Asara B’Teves is known in Israel also as “Yom Hakadish Haklali”, and is a day which the victims of the Holocaust are commemorated with the recital of Kaddish. When focusing on the attempted rescue efforts during the Holocaust, one of the most controversial sagas is undoubtedly that of the one known as the “Kastner Train”. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Zionist leader, attempted to save a trainload of Jews from the deportations to Auschwitz. Ultimately, through direct negotiations with the Nazis, a train with over 1,600 Jews were saved. In doing so, Kastner did not reveal to the Jewish masses about the impending deportations that were to commence. Had he done so, his train would not have been saved. What was the responsibility of a Jewish leader at the time? To warn the many or to save the few? Was his identity as a secular Zionist a catalyst for his actions? And the ultimate question which perhaps might never be answered: Was he a hero or a villain?
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