Aid and Rescue Committee

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Blood for goods
Auschwitz entrance.JPG

The Aid and Rescue Committee, or Va'adat Ha-Ezrah ve-ha-Hatzalah be-Budapesht (Vaada for short; name in Hebrew: ועדת העזרה וההצלה בבודפשט) was a small committee of Zionists based in Budapest in 1944-45, who helped Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust during the German occupation of Hungary.[1] The Committee was also known as the Rescue and Relief Committee, and the Budapest Rescue Committee.

The main personalities of the Vaada and the efforts of Jewish rescue in Hungary were Dr. Ottó Komoly, president; Rudolf Kastner, executive vice-president and de facto leader; Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who resided in Hungary; Per Anger, Swedish diplomat who was awarded the "Righteous Among the Nations" title[2]; Samuel Springmann, treasurer; and Joel Brand, who was in charge of tijul, or the underground rescue of Jews.[3] Other members were Hansi Brand (Joel Brand's wife); Moshe Krausz and Eugen Frankl (both Orthodox Jews); and Ernst Szilagyi from the left-wing Hashomer Hatzair.[4]

The Entering of Germans into Hungary[edit]

The Aid and Rescue Committee was founded following the Nazi invasion into Hungary after Hungarian head of state, Miklós Horthy, refused to work and display an accord with Germany. As Hitler sent troops into Hungary to battle their denial of German legitimacy, Hungarian Jews were punished with being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. In hopes of defending themselves from the German occupation, Jewish citizens of Budapest worked with the embassies of neutral countries through being issued provisional Swedish citizenship if they had connections with the country. In doing so, the Swedes were able to negotiate with the Germans and make the agreement to treat the qualified Jews as if they were citizens of the neutral country. The Swedish legation was successful in providing approximately 700 provisional passes to the Jewish in Hungary which protected them from Nazi oppression[5], yet German forces were still able to deport nearly 800,000 Jews from Hungary at the time[6].

Personalities of the Vaada[edit]

Raoul Wallenberg played a major role in the saving of approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the German occupation in 1944[7].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bauer, Yehuda. Jews for Sale: Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945, Yale University Press, 1994, p. 152.
  2. ^ "Raoul Wallenberg". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  3. ^ Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 901
  4. ^ Bauer 1994, p. 153.
  5. ^ "Raoul Wallenberg". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  6. ^ Hevesi, Eugene (1945). "Hungary". The American Jewish Year Book. 47: 423–431. ISSN 0065-8987. JSTOR 23602751.
  7. ^ "IN HONOR OF RAOUL WALLENBERG". International Journal on World Peace. 6 (1): 92. 1989. ISSN 0742-3640. JSTOR 20751329.