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May 23, 1975 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-05-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


32 Friday, May 23, 1975

Now Appearing At

Rabbi Belton Disputes Holocaust Book

Editor's note: The re-
viewer was rabbi of the
Budapest ghetto during
1944, and he strongly con-
tests much of the informa-
tion provided in "A Mil-
lion Jews to Save" (A.S.
Barnes Co.) written by
Andre Biss.


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He admits in his book
that he was in reality a
Protestant of Jewish de-
scent, and that he even
studied Protestant Theol-
ogy at one time, and re-
mains a Christian.




The author claims that he
was a member and later on
even sole leader of the Vaa-
dah, the (Zionist) Rescue
Committee formed in 1943
in Hungary for the original
purpose of assisting Jewish
refugees from Poland, Slo-
vakia and the Ukraine to
escape via Romania or to
provide them with false pap-
ers and keep them under-
ground in Hungary.
The original members
were Dr. Otto Komoly, Dr.
Rerso Kasztner, Joel Brand
and Samu Springman.
Later on they invited the
author via Brand to work
for and with the Vaadah, al-
though the author's •sole
qualifications were that he
had an apartment in the
better section of Budapest,
had independent funds,
chauffeur-driven car and ID-
cards stating that he was a
German national of the Pro-
testant Confession.

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At the age of 71 he resides
in West Berlin, Germany.
I wish to point to imme-
diate and conspicuous simi-
larities between his presen-
tation and that of Dr.
Kasztner as they want us to
believe in their "successes"
and in their "unparalleled
For instance, just as Dr.
Kasztner sought the stamp
of approval from some
prominent Gestapo man for
the verification of his Ber-
icht, so does this author.

The other similarity is

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Sentenced to 28 years in prison for a crime he never
committed. Only two things can •
get him out- A lot of money and `c







the art of name dropping.
He even excels Kasztner in
this. From his narrative
we learn that although he
was a "One-Nazi-man"
(one at a time), first
Clages, then Becher, he
specialized to become a
veritable expert on Nazi
hierarchy, knowing the
intimate thin lines among
the various sections and
departments of the Nazi

And woe to him who does
not know the difference; the
author is right there with
the right rank and the cor-
rect subdivision. He even
claims of having had a hot
line directly to the Reichs-
fuehrer of the SS, Heinrich
Himmler, the greatest killer
in history, next to Hitler
himself. And the author re-
fers to this connection more
than 30 times in the book.
The third similarity is the
series of fantastic, and of
course, false claims about
various aspects and "re-
sults" of the "rescue" opera-
tions, and naturally claim-
ing credit for all Jewish
survivors who somehow re-
mained alive to see the dawn
of liberation.

Biss categorically states
that there was no more
Jewish leadership in the
Ghetto after Oct. 16, 1944,
so that the Vaadah had to
act also for the Ghetto.
This is utterly false be-
cause the Ghetto Execu-
tive consisting of Stoeck-
ler, Foldes, Komoly, Nagy,
Szego and this reviewer
remained at its post until
Jan. 18, 1945, the day of
liberation, and had carried
on the business of caring
for the 80,000 inmates.

He reports that Kasztner
while in custody of Hungar-
ian counter-espionage made
Ferenczy a "convert,"
turned him away from the
Nazis, and won him back to
the Hungarian side.
Well, the story is true, Lt.
Col. Laszlo Ferenczy of the
Gendarmerie truly became
Horthy's man again, and de-
fender of Jews between July
8-Oct. 15, 1944. As I said the
story is true, but the name
is different.
Not Kasztner, but this
reviewer had accomplished
this feat, giving Ferenczy a
copy of the "Auschwitz
Protokolls" and a long list of
lootings and atrocities con-
ducted by the Gestapo. This
is proved by Ferenczy's tes-
timony on Feb. 18, 1946 be-
fore public prosecutor Dr.
Zoltan Szonyi, and also on
Ferenczy's own trial record.

There is an odd, and
rather eerie theme that
pops up more than once in
the book, when Biss boasts
that the Gestapo had re-
spect for the Vaadah and
treated its members as
"equals" (sic!) while it
despised the Judenrat and
had nothing but contempt
for them.

Sniall wonder they had
"respect" for the Committee
when it lavishly spent res-
cue money on them, instead
of supporting the victims.
At this time, perhaps I
should note that the Gesta-
po's "respect" meant highly

tion from wearing the Yel-
low Star, living in expensive
hotels, driving cars, dining
in the best restaurants. The
Vaadah squandered away
millions of dollars, dia-
monds, gold, silver, every
conceivable valuable plus
the vast funds that came
from abroad because they
were fooled, misled, de-
ceived and duped into believ-
ing that they were buying
time and life for the doomed
Just as Wiszliczeny duped
the Slovakian Jews with the
scheme of "Plan-Europa"
and extorted huge sums of
money in 1942-43 for the
suspension of deportations
(which had been ordered for
entirely other reasons) so
had Clages, Eichmann,
Becher and the rest of the
extortionist-killer gang
hoodwinked and duped the
Vaadah into believing that
they had reaped "success"
and had exerted influence

even on the top-killer,
Reichsfuehrer Himmler.

For the author to claim
credit for the 18,000 in the
Strasshof camp, or for the
survival of the Budapest
Ghetto, or for that matter
for all the Jews of Europe
who survived the Holo-
caust, is an outrageous

We do not wish to doubt
for a moment the good in-
tentions of the Vaadah but
history proved that a great
many and far more impor-
tant events had major
shares in the survival of the
Jewish remnant in Europe.
"A Million Jews To Save"
may be an eye-catching title
even three decades after the
Holocaust, but knowing the
established facts in the case,
no one can take seriously
such claims for the Vaadah.
I do not wish to pass such
a harsh judgment over this
"rescue Committee" as did
Judge Benyamin Halevy in

the Jerusalem courtroom on
June 21, 1954, when he
stated that the whole Vaa-
dah was a camouflaged Nazi
setup. He said in addition to
the Nazi looting depart-
ment, to the extermination
department, the Nazis es-
tablished a "rescue" depart-
ment headed by Kasztner
and his friends.
We rather side with one
of the greatest experts in
the Hungarian Holocaust,
Eugen Levai, who whenel
he deals with the activit.
of the Vaadah in his major
works, he describes these
representatives as gullible
victims who were used by
the Nazis as easily manage-
able vehicles for laying their
hands on funds and wealth
of world Jewry.
This was just yet another
cruel and vicious phase of
the Nazi program.aimed at
total looting and total exter-
mination of the Jewish peo-

Scrolls Were the Books of Old

The synagogue Torah is
always in the form of scrolls
because in antiquity all
books, Jewish or non-Jew-
ish, were scrolls.
The Torah presented in
the 3rd Century to Ptolemy
II (Philadeiphus) of Egypt
by the high priest from Je-
rusalem so that it might be
translated into Greek was
unrolled before him.

One of the Torah scrolls
kept in the Temple was car-
ried through Rome among
the spoils in the triumphal
procession of Titus, accord-
ing to the Encyclopaedica

The Talmud and Mid-
rash speak mainly of
scroll-books. The high
priest on the Day of Atone-
ment read from a scroll
during the Temple service
and then rolled it up, as
was done after each read-
ing of the Law.

If a man received a Torah
scroll in deposit, he had to
roll it open for airing once a
year. A Torah scroll was
rolled from both ends to-
ward the middle, each end
being attached to a cylindri-
cal handle.
Biblical books remained
in scroll form and those
used in the synagogue have
preserved this format. For
liturgical use the five books
of the Pentateuch had to be
written on one single scroll.
The division of books of the
Bible was largely deter-
mined by the size of the
Samuel and Kings were
probably originally one
book but were divided and
subdivided for size. The
book of Psalms too was di-
vided into five books at an
early date. Ezra, Nehemiah,
and Chronicles were origi-
nally one book, as suggested
by the identity of the last
two verses of Chronicles
with the first two of Ezra-
Smaller books, such as
the two parts of Isaiah and
of Zechariah, were com-

Song of Songs, Ruth,
Lamentations, Eccle-
siastes, and Esther are
called megillot (scrolls),
the last one known as "the
megillah" in Mishnah and
Talmud, because it had to
be read publicly from a

parchment scroll.

Like the Sefer Torah, the
Scroll of Esther retains the
scroll form today, and it is
still customary in some
communities to read the
other four megillot on spe-
cial occasions from scrolls.

Rivalry Ends Between Major
Israeli Sports Organizations

(Copyright 1975, JTA, Inc.)

TEL AVIV — The two big
sports stories in Israel cur-
rently pertain to the prepa-
ration for the Maccabiah
Games which will take place
in 1977, and the 10th Inter-
national Hapoel Games
which ended last week.
The World Maccabi
Union, after many years of
deliberation, has come up,
with the solution to a prob-
lem that has vexed its mem-
bers for the past 15-20
years. These games are run
every four years, the year
after the Olympic year, and
the biggest problem has
been how to involve the
Hapoel movement of Israel
and the United States Com-
mittee Sports for Israel.
In past years there has
been a tense rivalry between
Maccabiah and Hapoel for
domination in the sports
field. With the aid and coun-
sel of the United States
Committee Sports for Israel
both organizations have
grown closer together in
their affiliations so that for
1977 the Hapoel sports or-
ganization will serve as a
full-fledged member of the
International Maccabiah
Games Committee and fur-
thermore will continue to
exist as a permanent unit on
that committee.

The IMGC, at its recent
meeting, permanently
voted the United States
Committee Sports for Is-
rael to a spot on its com-

Under the leadership of
Dr. Israel Peled, mayor of

cabi Union has granted the
United States Committee
Sports for Israel permanent
affiliation to the World
Maccabi Union.
The United States Com-
mittee is inviting all inter-
ested American-Jewish
sports groups to participate
in planning the 10th games,
slated for July 1977.
Some 26 countries are
competing here in 17 sports
in the Hapoel Gemes, which
unlike the Maccabiah
Games is open to athletes
who are not Jewish.

To give the reader an
idea as to the type of com-
petitor who appears here
for these Hapoel Games, I
can only point out that in
1971, for the ninth games,
such Olympic champions
as Kipchoge Keino, John
Akii-Bua, Mike Burton,
Rodney Pattison, Sandra
Neilson, Charlie Green,
Julius Sang and Robert
Ouko, as well as famous
gymnastic groups like the
Malmoflickorna, 011erup,
Njard, Hermes and Elba
made appearances.

Fifty years ago these
games were started by the
Histadrut as labor games in
order to contribute to a bet-
ter international under-
standing through sports.
Over the years the labor
sports program has di-
minished in many countries
and is almost nonexistent in
U.S. so that we send
the best athletes from
the States rather than try
to locate labor-affiliated
sports people. The same
holds true for many of the

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