‘Kasztner acted like a petty politician’

‘Kasztner acted like a petty politician’

While Reszò Kasztner was not a collaborator, he certainly was not a hero either (cover story, Oct. 16). Unlike Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler, he tended to select the Jews that he rescued: either relatives or Jews from his hometown or Jews who were politically allied with him. Indeed, the selection process by which Jews were chosen to go on the trains to Switzerland and freedom resembled the process of political patronage.

Sadly, as a Hungarian Jewish leader, he had the opportunity to advocate for prisoner-of- war status for Hannah Senesh. He failed to do so.

In short, at a time when the Hungarian Jewish community needed extraordinary leadership, Kasztner acted like a petty politician serving his perceived constituency, not the entire Jewish community of Hungary.