Y Author Talk

March 13, 2008 at 8:30 pm Leave a comment


Rudolf Kasztner saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust by negotiating with Adolf Eichmann for lives in exchange for goods. The very controversial Kasztner, who was later convicted as a Nazi collaborator and assassinated while awaiting retrial, will be discussed by author Anna Porter on Tuesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Central Queens YM& YWHA in Forest Hills. Anna Porter’s new book, Kastner’s Train, tells the story of this “Hungarian Oscar Schindler,” who in inhuman times literally bargained for lives. George Bishop, one of the survivors on Kasztner’s Train, will also be present to tell his story.

The Nazis called it “blood for goods”: an exchange of money and trucks for lives. In the midst of mass deportations in 1944 Rudolf Rezso Kasztner and a small group of Zionist leaders met with Eichmann and other SS officers, haggling over numbers of Jews to be saved. Kasztner’s Train, as it was called, saved almost two thousand Jews, with several thousand more moved to work camps. In some cases the wealthy, who could pay their way, were saved over the poor. Following the war, Kasztner was convicted in 1956 in Israel of collaboration with the Nazis. Porter tells the story of a tragic figure, who in desperation and at the gravest personal risk, managed to save thousands of lives. Anna Porter’s new book is based on interviews with survivors who were on the train and with family members of those who were denied a place on it, as well as on previously unpublished correspondence and documents.

MARCH 18 at the Forest Hills Central Queens Y, 67-09 108 St. in Forest Hills. $4 donation requested. For more information, call 718-268-5011, ext. 151, or email pkurtz@cqyjcc.org.


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

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