May 28, 2020 Of Bombs & Money: The Desperate Attempts to Save Hungarian Jewry
With most of European Jewry decimated and the Red Army advancing in the east, the Hungarian Jewish community remained the last great center of Jewish life on the continent. Following the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944, senior SS officers were dispatched to Budapest to organize the deportations, which were to commence immediately and with terrifying speed.
Legendary rescue activist Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandel had years of experience at various rescue attempts by dealing directly with the Nazis from occupied Slovakia. He, together with his fellow members of the Working Group, now turned to make a last ditch attempt at saving Hungarian Jewry.
He did this in three ways: 1. The time tested efforts at bribery and ransom. This included closely following the negotiations that took place in Budapest between the Nazis and the Relief & Rescue Committee. 2. Beseeching the Allied Powers to bomb the crematorium at Auschwitz and the railways leading there. 3. Warning Hungarian Jewry what was in store for them.
Though largely unsuccessful, his valiant efforts at rescue are a testimony to the greatness of this heroic individual and to the story of that tragic period of time.
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