Tracking Kasztner’s Train
History
By Adam Fuerstenberg

Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust
By Anna Porter
Walker & Company, 464 pages, $27.95.

Why are thousands of non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust memorialized in Yad Vashem, while the one Jew who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews is virtually forgotten?

This is the moral injustice that Anna Porter, prominent Canadian publisher and author — Hungarian born and not Jewish — tries to rectify in her impressive biography of Reszo Kasztner, “Kasztner’s Train.” Although he saved 1,684 Jews, Kasztner remains a controversial figure. His frantic efforts to negotiate a “trucks for Jews, goods for blood” deal with Adolf Eichmann, master bureaucrat of the Holocaust, ultimately earned him vilification as a Nazi collaborator after the war. Ironically, while Eichmann or any of the other SS officers Kasztner was forced to confront daily could easily have shot Kasztner, a fellow Jew on a quiet street in Tel Aviv fatally gunned him down in 1957.

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