Israel Kastner vs. Hannah Szenes: Who was really the hero during the Holocaust?
They were two Hungarian Jews, both of whom aimed to save other Jews. The one who failed is remembered as a heroine, while the one who rescued thousands is still excoriated. The Szenes-Kastner dialectic refuses to die.
Two Jews set out from Budapest: One was Hannah (Anna) Szenes, a native of the city, pioneer and poet, who left at age 18 and immigrated to Mandatory Palestine but returned to her hometown under unusual circumstances during World War II. The other was Israel (Rudolf) Kastner, a native of Cluj in Transylvania − a jurist, journalist and Zionist activist, who only arrived in Budapest...
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