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Others consider Kasztner to have been a collaborator. At the conclusion of the war, Becher was arrested and investigated at Nuremberg as a war criminal. Kasztner intervened on his behalf and sent an affidavit to his de-Nazification hearing, stating that "[Becher is] cut from a different wood than the professional mass murderers of the political SS".
It is possible that he did so with the knowledge of the Jewish Agency Zionist leadership in Palestine, the Yishuv in the hope of obtaining help in recovering stolen Jewish assets and capturing Eichmann in return.
Kasztner also intervened on behalf of SS officers Hermann Krumey and Dieter Wisliceny , who had negotiated with him before his meetings with Eichmann.
In all, "there was a total of seven interventions by Kasztner on behalf of Nazi war criminals. Three testimonies were on behalf of Becher, two were on behalf of Krumey, one was on behalf of Hans Jüttner , and there was an appeal that had the potential to deliver Wisliceny from the threat of execution in Slovakia.
He died in ; Krumey was sentenced to life imprisonment in He died in ; Becher died a wealthy man in Kasztner moved to Israel after the war, and became active in the Mapai party. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the first and second elections , and became the spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry in His role in collaborating with the SS made headlines in , when he was accused in a self-published pamphlet produced by Malchiel Gruenwald of collaborating with the Nazis, enabling the mass murder of Hungarian Jewry, partnership with Nazi officer Kurt Becher in theft of Jewish assets, and saving Becher from punishment after the war.
Gruenwald was sued for libel by the Israeli government on Kasztner's behalf, resulting in a trial that lasted two years.
Tamir turned the libel case against his client into a political trial of Kasztner and, by implication, the Labor Party.
The mother of wartime heroine Hannah Szenes had also accused Kasztner of betraying her daughter to her death and spoke out against him during the trial. In his ruling, Judge Benjamin Halevi later also a Herut member of the Knesset acquitted Gruenwald of libel on the first, second and fourth counts. The temptation was great. Kasztner was given the actual possibility of rescuing, for the time being, souls from the imminent holocaust, with some chance of somewhat increasing their numbers by payment or further negotiations.
Not just any souls, but those he considered, for any reason, most prominent and suitable for rescue But timeo Danaos et dona ferentes I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts. By accepting this present Kasztner had sold his soul to the devil The success of the rescue agreement depended until the last minute on the Nazi goodwill, and the last minute didn't arrive until long after the end of the extermination of the Jews in the provincial towns.
The Israeli government 's decision to appeal on Kasztner's behalf led to its collapse, as Prime Minister Moshe Sharett resigned when the General Zionists , a member of his coalition, refused to abstain from voting on a no-confidence motion filed by Herut and Maki. Kasztner became a hate figure in Israel, and compared the verdict against him to the Dreyfus affair.
He was assassinated in see below. The Supreme Court of Israel overturned most of the judgment against Kasztner in The judges overturned the first count by 3—2 and the second count by 5—0. The longest majority decision was written by Judge Shimon Agranat , who said:. All five Supreme Court Judges upheld Judge Halevi's verdict on the "criminal and perjurious way" in which Kasztner after the war had saved Nazi war criminal Becher.
Minutes after midnight on March 4, , Kasztner was shot as he arrived at his Tel Aviv home. The attack was carried out by a three-man squad from a group of veterans from the pre-state right-wing underground group Lehi led by Yosef Menkes and Yaakov Heruti.
Menkes had also been a member of the post-independence terrorist group Kingdom of Israel. The three men had waited in a jeep parked outside Kasztner's house. Eckstein disembarked and approached Kasztner as he locked his car, and asked him if he was Israel Kasztner. When Kasztner confirmed, Eckstein pulled out a handgun and fired three times. The first shot was a spent bullet, the second hit the car door, and the third hit Kasztner in the upper body, critically wounding him. Kasztner attempted to escape, but died of his injuries on March In Gaylen Ross' film " Killing Kasztner ", Ze'ev Eckstein presented a very different sequence of events and implied that someone else fired a fatal third bullet.
See section "Documentary" below. About an hour after the shooting, Shin Bet Israel's internal security service opened an investigation, focusing its efforts on the Lehi veterans group led by Menkes and Heruti. The group had been linked to various murder incidents and various actions against Kasztner, and it was suspected that Menkes bore personal responsibility. In addition, Kasztner delivered a description of the assassins at the hospital. Shemer was the first to confess his role, and implicated Eckstein, who subsequently confessed and implicated Menkes.
In addition, police tracked down the jeep used by the assassins, which was found to contain the murder weapon and fingerprints belonging to Shemer. Subsequently, twenty members of their organization were arrested, including Heruti, and two weapons caches belonging to the group were discovered.
Eckstein, then 24, stated that he tried to kill Kasztner to avenge his activities in conjunction with Nazi figures such as Adolf Eichmann.
During the trial it turned out that Eckstein had been a paid informer of Shin Bet a few months before the shooting. At that time Kasztner, a high ranking government official, became a liability to the government and the trial led to collapse of the cabinet.
Kasztner's killers were given life sentences, but were pardoned after seven years. In January Haaretz began publishing newly released documents relating to the assassination and its aftermath. Haaretz claims that the documents confirm the Shin Bet knew Kasztner was targeted and could back the conjecture "that the Shin Bet security service was involved in the murder of Kastner. In an open letter by Tamir to the Tel Aviv municipality, who were planning to name a street after Dr.
Kasztner, he stated that "Kasztner was never given exoneration", but rather that it was merely unproven whether his actions—which during the court case had been unanimously agreed upon as being despicable—had caused the murder or the failure to escape from Hungary of close to half a million Jews, deported and killed in the last months of the war.
The court, he said, left that and only that to history. Kasztner's daughter Zsuzsa lives in Tel Aviv, where she works as a hospital nurse.
She has three daughters, including Merav Michaeli , a well-known radio and television presenter in Israel, and as of a member of the 19th Knesset. In her inaugural speech to the Knesset Michaeli described her grandfather as a man who saved "tens of thousands of Jews" by negotiating with Eichmann.
Zsuzsa Kasztner and Michaeli attended the formal presentation of the Kasztner archive to Yad Vashem in , and the former lectured about her father in Britain in The director of the film is Gaylen Ross. In the documentary, Ze'ev Eckstein states that after he fired a blank, Kasztner ran in the dark into the bushes by his apartment.
Eckstein fired his two remaining bullets in Kasztner's direction, and then heard a shot by someone else, after which Kasztner cried out in pain. Eckstein implies he wasn't the one who fired the fatal shot, rather Kasztner was killed by a "professional" whose purpose on the scene was "confirmation of the kill". Media related to Rudolf Kastner at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Rezso Kasztner. Tel Aviv , Israel. Quebec residents do not need to complete this form.
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