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It’s January of 1954 and the Attorney General v. Gruenwald case, AKA the Kastner trial, has begun. This was seemingly an open and shut libel case between an elderly Hungarian Jew and Israeli government official, Israel Rudolph Kastner. Yet somehow the trial caused a government fallout, brought David Ben-Gurion out of retirement and led to Israel’s first political assassination. In this episode, Noam explores what exactly Kastner was guilty of and how to grapple with the impossible choices he faced at the hands of the Nazis. ~~~~ This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and Marci & Andrew Spitzer, and this episode is generously sponsored by ​​the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, and the Tampa Jewish Federation. ~~~~

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Unpacking Israeli History about Black Saturday: https://jewishunpacked.com/black-saturday-how-far-would-you-go-for-a-homeland/


  1. Tom Segev. The Seventh Million. 
  2. Ben Hecht. Perfidy.
  3. Leora Bilsky (2001). Judging Evil in the Trial of Kastner. Law and History Review, 19(1), 117–160. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/744213
  4. Hanna Yablonka and Moshe Tlamim (2003). The Development of Holocaust Consciousness in Israel: The Nuremberg, Kapos, Kastner, and Eichmann Trials. Israel Studies, 8(3), Israel and the Holocaust, 1-24. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/30245616
  5. Yechiam Weitz (1996). The Holocaust on Trial: The Impact of the Kasztner and Eichmann Trials on Israeli Society. Israel Studies, 1(2),  1-26.
  6. David Luban (2001). A Man Lost in the Gray Zone. Law and History Review, 19(1). 161-17. 
  7. “Joel Brand, 58, Hungarian Jew in Eichmann's Truck Deal, Dies.” The New York Times, The New York Times, https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1964/07/15/97339949.html?pageNumber=35. 
  8. Laor, Dan. “Israel Kastner vs. Hannah Szenes: Who Was Really the Hero during the Holocaust?” Haaretz.com, Haaretz, 9 Nov. 2013, https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-who-was-the-real-holocaust-hero-1.5287614. 
  9. Pnina Lahav (2001). A "Jewish State... to Be Known as the State of Israel": Notes on Israeli Legal Historiography. Law and History Review, 19(2), 387–433. doi:10.2307/744134 
  10. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Rudolf (Rezso) Kastner.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/rudolf-rezsoe-kasztner. Accessed on March 20,2022.
  11. Hannah Szenes. "A Walk to Caesarea (Eli, Eli)." Perf. Ofra Haza. YouTube. November 26, 2020. Web. Accessed on March 20, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jMQq0jYzbw&ab_channel=AntonioSalbertrand
  12. Yad Vashem: https://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/microsoft%20word%20-%205978.pdf
  13. Israeli Govt: https://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfa-archive/1950-1959/pages/nazis%20and%20nazi%20collaborators%20-punishment-%20law-%20571.aspx
  14. Asher Maoz (2000). Historical Adjudication: Courts of Law, Commissions of Inquiry, and "Historical Truth.” Law and History Review (18)3. URL: https://archive.ph/W2cAj#selection-471.1-426.8
  15. USHMM: https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/gallery/jewish-population-of-europe
  16. Times of Israel: https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-says-worlds-jewry-still-2-million-shy-of-1939-numbers/
  17. https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/holocaust-remembrance-day/the-holocaust-facts-and-figures-1.5298803?lts=1647822682931
  18. https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,864174,00.html
  19. https://www.commentary.org/articles/w-laqueur/the-kastner-caseaftermath-of-the-catastrophe/
  20. https://m.knesset.gov.il/EN/About/Lexicon/Pages/NoConfidence.aspx
  21. https://main.knesset.gov.il/EN/About/History/Pages/KnessetHistory.aspx?kns=2
  22. https://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfa-archive/1950-1959/pages/nazis%20and%20nazi%20collaborators%20-punishment-%20law-%20571.aspx
  23. Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved
  24. Lucy Davidowicz, The War Against the Jews
  25. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/jewish-uprisings-in-ghettos-and-camps-1941-44#:~:text=Resistance%20in%20Ghettos&text=Their%20main%20goals%20were%20to,escaping%20to%20join%20the%20partisans.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB4pU6JKsfQ&list=PLVV0r6CmEsFw4EQRLZvAoreWVLWLJDNaI&index=95&ab_channel=WebofStories-LifeStoriesofRemarkablePeople
  26. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-quot-blood-for-goods-quot-deal-april-1944

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