I spoke with a Hungarian Holocaust survivor from the Satmar provence Saturday night. He told me about his time in various work and death camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, including a long period of time when he was imprisoned with the the Klausenberger Rebbe, who he said nice things about.
But when I asked him about the Stamer Rebbe, Joel Teitelbaum, he said, "He ran away from his flock."
He talked about how the Satmar Rebbe saved himself and abandoned his followers after spending years working against emigration to Palestine.
Then he told me that his Bnei Akiva Zionist youth group was shut down by the government before the time when the anti-Jewish laws were passed in Hungary, and the halutz who ran it was deported.
Those anti-Jewish laws, meant to mimic the Nuremberg Laws, were passed in 1938. The closing of Bnei Akiva would have taken place in 1936 or 1937.
The survivor's mother was friendly with a police officer, and she asked him why Bnei Akiva had been closed by the government when no other Jewish organization had been targeted. The police officer told her that the Satmar Rebbe, Joel Teitelbaum, had bribed the prefect (governor) to have the halutz deported and Bnei Akiva shut down. Teitelbaum was a very wealthy man at the time.
Teitelbaum – a vituperative anti-Zionist – was saved from the Holocaust by a Zionist-organized rescue that saved more than 1600 other Hungarian Jews from all walks and sectors of Hungary's Jewish community, many of them children who were orphans.
After the war, Teitelbaum blamed Zionists and secular Jews for the Holocaust and gave financial and moral support to the haredi anti-Zionist organization Neturei Karta.
He also refused to thank his Zionist rescuers.