Joel Brand, Leading Witness at Eichmann Trial, Dead; Was 58

Joel Brand, a Jewish journalist who was selected by Adolf Eichmann as an emissary in the bizarre and abortive Nazi offer to the Allies to exchange trucks for doomed Jews, died today in a hospital at Bad Kissengen after a heart attack. He was 58. He had testified on his unusual mission in the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961 and later in other trials involving the destruction by the Nazis of Hungarian Jewry. He was an Israeli citizen at his death.

According to Brand’s account, Eichmann chose him to convey an offer to the Allies of a proposed trade of 1,000,000 Hungarian Jews for 10,000 trucks which the Nazis needed in the final months of the war as the Red Army swept toward Hungary. Brand was arrested by the British Military command in Aleppo and kept in custody for some four months.

Brand had been co-president of the Palestine office and of Keren Hayesod in Budapest and an organizer of the Jewish Rescue Committee in that city, organized to try to save Hungarian Jews.

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