Killing Kasztner

Killing Kasztner

USA, 2008, 120 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Documentary, Religion, War
Language: English, Hebrew

Wednesday, April 27th at 7pm at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax
Director Gaylen Ross In-Person for a post-film talk back!
In partnership with Holocaust Awareness Institute at University of Denver's Center for Judaic Studies

Digital presentation - Israel’s most inflammatory political trial and assassination of the 1950s, of Rezso Kasztner, including the first chilling interview with his murderer....

How much should you negotiate with the enemy? In Israel, the debate over that question evoked fury to the point of assassination. Such was the case of Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew who tried to rescue the last million Jews of Europe by negotiating face to face with Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann. Some people considered Kasztner a hero for his eventual heart stopping rescue of almost 1700 Jews on a train to safety in Switzerland, in what became known as “Kasztner’s train.” Yet later this extraordinary act was cast as an act of betrayal.

After Kasztner moved to Israel, many of his new countrymen accused him of collaborating with the enemy. He fought a vicious libel battle in a trial that portrayed him as “the Man who Sold his Soul to the Devil,” and was ultimately assassinated in Tel Aviv in 1957. His only daughter Zsuzsi grew up after her father’s murder, a child isolated and despised for his alleged crimes. In the world’s disavowal of the man, his daughter cries, “they murder him over and over again.”

The film follows Kasztner’s family and survivors; plagued by a legacy they are determined to change. And after 50 years the assassin Ze’ev Eckstein breaks his silence, revealing step by step the events and passions that transformed a young man into an agent of politics and revenge.

Part real time investigation, part historical journey the filmmaker unearths the Kasztner story and its ramifications for the survivors, his family, and his country, exploring the very nature of history itself: who writes it, how it is remembered, and what is at stake for the present, and future.



The Holocaust Awareness Institute (HAI) at the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies honors the lessons of the Holocaust through education and action on a university campus dedicated to the public good. Each year, we organize programs like this one to teach people about the Holocaust, to spark reflection, and to inspire socially-responsible choices for the future. Our new Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site follows in this model and transforms memory into social consciousness and action at a space dedicated to learning, intercultural dialogue and social justice initiatives.

DIRECTOR: Gaylen Ross

Official Film Website

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