Sunday, December 29, 2013

New on the Bookshelf

Conscripted Slaves
Hungarian Jewish Forced Laborers on the Eastern Front during the Second World War
Robert Rozett
NIS 174 NIS 128
$58 $44 (airmail included)
From the spring of 1942 until the summer of 1944, some 45,000 Jewish men were forced to accompany Hungarian troops to the battle zone of the Former Soviet Union. The Hungarian authorities considered these men unworthy of bearing weapons, yet they demanded they take part fully in the “blood sacrifice” that was the war against Stalin and his forces. Some 80% of the Jewish forced laborers never returned home. They fell prey to battle, starvation, disease, and grinding labor, aggravated immensely by brutality and even outright murder at the hands of the Hungarian soldiers responsible for them. This study tells the story of these modern-day slaves – a story that is integral to understanding the destruction of Hungarian Jewry in the Holocaust.

The Kasztner Report
The Report of the Budapest Jewish Rescue Committee 1942–1945
By Rezső Kasztner
Editors: László Karsai & Judit Molnár
NIS 174 NIS 128
$58 $44 (airmail included)
Rezső Kasztner was one of the most controversial figures to emerge from war torn Europe and the ashes of the Shoah. A leader of the Budapest Jewish Rescue Committee, during the last year of the war in Europe, the Zionist Kasztner became the point man for negotiations with the SS to save Hungarian Jewry. In Israel in the 1950s he was vilified by some for having sold out his Jewish brethren and was saddled with the blame for the suffering and murder of the lion’s share of Hungarian Jewry. Kasztner was assassinated in Tel Aviv following a spectacular post-war libel trial in which he had tried to defend his good name. Today scholarship sees him in a different light and his Report, now published in English and with scholarly footnotes for the first time, is one of the main reasons why.

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