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::Joel Brand

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Joel Brand
photograph
Born
Naszód, Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), Austria-Hungary, now Năsăud, Romania<ref name=birthplace/>
Died
Bad Kissingen, Germany<ref name=NYTobit/>
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Tel Aviv, Israel
Known for "Blood for goods" proposal
Spouse(s) Haynalka "Hansi" Brand (née Hartmann)

Joel Brand (25 April 1906 – 13 July 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, after the German invasion of that country in March 1944.<ref name=Breitman1992p177>Breitman and Aronson 1992, p. 177.</ref>

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 Schutzstaffel (SS) officer in charge of the deportations. Eichmann 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 tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of such deals between Nazi and Jewish leaders; Eichmann called it "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods").<ref name=Breitman1992p177/>

Nothing came of the proposal, which the London Times called one of the most loathsome stories of the war. Historians believe that the SS, including its commander, Heinrich Himmler, intended the negotiations as cover for peace talks with the Western Allies that would exclude the Soviet Union and perhaps even Adolf Hitler. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted by the British government. They arrested Brand in Aleppo (then under British control), where he had gone to propose Eichmann's offer to the Jewish Agency, and put an end to it by leaking details to the media.<ref>"A Monstrous 'Offer,'" The Times, 20 July 1944; Bauer 1994, pp. 167–168.</ref>

The failure of the proposal, and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save the 435,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz between May and July 1944, became the subject of bitter debate for many years. In 1961 Life magazine called Brand "a man who lives in the shadows with a broken heart."<ref name=Golden1961/> He told an interviewer shortly before his death in 1964: "An accident of life placed the fate of one million human beings on my shoulders. I eat and sleep and think only of them."<ref name=NYTobit>"Joel Brand, 58, Hungarian Jew In Eichmann's Truck Deal, Dies", New York Times, 15 July 1964.</ref>


Joel Brand sections
Intro  Background  March \u2013 May 1944  May \u2013 October 1944  Later life  Death  Sources  Further reading  

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Brand::bauer    Eichmann::jewish    British::adolf    Kasztner::budapest    People::hansi    Would::sessions

Joel Brand
photograph
Born
Naszód, Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), Austria-Hungary, now Năsăud, Romania<ref name=birthplace/>
Died
Bad Kissingen, Germany<ref name=NYTobit/>
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Tel Aviv, Israel
Known for "Blood for goods" proposal
Spouse(s) Haynalka "Hansi" Brand (née Hartmann)

Joel Brand (25 April 1906 – 13 July 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, after the German invasion of that country in March 1944.<ref name=Breitman1992p177>Breitman and Aronson 1992, p. 177.</ref>

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 Schutzstaffel (SS) officer in charge of the deportations. Eichmann 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 tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of such deals between Nazi and Jewish leaders; Eichmann called it "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods").<ref name=Breitman1992p177/>

Nothing came of the proposal, which the London Times called one of the most loathsome stories of the war. Historians believe that the SS, including its commander, Heinrich Himmler, intended the negotiations as cover for peace talks with the Western Allies that would exclude the Soviet Union and perhaps even Adolf Hitler. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted by the British government. They arrested Brand in Aleppo (then under British control), where he had gone to propose Eichmann's offer to the Jewish Agency, and put an end to it by leaking details to the media.<ref>"A Monstrous 'Offer,'" The Times, 20 July 1944; Bauer 1994, pp. 167–168.</ref>

The failure of the proposal, and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save the 435,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz between May and July 1944, became the subject of bitter debate for many years. In 1961 Life magazine called Brand "a man who lives in the shadows with a broken heart."<ref name=Golden1961/> He told an interviewer shortly before his death in 1964: "An accident of life placed the fate of one million human beings on my shoulders. I eat and sleep and think only of them."<ref name=NYTobit>"Joel Brand, 58, Hungarian Jew In Eichmann's Truck Deal, Dies", New York Times, 15 July 1964.</ref>


Joel Brand sections
Intro  Background  March \u2013 May 1944  May \u2013 October 1944  Later life  Death  Sources  Further reading  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Background
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