Lot 151: Israel Kastner - Archive of Letters, Protocols and Certificates, Mid-1940s through Mid-1950s
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: An archive of about 170 original letters, protocols, drafts, certificates and documents related to the Kastner Affair. Budapest, Geneva, Stockholm, London, Paris, Haifa, Tel-Aviv and more cities, mid-1940s through mid-1950s. German, Hungarian, English, some Hebrew and some Yiddish. An archive of documents from two major periods in Israel Kastner's life: "Blood for Goods" - Kastner's days as head of the "Va'ad HaEzra veHaHatzalah" (Relief and Rescue Committee), when he tried to formulate a deal with the Germans for rescuing Hungarian Jews; "Nuremberg Trials" - Kastner's days towards the end of the war, when he testified, interrogated and supplied reports about the German officers and their operations during the war; as well as additional documents of various kinds. The archive was collected by the holocaust researcher Dov Dinur, in attempt to provide useful information to the investigators during the Nuremberg trials. Dinur gathered tens of documents from the private archive of the family, rare certificates from all over Europe (the access to these documents was banned by Communist Russia several years after the collection), research materials that were sent to him per his request by academics, and more. Items related to "Blood for Goods" deal: · " Der Bericht des J?dischen Rettungskomitees aus Budapest 1942-1945", 55 leaves out of an early draft of the special report composed by Kastner about the operation of Relief and Rescue Committee, in 1946. This testimony is the only one that Kastner submitted as chairman of the committee, and the draft in this archive contains major differences from the one which was eventually published. Typewritten, with deletions, comments and many corrections by hand; several handwritten leaves. · Six documents from August 1944 - a draft composed by Kastner and Sally Mayer (1875-1953, president of the Jewish Congregations in Switzerland during the war), with an early version of the essence of negotiations with the Germans, from August 30, 1944 (original carbon copy of a typewritten document), and five notes and printed leaves stating the sources of finance, the sums raised and additional data towards the negotiations. · Five reports (original carbon copies of typewritten documents), composed by Kastner in the months of July-August 1944 following his meetings with Adolf Eichmann, Kurt Becher, Hermann Krumey, Edmond Veesenmayer and Dieter (named in the report "Willy"). Hungarian. · Eleven letters (Original carbon copies of typewritten letters) of Kastner's correspondence with his colleagues in the Relief and Rescue Committee, among them Sally Mayer, Nathan Schwalb and others. Additional items. Items on the Subject of the "Nuremberg Trials": · Three letters from senior S.S. officer Kurt Becher (1909-1995) - chief representative of Nazi Germany in the negotiations with the Relief and Rescue Committee, from the time the trial against him was held. The letters are typewritten, all hand signed by Becher and dated August 1947. Two were addressed to a woman whose name is not mentioned, and the third to Kastner himself. Becher expresses in the letter his gratitude for the testimoney delivered by Kastner in his trial (testimony which finally led to Becher's acquittal) and asks, in light of the mutual trust between them, that Kastner help him with a financial loan. , ,  leaves. German. · Photocopy (Xerox) of a protocol of Kurt Becher's interrogation of June 7, 1947, held with Kastner's participation. · Three protocols of interrogations of senior Nazis Ebenhard von Thadden, Edmond Veesenmayer, and Erich von dem Bach Zelewski, conducted with Kastners participation in the Nuremberg trials, in the months April-March 1948. Two protocols are original carbon copies of typewritten documents and one, probably, is an original typewritten copy. 18, 18, 27 pp. · Copy of a telegram sent by Veesenmayer (see above) on April 21, 1944, with a detailed report about murder of Jews on April 20 and 21, 1944. Addressed to Karl Ritter of the Foreign Ministry,  leaves. · Report composed by Kastner about Walter Scholenberg and his role in applying the Final Solution. Presented to a researcher named Hardy and dated May 3, 1948. · Additional items. Various Items: · 18 letters out of personal correspondence between Kastner and his family (his brother Erno, his father in law Joska Fischer) while he was in Geneva between 1945 and 1947. · Report composed by Prof. Yehudah Bauer about the role of the Joint in Europe and the affair of the Hungarian Jews in particular. Enclosed is Dov Dinur's book: "Kastner, Giluyim Chadashim al HaIsh U-Po'alo" [Kastner: New discoveries of the man and his work]. Haifa, 1987. Size and condition vary. Fair-good overall condition. Folding marks, stains. Creases and tears (mainly small, at margins of documents). Inscriptions in pencil and in pen on some items.