Author(s): Christopher Hale
"I suppose you know who I am? I was in charge of the actions in Germany and Poland and Czechoslovakia. I am prepared to sell you one million Jews: Goods for blood . . . Blood for goods." These were the chilling words uttered by one of the most notorious Nazi bureaucrats, SS Colonel Adolf Eichmann, to a young Jewish businessman called Joel Brand in the spring of 1944. Brand embarked on a desperate mission to persuade the Allies to barter with Eichmann--and failed. 400,000 Hungarian Jews were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau packed in cattle trains, gassed, and then incinerated. For decades after 1945, many blamed the Allies for callously abandoning a million Hungarian Jews to their fate. Christopher Hale presents a new account of the "Brand Mission" based on evidence in the national archives of Germany, Hungary, Britain and the U.S. Hale reveals that Eichmann's offer formed one part of a monstrous deception designed to outwit the leaders of the last surviving Jewish community in Europe. The deception was more complex and--from the German point of view--more successful than any equivalent operation mounted by the British secret service.