Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


The messages the Zionists ignored: Rabbi Weissmandel's plea for help
Seán Mac Mathúna

Rudolf Kasztner

Ten Questions to the Zionists from Rabbi Weissmandel

The Holocaust Rescue efforts of Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl and the Bratislava (Slovakia) "Work Group"

THE KASTNER TRIAL - shown at the Jewish Film Festival in 1997

Czech film about Rabbi Weissmandel: Among Blind Fools

The Nizkor Project: Dedicated to the millions of Holocaust victims who suffered and died

Simon Wiesenthal Centre

Shamash: The Jewish Internet Consortium: Holocaust Home Page

The Confession of Adolf Eichmann

Revolt of Warsaw's Jews

 Jews of Hungary website

Hannah Szenes: famous Jewish partisan betrayed by Kastner

Jews not Zionists website

Purchase Pefidy by Ben Hecht


Most important is that which I write about the bombing of the Auschwitz Crematoria and the bridges leading to them. Rabbi Weissmandel (d. 1956)

As noted by the author Lenni Brenner, Jim Allen's "maleficium" was to quote in his play, Perdition, a letter written to Zionist rescue workers in Slovakia by Nathan Schwalb, the movement's agent in Switzerland. After the war, Schwalb's letter was published by Rabbi Michael Dov-Ber Weissmandel in his memoir, Min HaMaitzer ("From the Depths"). Allen had found the letter in Brenner's book, Zionism in the Age of Dictators. Weissmandel is a central witness in the whole Kasztner story as he was later to leave Hungary on the infamous train that left for Switzerland with some 1600 Jews that had been arranged by Kasztner in collaboration with the Nazis.

The following message about bombing concentration camps and railways, was an exhibit in the Kasztner libel case in Israel during the 1950's. It was sent by Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel, an organizer for rescue activities operating in the quisling Nazi state of Slovakia in 1944. Weissmandel put a small saw into a loaf of bread just before he was put on the train that was taking him and thousands of others to the death camp at Auschwitz. Using the saw, he managed to break out of the train and made his escape to the forests of Slovakia where he linked up with partisans. His letter provides shocking and disturbing evidence of how the Zionist leadership ignored the growing evidence of mass murder and crimes against humanity being perpetrated against Europe's Jews.

One of Weissmandel's letters

During the Kasztner case, Menachem Bader of the Jewish Agency was asked 'Did you receive this letter from Rabbi Weissmandel?" He answered: "Letters like this came to us every day". Weissmandel later published the following letter, which is a literal translation of the letter the Jewish Rescue Committee in Czechoslovakia received from the Zionist "Jewish" Agency Executive Offices in Switzerland. This was in reply to the call of the Jewish Rescue Committee for help, with documentary evidence furnished, concerning the fate of millions of Jewish people in Nazi occupied Europe.

"We are writing to remind you of the one factor of which you must never lose sight: that ultimately, the Allies will win the war. After their victory, territorial boundaries will be reshaped as they were after the First World War. Then, the way will be clear for our purpose at this time, with the war drawing to a close, we must do everything in our power to change Eretz Yisrael to Medinat Yisrael and many steps have already been taken in this regard. Therefore, we must turn a deaf ear to the pleas and cries emanating from Eastern Europe. Remember this: all the allies have suffered many losses, and if we also do not offer human sacrifices, how can we gain the right to sit at the conference table when the territorial boundaries are reshaped? Accordingly, it is foolhardy and brazen for us to negotiate in terms of money or supplies in exchange for Jewish lives. How dare we ask of the allied powers to barter money for lives while they are sustaining heavy casualties daily? So, insofar as the masses are concerned: RAK B'DAM TIHJE LANU HAAREZ, (Eretz Yisroel will be ours only by paying with blood), but as far as our immediate circle is concerned, ATEM TAJLU. The messenger bearing this letter will supply you with funds for this purpose".

Weissmandel says that :

After I accustomed myself to the peculiar writing, I trembled when I realized the import of RAK B'DAM TIHJE LANU HAAREZ. But many weeks passed, and I was still confounded by the meaning of ATEM TAJLU. Until one day, it struck me. ATEM TAJLU meant "You escape", for the word "tiyul" (walking trip) was used by them as a euphemistic code for "escape". They meant to say - you fifteen or twenty "party members", escape from Czechoslovakia and save your hides. The price of Eretz Yisroel is the blood of the men and women, hoary sages, and babes in arms - but not YOUR blood! Let us not spoil this plan by giving the Axis powers to save Jewish lives. But for you, comrades, I have enclosed carfare for your escape. What a nightmare! The Zionist agent "diplomat" comes to Czechoslovakia and says 'Now is a very critical time. But comparatively speaking it is not at all critical for you trapped Jews. For there is an emergency of far greater proportions; namely, BINYAN HA-ARETZ (the prize of Medinat Yisrael). Shed your blood cheerfully, for your blood is cheap. But for your blood, the Land (of Israel) will be ours!

But these were no ordinary letters - the one reproduced below from Rabbi Weissmandel, like the one above were from first-hand witnesses of the holocaust. Note how Rabbi Weissmandel asks that the crematoria in Auschwitz be bombed from the air. How it is "sharply visible" - he clearly gave information that he hoped would be passed on to help Allied air crews bomb the murder camps. Also note that he enclosed a map of the camps - where it that today? Weissmandel knew the bombing would delay the work of the Nazis, which is why they spefically asked for the Allies to bomb "persistently" all the roads leading from Eastern Hungary to Poland and the bridges in the neighborhood of Karpatarus. He advised the the Zionist leadership to "Drop all other business to get this done . . . Remember that one day of your idleness kills twelve thousand souls". Did they do this ? The overwhelming evidence suggests that the Zionists ignored this - and other pleas - to save the majority of Jews in Europe from the holocaust, insteading they pursued the policy of building the dream of Zionism - the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

After the war, Rabbi Weissmandel expressed his frustration in The Holocaust Victims Accuse, a book by Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld (Neturei Karta, USA, New York, 1977):

Why didn't they try, from their place of freedom, to break through to us and send us a secret messenger? This question becomes greater when we see that the governments of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which were in free lands, sent secret messengers daily to their loyal people in the occupied countries. And therefore our amazement grows. Why don't the great organizers of Jewry use these messengers if they have no other way? And during all of the years since we developed this method, those in the free countries did not once attempt to send messengers to us - rather, WE had to send them and to pay for them. How many did we send them only for the to return empty-handed - because those over there did not have time to answer ?

In answer to this, Rabbi Shofeld quotes the Zionist leader Yitzhak Greenbaum, who, after the war, stated:

When they asked me, couldn't you give money out of the United Jewish Appeal funds for the rescue of Jews in Europe, I said, 'NO!' and I say again 'NO!' . . . one should resist this wave which pushes the Zionist activities to secondary importance.

Here is the orginal letter from Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel:

May 15th, 1944 - In a cave near Lublin, Poland.

"Sholom and Greetings.

We send you this special message to inform you that yesterday the Germans began the deportation of Jews from Hungary. It is the beginning of deportation of all the Hungarian Jews.

Every day, twelve thousand souls are being taken off. Four deportations of forty-five such train-loads move daily out of Hungary. Within twenty six days all that area will have been deported.

The deported ones go to Auschwitz to be put to death by cyanide gas. A great number are dead on arrival. The Germans allow a few of the strongest to stay alive. Those who are allowed to live are branded with a number burned into their arm and the Star of David burned into their chest.

Most of these privileged ones die within a month. Others take their place.

Those who go directly from the train to the gas chambers to be suffocated are not branded. They are completely consumed in the ovens and leave no evidence behind. These are 95% of each transport.

The dead bodies are burned in specially made ovens. Each oven burns 12 bodies an hour. In February there were 36 ovens burning. We have learned that more have been built.

Information supplied us by a few eyewitnesses reveals that in February there were four disposal buildings. We have learned that more have been built since then.

Formerly, the Germans killed and burned the Jews in the Forest of Birkenwald, near Auschwitz. Now the killing and burning take place in the buildings shown on the enclosed map.

In December, the Germans built special trains to transport the Jews of Hungary to their extermination. This is the schedule of Auschwitz, from yesterday to the end; twelve thousand Jews - men, women and children, old men, infants, healthy and sick ones - are to be suffocated daily and their bones and ashes are to be used to fertilize the German fields.

And you - our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of freedom, and you, ministers of all the kingdom - how do you keep silent in the face of this great murder ? Silent while thousand on thousands, reaching now to six million Jews, were murdered. And silent now while tens of thousands are still being murdered and waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal you are and murderers too you are, because of the cold-bloodedness of the silence in which you watch.

Because you sit with folded arms and you do nothing, though you could stop or delay the murder of Jews at this very hour.

In the name of the blood of the thousands on thousands who have been murdered we beg, we plead, we cry out and demand that you take action, that you do deeds now - at once !

That the Ministers of Kingdoms and all the Lands raise a loud and piercing outcry that must enter the ears of the world, the ears of the German people, the ears of the Hungarian people. Let them cry out a warning to the German murderers. Let them proclaim that they know all that has been done in the past, and that which is still being done. And the Pope, himself, should join in this cry of outrage against the German murderers.

Let this outcry be heard over all the radios and read in all the newspapers of the world, that unless they stop at once the deportations of Hungary's Jews - then will Germany be forever exiled from civilization.

We ask that the crematoria in Auschwitz be bombed from the air. They are sharply visible, as shown on the enclosed map.

Such bombing will delay the work of the German murderers.

What is more important - to bomb persistently all the roads leading from Eastern Hungary to Poland and to bomb persistently the bridges in the neighborhood of Karpatarus. Drop all other business to get this done. Remember that one day of your idleness kills twelve thousand souls.

You, our brothers, sons of Israel, are you insane? Don't you know the Hell around us? For whom are you saving your money?

How is it that all our pleadings affect you less than the whimpering of a beggar standing in your doorway? Murderers! Madmen! Who is it that gives charity? You who toss a few pennies from your safe homes? Or we who give our blood in the depths of Hell?

There is only one thing that may be said in your exoneration - that you do not know the truth. This is possible. The villain does his job so shrewdly that only a few guess the truth. We have told you the truth several times. Is it possible that you believe our murderers more than you believe us? May God open your eyes and give you heart to rescue in these last hours the remainder.

Most important is that which I write about the bombing of the Auschwitz Crematoria and the bridges leading to them.

Such bombing can vitally delay the evil work of our slaughterers. And God who keeps alive the last remnant of Israel will show His mercy for which I pray. I pray as I write out of the sea of tears of the people of Israel. We wait God's help.

One from the Market who witnesses the woes of his people"

(Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel, Exhibit of the Defence, no. 36, State Attorney v. M. Grünwald, District Court, Jerusalem, CC124/53)

© 1999