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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Austria’

For Whom the Bell Tolls? In Austria, For Hitler

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The Austrian government is trying to explain itself out of the embarrassment of having owned a castle that contains a bell with praise for Hitler, whose name is inscribed on the bell that has been rung for 80 years.

The government recently sold the castle, located in a rural farm area, and now the bell’s history has become known.

The castle and bell are located in the small village of Wolfpassing and was occupied by Soviet Red Army soldiers after the downfall of Hitler, but no one said a word about the bell’s praise of Hitler, which is a violation of Austrian law.

Beside Hitler’s name being inscribed on the bell, an inscription calls him “the unifier and Fuehrer of all Germans” who freed Austria “from the yoke of suppression by foreign elements and brought it home into the Great-German Reich.”

for good measure, there is a swastika on the bell, which Austrian officials either have overlooked for decades or simply looked away.

The village mayor claims that the local residents did not know about the bill’s inscription, a story that is a bit hard to swallow.

Now, everyone knows about following the sale of the castle, which could implicate the government for spreading Nazi ideology.

Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said that the government did know about the bell when it sold the castle not aware of the inscription, and the new owner has not said what he plans to do with the bell.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hundreds of Jewish Gravestones Found in Vienna

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Headstones of hundreds of Jewish graves, which were buried to hide them from the Nazis, have been unearthed in Vienna, a discovery of “high historical value,” according to one local Jewish official.

Senior Jewish community official Raimund Fastenbauer told Fox News Wednesday that the significance of the discovery is on scale with that of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Prague, the oldest known graveyard of its kind and one city’s most visited tourist sites.

Some of the graves date back to the 16th century, and after the excavations, up to 800 stones are expected to be found.

Fastenbauer said the few Jews who still were in Vienna in 1943 hid the gravestones from the Nazis but were recently found during renovation of their original small cemetery.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel Demands UN Meet Their Obligations on the Golan

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Following the Syrian Rebel attack on the UN base at Quneitra on Thursday, that left a Philippine and an Indian Observer injured, Austria announced they are pulling out their UN Observers from the Golan mission. The pullout will happen within the month.

The Austrian Observers make up more than a third of the contingent, and have been one of the more important countries in the mission. Japan and Croatia already pulled out their people months ago. The UN is holding an emergency meeting on Friday to find replacement troops. Fiji said they might send troops.

Israel pointed out that, once again, the UN has proven unable to fulfill their mission.

Israel thanked the Austrians for their years of service as peacekeepers, but expressed regret at the decisions, and hoped that the border situation won’t escalate further as a result. Israel added that they expect the UN to meet their obligations, as per UN Security Council Resolution 350.

If the UN fails on the Golan, the buffer zone between Israel and Syria will disappear, and Israel could easily find themselves in a situation where they may need to fight the rebels, or move troops into the buffer zone on the Syrian side, something Israel does not want to have to do.

Minister Yuval Steinintz added, that the lesson is very clear, “In any peace agreement, Israel cannot rely on international forces, but only on IDF soldiers.” He added that South Lebanon, under the UN’s watch, now has 40,000 missiles embedded there pointed at Israel. The UN did nothing to stop it.

The UNDOF troops have been in place on the Golan since May 31, 1974, following the decision of UN Security Council Resolution 350. The observers were put into place as a result of Syria trying to recapture the Golan in 1973, after losing it in 1967, and following the increase in border attacks from Syria starting in March 1974.

Shalom Bear

Assad Retakes Quneitra Golan Crossing

Friday, June 7th, 2013

President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army has recaptured the Golan Heights crossing—the only crossing on the ceasefire border with Israel—in a setback for rebels, only one day after rebel forces had been forced out of the strategic town of Qusayr, AFP reports.

The capture of the town Qusayr, after weeks of bloody battles, leaves President Assad in a much improved position before a U.S.-Russia plan for direct peace talks with his opposition.

The rebels had been in control of the Quneitra Golan crossing for one day, flexing their muscles in this strategically as well as symbolically important spot, so close to IDF forces and also a short ride to Damascus. But that didn’t last long, and they were forced out.

An AFP correspondent said he could see tanks inside the area after Assad’s troops moved back in Thursday.

Both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Israeli army radio reported fierce fighting in Quneitra. Two peacekeepers, from India and the Philippines, suffered “minor injuries” in shelling, a UN peacekeeping spokesman said.

The clashes took place in very close proximity to the headquarters of a UN peacekeeping force, prompting Austria to announce it was bringing its troops home.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Vienna Hosts First European Jewish Choral Festival

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The Vienna Jewish Choir last weekend hosted the first European Jewish Choral Festival with a comprehensive repertoire of Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino songs, the European Jewish Press reported,

Hundreds of Jewish and non-Jewish singers from 18 groups in Europe participated n the four-day event that drew approximately 1,500 spectators.

The festival, under the patronage of Austria’s Federal President, Heinz Fischer, is sponsored by the European Jewish Parliament, the European Jewish Union and the Jewish Community of Vienna.

The singers took part in intensive workshops to increase cultural exchange, learn specifically about techniques of Jewish music under the guidance of renowned teachers and exchange views on their interpretations of Jewish music.

Roman Grinberg, who hosted the festival and who heads the Vienna Jewish Choir, founded in 1989, said it “brings together these many initiatives in Vienna to a great musical fireworks.”

The event is to become an annual festival, and Rome and Paris are scheduled to host the event in 2013 and 2014.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Vienna Jewish Museum Contains Looted Objects, Officials Say

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Officials from the Jewish Museum of Vienna said that hundreds of objects in the museum’s possession were looted from Jewish families during the Holocaust.

A review of the artifacts found 490 objects and more than 980 books that may have been stolen from Jewish owners, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

“For historic reasons, people did not see themselves responsible for investigating the collection referring to provenance,” Christian Kircher, a member of the museum’s board, told the newspaper. “This attitude changed completely during the last few years.”

Museum officials said that researching the origin of Judaica can be quite difficult, given the few identifying markers and the fact that most Jewish institutions that existed before the Holocaust were destroyed. They also cited the lack of funds for such research.

“Our situation is not comparable to any other museum in Austria,” said Danielle Spera, who became the museum director in 2010.

“Anything that was acquired illegally ought to be returned,” she told the Austrian Der Standard daily last month. “There will not be a hint of hesitation.”

JTA

More Beautiful than Everest

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Last week, I drove with my wife toward the coastline to do a little seaside touring. As we were driving there, she mentioned that someone in her family was going for a vacation to Austria.

“Austria?” I blurted, nearly losing control of the wheel. “Why would any Jew in Israel want to go to Austria?”

“For the mountains and the scenery,” she answered.

At that very moment, we reached the intersection of Highway 4, just before Tel Aviv, leading north toward Haifa. Coming out of the turn, the first thing you see is the mountain of garbage – the municipal dump that has long been a landmark on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Every time, I see it, its beauty overwhelms me. To me it is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, just behind Mount Moriah, Mount Herman, and Mount Tabor. The sight of it is literally breathtaking.

Soon, it will be even more majestic, now that they are converting it into a grass-covered national park, ironically named after Ariel Sharon. But, right now, it’s still Garbage Mountain.

“Why go to Austria when we have magnificent and holy mountains here?” I asked my wife. “Just look! Can anything be more beautiful than a mountain of Jewish garbage in the Holy Land? It has to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Let’s stop and take some pictures!”

“We’re on the way to an outing,” she said.

“I know,” I answered. “What a wonderful place to start!”

I am absolutely serious. In my eyes, the mountain of garbage overlooking Tel Aviv is more wondrous than Everest. After two thousand years of exile in foreign lands, not only has the Almighty given us back our cherished Homeland, He has given us such an overabundance of blessings that we have an abundance of refuse too! A whole mountain of excess trash. If Moses were here to see it, he would crawl up to its summit on his hands and his knees, kissing every piece of litter on the way to the top! Who needs Austria and the Alps?

Later that evening, I was so moved by the memory of the Garbage Mountain that I picked up my notebook and scribbled a poem.

ODE TO THE MOUNTAIN I LOVE
O holy Garbage Mountain, I love you so greatly.
In my wonderstruck eyes, you look so noble and stately.
Even though you aren’t the tallest on earth,
You fill my heart with rapturous mirth.
Everest, Rushmore, and the Alps are sublime,
But for all of their grandeur, they’re simply not mine.
Even though you are only a mountain of zevel,
Compared to you, the rest are all hevel.
Though your slopes are made of refuse that people don’t want to eat,
Each time I pass by you, your aroma smells sweet.
For you are a holy mountain of garbage in Israel and that makes you blessed,
Placing you head and shoulders over all of the rest.

PS – anyone interested in purchasing a poster size blow-up of the Holy Garbage Mountain, can order through this blog. We will also be happy to arrange shipments of its trash overseas via Zim Lines. Two month delivery guaranteed. Price is $80,000 per 200 kilos. It’s the perfect addition to your living room planter, front lawn, or Diaspora garden.

Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/more-beautiful-than-everest/2012/11/13/

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