Kasztner's Train - Anna Porter
I only gave this book three stars because it seems to me that the author took too long to actually engage the text in a way that made it read more like the inner story of a complex man in a terrible situation and less like a research report on someone involved in the Holocaust. I would give it 3.5 if that were possible, though, because once Anna Porter sorts out her own feelings on Reszo Kasztner and takes a stand, the text is much more readable and alive. It starts off slowly, but it builds into an informative, engaging book about a man who saved more Jews than Oskar Schindler but who paid a more terrible price to do so.

I think the problem is that we want our "heroes" to be perfect, and Kasztner isn't. What he is, is a man in an unbelievable situation doing the best he can to save the lives of others while daily risking his own, and having to make some very tough decisions along the way. He gets blamed for being a "collaborator," but the truth is, Kasztner was a victim of the Holocaust, too, and he had the courage to try to do something about it, not just to save himself, but to save other people, too.

I first heard of Kasztner from Gaylen Ross's documentary Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt with Nazis, and after having seen the film, I knew I wanted to learn more about the man behind the controversy. Reszo Kasztner was a man of true conviction who followed his heart and did what he could to help. I find it's much easier to assign blame and say, "I would have done this," or "I wouldn't have done that," but unless one has survived a genocide, one can never be sure what one truly would or would not do.

I find Kasztner to be a hero for what he did. Superman doesn't exist and never will. Thank God for people like Kasztner and those who helped him, despite all their own fears and human foibles.

This book isn't a bad place to start for learning about the complex person who was Reszo Kasztner.