"…Rabbi Yoel elected to run a rescue campaign from the safety of Switzerland. His efforts to rescue Jewish children raised by gentiles were restricted to fundraising, and even in that task, he failed abysmally.116 Once again, his conduct stands in stark contrast to that of other rabbis, who returned to their hometowns to lead their surviving flocks or worked relentlessly in the DP camps.117 All the sources describing the rescue activities of the Haredi community during the Holocaust, including archival sources, indicate that compared to other rabbis who survived the Holocaust, Rabbi Yoel’s contribution was negligible in both scope and significance.…"
Above: Rabbi Joel "Yoelish" Teitelbaum, the first Satmar Rebbe
From Menachem Keren-Kratz's "Hast Thou Escaped and Also Taken Possession? The Responses of the Satmar Rebbe – Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum – and his Followers to Criticism of his Conduct During and After the Holocaust," Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, 28:2, 97-120:
…During his stay in the ghetto and later on the [Kasztner rescue] train, Rabbi Yoel hid rather than position himself as leader. He avoided the other passengers, failed to encourage or to comfort them and did not share the precious commodities provided by his followers with them. In Bergen-Belsen,too, despite the preferential treatment accorded him in the camp, he refrained from assuming a leadership role, even among the observant inmates. After his release, Rabbi Yoel elected to run a rescue campaign from the safety of Switzerland. His efforts to rescue Jewish children raised by gentiles were restricted to fundraising, and even in that task, he failed abysmally.116 Once again, his conduct stands in stark contrast to that of other rabbis, who returned to their hometowns to lead their surviving flocks or worked relentlessly in the DP camps.117 All the sources describing the rescue activities of the Haredi community during the Holocaust, including archival sources, indicate that compared to other rabbis who survived the Holocaust, Rabbi Yoel’s contribution was negligible in both scope and significance.118
After the Holocaust, Rabbi Yoel also turned his back on all those who had helped to rescue him. After settling in Palestine in 1946, he refrained from expressing any gratitude to the people and institutions that had been instrumental in his rescue and had endeavored to obtain certificates for him, among them Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog, 119 Agudath Israel leaders Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Levin and Rabbi Moshe Porush 120 and Ha-Mizrahi’s Rabbi Joseph Yitzhak Rotenberg.121 He scathingly attacked the institutions they headed and, unlike other Hasidic Rebbes they helped rescue, refused to make even the slightest symbolic gesture of gratitude. Moreover, he repudiated his benefactors on a personal level, too. As far as we know, Rabbi Yoel never sent any letters of gratitude or appreciation to any of the people or institutions involved in his rescue, or to Eiss and Griffel, who had personally looked after him.
Once settled in the USA, he spurned most of those who sought to assist him there. He scathingly attacked Agudath Israel and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the USA and Canada, whose leaders had headed the Rescue Committee that endeavored to rescue the Hungarian Jews, including him. He deigned to treat Rabbi Elimelekh (Mike) Tress (1909–1967), leader of Tseirei Agudath Israel (the youth division of the Agudah) and Rabbi Abraham Kalmanovich (1891–1964) somewhat more kindly, but then ignored them when he no longer needed their assistance. When asked to testify on Kasztner’s behalf during his trial, Rabbi Yoel, whose inclusion on the Kasztner train was raised during the proceedings, refused.122 Thus, Rabbi Yoel repaid even the man whose name became most closely associated with his rescue from the extermination camps with ingratitude.…
116 Ha-Pardes, Tevet Tashah (January 1948), pp. 8–10; ibid., Sivan Tashah (June 1948), p. 9; ibid., Tishrei Tashat (October 1948), p. 10; Gelbman, Moshian, 9, pp. 122–123.
117 Keren-Kratz, Rabbi Yoel, pp. 222–223 (examples of such cases).
118 Of the thousands of archival documents on the rescue efforts in Hungary, only a few dozen mention Rabbi Yoel’s name, usually only in passing. One such example is the concluding report on the rescue activities in Budapest, dated 1 November 1944, in which Rabbi Yoel’s name is rarely mentioned (Farbstein, Be-Seter Ha-Madrega, pp. 845–850 [document no. 21]); In books on the rescue of the Hungarian Jewry too, Rabbi Yoel is mentioned only as an aside: Hurban un Retung; Zuroff, The Response of Orthodox Jewry; David Kranzler, Thy Brother’s Blood: The Orthodox Jewish Response During the Holocaust (New York: Mesorah Publications, 1987).
119 Gelbman, Moshian, 9, pp. 188–193 (January–March 1945 correspondence between Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog, Agudath Israel and the Zionist immigration department regarding the provision of a certificate for Rabbi Yoel).
120 ibid., 9, pp. 161–171 (Rabbi Yoel’s son-in-law’s account of Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Levin’s efforts).
121 Gelbman, Moshian, 8, pp. 558–559; ibid., 9, pp. 728–729 (letter sent to Ha-Mizrahi’s Rabbi Joseph Yitzhak Rotenberg, formerly a resident of Sighet, concerning a certificate for Rabbi Yoel); Porush, Sharsheret Ha-Dorot Ba-Tequfot Ha-So‘arot [The Chain of Generations in the turbulent eras] (Jerusalem, 2001), 2, p. 415 (document dated 6 June 1945, of a discussion between Rabbi Moshe Porush and a Jewish Agency representative regarding a certificate for Rabbi Yoel).
122 Yediot Ahronot, 14 July 1965, pp. 1, 9; YechiamWeitz, Ha-Ish She-Nirtsah Pa‘amayim: Hayav, Mishpato U-Moto Shel Dr. Israel Kasztner [Murdered Twice: The Life, Trials and Death of Dr. Israel Kasztner] (Jerusalem: Keter, 1995), p. 211.
Keren-Kratz wrote published a long article in Tablet Magazine today without footnotes. Thankfully, the actual paper he wrote has those notes.
Since Tablet didn't answer my request, sent early this morning, to add in the notes or at least mention the sources, I decided to post this small section of Keren-Kratz's paper with the notes so you can see they exist and what his sources are.
The second part of Keren-Kratz's article is due to be published in Tablet tomorrow.