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Working Group

“You know that I enjoy the trust of all groups, from the extreme Orthodox all the way to the extreme assimilationists.”

The Working Group or the so-called Shadow Cabinet kept developing from 1942 altogether informally among the staff of The Jewish Council as an official organisation. They decided, within this Jewish, yet actually anti-Jewish institute, to help and rescue whatever could be helped and rescued. In time, they were joined by the Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl who had become the group’s visionary. Their first aim was to get the deportations halted by bribing Slovak and even German officials.

“Gisi Fleischmann was undoubtedly the leading figure in the endeavour. Her personality served as the point of encounter. She had … an ability to lead different people from diverse background, ranging from those altogether assimilated – Dr. Kováč – all the way to the Orthodox Weissmandl. We all felt well with Gisi Fleischmann. First, she was one of the leading Zionists. Second, she had human and leadership qualities that enabled people from different backgrounds, even those Jewish, to sit at the same table and forget about all the vast differences; to openly sit down and work now for the aim that she had in mind: What can we say, what can we improve in these petrifying times?"


“At one point we felt that we did it and the Slovak deportations had been altogether halted; that there was no more danger of deportations. Yet it was by no means certain. At the time, Weissmandl came up with the fantastic idea: just as we had worked on behalf of the rescue of Slovak Jews, why not start developing the so-called Europa Plan, to try...

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“So that they believed me earlier, at one of the meetings I told Wisliceny that I would like to introduce to him someone who genuinely represents all the so called global Jewry and the American Joint. I told him that it is Gisi Fleischmann and I would be grateful if he issued her a permit to come, thus to speak with a person who represents all that...

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“As I have already informed you, the link to Wilhelm was a young man who mastered this hurdle of the job to our satisfaction. I have to emphasise that Wilhelm proved himself well and has firmly held to his promise.

Within the cooperation, Wilhelm now presented the following proposal:

Wilhelm is willing to speak with his supreme boss under whose...

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