Holocaust Victims Accuse
Published in 1977 by
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EACH GENERATION AND ITS THIEVES
Rabbi Yehoshua of Sachnin said, in the name of Rabbi Levi: “We learn that the Almighty showed Moses each generation and its 1 each generation and its kings, each generation and its wise men, each generation and its leaders.. .each generation and its benefactors, each generation and its thieves.. .(Vayikra Rabba Emor).
The angel of death lurks everywhere; he abounds not only with thou sands of eyes, but also with thousands of messengers who help him to carry out his plans. With 9atanic craftiness he selects, as his most helpful workers, persons whose task is actually to rescue and to guard the living; and they turn, in his hand, into instruments which indirectly cause destruction.
Sali Mayer — — who was head of the Zionist Histadrut, the Board of Communities, and of the Joint Distribution Committee in Switzerland —— bears an ethical responsibility together with his friends in the Zionist echelons, for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews, when he easily had at his disposal the financial means of saving them. He is the man who thwarted tremendous rescue plans, which proved themselves when carried out by others. It was not hard—heartedness or cruelty which caused Sali Mayer to neglect his brethren. What he did, or rather, what he didn’t do, was the fruit of a system which was followed by all of the Zionist leaders of the holocaust period; which was:
1) The diaspora of Eastern Europe was doomed to perish anyway.
2) The blood of the millions of murdered Jews would serve as oil for the wheels of the future Jewish state which would arise at the end of the war, and this would be our contribution to the war effort of the allies. At the same time, it was a card which we would be able to wave at the peace conference when demanding an independent state.
3) Therefore, as long as the interests of the allied countries clash with efforts to rescue multitudes of Jews, it is necessary to favor the interests of the allies.
4) Even in cases where such a contradiction does not exist, monies at the disposal of world Jewry should be directed to the channels of a national home in Eretz Yisroel. Funds left over for rescuing should be used to bring groups of “chalutzim” and Zionist activists from the ghettoes —— only to Eretz Yisroel, or for supporting underground groups who were aiding the war effort —— and thereby cultivate a feeling of national honor.
Only in the light (or, rather, in the darkness) of these basic principles, are we able to find a logical explanation for the way in which Sali Mayer and his associates in Switzerland handled the matters of rescuing. We must be aware that Switzerland was the only neutral state near the heart of the war zone in Europe. In Switzerland, there also existed a well organized Jewish community, including representatives of all the movements of world Jewry. Switzerland attracted spies and served as a convenient meeting place with Nazi enemy agents, who were equipped with authorization to bargain over the destiny of the remaining Jews.. The Red Cross also had its headquarters in Switzerland. It would not be an exaggeration to state that Sali Mayer, in his official position and residence, was located on the ideal front for planning and performing rescue activities. However, to the dismay of his persecuted brethren, he took advantage of his office in order to bring about their calamity.
Much has been said, and is yet to be said, in these chapters about the lofty accomplishments of Ray Michael Ber Weissmandel, may his memory be blessed. In his vision, his daring, his cleverness and devotion, he prepared the ground for freeing more than one million Jews from the den of the Nazi beasts of prey. Sali Mayer was his antagonist, his evil “opposite number” who, apathetically, coldly, and mercilessly, sabotaged all of the well-thought out plans of Ray Weissmandel. Do not be surprised that the hand of this wicked man was overpowering, for this was a struggle between two unequal forces: On the one hand, a lone rabbi, in the area of the Nazi conquest, lacking all means, except for his pure heart and brain; and on the other hand, the director of powerful organizations, which had possibilities that were practically unlimited, both financially and in their freedom of movement and decision. The harsh retribution which was to befall European Jewry during the holocaust period was brought about through the actions of the unrighteous such as Sali Mayer.
HE OBSTRUCTED MY WAYS WITH STONES
The Jewish public knows more or less about the negotiations which took place during 1943—44 in regard to rescuing Hungarian Jewry by payments of money and merchandise. This bargaining reached a dead end and concluded with the destruction of Hungarian Jewry, while the Zionist leadership purposely foiled the mission of Joel Brand. However, there are few who know that in 1941, when the Nazis first planned to deport the Slovakian Jews for extermination in Poland, it was Solomon Gross, of blessed memory, Ray Weissmandel’s associate, who approached Wisliceny, Nazi representative in Pressburg, about the possibility of altering the decree of death through bribery. The answer of the Nazi representatives, after being advised by their superiors, was positive. They were willing to send the Jews to countries overseas (except Palestine, as Hitler had promised the Mufti), and the ransom and transferring expenses would be paid by world Jewry. This information was immediately sent by special messenger to the representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Joint, and their answer was negative: for they would not enter into negotiations over any land of immigration other than Eretz Yisroel. During Chanukah, 1941, Wisliceny informed Gross that the Nazis were about to deport the Jews of Slovakia if the bargaining did not prove fruitful. During Pesach, 1942, the expulsion began, and in Tammuz, 1942, Wisliceny and Hochberg reached an agreement with Ray Weissmandel to stop the expulsion of Slovakian Jewry for the sum of $50,000. With payment of the first half, the transports would cease over a period of seven weeks until payment of the second half. Then the decree would be completely annulled, and an additional payment would be made as a bribe to the rulers of the Slovakian government.
The Germans stipulated that the money must come from abroad in foreign currency. This is not the place to describe the great efforts with which the religious community leaders in Pressburg succeeded in gathering the $25,000 in cash, and in giving it to the Germans, using false proofs that it had arrived from other countries. The deportations ceased, and Slovakian Jewry had relief —— after 60,000 had already been killed, because of the refusal of the Zionist organizations in Switzerland to answer the request before the expulsions began.
Sali Mayer’s response, in the name of the Zionist organizations, was as follows:
1) The sum of $50,000 is a huge sum for a small state such as Slovakia, and the budget which Slovakia received last year from the Joint was only several thousand dollars.
2) The stories you are telling, that this year you need more money, and the letters that you have gathered from the Polish refugees, are ex aggerated tales. For this is the way of “Ost—Juden” (Eastern European Jews), who always demand money.
3) There is presently no legal possibility to send even one penny, because our organization’s money was contributed from America, and there is. a law there forbidding the sending of money to enemy coun tries. We have no desire to bypass laws.
If anybody would want to believe that perhaps Ray Weissmandel was just dreaming about the possibility of red prisoners from the Nazis, and therefore the refusal from Switzerland to provide money did not actually spoil the situation (just as a positive answer would not have brought about a rescue), may the following be introduced to refute those who are so sure: When, with the help of the religious offices in Budapest, and superhuman efforts, the relief committee of Ray Weissmandel in Slovakia succeeded in making the final payment, the 30,000 Jews who remained in Slovakia were not harmed for more than two years, until just before Rosh Hashanah, 1944. Let us not forget that the sum of $50,000, which saved 30,000 Jews for a period of two years, is approximately the salary which an executive in the Joint receives in only one year. It was not the lack of money which prevented Sali Mayer from passing the sum on to its destination, but rather lack of will and desire for saving Jewish souls. Ray Weissmandel expresses concretely the feelings of his heart:
“Why should they give this money, which they need now so badly, to buy a new lamb or a year old goat, and to build a new corral, for animals from the old generation — — which is not theirs?”
Meanwhile, refugees arrived from Poland, bringing hair-raising reports about the crematoria. The cessation of the transports — which proved that it was indeed possible to annual decrees by bribery — encouraged Ray Weissmandel and his associates to open negotiations to rescue the Jews of all Europe. Special messengers were sent bearing letters to Switzerland. Sali Mayer’s response once again was “NO!“ Two years ago (1960), Ray Weissmandel’s accusation received a surprising confirmation from an unexpected source. In the German weekly, “Zi Und Ehr”, which appears in Switzerland, a series of articles was published about efforts to rescue European Jewry by bargaining with the Nazis. This series of articles, the work of several people who directly handled the negotiations, was called, “Today I May Already Speak”. Read in much suspense, it was accompanied by pictures and 5 documents on what was happening. Included in the articles was material involving the Swiss gentile, Kurt Trimphy, who was sent to Germany numerous times by relief activists of Swiss religious Jewry to release groups of Jews or individuals from the crematoria the Swiss consul, one of the righteous people of the nations, Charles Lunz, who protected 60,000 Jews in Budapest and managed to save them from certain genocide;, the Jew, Josef Mandel, who, together with George Mantello and the con general of San Salvador in Switzerland, provided many Jews with Salvadorian passports. They worked non—stop from 1941 until the end of the war to save individuals from extermination. As an underlying theme, the name of Sali Mayer is disgraced throughout these entire chapters He is pointed out as an obstacle through which opportunities to save tens of thousands of Jews were lost. Mr. Mandel, who travelled through all of the occupied countries in the Balkans, arrived in Switzerland in 1941 and related the horrors he had witnessed with his own eyes. Josef Mandel writes:
“The man of highest authority over Jewish matters in Switzerland was the businessman from St. Gallen, Sali Mayer. He was amongst those who doubted the authenticity of my reports. As a German Jew, he refused to believe that an outstandingly cultured nation such as Germany was capable of these crimes. He insisted that my reports were just horror stories and, therefore, he was not enthusiastic about any of the relief plans, which were woven together during this time. Until the end of the war, he was absolutely the most unfit man, in the most important place. Hence, the personality of Sali Mayer became the most tragic figure in the history of our rescue campaigns. Not from a legal standpoint, but rather from an ethical aspect, the guilt of the deaths of many Jews hovers over his name.”
[photo] “The letters you have gathered from the Polish refugees are exaggerated tales”: Sali Mayer, leader of the Joint Distribution Committee in Switzerland.
The first program which Mandel proposed was to send medicines, clothing and food to the occupied nations through the Red Cross. In order to prevent disturbances, it was decided that half of the packages would be distributed amongst the gentile poor. During January and February of .1942, they managed to acquire eight trainloads of medicines for this purpose. The initiators turned to Sali Mayer:
“Sail Mayer did not even want to hear about such a plan. He maintained that the Allies forbade granting any aid, even indirectly, to the Germans. For an entire year, we attempted to begin the aid program, until we reached the conclusion that without Sali Mayer’s (that is, the Joint’s) approval, the program would not materialize. Sail Mayer remained firm in his refusal. So we were forced to give up.” Mandel apparently did not thoroughly understand that Sali Mayer’s refusal stemmed from the approach of the Zionist leadership not to bypass the war rules of the allied countries, and also not to pressure or burden them. This was directly opposed to the way that the Greek and Yugoslavian monarchs and the Polish government in exile behaved for the sake of their peoples (see Chapter 4).
Mayer remained loyal to the Zionist system by hiding the holocaust from the public. Mandel writes of two young people who managed to escape from Auschwitz to Slovakia, and who gave detailed reports on what was happening in Auschwitz, where 1,600,000 Jews were gassed. This information was collected and passed by Ray Weissmandel to Budapest, and from there it was brought by Professor Mantello to Switzerland. Sali Mayer opposed publicizing this report, and Mandel once again did not understand why. If Mandel had been present at the lecture of Yitzchak Greenbaum, chairman of .the rescue committee in Eretz Yisroel during the war, his eyes would probably have opened to comprehend the deeds of the Jewish war criminals. In his speech at Sokolov House on Jan. 1,1964, Yitzchak Greenbaum explained why the leaders of the yishuv hid the story of the holocaust from the public:
“Whoever is building the homeland and is battling for the very existence of the homeland is excused from knowing; for he has another, greater obligation.” At the same time, Greenbaum produced another gem: “It would have been worthwhile to sacrifice another million Jews for the glory of the Warsaw Ghetto revolt.” Indeed, the words are fitting to the speaker, who was the father of the disgusting kapo who, with his own hands, murdered Jews in Auschwitz, and was called by the name, â€˜Fruchtenbaum,” in K. Tzetnik’s book. It is without a doubt that Sali Mayer’s refusal to publicize the German horrors did not stem just from apathy, but rather, from the fundamental approach of the Zionist leadership. Josef Mandel did not respect Mayer’s refusal and he gave Ray Weissmandel’s report to the news agencies in Switzerland, which, in no time, caused a bombshell to burst forth on the pages of all of the world’s newspapers, who published details of what was going on within the confines of Auschwitz. Protest demonstrations were held all over the world. The kings of Europe turned to the Hungarian regent, Horthy, to end the persecution of the Jews in his country. President Roosevelt, whose intelligence service did not need to receive information from Ray Weissmandel about the events in Poland, was forced to break his silence and concealment, notifying Stephen Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress and Zionist organizations in America (a collaborator to the crime of silencing), of his threatened revenge for the war criminals on the day of judgment. The Nazi government was forced to defend itself before stormy world opinion, and it published a strong denial to the rumors of the horrors. The practical result was that in Hungary, the deportations to Auschwitz were stopped. The heads of state in Hungary feared that they might be added to the list of war criminals. The Swiss ambassador in Budapest, Mr. Lunz, writes in his letter of July 20, 1944:
“Recently, Swiss newspapers have arrived here which describe the crimes committed in Hungary towards the Jewish population.
Naturally, in government circles here, there is much complaining that this information was smuggled to neutral states, and from there it found its way to enemy countries. The reaction was, as we can imagine, very strong. In these times everybody is interested in saving his own skin. When it was publicized — — for the eyes of the whole world are turned to the inhuman persecution of the Jews of Hungary — — every government official asked himself if he wouldn’t one day be judged for his actions. The conclusion was that suddenly the expulsions were halted. It is possible to say that thanks to the publicity the holocaust was stopped when it was at its height.”
As we learn of the great salvation that came from publicizing the dimensions of the destruction, we will also be able to appreciate the immensity of the crime of silence. For two years the cry of Ray Weissmandel penetrated and drilled until it broke the dam which the Zionist leaders had placed before it.
EACH GENERATION AND ITS BENEFACTORS
In the next chapter we will tell more about the tragic neglect of Sali Mayer. But according to the rule we have set for ourselves, to conclude each chapter by raising a ray from the light hidden in the darkness of the ghettoes, we will now praise one of those who sanctified the Almighty’s Name, and in whose company it is doubtful if just any man could stand.
Reb Yosef Moshe Haber was a community leader in Kalish, one of the devoted activists of Agudas Yisroel. When many Jews of Kalish were deported to be killed, and only those able to work were detained for labor in repairshops Reb Yosef Moshe Haber was appointed as manager. His job was to keep track of the quantity and quality of the output, and to punish anybody who was unproductive. However, like the foremen of the children of Israel in ancient Egypt, he refused to punish those who were slow workers and the Nazi overseers vented all of their anger on him. His Jewish friends asked him to at least pretend to strike them, but although he knew that his life was at stake, he insisted that by no means did he wish to be included in this category of the evil man who raises his hand to strike his friend. When the Nazis realized this, they nailed his hands to a table. He died from the terrible pains, and remained, until his last breath, the faithful supporter of his community.