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The Jew who Dealt with Nazis - Killing Kasztner

Documentary about Dr Israel Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew who tried to rescue the last million Jews in Europe, but who was gunned down in 1957 as an alleged Nazi collaborator.

After 50 years, will the Jew accused of collaborating with the Nazis during the Holocaust be exonerated?

How much should you negotiate with the enemy? In Israel, the debate over that question evoked fury to the point of assassination. Such was the case of Kasztner.

Dr Israel (Rezso) Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew who tried to rescue the last million Jews of Europe by negotiating face to face with Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, was gunned down by another Jew who never set foot in Nazi Europe.

After 50 years, his assassin Ze'ev Eckstein breaks his silence on the fateful night he shot and killed Kasztner.

Some people considered Kasztner a hero for his eventual rescue of almost 1,700 Jews on a train to safety in Switzerland. Yet this extraordinary act was later cast as an one of betrayal. After Kasztner moved to Israel, he fought a vicious libel battle in a trial that portrayed him as 'the man who sold his soul to the devil', leading to his assassination in Tel Aviv in 1957.

This documentary re-opens the history books on Kasztner's life and the events surrounding this controversial figure. It follows Kasztner's family and survivors, plagued by a legacy they are determined to change. Ze'ev Eckstein reveals, step-by-step, his transformation into an assassin - the events and passions that turned a young man into an agent of politics and revenge.

Intensely emotional for those still living it, part real-time investigation and part historical journey, filmmaker Gaylen Ross unearths the Kasztner story and its ramifications for his family and his country, exploring the very nature of history itself - who writes it, how it is remembered and what is at stake for the present and the future.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Fri 29 May 2009 00:30


Role Contributor
Director Gaylen Ross