Relatives of one of the most contentious Jewish figures from the Holocaust era are hoping that archives they turned over Sunday will clear the name of the man both praised and vilified for bargaining with the Nazis for the lives of Jews.
Rudolf (Israel) Kasztner was hailed by admirers as a Holocaust hero for saving thousands of Jews. But critics reviled him as a collaborator who "sold his soul." In 1957, after a campaign of vilification, he was assassinated.
In a ceremony on Sunday, Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial and research center, received Kazstner's private archives, a step his family says is a step toward his exoneration.
Kasztner, a Zionist leader in Hungary during World War II, headed the Relief and Rescue Committee, and he negotiated with Nazi officials to rescue Hungarian Jews in exchange for money, goods and military equipment.