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May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Iran Nuclear Deal Looking Unlikely, Says Merkel

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A deal to freeze or roll back Iran’s nuclear development program is looking unlikely as a final deadline for talks approaches.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Tuesday during his state visit to the country the current reality shows no promise of a deal between world powers and Tehran. She added that Iran’s nuclear technology has advanced considerably over the last decade, but said if a comprehensive agreement was reached, it might prevent further development.

Merkel also told Rivlin that Germany remains completely committed to the safety and security of the State of Israel; a diplomatic relationship that has lasted 50 years, officially as of this week.

Both leaders stressed their mutual regard and friendship for each other in their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, despite differences of opinion on what do regarding Iran.

In his response, Israel’s president said that tougher sanctions are likely to prove more effective in controlling Iran’s race towards the bomb than the current measures that are in place.

Rivlin added that if attacked, Israel reserves the right to defend herself to the best of her ability.

Why sell German arms to Israel?

At a visit to a school in Berlin prior to her meeting with Israel’s president, Merkel was questioned by a student over Germany’s decision to continue to sell arms to the Jewish State.

Merkel answered that Germany is obligated to defend Israel because six million Jews lost their lives under the Nazi regime during World War II.

The question, however, reflects a growing anti-Zionist trend in Germany that one can see in the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

The chancellor told the student that Germany continues to believe in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She added that she would raise the issue with Israel’s president – which she did – but made it clear that the issue of Israel-PA politics was separate and apart from that of Israel’s defense.

“We sell weapons to Israel, which is often under attack, because we believe that Israel must have the ability to defend itself,” she said.

Earlier this week, Israel and Germany signed an agreement for the purchase from Germany of four new naval vessels to protect Israel’s Mediterranean offshore oil and gas rigs. The reciprocal deal also includes a purchase from Israel of military hardware; most likely that with which the vessels will be equipped before they are delivered.

Israel Buys German Ships to Protect Gas & Oil Rigs in Mediterranean

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Israel and Germany have signed a 430-million Euro contract to provide the Jewish State with four ships to protect natural gas and oil rigs in the Mediterranean.

The Defense Ministry announced the deal on Monday with the arrival in Tel Aviv of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen for an official state visit.

Included in the agreement was a special grant of 115 million Euros provided to Israel by the German government.

The project is being funded via the Exclusive Economic Zone through a budget separate from that used for defense.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Dan Harel, managing director of the Defense Ministry, said the acquisition represented “a dramatic improvement in the navy’s ability to protect strategic sites for the State of Israel.”

The four patrol corvette-type vessels are to be built by the TKMS German shipyard in the city of Kiel near Hamburg. All will be equipped with Israeli combat systems.

The shipyard is owned and operated by the TK Consortium, which has committed to a reciprocal purchase from Israel. TK Consortium has agreed to buy at least NIS 700 million in Israeli defense product under the terms of the contract.

Given the equipment with which the vessels are to be loaded, Israel’s defense industry will be busy for the next five years, when the vessels are to arrive.

Dolphin submarines currently in use by the Israel Navy were produced in the same shipyard.

Netanyahu on VE Day

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony marking the victory day on Nazi Germany, 70 years ago, in Latrun on May 7, 2015.

Lauder at 70th Bergen-Belsen Liberation Ceremony: ‘Silence Emboldens Tyrants’

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

A ceremony was held today, April 26, in Lohheide, Germany, to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi death camp which took place on April 15, 1945.

More than fifty thousand people perished in the Bergen-Belsen camp, which was really several connected camps that housed and killed Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others considered “undesirable” by the Nazi regime. Anne Frank and her sister Margot were among the tens of thousands who died at Bergen-Belsen.

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, gave an impassioned speech to the gathered crowd.

Lauder spoke not only of the specifics of the horrors visited upon the world and, in particular, the Jewish people, during World War II, but he also made pointed references to the dangers of similar horrors lurking on the horizons at the present time.

Lauder reminds everyone that it was not only the Nazis, and not only the German people and not only the rest of Europe which were complicit in this horror, but everyone who was silent and failed to act.

Lauder also points out that there was a voice that was silent, but not because they chose to look elsewhere, but because they were silenced: the Jews. And he points out that the Jews need not be silent ever again in the face of threats to their existence, because there is a Jewish homeland whose purpose is to ensure the continuance of the Jewish people.

No doubt he is talking about Iran.

Lauder also speaks at length about the resilience and self-reliance of the Jewish people in the aftermath of the Holocaust. How the Jews left the Displaced Persons camps and never looked back.

“They refused to be victims,” Lauder said. “Jews all over the world helped their fellow Jews get back on their feet. They were never used as political pawns.”

Do you have any doubt to whom he is referring?

The following is Lauder’s speech in its entirety. It is worth your while to read the whole thing.

We come here today to remember. We remember the evil of this terrible place. We also remember that world silence led to this evil.

And we gather with an uncomfortable awareness that anti-Semitism has returned to Europe once again.

Seventy years ago, as Nazi Germany was collapsing, and the greatest war in history was coming to an end. The saddest irony was that Jews, the people who should have been happiest about Hitler’s defeat, were not to be heard.

There were no Jewish victory celebrations like those in New York or Trafalgar Square or Moscow. There was no jubilation. The reason is all around you. For Jews, the awful realization of loss suddenly set in. Mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends, over one million children – all gone. Half of the world’s Jews murdered.

Right now, we stand on one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world. But there are no gravestones. There are no markers. The victims buried here lost not just their lives; the Nazis took their identities as well.

When British troops entered the gates here at Bergen-Belsen they took pictures and, for the first time, the world finally understood the extent of the Nazi horror.

We saw the bulldozers pushing naked bodies into open pits. The walking skeletons. The unbelievable sadness and loss. It has always struck me that battle-hardened soldiers, who saw some of the worst combat in Europe, became emotional years later when they talked about entering Bergen-Belsen.

Seventy years on, we all know about the crime. We know the perpetrators – but they were not just Germans and Austrians. There was complicity in practically every country in Europe. My own country, the United States – the beacon of liberty – shut its doors to Jews desperately trying to leave.

Survivors to Testify in Trial of ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Oskar Groening, now 91 and the former “bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” is on trial in Germany today in what may be the last judicial proceedings of Nazi criminals.

He is one of the last SS members, and may be the last, to be on trial. Most of the others have escaped justice, and the years it took before bringing Groening to the courtroom have been described by German writer Christoph Heubner as a “disaster” of justice

He faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at Auschwitz death camp, where hundreds of thousands of Jews died in the gas chambers.

He also tallied money and possession taken from victims. Prosecutors told the court, “He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings.”

Groening has taken the attitude of “I was only taking orders” and once started singing a song from his youth during a Der Spiegel interview:

 ‘And when Jewish blood begins to drip from our knives, things will be good again.’

Back then we didn’t even think about what we were singing.

He also described how an SS killed a baby:

I saw [a] SS soldier grab the baby by the legs… He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.

Groening said he was “horrified” by the scene.

It “horrified” him, but so what? He declared, “I would describe my role as a small cog in the gears. If you can describe this as guilt, then I am guilty. Legally speaking I am innocent.”

Innocent of what? Perhaps innocent of having been Hitler, or Eichmann. But is he innocent of being Oskar Groening?

Understanding that he thinks he is not guilty explains volumes about the Nazi mentality, which in the end can only be understood by anyone who is the personification of evil.

German writer Christoph Heubner told the London Telegraph, “This could be the last Nazi war crimes trial in Germany

“The legal treatment (of the Holocaust) has been an absolute disaster, a dirty stain on the name of our country. In Germany a total of 43 SS men have faced court, nine received life sentences, 25 were sent to prison, and the rest were acquitted. This is out of about 6,500 people from the SS concentration camps who were alive at the end of the war.

Seventy years after Auschwitz we still have to have trials because the German judiciary has failed miserably on the issue….

“Many survivors have talked to German youths, with political parties in Germany, in school classes. But a court is a place where justice is handed down, where human rights are defended, where eyewitness accounts gain legal weight.

“The trial is also important because it sends a signal to people who are involved in genocides today. Time may pass, but the day of judgment will come.”

Even if they say they are “innocent.”

Berlin Teacher Taught Students to March and Sing Nazi Anthem

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Berlin police have questioned a teachers who marched her 11th-grade students to the tune of a Nazi song whose lyrics they sang, the German Local newspaper reported.

The students marched to the tune of Nazi party anthem “Horst-Wessel-Lied” and sang lyrics that include, “Millions full of hope look up at the swastika…. Soon Hitler flags will fly over every street.”

Police in Berlin questioned a high school music teacher after she made her pupils march up and down a classroom singing a Nazi song, it was reported on Tuesday.

A student who was not in the classroom but apparently heard of it and reported it to the police.

German law prohibits publicly displaying Nazi symbols, which includes publicly singing Nazi songs. The maximum penalty is three years in jail.

However, the police spokesman noted, “A Museum can display a swastika if it does so in a critical setting.”

Prosecutors now have to decide if the teacher taught the song in a “critical context” or was encouraging Nazism.

‘Enigma’ Code-Breaker’s Notebook Sells at Auction for $1M

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

A 56-page handwritten notebook belonging to World War II Nazi code-breaker Alan Turing sold for more than $1 million at auction Monday by Bonhams in New York.

Turing, a British pioneer in computers and a mathematical genius, led a team of cryptographers in cracking the “unbreakable” Enigma code of Nazi Germany’s military. He is believed to have had a significant impact on helping to end the war.

The notebook, which dates from 1942, is believed to be the only extensive Turing manuscript in existence; its sale price was considered by the auction house to be a tribute to the code-breaker.

Part of the proceeds from the $1,025,000 sale will be donated to charity, according to NBC News. The identity of the person who purchased the manuscript were withheld by Bonhams at the request of the buyer.

Cassandra Hatton of Bonhams said in a statement to media, “It has been a great privilege to have been involved in this sale and we are immensely pleased that all the people who bid for this unique item and indeed the wider public have recognized Turing’s importance and place in history.”

The 2014 Oscar-winning movie, “The Imitation Game” was based on the real life story of Alan Turing and his race against time to break the “Enigma” code.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/enigma-code-breakers-notebook-sells-at-auction-for-1m/2015/04/14/

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