1944 June 30, BLUT FUER WARE ("BLOOD FOR GOODS") (Hungary - Switzerland)
Hungarian Jewish leaders Joel Brand and Rudolf Kastner working together with the Jewish Agency and the War Refugee board concluded a deal with Adolph Eichmann. It became known as Blut fuer Ware ("Blood for Goods"). This date marks the first of three transports with 1,658 people to Switzerland. Included in this transport were 80 prominent Jews including the Satmar Rebbe (Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum), the Debreziner Rav, Rabbi Jonathan Steif, and Adolph Deutsch, head of the Budapest Agudah. This transport was held up in Bergen-Belsen for six months and only reached Switzerland in December. There were two other transports; one on August 18, with 318 people and the last on December 6, with 1,368 people. A total of 3,344 Jews were sent at a price of 1,000 dollars per head. The deal was the subject of much controversy and after the war, Kastner was accused by Malkiel Grünwald of collaboration with the Nazis and of testifying for an SS officer Kurt Becher who had negotiated with him on behalf of Eichmann. Much of the resentment had to do with the selection made for the transports. He was accused of helping only those who were either wealthy, had a personal connection to the committee, or were politically acceptable. Although the Supreme Court in Israel (on an appeal) cleared his name on January 17, 1958, it came too late for Kastner who had been shot and killed in March, 1957 in Tel Aviv by Ze'ev Eckstein, a Hungarian survivor.