History

 

The Swiss authorities were surprised with the transport, as the transport was the result of a private initiative.
It all started with the couple Recha and Isaak Sternbuch. From Switzerland they maintained the European arm of the North American “Union of Orthodox Rabbis of United States of America and Canada” and its auxiliary committee “Vaad Ha-Hatzalah”. In mid-October 1944 they met with former Swiss Federal Councilor Jean-Marie Musy, who had succeeded in earlier campaigns in releasing individuals from concentration camps on a commissioned basis. Musy received the funds
to get in touch with the SS. Twice he managed to meet Heinrich Himmler (November 3, 1944 near Breslau, January 21, 1945 in Wildbach), whom Musy, who sympathized with fascist regimes, knew from anti-communist networks.
As a result of the negotiations, 1200 Jews were to be released from concentration camps every week. In return, 5 million Swiss francs were deposited as security in a blocked account. However, it remained with the transport of February 5, 1945, because competing networks within the SS thwarted the project and thereupon Adolf Hitler obviously put an end to the whole thing.
During the disintegration phase of the 3rd Reich, Himmler hoped that the campaign would improve the image of the Western Allies. Musy, too, presumably tended to polish up his battered reputation with a view to the emerging post-war period through his actions.