Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 13, 2014

Joel Brand

Joel Brand (1906–1964) was a rescue worker, born in Transylvania and raised in Germany, who became known during the Holocaust for his efforts to save Hungary's Jews from deportation to Auschwitz. A leading member of Budapest's Aid and Rescue Committee, which smuggled Jews out of occupied Europe, Brand was approached in April 1944 by Adolf Eichmann, the German SS officer in charge of the deportations. He proposed that Brand broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front and large quantities of other goods. Historians believe the SS intended the deal as cover for peace talks that would exclude the Soviet Union. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted when the British arrested Brand in the Middle East and alerted the media. The failure of the negotiations, and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save the 435,000 Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz, was bitterly debated for decades. Brand said shortly before his death: "An accident of life placed the fate of one million human beings on my shoulders. I eat and sleep and think only of them." (Full article...)

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