Details of a Nazi offer to trade the lives of the Jews in Hungary for 10,000 trucks to strengthen Hitler’s defenses during the last year of the war were revealed here today by Prime Minister Moshe Sharett in a statement to the press.
The offer was made to the Jewish Agency by a special agent of the Gestapo section in charge of the annihilation of Jews. It was immediately brought to the attention of the United States and Britain–who were the only countries that could supply that many trucks–and was rejected by them. The proposal was presented by the Nazi emissary in Aleppo to Mr. Sharett, who at that time was the head of the political department of the Jewish Agency.
The Jewish Agency, Premier Sharett disclosed in his statement, kept the Nazi “satanic suggestion of goods for blood” secret in an attempt to win time and secure postponement of the threatened deportation of Hungarian Jewry to the gas chambers. At the same time, it alerted world Jewry and the democratic governments to the fate of the Jews in Hungary. Mr. Sharett himself flew to London a few days after he received the Nazi offer and appealed to the Allies to send a paratroop force into Hungary in an attempt to forestall the Nazi plan to deport the Jews to extermination camps.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.