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Rabbi in Hungary Arrested for Contact with Pro-nazis; Says He Did It to Help Jews

Dr. Bela Berend, former rabbi of the southern Hungarian town of Szigetvar, has been arrested on the charge of having maintained close contact with the former pro-Nazi Hungarian government and of having caused the deportation of many Jews.

Interviewed in his cell by representatives of the press, the 35-year-old rabbi said that he was in touch with German and Hungarian fascist authorities only because he endeavored to obtain permission for training Hungarian Jewish youth for emigration to Palestine after the war. He emphasized that he was a “zealous Zionist” and stated that during the siege of Budapest he succeeded in smuggling food into the ghetto at the risk of his life.