The groundbreaking, myth-shattering documentary on the assassination of Rudolph Kasztner, athe man who negotiated face-to-face with notorious Nazi Adolph Eichmann to save Jews from the Holocaust, will finally be released on DVD for the first time later this month. Oskar Schindler (Schindler's List) called Kasztner the bravest man he knew. But to some Jews – most with ulterior poitical and theological motives – Kasztner became the devil incarnate, the man who hadn't rescued them or who hadn't warned them about Auschwitz. Kasztner saved more Jews from the Holocaust than any other Jew. Yet his liberal secular Zionism and the fact that he 'only' saved thousands, not hundreds of thousands, led to his demonization and murder in the new State of Israel.
The DVD contains 3 1/2 hours of bonus material, including new testimony from Kasztner's assassin and from Jews Kasztner saved. The DVD will be released on June 30 – the 70th anniversary of the departure of Kasztner's rescue train from Hungary to (eventually) Switzerland:
Best Documentaries of 2010
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
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KILLING KASZTNER: The Jew Who Dealt with Nazis
2 Disc DVD SPECIAL EDITION – Release Date: June 30, 2014
on Amazon.com and website www.killingkasztner.com
True stories rarely contain a historic mystery, a courtroom drama, a political murder, and a family saga, but all can be found in the contentious story of Rezso Kasztner. In Nazi occupied Hungary, Kasztner, known as the Jewish Schindler, dared to negotiate face to face with the architect of the Final Solution, Adolf Eichmann. While the Nazi killing machine was at its peak – 12,000 a day were dying in Auschwitz – Kasztner secured a rescue train for 1684 Jews from Budapest, and is credited with negotiating for tens of thousands of more lives. Yet, he was accused of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of other Jews for withholding crucial information about the Auschwitz death camp.
Following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and theatrical release in Israel, France, and the United States -- For the first time the critically acclaimed documentary film Killing Kasztner will be available as a special 2 Disc DVD Edition.
The DVD release on June 30th marks the 70th anniversary of the departure of Kasztner’s dramatic rescue train from wartime Budapest.
The film (an expanded version never before seen in the US) with over 3-1/2 hours of new Bonus Features that include:
* First-hand accounts by Kasztner survivors on the train rescue, the concentration camp Bergen Belsen and their liberation to Switzerland
* An historic interview with Kasztner’s colleague, Peretz Revesz, founding member of the Hungarian Help and Rescue Committee (Vaada)
* Commentary by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice and Eichmann Prosecutor Gabriel Bach
* New testimony of Kasztner’s assassin Ze’ev Eckstein
* Presentation on Kasztner by historian Shlomo Aronson at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and panel discussions with historians Nazi War Crimes Prosecutor Eli Rosenbaum, historians Ronald W. Zweig, Dina Porat, and the Kasztner family.
HERO OR TRAITOR
During the last days of the war, Kasztner rode in a limousine with an SS Colonel to halt liquidations in the Theriesenstadt and Mauthausen death camps. Actions like these led Kasztner to first be considered a hero. Then the accusations came that he was instead a traitor -- of not warning Hungarian Jews of Auschwitz. He was called a collaborator in his adopted homeland of Israel, in a libel case that ripped apart the nation and branded him the “Man who Sold his Soul to the Devil. In 1957 he was gunned down at the doorstep of his Tel Aviv home by a right-wing extremist Jew.
Filmmaker Gaylen Ross reopens and chronicles all perspectives of the Kasztner story – what drove his actions, what drove his killer, and the tragic drama of his family and the incredible tale of the Jews he saved.
Most startling is the insight Killing Kasztnerprovides into the mind of Eckstein, the killer, as he offers a step-by-step account of the night he pulled the trigger, and the events in his life that transformed him from a normal young boy into a radicalized extremist. Audiences see the incredible meeting between Eckstein (freed from jail in 1964 with the help of no less than Prime Minister Ben Gurion) and Kasztner’s daughter Zsuzsi. It is the collision of both narratives of the Kasztner story as the daughter confronts her father’s killer.
After receiving the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at the 2009 Boston Jewish Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary of the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival, and critical acclaim at its premiere in the Toronto International Film Festival and a theatrical release in Israel, France, and the United States to sold out houses, this film on DVD with Bonus extras is available for purchase through the website www.killingkasztner.com and Amazon.com beginning June 30th.
Here's the trailer for the orginal release: