On November 26, 70 years after the rounding up and deportation of over 500 Jewish Norwegians to Auschwitz, the Norwegian Police Service issued an apology for taking part in the murder of Jews. The request for forgiveness came from Norwegian Police Chieff Odd Reidar Humlegaard.
On the same date in 1942, Norwegian police herded 532 Jewish citizens aboard the German ship SS Donau en route to Auschwitz.
This year, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg issued a formal apology for the Norwegian government’s role in deporting Jews to Auschwitz.
Only a few dozen of the 770 Jews deported from Nazi-occupied Norway survived the war. Hitler invaded Norway on April 9, 1940 and remained in the country until May 1945.
Google introduced a new online historical collection of digitized material, highlighting several Jewish themes, events and institutional partners in its first wave of exhibits.
At least 13 of the Google Cultural Institute’s inaugural collection of 42 featured exhibits consist of materials from the Anne Frank House, the Polish History Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Foundation France Israel and Yad Vashem.
Highlighted exhibits announced Wednesday include the testimony of Jan Karski, the World War II Polish resistance hero who tried to convince Allied leaders of the horrors of the Holocaust; as well as the saga of Edek Galinski & Mala Zimetbaum, the couple who unsuccessfully attempted to escape Auschwitz.
Visitors to Google’s new online multimedia museum can also see the last known photograph taken of Anne Frank, and browse featured historical events that include the Nuremberg Trials, the 1948 Arab-Israel War and the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in Atlanta.
The new resource comes one year after Google published the Dead Sea Scrolls online, the result of a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority.
(JTA) — An Estonian gas company apologized for using a photo of Auschwitz in its advertising.
The website of GasTerm Eesti on Aug. 23 published a photograph of the front gate of the Nazi death camp with the famous inscription “Arbeit macht frei,” or “work makes you free.” The caption read “Gas heating — flexible, convenient, and effective.”
The next day the photo was removed from the site and an apology was posted.
Company director Sven Linros said, according to DzD.ee portal, “Hitler killed himself because he got a gas bill … a lot of people laugh at this, but I do not. I visited Auschwitz with dread. I feel sorry for the victims and their families. The picture was intended for a narrow group of people. We wanted to clarify that the CH4 gas is not toxic and can be used to heat buildings even those with such a sad history.”
Auschwitz photos have been used before in ads. In January, a gym in Dubai used an image from the camp with the tag line “Kiss your calories goodbye.”
The Iran threat does not scare Rabbi Dov Lior. The rabbi of Kiryat Arba/Hebron believes that it is forbidden, and there is actually no reason to leave Israel because of a life-threatening situation.
In a halachic response made public in the B’sheva newspaper, Rabbi Lior wrote that “it is clear that the goyim are always plotting and have always been plotting . . . You can go by Auschwitz and see that in the diaspora it’s not safer.”
According to Rabbi Lior, “There’s no justification in running away from Eretz Yisrael because of something like this. We firmly believe that “Hashem will not forsake His nation or abandon His heritage.”
“We believe that the Jewish nation . . . will be saved in any case,” Rabbi Lior stated. “We have a Divine promise about our nation’s existence and, therefore, we don’t have to be concerned about such things.”
French Olympic swimmer Fabien Gilot said the Hebrew tattoo on his left arm is a tribute to his late grandmother’s husband, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz.
Gilot, who is not Jewish, said the tattoo is dedicated to his family and honors Max Goldschmidt, who has been a large influence in the Olympic champion’s life. The tattoo says “I’m nothing without them.”
He revealed the tattoo, which is on the inside of his left arm, after exiting the pool following his team’s gold medal-winning performance this week in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in London. It created a stir in Israel and around the world.
The swimmer has previously discussed his tattoos in the French media, claiming “they all have a meaning for me.” He noted that “I have the Olympic rings, a sentence in Hebrew that means ‘I am nothing without them’ for my family and three stars — one for each of my brothers.”
An adviser to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas visited Auschwitz on Friday.
Ziad al-Bandak, a Christian who advises Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Christian affairs, visited prisoner blocs, gas chambers and a crematorium in the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Poland, The Associated Press reported.
He visited at the invitation of a private Polish foundation that promotes tolerance.
In 2007, the Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors to Poland made a joint visit to the memorial, according to the Huffington Post.
Al-Bandak, who came at the invitation of a private Polish foundation promoting tolerance, laid flowers at the Death Wall in Auschwitz, where Polish resistance fighters were summarily executed and placed a light at the monument to the camp’s victims.
Samuel Wurzelbacher aka “Joe the Plumber” is in hot water (which, professionally speaking, he should be able to repair) over his comments blaming the Holocaust on gun control.
Joe is the Republican nominee in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District.
Barring an unexpected endorsement from Yad VaShem, it doesn’t look like Joe will carry the day in November. According to Ballotpedia.com, Joe beat the other Republican candidate 15,166 to 14,323 (Can you imagine going home to tell your wife and kids you got beat by Joe the Plumber?) – which makes the total number of Republicans who give a hoot in Ohio’s 9th 29,489. On the other side of town, incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur has won 42,902 votes to beat has-been Dennis J. Kucinich (also an incumbent, as Ohio has been downsized by the last census) who received 30,564 votes. Altogether 76,366 Dems wemt out to vote in the 9th.
JTA reports that the National Jewish Democratic Council criticized Wurzelbacher, for claiming in a video released by his campaign that the implementation of gun control prevented Europe’s Jews from fighting back against the Nazis.
“In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated,” Wurzelbacher says in the video (see enclosed).
In response, NJDC President and CEO David Harris said in a news statement, “Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances. For Ohio Republican House candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher to imply that these innocent lives were taken because of gun control laws is simply beyond the pale.”
Wurzelbacher is running against incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur for the seat.
To cite the great Jewish political pundit Groucho Marx (see below): “Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot and look like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you – he really is an idiot.”