1903–1975), English peer, cricketer, soldier and banker

David Brand (1912–1979), Australian politician

David Brand (born 1978), English footballer on Samoa

Dionne Brand, (born 1953), Canadian writer

Dollar Brand (born 1934), stage name of South African jazz pianist and composer Adolph Johannes Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim

Elton Brand, (born 1979), American basketball player

Erland Brand, (born 1922), Swedish painter

Esther Brand (1922-2015), South African athlete

Gerry Brand, (1906-1996), South African rugby union player

Gideon Brand van Zyl (1873-1956), South African Governor-General

Glen Brand (1923-2008), American Freestyle wrestler

Gordon J. Brand (born 1955), English golfer

Gordon Brand, Jnr (born 1958), Scottish golfer

Gustavo Brand (born 1961), Venezuelan football (soccer) referee

Hans-Joachim Brand, (1916-1945), German Luftwaffe pilot

Hansi Brand, (1912-2000), Hungarian-born Zionist

Heather Brand (born 1982), Zimbabwean swimmer

Heiner Brand (born 1952), West German handball player and coach

Hennig Brand (c. 1630 – c. 1710), German alchemist and physician

Henry Brand, 1st Viscount Hampden (1814–1892), British politician

Henry Brand, 2nd Viscount Hampden (1841–1906), British Governor of New South Wales

Hubert Brand (1870-1955), Royal Navy officer

Ilona Brand (born 1958), East German luger

Jack Brand (born 1953), German goalkeeper

James Brand (musician) (1976–2010), American experimental musician

Jan Brand (1908–1969), Dutch field hockey player

Jeroen Brand (born 1982), Dutch cricketer

Jo Brand (born 1957), British feminist comedian

Joel Brand (1907–1964), Holocaust survivor; co-founder of the Hungarian Aid and Rescue Committee

Johannes Brand (1823–1888), fourth president of the Orange Free State

Jolene Brand (born 1934), American actress

Joop Brand (born 1936), Dutch football player and manager

Katy Brand (born 1979), English actress, comedian and writer

Kris Brand (born 1983), Canadian volleyball player

Lotte Brand (1910–1986), German art historian

Lucinda Brand (born 1989), Dutch racing cyclist

Michael Brand (born 1958), Australian scholar

Michael Brand (born 1973), German politician

Michael Brand (1815–1870), birth name of Hungarian composer Mihály Mosonyi

Millen Brand (1906–1980), American writer and poet

Mona Brand (1915–2007), Australian playwright, poet and freelance writer

Myles Brand (1942–2009). American University and NCAA president

Nadja Brand (born 1975), South African-born actress and producer

Neil Brand (born 1958), British dramatist, composer and author

Neville Brand (1920–1992) American actor

Oscar Brand (1920–2016), Canadian folk singer/songwriter

Peter Brand (born 1947), general practitioner and Liberal Democrat politician

Pepe Brand (1900-1971), Spanish professional football player and manager

Quintin Brand (1893–1968), British pilot

Rachel Brand (born 1973), American lawyer, US Associate Attorney General 2017-18

Ralph Brand (born 1936), Scottish footballer

Robert Brand, 1st Baron Brand (1878–1963), British civil servant and businessman

Ron Brand (born 1940), American baseball player

Russell Brand (born 1975), English comedian and actor

Simon Brand (born 1970), Colombian film director

Steffen Brand, (born 1965), German steeple chase runner

Steven Brand, (born 1969), Scottish actor

Stewart Brand (born 1938), American writer, editor, and futurist

Theodor von Brand (1899–1978), German-born American parasitologist.

Theodor P. Von Brand (1926-2004), American judge, son of Theodor

Ulrich Brand, German political scientist

Vance D. Brand (born 1931), American astronaut

William Brand (1888–1979), Australian politician

William H. Brand (1824–1891), New York politician

Hansi Brand

Hajnalka "Hansi" Brand (née Hartmann; 26 August 1912 – 9 April 2000) was a Hungarian-born Zionist activist who was involved, as a member of the Budapest Aid and Rescue Committee, in efforts to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

Joel Brand

Joel Brand (25 April 1906 – 13 July 1964) was a leading member of the Aid and Rescue Committee (Va'adat Ha-Ezrah ve'Hatzalah, or Va'ada), an underground Zionist group in Budapest, Hungary, that smuggled Jews out of German-occupied Europe during the Holocaust to the relative safety of Hungary. When Germany invaded that country too in March 1944, Brand became known for his efforts to save the Jewish community from deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.In April 1944 Brand was approached by Adolf Eichmann, the German SS officer who had arrived in Budapest to organize the deportations. Eichmann proposed that Brand broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front and large quantities of tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of such deals between the SS and Jewish leaders. Eichmann called it "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods").Nothing came of the proposal, which The Times of London called one of the most loathsome stories of the war. Historians have suggested that the SS, including its commander, Heinrich Himmler, intended the negotiations as cover for peace talks with the Western Allies that would exclude the Soviet Union and perhaps even Adolf Hitler. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted by the British government. They arrested Brand in Aleppo (then under British control), where he had gone to propose Eichmann's offer to the Jewish Agency, and put an end to it by leaking details to the media.The failure of the proposal, and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save the 435,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz between May and July 1944, became the subject of bitter debate for many years. In 1961 Life magazine called Brand "a man who lives in the shadows with a broken heart". He told an interviewer shortly before his death in 1964: "An accident of life placed the fate of one million human beings on my shoulders. I eat and sleep and think only of them."


Kastner is a German language surname, originating from the medieval occupation Kastner ("bursary officer"). It may refer to:

Bruno Kastner (1890–1932), German actor

Elliott Kastner (1930–2010), American film producer

Jean-Georges Kastner (1810–1867), French composer and musicologist.

John Kastner (August 12, 1969), Canadian musician and composer

Karl Wilhelm Gottlob Kastner (1783–1857), chemist, natural scientist

Marc A. Kastner (born November 20, 1945), American physicist

Peter Kastner (born 1 October 1943 – 18 September 2008), Canadian born actor

Rudolf Kastner (1906–1957), Jewish-Hungarian lawyer, head of the Hungarian Aid and Rescue Committee during the Holocaust

Kastner train, after Rudolf Kastner

Kas Kastner, racing driver, racing car builder, racing team manager.

Kastner train

The Kastner train consisted of 35 cattle trucks that left Budapest on 30 June 1944, during the German occupation of Hungary, carrying over 1,600 Jews to safety in Switzerland.The train was named after Rudolf Kastner, a Jewish-Hungarian lawyer and journalist, who was a founding member of the Budapest Aid and Rescue Committee, a group that smuggled Jews out of occupied Europe during the Holocaust. Kastner negotiated with Adolf Eichmann, the German SS officer in charge of deporting Hungary's Jews to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland, to allow over 1,600 Jews to escape in exchange for gold, diamonds and cash.The train was organized during the deportations to Auschwitz in May–July 1944 of 437,000 Hungarian Jews, three-quarters of whom were sent to the gas chambers. Its passengers were chosen from a wide range of social classes and included around 273 children, many of them orphaned.The wealthiest 150 passengers paid $1,500 (equivalent to $21,000 in 2018) each to cover their own and the others' escape. After a journey of several weeks, including a diversion to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, 1,670 surviving passengers reached Switzerland in August and December 1944.

Kastner emigrated to Israel in 1947. He was a spokesman for the Minister of Trade and Industry when his negotiations with Eichmann became the subject of controversy. Kastner had been told in April or May 1944 of the mass murder that was taking place inside Auschwitz. Allegations spread after the war that he had done nothing to warn the wider community, but had focused instead on trying to save a smaller number. The inclusion on the train of his family, as well as 388 people from the ghetto in his home town of Kolozsvár, reinforced the view of his critics that his actions had been self-serving.The allegations culminated in Kastner being accused in a newsletter of having been a Nazi collaborator. The government sued for libel on his behalf, and the defendant's lawyer turned the trial into an indictment of the Mapai (Labour) leadership and its alleged failure to help Europe's Jews. The judge found against the government, ruling that Kastner had "sold his soul to the devil" by negotiating with Eichmann and selecting some Jews to be saved while failing to alert others. Kastner was assassinated in Tel Aviv in March 1957. Nine months later the Supreme Court of Israel overturned most of the lower court's ruling, stating in a 4–1 decision that the judge had "erred seriously."

Kastner trial

The Attorney-General of the Government of Israel v. Malchiel Gruenwald, commonly known as the Kastner trial, was a libel case in Jerusalem, Israel. Hearings were held from 1 January to October 1954 in the District Court of Jerusalem before Judge Benjamin Halevi (1910–1996), who published his decision on 22 June 1955.

Kurt Becher

Kurt Andreas Ernst Becher (12 September 1909 – 8 August 1995) was a mid-ranking SS commander who was Commissar of all German concentration camps, and Chief of the Economic Department of the SS Command in Hungary during the German occupation in 1944. He is best known for having traded Jewish lives for money during the Holocaust.

Ottó Komoly

Otto Komoly (also known as Nathan Kohn) (26 March 1892 – 1 January 1945) was a Hungarian Jewish engineer, officer, zionist, and humanitarian leader in Hungary. He is credited with saving thousands of children during the German occupation of Budapest in World War II.

Perfidy (book)

Perfidy is a book written by Ben Hecht in 1961. The book describes the events surrounding the 1954–1955 Kastner trial in Jerusalem.

The book is based on transcripts from the trial and concludes that in 1944 Rudolf Kastner deliberately withheld from the Jews in Hungary, knowledge that the trains the Nazis were putting them on were taking them to death by the gas chamber, not to a fictitious resettlement city as the Nazis claimed and that Kastner then lied about it under oath. One of the supporting facts presented is that, in the Supreme Court appeal of the original verdict implicating Kastner, all five Supreme Court Judges upheld Judge Halevi's initial verdict on the "criminal and perjurious way" in which Kastner after the war had testified on behalf of Nazi war criminal Kurt Becher. Judge Silberg summed up the Supreme Court finding on this point: "[respondent Malchiel] Greenwald has proven beyond any reasonable doubt this grave charge." Most of the judgement was later overturned.

Rezső Kasztner

Rezső Kasztner (1906 – 15 March 1957), also known as Rudolf Israel Kastner, was a Hungarian-Jewish journalist and lawyer who became known for having helped Jews escape from occupied Europe during the Holocaust. He was assassinated in 1957 after an Israeli court accused him of having collaborated with the Nazis.

Kasztner was one of the leaders of the Budapest Aid and Rescue Committee (Va'adat Ezrah Vehatzalah, or Vaada), which smuggled Jewish refugees into Hungary during World War II, then helped them escape from Hungary when in March 1944 the Nazis invaded that country too.

Between May and July 1944, Hungary's Jews were deported to the gas chambers at Auschwitz at the rate of 12,000 people a day. Kasztner negotiated with Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS officer, to allow 1,684 Jews to leave instead for Switzerland on what became known as the Kastner train, in exchange for money, gold and diamonds.

Kasztner moved to Israel after the war, becoming a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1952. In 1953 he was accused of having been a Nazi collaborator in a pamphlet self-published by Malchiel Gruenwald, a freelance writer. The allegation stemmed from his relationship with Eichmann and another SS officer, Kurt Becher, and from his having given positive character references after the war for Becher and two other SS officers, thus allowing Becher to escape prosecution for war crimes. The Israeli government sued Gruenwald for libel on Kasztner's behalf, resulting in a trial that lasted 18 months, and a ruling in 1955 that Kasztner had, in the words of Judge Benjamin Halevy, "sold his soul to the devil".By saving the Jews on the "Kasztner train", while failing to warn others that their "resettlement" was in fact deportation to the gas chambers, Kasztner had sacrificed the mass of Jewry for a chosen few, the judge said. The verdict triggered the fall of the Israeli Cabinet.Kasztner resigned his government position and became a virtual recluse, telling reporters he was living with a loneliness "blacker than night, darker than hell". His wife fell into a depression that left her unable to get out of bed, while his daughter's schoolmates threw stones at her in the street.Kasztner was shot on March 3, 1957 by Zeev Eckstein, part of a three-man squad from a group of veterans from the pre-state militia Lehi led by Yosef Menkes and Yaakov Heruti, and died of his injuries twelve days later. The Supreme Court of Israel overturned most of the judgment against Kasztner in January 1958, stating in a split decision that the lower court had "erred seriously".

Strasshof an der Nordbahn

Strasshof an der Nordbahn (meaning Strasshof at the Northern railway) is a suburban town 25 km east of Vienna, Austria. The main attraction is the railroad museum Das Heizhaus. A historical locomotive built by LOFAG is displayed in the town.

The Holocaust in Luxembourg

The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the persecution and near-annihilation of the 3,500-strong Jewish population of Luxembourg begun shortly after the start of the German occupation during World War II, when the country was officially incorporated into Nazi Germany. The persecution lasted until October 1941, when the Germans declared the territory to be free of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.

The Holocaust in the USSR

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union (USSR) refers to the German persecution of Jews, Roma and homosexuals as part of The Holocaust in World War II.

It may refer to:

The Holocaust in Russia

The Holocaust in Belarus

The Holocaust in UkraineIt may also refer to The Holocaust in the Baltic states, annexed by the Soviet Union before the war:

The Holocaust in Latvia

The Holocaust in Lithuania

The Holocaust in Estonia


For the Va'adat Ezrah Vehatzalah, known as the Vaad, see Aid and Rescue CommitteeVaad is a Hebrew term for a council.

Often it refers to council of rabbis, i.e., a rabbinical council. It is a diasporic phenomenon, having no precedent in Talmudic times. A Vaad has different responsibilities from a beth din (rabbinical court).


Vaada may refer to:

Vaada (film), a 2005 Bollywood movie

Vaada, the Zionist Aid and Rescue Committee active in Hungary during the Holocaust

Vaadaa, 2010 Tamil film

Vrba–Wetzler report

The Vrba–Wetzler report, also known as the Auschwitz Protocols, the Auschwitz Report and the Auschwitz notebook, is a 33-page document about the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during the Holocaust.

Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, two Slovak Jews who escaped from Auschwitz on 10 April 1944, wrote the report by hand or dictated it, in Slovak, between 25 and 27 April, in Žilina, Slovakia. Oscar Krasniansky of the Slovak Jewish Council typed up the report and simultaneously translated it into German.

The Allies had known since November 1942 that Jews were being killed en masse in Auschwitz. The Vrba-Wetzler report was an early attempt to estimate the numbers and the most detailed description of the gas chambers to that point. The publication of parts of the report in June 1944 is credited with helping to persuade the Hungarian regent, Miklós Horthy, to halt the deportation of that country's Jews to Auschwitz, which had been proceeding at a rate of 12,000 a day since May 1944. The first full English translation of the report was published in November 1944 by the United States War Refugee Board.

Working Group (resistance organization)

The Working Group (Slovak: Pracovná Skupina) was an underground Jewish organization in the Axis-aligned Slovak State during World War II. Led by Gisi Fleischmann and Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl, the Working Group rescued Jews from the Holocaust by gathering and disseminating information on the Holocaust in Poland, bribing and negotiating with German and Slovak officials, and smuggling valuables to Jews deported to Poland.

In 1940, SS official Dieter Wisliceny forced the Slovak Jewish community to set up the Jewish Center (ÚŽ) to implement anti-Jewish decrees. Members of the ÚŽ unhappy with collaborationist colleagues began to meet in the summer of 1941. In 1942, the group worked to prevent the deportation of Slovak Jews by bribing Wisliceny and Slovak officials, lobbying the Catholic Church to intervene, and encouraging Jews to flee to Hungary. Its efforts were mostly unsuccessful, and two-thirds of Slovakia's Jews were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp and camps and ghettos in the Lublin Reservation. Initially unaware of the Nazi plan to murder all Jews, the Working Group sent relief to Slovak Jews imprisoned in Lublin ghettos and helped more than two thousand Polish Jews flee to relative safety in Hungary during Operation Reinhard. The group transmitted reports of systematic murder received from the couriers and Jewish escapees to Jewish organizations in Switzerland and the Aid and Rescue Committee in Budapest.

After transports from Slovakia were halted in October 1942, the Working Group tried to bribe Heinrich Himmler through Wisliency into halting the deportation of European Jews to Poland (the Europa Plan). Wisliceny demanded a $3 million bribe, which far exceeded the Working Group's ability to pay, and broke off negotiations in September 1943. In April and May 1944, the Working Group collected and disseminated the Vrba–Wetzler report by two Auschwitz escapees documenting the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews. By stimulating diplomatic pressure against the Hungarian government, the report was a major factor in regent Miklós Horthy's decision to halt the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in July. After the Slovak National Uprising in fall 1944, the Germans invaded Slovakia and the Working Group attempted to bribe the Germans into sparing the Slovak Jews. Its failure to clearly warn Jews to go into hiding is considered its greatest mistake.

Most historians agree that the actions of the Working Group had some effect in halting the deportations from Slovakia between 1942 and 1944, although the extent of their role and which of their actions should be credited is debated. The group's leaders believed that the failure of the Europa Plan was due to the indifference of mainstream Jewish organizations. Although this argument has influenced public opinion and Orthodox Jewish historiography, most historians maintain that the Nazis would not have allowed the rescue of a significant number of Jews. It has also been argued that the Working Group's negotiations were collaborationist and that it failed to warn Jews about the dangers awaiting them, but most historians reject this view. Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer considers the Working Group's members flawed heroes who deserve public recognition for their efforts to save Jews.

Yizkor books

Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community destroyed during the Holocaust. The books are published by former residents or landsmanshaft societies as remembrances of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Yizkor books usually focus on a town but may include sections on neighboring smaller communities. Most of these books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, some also include sections in English or other languages, depending on where they were published. Since the 1990s, many of these books, or sections of them have been translated into English.

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