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Kasztner's Train: The True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The heroic story of the “Hungarian Oscar Schindler” who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis, only to be accused of collaboration and assassinated in Israel twelve years after WWII ended.

Oscar Schindler’s and Raoul Wallenberg’s efforts to save people from Nazi extinction are legendary; Rezso Kasztner, by contrast, is practically u
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Hardcover, 464 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Walker & Company (first published October 30th 2007)
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Chrissie
Aug 21, 2012 Chrissie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lynne
Oh my, there are too many details. Rather than clarifying, they confuse. I actually want to quit this.... How much more can I take? I have read 111 of 466. It is a very bad sign when you start looking at page numbers.

Nope, I am giving this up. I picked up Armenian Golgotha just to check out a bit about the author who survived the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, 1915. This is also a book of non-fiction. Now this I cannot put down. Non-fiction does not have to be dry and confusing as I found "Kasztne
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K
Never having read Perfidy (I know, shame on me), I first learned about Kasztner when I read The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust. My curiosity was aroused. What was up with this guy? Was he a hero? A villain? So when I noticed this book in a secondhand bookstore, I couldn't resist. Given its length, I was hoping it would shed some light on this complicated story.

Unfortunately, the amount of detail detracted and muddied the picture for me rather than clarifying things. The book giv
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Derrel Schnurr
The man and his story are quite remarkable, and it's good to see the vindication this book attempts to give him. The fault of this book is entirely the author's. She can't seem to get a grasp on what kind of book she is trying to write. A good portion of the book is a very dry, fact, fact, fact reiteration of what happened. Then, every so often, an awkward page or paragraph appears which reads like a novelization of events. The rest of the pages are filled with off-topic stories of atrocity whic ...more
Sarah Finch
I had not heard of Reszo Kasztner prior to buying this book. Porter touts him on the cover as a hero and on the jacket as another Oskar Schindler, and tells his story straightforwardly in a manner devoid of nuance. And this story requires nuance as well as reflection. Kasztner was a Hungarian Jew who worked to save over a thousand Jews in Budapest and other areas of Nazi-occupied Hungary, and in the process worked closely with SS officers like Kurt Becher to the point where he went to nightclubs ...more
Barb
If you have an interest in learning about the Holocaust and those that did try to do something about it, this book will keep your interest from beginning to end. Even though the subject material is terribly sad, I loved this book.
Chris
The story of Kasztner is very interesting. His dealings with Eichmann and Becher to save Jews, ultimately became his undoing when he became a victim of the worst forms of intellectualism: the post hoc assertion of abstract principles into an irrational context. The moral dilemma faced by Kasztner was complex; his treatment in post-war Israel was simplistic.

This work had its moments of clarity, but on the whole was badly in need of an edit. I almost quit reading it because at least half of it rea
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Garryvivianne
Anything related to the Holocaust is terribly sad. This poor man, a Hungarian Jew, who always knew that once the Germans invaded other parts of the country, they would do the same to them. However,most Jews there refused to believe it. Once all the atrocities started, he & a handful of people started trying to intervene with the Germans to save as many people as they could. Amazing all the ways, all the trickery (on both parts-Jews & Germans) to "haggle" for lives. He got 2 trains to go ...more
Bobbi
A fascinating look at Hungary after the Germans invaded in 1944. A lot of it will be familiar if you've read The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. Unfortunately, Porter tried to include too many details, especially during the first part, into the book. It got very tedious and detracted from the main story. Hungary's Jews were spared for several years until the Nazis got word that Horthy was investigating an ending of hostilities with the Allies. Germany also knew the end was close for them and ...more
JulieLaLa
The way this book was written wasn't very good; it was difficult to follow the who/what/when of the narrative, so I felt sort of lost throughout the reading, except when we finally got closer to the end of the war and thus to the end of the story. I was shocked by the treatment of the Holocaust survivors by their fellow Jews when the war ended and many of them (survivors) moved to Israel. Rezso Kasztner's treatment was also deplorable.
Despite the not-great story-telling, this book is still worth
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Susan
True story and very interesting. It seemed very technical with lots of details.
Stephanie Ludwig
This book was incredibly interesting and presented the holocaust from an entirely different point of view. It was very interesting to me to read about Budapest during the Nazi occupation because we have visited there twice.

The book is a little text-booky and hard to get into, but is one of those books that I truly loved by the time that i finished it.
Cathy
May 08, 2010 Cathy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other Hungarians and anyone interested in the Holocaust in general
Recommended to Cathy by: Malcom Perry, Vancouver Sun
I saw a write up about this book in the Vancouver Sun by Malcolm Perry. It's the story of 1,684 Hungarian Jews that escaped the Nazi Holocaust in 1944. The escape was negotiated by Rezso Kasztner with Adolf Eichmann. I think this book may have been made into a movie. The author Anna Porter, left Hungary in 1956 and became Key Porter's publisher in 1969.
Ciara
'Conflicted' is the one word I can say I feel about the Kasztner question.
As for the way it was written I feel Porter was very biased (in favor of Kasztner) throughout the book. It makes you feel obliged to read other accounts to form a full picture.
I'm still processing my thoughts on it all.
Sharon Fritz

More than I ever knew about Hungarian Jews during World War II. This is the story of one man's efforts to save the Jews of Hungary. Very disturbing, enlightening, sad & informative at the same time. I had a hard time putting it down.
Stephen
Stephen marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
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Anna (Szigethy) Porter began her Canadian publishing career in 1969 at McClelland & Stewart (M&S) as editorial coordinator, under Jack McClelland’s directorship. Genuinely impressed with Porter’s exceptional editorial and organizational skills, McClelland quickly promoted her to executive director in 1970 and editorial director in 1974. Porter eventually rose to become editor-in-chief, as ...more
More about Anna Porter...
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