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Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis

Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis

Director:Gaylen Ross
Release Date:2008

Screens May 2 at 3 p.m. the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts in Owings Mills as part of the 2010 Baltimore Jewish Film Festival.

By Bret McCabe | Posted 5/5/2010

Gaylen Ross' complex 2008 documentary explores the story of Rezso Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew who, in 1944, negotiated face-to-face with Adolph Eichmann. That deal put almost 1,700 Jews on a train from Budapest to the safety of Switzerland, which Killing Kasztner claims is one of the biggest rescue of Jews by Jews during the war. The price of that deal, though, is what makes Kasztner such a fascinatingly thorny figure: in the 1950s he was tried in Israel as a Nazi collaborator, and in 1957 he was allegedly shot by Ze'ev Eckstein, who was convicted of the killing. Ross interviews Eckstein on camera, as well as Kasztner's daughter Zsuzsi and granddaughters, including journalist Merav Michaeli, creating a complexly riveting portrait of man whose place in history--hero or traitor?--is still actively debated. While its pretty clear where Ross' allegiances lie, she commendably refuses to offer any clear resolution, leaving you better informed about this controversial figure but, perhaps, still unsure as to how to feel.

E-mail Bret McCabe

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