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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Auschwitz Provides Tourists with Outdoor Showers to ‘Cool Down’

Monday, August 31st, 2015

How sensitive does the world have to be Jews when it comes to anything that can be associated with Holocaust?

The question has come up twice in four days, once with Hillary Clinton’s “boxcar” comment’ and now with the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp site offering tourists, including Israelis, outdoor showers to cool down from a heat wave.

Clinton’s reference to alleged Republican candidates’ promoting the idea of shipping out Mexican immigrants in “buses and boxcars” touched a raw nerve among sensitive American Jews, especially those who vote Republican.

She maintained, as reported here, that she never had the Holocaust in mind, although her defense that Jeb Bush used the term was totally out of line since he used the word to emphasize that shipping out illegal immigrants in boxcars is exactly what the United States should not do.

The showers at Auschwitz is harder to defend but illustrates the difference in mindset between the slogan among Jews “Never Forget” and the concept among others “to get over it and move on.”

It is difficult to imagine that the management at the former death camp purposely set up outdoor showers, in the midst of a heat wave, to mock Jews.

However, no one apparently realized that tourists, and not only Jews, would associate the effort to offer people a relief from the heat with the gas chambers that killed more than a million Jews, many of whom thought they were going to have their first real shower in what seemed like eternity.

On a Facebook page that posted a picture of the sprinklers, several people expressed anger while many other simply shrugged off as a “funny” coincidence.

One of the most tasteless postings was that people should “not fall for the same trick again.”

One Israel tourist told Yediot Acharonot website, “When we got off the bus I saw the sprinklers. I was in shock. I felt my stomach turn over.”

He said that when he mentioned to one of the workers at the site that the sprinkler “reminds me of the gas chambers,” she replied she was sorry.

It is not clear what she was sorry about – that the shower system was insensitive or that the tourist couldn’t get over the past.

Most estimates are that fewer than 500,000 Holocaust survivors remain alive worldwide. Their numbers are dwindling quickly, and the question of sensitivity in this age of political correctness is one that will not go away.

It all depends who is being offended. There is an egregious concern not to offend Muslim and homosexuals.

Jews are another story. And when it comes to Israel, there is not much to talk about, except, of course, for the “occupation.”

What do you think?

Monaco Apologizes for Deporting Jews to the Nazis

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) The ruler of the Principality of Monaco, Prince Albert II, on Thursday issued a formal apology for his country’s role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during World War II, the World Jewish Congress reported.

“To say this today is to recognize a fact. To say it today, on this day, before you, is to ask forgiveness,” Prince Albert said in a speech that recounted how Monegasque police deported several dozen Jews, including Jews who had sought refuge there in what they expected would be a safe haven, based on the principality’s political neutrality.

With French Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at his side, Albert unveiled a monument at the Monaco cemetery carved with the names of Monaco’s deported Jews. The date of the events, August 27, marks 73 years since Monegasque authorities cowered to pressure from Nazi-occupied France, and rounded up some 66 Jews on August 27, 1942.

“We committed the irreparable in handing over to the neighboring authorities women, men and a child who had taken refuge with us to escape the persecutions they had suffered in France,” Albert said at the unveiling ceremony. “In distress, they came specifically to take shelter with us, thinking they would find neutrality.”

EJC President Moshe Kantor hailed the apology, saying in a statement, “seventy years after the Holocaust, it remains important that in each country where the Nazis and their collaborators enabled the deportation of Jews to their deaths there should be a permanent and official memorial and ceremony … We also welcome Prince Albert’s poignant words today at the ceremony, which more than anything, encapsulated the value of this study and introspection that he has personally led in recent years.”

Clinton Puts Her Foot in the Mouth (Again) with ‘Boxcar’ Remark

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Hillary Clinton once again has proven that the best way for her to win the Democratic nomination for president is to keep her mouth shut.

She now is the target of scorn and anger for her remark Friday that Republicans want to “round up” immigrants and “put them…in boxcars.”

Any reference to packing people into boxcars immediately brings to mind the Nazis’ shipping out Jews to death camps in cattle cars and box cars.

Clinton’s spokesman Mick Merrill said that she there was no allusion to the Holocaust and charged that Republican Jeb Bush also used the word “boxcar,” although his reference was in a statement condemning the idea. He said in June, “I don’t think our country is going to be the kind of country that puts people on boxcars and sends them away.”

Clinton’s full statement on Friday was:

I find it the height of irony that a party that espouses small government would want to unleash a massive law enforcement effort, including perhaps National Guard and others, to go and literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.

I just find that not only absurd, but appalling.

Clinton also suffered foot in the mouth disease on Thursday when she made a snobbish and dictatorial remark after Fox News’ Ed Henry asked her three questions:

Were you aware that your husband wanted to give paid speeches for repressive regimes like North Korea?    Do you have any comment on these new e-mails that have raised questions about the conflict of interest involving your aide Huma Abedin? And finally, can you name one other cabinet secretary who had their own server?

Clinton answered only the first question, which was the least damaging, and preceded her response by saying:

Well, let me answer one of your questions, because I think that’s what you are entitled to.

WWII-Era Jewish Café Reopens in Shanghai

Friday, August 28th, 2015

A café that was a popular spot for Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II has been rebuilt and reopened in the city’s Hongkou district.

The Zum Weissen Rossi’l café, better known as the White Horse Café, first opened in 1939. On hand for the reopening were city and district government officials, the consulate general of Israel in Shanghai and family members of the original owners.

“The feeling is excellent, like going back home,” said 74-year-old Ron Klinger, one of the family members, Xinhua reported.

“Our families are very grateful to the city and district government for restoring the cafe,” Klinger said.

Klinger’s grandparents, who fled to Shanghai from Vienna in 1939, ran the café until 1949, when they relocated to Australia. Klinger’s parents also met at the café and got married in February 1941. He was born the same year.

It is estimated that around 23,000 European Jews fled to Shanghai during World War II to escape Nazi persecution, joining already established Chinese Jewish communities from Baghdad and Russia. The Jewish refugees were restricted to a small area that became known as the “Shanghai Ghetto” by the Japanese, who had occupied the city in 1937. Nearly all of Shanghai’s Jewish community left the city following WWII and the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949.

New Jerusalem Street Honors Savior of 40,000 Jews During Holocaust

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated a new street in Jerusalem in an official ceremony this week to honor Moshe (Miklós) Krausz, a little-known Hungarian Jew who saved about 40,000 Jews during the Holocaust

The street-naming publicly recognizes and honors Krausz’s work in a rare instance of recognition.

“This commemoration only begins to correct a historic injustice,” said Nachi Eyal, CEO of The Legal Forum for Israel and one of the people behind this initiative.

Eyal told Tazpit:

Krausz was a man of the World Zionist movement and the Mizrachi movement who saved tens of thousands of Jews and yet his name has been left out of the public knowledge. Krausz died alone and almost forgotten in Jerusalem after having immigrated here with the end of World War II.

Krausz served as the director of the Palestine Office for the World Zionist Movement in Budapest and was responsible for obtaining emigration permits for Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine.

Following the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, Krausz, aided by his connections with Swiss Vice-Consul Carl Lutz, began producing diplomatic patronage certificates to thousands of Hungarian Jews and their entire families, effectively granting them diplomatic immunity from the Nazis.

Through his Swiss connection, Krausz also obtained extraterritorial status under the auspices of the Swiss government to many private buildings where Jews would hide from Nazi extermination.

Most prominent among these “safe houses” was a disused glass factory in Budapest. Dubbed “The Glass House” by survivors, over 3,000 Jews used the building as a hiding place and survived the Holocaust.

“Jews from all walks of life and different backgrounds huddled together in the crowded cellars,” Mordechai Newmann, a Glass House survivor who attended the ceremony told TPS. “Orthodox rabbis, socialist youth activists, Zionist Organization workers, and their families all had their place in the Glass House.”

“At night, members of Zionist Youth organizations would dress up in Nazi uniform and sneak out of the cellars to find more Jews and smuggle them into the glass house,” recounts Newmann, who was 14 at the time.

This elaborate scheme that saved such a staggering number of lives from the Nazi extermination machine went unnoticed and did not receive much public attention in Israel until now.

According to Dr. Ayala Nadivi, a historian of Hungarian Jewry, the reasons for Krausz’s hitherto anonymity might have been political. She told Tazpit:

There was quite a lot of infighting and political ego struggles between the various Jewish and Zionist bodies of the time. Krausz was a member of the Mizrachi movement, while the Jewish leadership in British Mandate Palestine was predominantly of the Mapai movement (Worker’s Party of The Land of Israel). Independently of Krausz and Lutz’s rescue efforts, Mapai established the Budapest Rescue Committee and appointed Israel Kasztner to head it.

Later, with the end of the British Mandate and the founding of the State of Israel, the same Mapai became the governing party in Israel. When Kasztner was accused of collaboration with the Nazis during his rescue activities, Krausz gave unfavorable testimony against him on trial. From that point on and despite the evident existence of records of Krausz’s rescue efforts, not a single national organization or newspaper acknowledges him.

According Eyal, it was Dr. Nadivi’s book “Between Krausz and Kasztner: The Battle to Save Hungarian Jewry” published in 2014, that was the catalyst to the reemergence of Krausz’ name on public record.

“After being told about the book by my assistant and reading it, I felt compelled to petition Mayor Barkat,” Eyal told Tazpit. “After filing a request and all the necessary paperwork, including the historic records assembled by Dr. Nedivi, the Mayor acquiesced and named a Jerusalem street after this man who saved more Jews than Schindler and Kasztner combined and was a Jew himself.”

Drying Polish River Reveals Ancient Jewish Tombstones

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Polish rivers’ water levels have fallen to record lows this summer, revealing the remains of even more of that country’s history of misery and suffering, including Jewish tombstones and long dead Soviet fighter pilots and their plane, AP reported.

“The Vistula River is hiding no end of secrets. They are everywhere,” said Jonny Daniels, head of a Jewish foundation called From the Depths, who’s been examining the shallow parts of the Vistula river—which runs through the capital city of Warsaw—discovering stone fragments adorned with Hebrew lettering.

“From the Depths was set up to bridge the past to the future,” according to Daniels’ website.​ “The past has brought some tremendously dark and difficult times. However, rather than forget these difficult times we must learn from the past in order to shape and build a better future.” The organization’s mission is to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and “to give a name to those who were brutally murdered in the dark days of the Holocaust and to continue the message to the next generations of those who survived.”

Two weeks ago, according to AP, a man who had spotted those fragments of Jewish tombstones took Daniels there. Some have already been taken, but a few fragments are still lying on the riverbed. Daniels is planning to take volunteer students there to search and return as much as they can find to the Brodno cemetery in Warsaw’s Praga district, on the “Jewish” side of the city.

“Jewish history is buried in the Vistula,” Daniels told AP.

The Brondo was the resting place of some 300,000 Jews, but only 3,000 tombstones remain there today. Some of the original stones were taken to be used as building materials or to reinforce the river banks.

Netanyahu Mourns ‘Britain’s Schindler’

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

“The Jewish people and the State of Israel owe an eternal debt to Nicholas Winton who singlehandedly saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday after hearing of his death.

Winton died in Britain at the age of 106. He saved hundreds of Jewish children from the gas chambers during the Holocaust.

Netanyahu added, “In a world plagued by evil and indifference, Winton dedicated himself to saving the innocent and the defenseless. His exceptional moral leadership serves as an example to all humanity.

“Nicholas Winton will forever be remembered by us with the deepest admiration and gratitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-mourns-britains-schindler/2015/07/02/

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