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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust Memorial’

New Year’s Revelers Urinate on Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Monday, January 6th, 2014

New Year’s revelers shot fireworks and urinated in Germany’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

Reacting to a disgusting and shocking video that also explicitly showed a man urinating amid young party-goers celebrating among the 2711 stone slabs at the memorial last week, spokesperson Jenifer Stolz told JTA that “we are all quite appalled. But it is not the first time.”

She said she hoped it would be the last time, however. Meetings with Berlin police are planned in the coming days and weeks, at which possible measures to prevent the disrespectful behavior will be on the table. An obvious choice is to put up temporary fencing as is done for Berlin’s central park – the Tiergarten – which, like the memorial, borders on the party scene. But there also are other options to be discussed, Stolz said.

Berlin’s major open-air New Year’s event takes place around the Brandenburg Gate and hundreds of thousands of visitors walk past the memorial on their way there, Stolz noted. “It seems to invite them to such excesses, and it’s not nice.”

Greek City to Build Holocaust Museum and Research Center

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The northern Greek city of Thessaloniki will build a Holocaust research center at the site where some 50,000 of the city’s Jews were deported to Nazi death camps. “This is the fulfilment of a historic responsibility for Thessaloniki,” city Mayor Yiannis Boutaris told reporters.

The agreement to establish the Memorial Center on Holocaust Education Remembrance and Research at the city’s old railway station was signed among the Thessaloniki Jewish community, the city and the Greek transport ministry.

The Jewish community of Thessaloniki was one of the most important centers of Sephardic Jewry for 450 years following the expulsion from Spain. Known as the Flower of the Balkans, it was the center of Ladino culture in the region. In March 1943 the Nazis began sending Jews in railway convoys to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. By August, 49,000 out of the city’s pre-war population of 55,000 Jews had been deported. Fewer than 2,000 survived.

Boutaris has been instrumental in acknowledging the city’s rich Jewish history and the extent of its devastation. Earlier this year he organized a public march to commemorate 70 years since the first deportations, the first such display by the Jewish community since the end of the war.

The Thessaloniki Jewish community said the project was a long-held dream and particularly important at a time when Greece is struggling to deal with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party which has 18 seats in parliament.

Holocaust Researcher Yisrael Gutman Dies at 90 in Jerusalem

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Warsaw Ghetto survivor and researcher Israel Gutman has died in Jerusalem at the age of 90. He was born in Warsaw, where he was wounded in the Jewish uprising against the Nazis in 1943. He is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.

Gutman survived three concentration and death camps, including Auschwitz, but his parents and all of his brothers and sisters died or were killed in the Ghetto. He survived the January 1945 death march from Auschwitz to Mauthausen, where he was liberated by U.S. forces.

Gutman moved to Israel after the war and spent the rest of his life researching the Holocaust. He was the chief historian at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and was a professor of history at Hebrew University.

New Kiev Memorial Complex to be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The World Forum of Russian-Speaking Jews (WFRJ) unveiled on Sunday a model of the new memorial site to be built at Babi Yar in Ukraine, where an estimated 50,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust

WFRJ Alexander Levin, who also heads the Jewish community in Kiev, told the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency in Kiev that the new memorial site will allow visitors from around the world to experience an emotional connection to the horrific slaughter that occurred at Babi Yar over 70 years ago.

He also sternly warned of the current anti-Semitism plaguing the region and called on European leaders to act more firmly to eradicate all manifestations of anti-Semitism in their country. The site will display historic material, including remains of clothes and belongings of the murdered, documents from the Nazi archives, a 3D film, and interviews with survivors. The site will include a Jewish center and synagogue that will symbolize the revival of Jewish life in the place where Nazis once planned to exterminate every remnant of Judaism.

Construction of the site will begin in the next few months and is expected to take around two-and-a-half years to complete. Funding will come mostly from Levin and Vadim Rabinovich, a Jewish philanthropist from Ukraine, and the United Israel Appeal is also expected to raise money.

Babi Yar is a ravine in the northwest sector of the Ukrainian capital Kiev and the location where Nazis murdered around 100,000 people in total, more than half of them Jews, from September 29, 1941 onward. Nearly 34,000 Jews were slaughtered between the two-day span of September 29-30, which is defined as the most gruesome Holocaust extermination carried out in such a short period of time. Over the next year, 15,000 additional Jews were murdered there.

Michelle Obama and Daughters Visit Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha visited the Holocaust memorial in Berlin amid tight security Wednesday morning under tight security.

They spent about a half-hour walking through the sea of 2,711 slabs that comprise the memorial, according to Uwe Neumaerker, its director. They were guarded by helicopters hovering over the area, which was cleared of visitors, so the memorial “was totally silent and they were alone,” Neumaerker told JTA by phone following the visit.

“They were impressed that we Germans have such a memorial in the center of our city,” Neumaerker said, adding that the first lady “really has an aura.”

American-Jewish architect Peter Eisenman designed the memorial, which was opened to the public in May 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Also on the visit was Auma Obama, President Obama’s half-sister, about whose existence he reportedly learned of only after his father’s death in 1982. Auma Obama, 53, studied in Germany and lives in her native Kenya.

It’s My Opinion: Kristallnacht: 74th Anniversary

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The Jewish community is marking the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which occurred on November 9-10 in 1938. South Florida’s Holocaust Memorial, located at 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue, held its ceremony on the evening of November 8. Commemorations were observed around the world.

Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, took place in Germany and parts of Austria. Synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses were vandalized and in many cases destroyed. Their windows were smashed and the streets were strewn with broken glass. The result of the event was catastrophic: 91 Jews dead and 30,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Kristallnacht was a pivotal event in the Shoah. It was an ominous moment in history and foretold what would soon follow. The world, for the most part, stood silently by. The collective Jewish community, for the most part, hoped that this anti-Jewish wave would somehow pass. Hitler was given a silent nod to proceed with his plan of genocide.

Of course, in retrospect, the events of Kristallnacht did not come in one shattering night. The signs were there. Some could anticipate. Some ignored. Some had no idea what was being fomented.

I am a so-called baby boomer, born after the war. When I learned about the Holocaust I asked my parents, “Why didn’t the Jews in America do more to help?” The answer was, “We really just didn’t know.”

It is obvious to see how dangerous and even deadly “not knowing” can be. It is quite shocking to realize that many Jews do not yet understand this concept.

I am saddened to hear some of my well-intentioned Jewish brethren proudly proclaim that they do not listen to television or radio and do not read newspapers. They are sincere in their attempt to avoid the shmutz that abounds in the secular world. They do not want to deal with matters out of their personal circle. They attempt to circumvent the negatives of secular society and concentrate solely on the spiritual world of Torah.

The reality, however, is that we are in olam hazeh (this world), not olam haba (the world to come). Whether we like it or not, we are all affected by trends and actions surrounding us.

There are many storms that are necessary to monitor, and not all of them are found in weather reports.

There is another commemoration the Jewish world is marking. It is the 22nd yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane, z”l. Rabbi Kahane was a brilliant Torah scholar and fearless leader. His motto was “Never Again!” We all need to understand what that phrase really means.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-kristallnacht-74th-anniversary/2012/11/08/

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