An extensive interview with possibly Canada’s foremost Holocaust educator, Robert Krell, a psychiatrist, was conducted in 2021. Krell is unquestionably one of the people that Vrba most respected, deeply liked and trusted. Krell and his wife, Marilyn, were given a guided tour of Vrba’s beloved Prague by Vrba. Krell knew Vrba since the Seventies and he was extensively consulted by Vrba as to what burial arrangements ought to be made upon Vrba’s death.
Touring Prague with Rudolf Vrba.
I Assumed I Had Your Blessing
Recalling meeting Rudolf Vrba in the late 70s after Vrba watched from the wings.
The Real Culprit
Recalling when Vrba was able to identify the Nazi culprit in a War Crimes trial,
on the basis of his voice alone.
“I Got Him…But He Got Me!”
Recalling getting Rudolf Vrba and the historian Sir Martin Gilbert on the same stage.
Raoul Wallenberg and Rudolf Vrba
Discussing the process by which Admiral Horthy ceased permitting Jewish deportations
in response to the Vrba-Wetzler report–after which Wallenberg, who was hired by the
U.S. War Refugee Board, was able to join about ten other diplomats at the time in assisting
Jews in their efforts to leave Hungary.
“He Did Not Suffer Fools Gladly, So One Tried Not To Be a Fool.”
Vrba’s mission, according to Sir Martin Gilbert, made him the foremost saviour of Jews.
“Those Escape Stories are Virtually Beyond Belief.”
The feasibilty of an escape attempt was largely dependent upon where you worked
within the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex.
Europe’s Biggest Fur Store
“This was not just mass murder, it was the biggest robbery of all time.”
Everything Was Permissible
“…obviously not for the Jews. But for the tormentors, the torturers, the Nazi ‘doctors,’
everything was permissible.”
The Authenticity of his Experience and Words…
The Holocaust was about Murder and Robbery
“Robbery was part of a vast operation to reward collaborators. Jewelry, clothes, homes….”
A Private Man and the “Ultimate Jew”
In this clip, Krell discusses the fact that Rudolf kept his family relationships to himself.
When Eye-Witness Observers are Said to be Wrong by the Historians…
“What had gone wrong with the information Rudi had put out? Historians belittled his effort.”
Israel’s Failure to Recognize His Contribution
“What was it like for him to walk the streets of Haifa and not be recognized?
Having probably been the saviour of many of them.”
Why Did Rudolf Vrba Move to Vancouver?
Vrba loved being a university professor and Krell speaks of Vrba’s vast knowledge
of the origins of Jewish names.
His Final Illness and Burial Arrangements. “How Will You Remember Me?”
Vrba wanted to know how his friend, Robert Krell, would remember him.
“He Was Not an Easy Man.”
During his illness, Vrba was able to appear strong for others, even when he was at his most vulnerable.
Rudolf Vrba’s Final Illness and the Changing of Funeral Arrangements
“One thing about Rudi, when he tells you something is off, you don’t argue.”
Our Effect on Others
“Sometimes, something you have done on the spur of the moment, of which you don’t think very much at all, has provided a life path.”
Moments in Time
“Life is not something continuous, it is moments in time.”
Marilyn Krell Remembers
The Friendship Between her Husband Robert and Vrba