Joel Brand

Joel Brand (25 April 1906 – 13 July 1964) was a sailor and odd-job man, originally from Transylvania but raised in Germany, who became known for his efforts during the Holocaust to save the Hungarian-Jewish community from deportation to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. He is remembered in particular for his negotiations with the German Schutzstaffel (SS) officer, Adolf Eichmann, to exchange one million Jews for trucks and other goods, a deal the Nazis proposed and called "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods").

Brand was a member in the 1940s of the Hungarian Aid and Rescue Committee, an organization of Zionists who helped Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe escape to the relative safety of Hungary, before the German invasion of that country on 19 March 1944. Shortly after the invasion, Brand was summoned to a meeting with Eichmann, who had arrived in Budapest to oversee the deportation of the Jewish community. Eichmann asked Brand to help broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would release up to one million Jews in exchange for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front, and large quantities of soap, tea and coffee.

Nothing came of the proposal, described by The Times as one of the most loathsome stories of the war. Historians believe the Germans intended it to serve as a cover for high-ranking Nazi officers, including Heinrich Himmler, to negotiate a peace deal with the Western Allies that would exclude the Soviet Union, and perhaps Adolf Hitler himself. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted by the Jewish Agency for Israel and a suspicious British government. The British arrested Brand in Turkey, where he had gone to inform them of Eichmann's offer, then leaked the story to the BBC, which broadcast it on 19 July 1944.

The actions of the British government and the Jewish Agency – and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save the 435,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz between May and July 1944 – have been the subject of bitter debate ever since. Hungarian Holocaust survivors have argued that the failure to act on Eichmann's offer was an unforgivable betrayal. Brand told a court in Jerusalem in 1953: "Rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse, I have cursed Jewry's official leaders ever since. All these things shall haunt me until my dying day. It is much more than a man can bear."

Read more about Joel BrandAftermath

Other articles related to "joel brand, brand":

Judaism In Hungary - The Holocaust - Joel Brand
... Joel Brand (April 25, 1906 – July 13, 1964) was a Hungarian Jew known for his role during the Holocaust in trying to save the Hungarian-Jewish community from deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp ... conspiracies and card-playing circles, Brand teamed up with fellow Zionists in Budapest to form the Aid and Rescue Committee, a group that helped Jewish ... Brand arrived to Palestine to try to negotiate with the British a way to save much of Hungary's Jews, but was arrested and jailed under still unexplained circumstances ...
Joel Brand - Aftermath
... In Budapest, the Vaada waited anxiously for Brand's return ... On 27 May, Hansi Brand was arrested and beaten by the Hungarian Arrow Cross, though she testified at Eichmann's trial that she withstood it and gave them no information ... Brand's failure to return to Budapest meant the Vaada was thrown back on its own resources, bitter about the lack of help from the outside world, and in particular from Jews living in safe countries ...

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