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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Buenos Aires’

Holocaust Author and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel Dead at 87

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel who in 1986 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is dead, according to a Saturday announcement by Yad Vashem. He was 87 years old. Wiesel died in his New York home. He was survived by his wife, his son and two grandchildren.

Wiesel was born in in Sighet, Transylvania (Romania), in the Carpathian Mountains, on September 30, 1928. Wiesel’s mother, Sarah, was the daughter of a Vizhnitz Hasid who spent time in jail for helping Polish Jews enter the country illegally. Wiesel’s father, Shlomo, encouraged him to learn Hebrew and to read literature, while his mother encouraged him to study the Torah. Wiesel had three siblings – older sisters Beatrice and Hilda, and younger sister Tzipora. Beatrice and Hilda survived the war and were reunited with Wiesel at a French orphanage. They eventually emigrated to North America, with Beatrice moving to Canada. Tzipora, Shlomo, and Sarah did not survive the Holocaust.

In 1944, the German army deported the Jewish community in Sighet to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Wiesel and his father were sent to the work camp Buna, a subcamp of Auschwitz III-Monowitz. He managed to remain with his father for more than eight months as they were shuffled among three concentration camps in the final days of the war.

On January 28, 1945, just a few weeks after the two were marched to Buchenwald, Wiesel’s father was beaten by an SS guard as he was suffering from dysentery, starvation, and exhaustion. He was also beaten by other inmates for his food. He was later sent to the crematorium, only weeks before the camp was liberated by the US Third Army on April 11.

For ten years after the war, Wiesel refused to write about or discuss his experiences during the Holocaust. However, a meeting with the French author François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and a discussion he had with the Lubavitcher Rebbe were turning points for him. His first memoir, in Yiddish, titled, And the World Remained Silent, was published in Buenos Aires. He rewrote a new version of the manuscript in French, which was published as La Nuit, and translated into English as Night. Wiesel had trouble finding a publisher and the book initially sold only a few copies.

In 1960 Hill & Wang agreed to pay a $100 pro-forma advance and published it in the United States in September that year as Night. The book sold only 1,046 copies, but attracted interest from reviewers, leading to television interviews with Wiesel and meetings with literary figures such as Saul Bellow. “The English translation came out in 1960, and the first printing was 3,000 copies,” Wiesel said in an interview. “And it took three years to sell them. Now, I get 100 letters a month from children about the book. And there are many, many millions of copies in print.”

Night has been translated into 30 languages. By 1997 the book was selling 300,000 copies annually in the United States alone. By March 2006, about six million copies were sold in the United States. On January 16, 2006, Oprah Winfrey chose the work for her book club. One million extra paperback and 150,000 hardcover copies were printed carrying the “Oprah’s Book Club” logo, with a new translation by Wiesel’s wife, Marion, and a new preface by Wiesel. On February 12, 2006, the new translation of Night was No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction and the original translation placed third.

Wiesel and his wife started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. He served as chairman for the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust (later renamed US Holocaust Memorial Council) from 1978 to 1986, spearheading the building of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, during which he pleaded for US intervention in Yugoslavia after a visit there in 1992.

Wiesel and his wife invested their life savings, and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity invested nearly all of its assets (approximately $15.2 million) through Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, an experience that caused Wiesel deep pain.

JNi.Media

Argentine Judges Send Nisman Murder Case to Federal Court

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

A panel of three judges in the Buenos Aires City Criminal Appeals court ruled unanimously Tuesday to move the probe into the death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman to federal court, where political murder cases are heard.

Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his Buenos Aires apartment on January 18, 2015, just hours before he was scheduled to present evidence implicating President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in a coverup to protect Iran from prosecution for involvement in the July 18, 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center. The attack killed 85 people and left hundreds more wounded.

After Nisman’s death the case against Fernandez was dismissed – but the evidence did not. Nisman had sent an email to three friends with a backup of his research and report.

Former Argentine counterintelligence chief Jaime Stiuso, a friend of Nisman’s who may have been one of the recipients of those emails, was fired by then-president Fernandez. Stiuso testified in court earlier this month and it is believed that his testimony provided the evidence needed to send the case to federal court.

In the court’s decision, two of the three judges wrote: “It is plausible to give credit to the hypothesis suggested by the accusers, both public and private, to assume that the death of Alberto Natalio Nisman could also be a result of the activity of a third party.”

In the weeks before his death, Nisman had received numerous threats, including one emailed to him that was read to the court by Manuel Romero Victorica, an attorney for Nisman’s ex-wife, the former federal judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado.

“We will make true our promise to kill you and your family, but before that, we will make you look like sh*t in public and in the media… We’ve already managed to separate you from the AMIA case and we’ve gotten Argentina a deal with Iran without you.”

Attorney Pablo Lanusse, representing Nisman’s mother Sara Garfunkel, likewise asked the court to send the case to federal court.

“Nisman was assassinated in order to impede the progress of his work on behalf of the state,” said Lanusse. “This case is screaming for a transfer to the federal courts, because it must be recognized that Nisman was murdered.”

Hana Levi Julian

Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Over the years, Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman made some powerful enemies from Iran to his own country’s president.

He was set to testify this morning on a cover-up connected to Iran’s Buenos Aires Jewish Center bombing that reached the highest levels of his own government.

Nisman’s body was found, shot dead, in his home.

Video of the Day

Rabbanit Pinto Found Alive and Well

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Rabbanit Pinto was found by Buenos Aires police, alive and well on Saturday, though exhausted, according to an HNN report.

She had gone missing on Thursday.

Rabbanit Pinto had gone to Argentina for medical treatment.

After she was found, she was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli Filmmaker Amos Gitai Making Movie about AMIA Bombing

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Award-winning Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai is preparing a film about the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires.

The Brazilian production company Prana Films will produce the movie based on the 1994 bombing attack on the center that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

One venue will be the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, which shares a border with Argentina and Brazil. The terrorist Hezbollah organization is active in the city, according to intelligence sources.

Argentine actor Ricardo Darin and French actress Juliette Binoche reportedly have expressed interest in the film and have received an updated script with an expected budget of $3.5 million.

The film will be based on Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is investigating the bombing. Nisman has accused Iran of sponsoring the attack and declared unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the deadly attack.

Gitai, who has won awards for his films at the prestigious Cannes and Venice festivals, said the AMIA film “is a story about relationships, about how the attack affected the community and what is happening in Latin America with the law.”

He told the La Nacion newspaper in Paris that his partners had looked for financial support from Argentina but did not find any interest.

“I think it is because of the economic situation there,” he told an Argentine newspaper in an interview from Paris.

Gitai has written many films based on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

JTA

Argentinean Selling Nazi Symbols Ordered to Perform Community Service

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

A Buenos Aires city court is requiring a vendor of Nazi souvenirs and symbols to perform community service and take a course about the Holocaust.

City prosecutor Gustavo Galante collected evidence in the case with the help of the Anti-Discriminatory Division of the Federal Police. The seller, who has not been publicly named, sold Nazi souvenirs and symbols in Argentina and abroad. They were offered in Argentinean currency as well as in dollars and euros.

Judge Fernanda Botana made his ruling following a plea agreement struck with the sellers’ lawyers.

The seller must perform 40 hours of community service through a charitable organization, take a course about the Holocaust at the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and take a course about tolerance at the National Institute Against Discrimination.

The prosecutor told local media that the unnamed settler acted alone and is not a member of the Nazi party or another neo-Nazi organization.

Argentina has had an anti-discriminatory law on the books since 1988.

JTA

Fundamentalists Disrupt Jewish-Catholic Kristallnacht Remembrance

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Fundamentalist Christians disrupted a joint Jewish-Christian ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht held at the Buenos Aires City´s Metropolitan Cathedral Tuesday night.

The event was organized by the Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee and Bnai Brith Argentina.

When the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Poli, tried to start the ceremony’s liturgy of commemoration, the fundamentalist group interrupted the ceremony, praying in loud voices and distributing brochures against “the presence of fake gods at our main Cathedral.”

After a standoff that lasted several minutes, police officials arrived at the Cathedral. The demonstrators left at the request of Father Fernando Gianetti, who made the request in the name of Poli, successor to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who now is Pope Francis.

Julio Schlosser, president of DAIA, Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, told JTA of the incident that “Nazi hordes spread poison on the victims of the Holocaust.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fundamentalists-disrupt-jewish-catholic-kristallnacht-remembrance/2013/11/13/

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