Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2003

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The British Intelligence authorities had no interest in saving the Jews of Hungary or anywhere else; and even less in unleashing such an unwholesome torrent into Palestine.





June 17, 2003 (Tuesday)
London (UK)

ALL DAY at the Public Records Office until seven p.m. I spend the hours, without a break, reading and digesting a British Intelligence file on the Hungarian Jewish leader Joel Brand (and typing 6,500 words of notes from it). Brand was sent by Adolf Eichmann to Istanbul on May 19, 1944 on a top-secret mission to negotiate the notorious "trucks-for-Jews deal" with the British and was promptly arrested by Britain's SIME [Security Intelligence, Middle East] and held incarcerated in Cairo until it was too late.

EichmannI already knew of Eichmann's side of the story from his papers, which one of his family friends gave to me in Buenos Aires in October 1991 (and which I donated to the German Federal Archives).

Joel Brand took with him from Budapest an interesting fellow traveller, a Jewish carpet-smuggler and Gestapo-agent -- yes there were such creatures --, Bandi (Andor) Gross, who claimed to have been given a mission by Eichmann's henchman von Klages, on the orders of "Four-eyes Heinrich" (Heinrich mit Augenglas) himself, to approach the British with a separate peace deal.

Some of the intercepted Jewish letters. . .

Perez Zvi Rafi wrote from Hungary on July 12, 1944, that the funds had been received from 'uncle' [the treasurer of the Jewish Agency]: 'We do all in our power and there should be no limits for the means to be put at our disposal.' The possibilities were boundless. 'The transport of approximately 1,700 people is gone.' [The Censorship examiner added the note: 'The ultimate destination of this transport was Spain, in accordance with an arrangement with the Germans, but under the appearance of a deportation transport' meant for [[for the benefit of]] the Hungarian authorities. This transport took place before the notorious "Willi-Joel" discussions took place.']
   'We had to prepare it by means of conspiracy against the Hungarian authorities, We succeeded better than we could hope. The conditions are of no importance, but sufficiently good. That sixty persons had to travel in one wagon was due to ourselves because we increased the group in the last minute and without the knowledge of our Aschkes [German agents] by almost 30 percent. Nevertheless, everybody could take with him what he wanted.: three trucks loaded with food were attached at the end of the train; the doors were kept open; the guard was very small… We have already our own news from Vienna [the transport was directed to an exchange camp near Hanover [[Bergen Belsen]] and passed Vienna.] which confirm absolutely the official information received from Aschke [Germans]. The transport spent a few hours in Vienna and was awaited there with provisions (the transport was called by the Aschkes [Germans] "the show-off Jews" (Parade-Juden) …'

Joel Brand sent a telegram to the Jewish Agency in Istanbul, in which he hinted at the scale of the project:

In this wire, he said that he was in contact with "Willi", i.e. Wisliceny, and that he had mentioned 'Gisi's' points -- i.e., the deal for which Gisi Fleischmann had been trying to rise finance, to buy out the Slovakian Jews --

For several weeks the wires of the underground Zionist network ran hot. In Zürich there were several meetings on the Joel Brand and Kastner plan -- the British Intelligence intercepted records of them in due course, and easily decoded the hidden meanings.

On June 7, 1944 one such meeting report read:

'Joel is now in Kuschta [Istanbul] and brought with him a great Tolchnith [plan]. This Tochnith is as fantastic as it is devilish. The Ashkenasim [Germans] at present allow only a small Jeziah [emigration] to E.I. [Palestine]. Should however Jehuda Halevi [Spain] and Port [Portugal] permit the transit, Ashke [the Germans] would be prepared to let all Jehudim [Jews] from Zivia [Poland] Slova [Slovakia] and Hagar [Hungary] go. Schnajim Elef Alafim Stefan [two million dollars] must be paid besides all Hozaoth Derech [travel expenses], as well as all Hozaoth [expenses] incurred before the beginning of the Aliyah [emigration to Palestine]. Kaspi [money] would not be the stumbling bloc but the question of certifications is still unsolved, as the Memschalah [the government] has a very negative attitude towards Aliyah [immigration] and has only accorded 20,000 certificates. Wenia [Wenia Pomeraniec, Istanbul] has immediately gone to E.I. [Palestine] to discuss the whole Tochnith [plan] with the Schohnut [the Jewish Agency]. Much depends on the necessary understanding of the Menschala. [the Palestine Government]. . .
   'Various enquiries have shown that only a small percentage of the local Plitim [Jewish refugees in Switzerland] is prepared to emigrate to Palestine. The same state of things prevails among the youth. . .
   'The Schaliach from Ashkenas [the emissary sent by the Hechalutz organisation to Germany] has returned. He brought with him the receipt confirming that our people have received meah elem [hundred thousand mark?], that the Darkiah [passport] for a Chaverah of Jaari [a girl belonging to the Hasomer Hazair Organisation] has been obtained and that the general Chomer [material, informatory material] has been delivered. . .'


ON June 15, 1944 Reszö Kastner wrote this letter in German to the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, Palestine. 'In connection with the negotiations conducted by Joel Brand, we have assumed the obligation to deliver to the authorities charged with Jewish affairs certain quantities of goods. These goods are to be repaid with human lives, i.e. the deportations are to be stopped.
   'Most of the required goods are such as are needed by the civil population, for instance cocoa, medicaments, shirts, etc. We promised the persons with whom we were negotiating to get the goods from abroad, and we began to act immediately with a view to obtaining them in Axis-controlled territories. Our efforts in this matter directed by Julius Link (who suggested the affair in this form) are likely to be successful. It should be noted that the goods are not to be imported from overseas (this question was likewise discussed by Brand, but we do not know as yet what the agreement is which he has made), these are goods which are to be found in these territories and need only to be collected and paid for.
   'The payment must be made in Swiss francs, that is also the only way in which goods can be bought. The first instalment should be made over in a very short time, and requires approximately 8,000,000 francs. The lot of the Jews will be alleviated by our partners in proportion to the amount of the goods which we will provide, Many hundreds of thousands have to be saved from deportation and from its consequences, we must accordingly be helped to carry out this operation.
   'The JDC [Joint Distribution Committee] is expected to contribute $10,000,000 dollars [sic], a big sum, but small enough if compared with the hopes based on it.
   'In both cases, that of the above mentioned 8,000,000 francs and the matter of the dollars, the money could be regarded as a loan, to be repaid after the War out of Jewish property. Make the following proposal:-
   'Some financiers should provide the sums required in both cases, guaranteed by the whole property of the Jewish community of Budapest, which possesses in real estate terms, much more than 50-60 million dollars. You can work out the details. It is as yet possible to help and to save the lives of many hundreds of thousands of Jews, no time must be lost, do everything necessary for the success of this endeavour. We may suppose that our partners are serious about their proposal.

(Signed) JOE.'

["Presumably Kastner of Palestine Office, Budapest"].

There is also something of a final report on the history of the mission, dated July 12, 1944 written by somebody in Hungary to the Jewish Agency.

I wonder if that mission ties in with the August 31, 1944 "special message" from Heinrich Himmler which "C" sent to Churchill, and which the prime minister destroyed after reading, as he noted in his characteristic red ink: 'C. Himmler telegram kept and destroyed by me. WSC.31.viii'.

The bargain that Himmler had allegedly authorised Eichmann to offer was one million live Jews for ten thousand army trucks to be supplied by the Allies (for use on the eastern front only), brand new and laden if possible with comestible goodies -- coffee, tea, cocoa, etc.

The British Intelligence authorities had no interest in saving the Jews of Hungary or anywhere else; and even less in unleashing such an unwholesome torrent into Palestine. Brand was subjected to several leisurely interrogations from June 15, 1944 and throughout July, and finally released to Palestine on August 5, 1944 after Moscow objected to his being returned to Budapest (where his wife and children were held hostage by the Nazis).

Lord Moyne, the British Minister in Cairo, was firmly opposed to Brand's return to Budapest; Jewish terrorists assassinated Moyne -- Churchill's friend, alias Walter Guinness -- a few weeks later.


JUDGING by the interrogations of Brand and Gross, and their secret mail and telegrams -- intercepted and translated from the German and Hebrew by the British Intelligence in Jerusalem -- huge sums of money flooded into the hands of the Hungarian Jews from the Treasurer of the Jewish Agency (referred to in their secret messages as "uncle").

At one stage Brand deliberates on whether to pay cash to his first contact, the tall, fat, well uniformed Sicherheitsdienst officer Dieter Wisliceny, in return for Jews, or diamonds and Gold instead. His colleagues urge him to offer diamonds, of which they have large hoards: they scheme to over-value the diamonds grossly, but they will of course pay the full commission to their fellow conspirators.

In the end the wily SS officers settle for cash -- 200,000 dollars (or stefanim, as the Jews referred to dollars) are paid over to Wisliceny in one such transaction; I do hope Wisliceny had a chance to enjoy them before the Czechs hanged him after the war. Under interrogation, Brand confirmed that Eichmann and his men were asking for dollars, or Swiss francs, or -- with slightly more emphasis -- South American "pesetas".

There is one interesting sidelight on statistics and "missing Jews". In Slovakia, an enterprising Jewess, Frau Gisi Fleischmann, had arranged with Wisliceny in 1943 for the Jewish community to provide him with two million dollars in return for favours and concessions. In the event, she had been unable to raise all the money in time and, says Brand, she died at Auschwitz. However Palestine Censorship intercepted a letter written by a Mrs G Fleischmann in Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, on Nov 7, 1944, to Jerusalem, showing that she was still very much alive then, active in the Hechalutz and other Jewish labour organisations, sending jam etc to the Jüdische Unterstützungsstelle in Krakau, etc.


THERE is one other vein of information I have still to drill down into -- I read the dossier already some years ago, in the wartime Ministry of Information files: it contains more intercepted letters between Joel Brand, languishing in the Middle East, and his masters in Jerusalem and Budapest including the unfortunate Jewish community leader Rezsö Kastner -- unfortunate in that he survived the war in Nazi controlled Europe, only to be assassinated in 1957 by Jewish zealots after winning a libel action in Tel Aviv.

Nobody else ever seems to be looking at these files, and I am damned if I am going to draw their attention to them.



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[This is the early draft of a publication being prepared on the international campaign mounted to silence to author David Irving since 1989. In its final form it will be longer, illustrated, and have links to key documents on which the narrative is based]

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