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1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 530 
Joel Brand was a Jewish leader of the Relief and Rescue Committee in Hungary. Approached by Adolf Eichmann with an apparently phony deal to exchange the lives of Hungarian Jews for 10,000 Allied trucks, Brand attempted to communicate this offer to the Allies, who rejected it and arrested Brand. Released in 1944, Brand joined the Stern Group in Palestine, where he participated in violent anti-British and anti-Jewish Agency activities. He died in 1964.
Photo: SYddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst
In 1943 France's Vichy government created the Milice, a collaborationist paramilitary organization headed by Joseph Darnand, which sought both to maintain order in France, remold it in the Nazi image, and fight enemies of the Vichy regime. Most of its members, including special groups for women and children, came from the Service d'order légionnaire, a war veterans group dedicated to protecting the Vichy regime. This photograph shows Milice troops marching members of the Resistance into an internment camp on June 2, 1944.
Photo: Keystone/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Jews for Trucks

During the height of the deportations from Hungary in 1944, a German "plan" emerged to ransom Jews for trucks. Even Heinrich Himmler, the primary architect of the "Final Solution," was not averse to ransom. A proposal was introduced to exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks and hundreds of tons of tea, coffee, and soap.

The negotiations, such as they were, included Joel Brand, a Jew; members of the War Refugee Board; and the British Foreign Office. The Allies did not seriously consider the proposal. Not only did they not trust Himmler, but the British thought the release of so many Jews would lead to pressure for their immigration to Palestine, which Britain was trying to limit. The Soviets opposed the plan because the Nazis would have used the trucks against them. During the negotiations, more than 1600 Hungarian Jews (including those pictured) were given their freedom, finding safety in Switzerland.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 June 4, 1944: The Allies liberate Rome.
 June 6, 1944: Allied forces land on the beaches of Normandy, France, in the first phase of the Western Allies' liberation of Europe. When German authorities become aware that news of the Allied invasion is circulating though the Jewish ghetto at Lódz, Poland, a search is mounted for illegal radios. Six Jews are arrested.
 June 6, 1944: All 1800 Jews on the island of Corfu, west of Greece, are arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Auschwitz, where 1600 are gassed and the remaining 200 assigned to forced labor.
 June 6, 1944: A German deportation ship with approximately 260 Canean Jews aboard is sunk off the coast of Crete. Latter-day accounts conflict as to the details: In one version, the ship carried the corpses of Jews murdered by Nazis, who set the ship afloat and sank it to destroy evidence of the crime. In another, the ship was bound for Auschwitz but was torpedoed and sunk by a British submarine. Besides Jewish people, the ship may have carried 300 Italian POWs and 400 Greek civilians.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 530 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.