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Catastrophe which befell the Jewish people  
 
 
Court report of testimony by Dr. Rudolph (Rezso) Kasztner: Nationwide controversy ensued when the former Hungarian Zionist was accused of collaborating with Nazis during World War II
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February 18 1954
Protocols of the Kazstner Trial, hand-written by the judge on scrap paper, found in the judge's chambers In September 1952, Malchiel Gruenwald published harsh accusations against the spokesman for the Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dr. Israel (Rudolf) Kazstner. According to Gruenwald, Kastner collaborated with the Nazis in Hungary during the Second World War. These accusations prompted the Attorney General at the time, Haim H. Cohen, to file a lawsuit against Gruenwald for slandering a public official. The statement of claim was issued in May 1953, and the actual trial opened on January 1, 1954 at the Jerusalem District Court. Justice Binyamin Halevi, who presided over the case, was initially convinced that the trial would not take long, so he conducted the trial without the assistance of a court clerk or stenographer, and jotted down the proceedings himself. Because paper was being rationed at the time, he made use of whatever scrap paper he could find in the courtroom. The old sheets he used were left over from the time of the British Mandate. The trial did not develop as expected. Gruenwald's lawyer, Shmuel Tamir (who later became Justice Minister), managed to turn the tables and put Kazstner into the role of the defendant, while getting the public deeply involved in the trial. For the first time, the issue of the attitude of Jews in Israel to the Holocaust in Europe was publicly raised. A verdict was handed down on June 22, 1954: Gruenwald was vindicated on the grounds that there was substance to at least some of the serious accusations he had leveled against Kazstner. The Attorney General appealed the verdict, and in January 1957, the appeal was brought to the Supreme Court before a panel of three judges. While the Supreme Court deliberations were still in progress, in March 1957, Kazstner was gunned down by three young men. He died of his wounds nine days later. Ten months after that, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the judgment of the District Court, and cleared Kazstner of most of the charges laid against him.
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National State Archives, ב-27433/7
 
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