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THE ATTITUDE OF THE ALLIES (UNITED STATES, BRITAIN AND THE USSR) TO THE MISSION OF JOEL BRAND / יחסי מעצמות הברית (ארה"ב, בריטניה, ברית המועצות) לשליחותו של יואל ברנד

דוד הדר and D. Hadar
Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies / דברי הקונגרס העולמי למדעי היהדות
Vol. ה‎, Volume II, DIVISION II: JEWISH HISTORY IN THE MISHNAH AND TALMUD PERIOD, IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND MODERN TIMES; THE JEWISH LABOUR MOVEMENT; CONTEMPORARY JEWISH HISTORY; THE HOLOCAUST / כרך ב, חטיבה ב: תולדות עם ישראל בתקופת המשנה והתלמוד, בימי הביניים ובעת החדשה; תולדות תנועת העבודה היהודית; יהדות זמננו; השואה‎ (תשכ"ט / 1969), pp. 147-169
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23515480
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE ATTITUDE OF THE ALLIES (UNITED STATES, BRITAIN AND THE USSR) TO THE MISSION OF JOEL BRAND / יחסי מעצמות הברית (ארה"ב, בריטניה, ברית המועצות) לשליחותו של יואל ברנד
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Abstract

It was presumed until recently, on the basis of available documents, that the project known as "Goods for Blood" connected with the celebrated mission of Joel Brand, had failed primarily because of British governmental consideration. The British feared that the mass exodus of the remnants of European Jewry would exert too strong a pressure to open the gates of Palestine, and would thus undermine Britain's pro-Arab policy in the Middle East. The policy of the United States, on the other hand, had generally been considered sympathetic towards the plan in principle. No documents on the attitude of the Soviet Union had been available to us, and it was only known that the British government had consulted with the Soviets before giving its final reply to the proposal to the Jewish Agency Executive. However, the Soviet Union's negative attitude could have been deduced from the nature of the German proposal. This suggested the delivery of ten thousand trucks in return for the liberation of one million Jews, under guarantee that the goods would be used solely on the Eastern Front. Recently, since the publication of new documents from the U.S. State Department, it has become known that the British attitude towards the proposal was entirely negative, and remained motivated by the fear of "what is to be done with a million Jews?". However, the British government considered it supremely important to cooperate with the United States in determining its stand on the proposal, rightly presuming that the U.S. attitude would be favourable. The British therefore suggested that the two governments should jointly inform the German government that, while they were decisively opposed to the main point of the German proposal, i.e., to supply them with strategically important material, they would consider every reasonable possibility of saving a maximum number of Jews by enabling them to leave Nazi-occupied territory. Thus, they would also agree to permit Joel Brand to return to Budapest to deliver a reply in this spirit. The United States government considered the British proposal as a basis for joint agreement over Brand's mission, but decided independently to request Soviet approval for their course of action. At that time, even the U.S. government still had no knowledge of the clause in the German offer, which confined the use of the trucks to the Eastern Front, and the Soviet government was therefore not informed of it. Notwithstanding, the Soviets strongly rejected the whole idea of replying to the German proposal and adamantly opposed any further contact on the matter. However, before the arrival of the Soviet reply, Ira Hirschman was sent to Turkey as the representative of the War Refugee Board to inform Brand before his return to Budapest that the U.S. government would weigh the German proposals carefully. In the meantime, on his way to a meeting with Moshe Sharett, Brand had been arrested in Aleppo by the British and transferred to detention in Cairo. Hirschman therefore went to Egypt and made strong representations to Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State, that Brand should be permitted to leave for Budapest to carry out his mission. Possibly following this intervention, the British government might have agreed to Brand's return to Budapest with the Allied reply that the German proposal was being seriously considered and that an answer would be conveyed shortly through the appropriate channels. However, in the meantine the British government itself had also decided to approach the Soviet government in order to ascertain its opinion on the matter. At the same time Britain informed the U.S. government of the German proposal to confine the use of the trucks to the Eastern Front. The U.S. government thereupon also agreed to bring the matter of the trucks to the attention of the Soviet government, stressing, however, that the entire German proposal was therefore devoid of any serious basis for further discussion.

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