web analytics
May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Austrian Rightwingers Banned from Café Say It’s the Holocaust All Over Again

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

This entire report should be read in the context of what happened in Austria last Sunday, when Norbert Hofer of the anti-immigrant Freedom Party (FPÖ) came a clear first with 35% in the first round of the national presidential election. The president of Austria’s authority is the same as that of the president of Israel and they both are modeled after the British queen, but still, it is a huge gain for the right in the land that gave us Mozart but then followed with Hitler. Hofer will face Alexander Van der Bellen of the Austrian Green Party in the second round on May 22.

Eva Trimmel, owner of the Fett und Zucker cafe in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt by Trimmel, has barred FPÖ supporters from her establishment following their party’s unprecedented success in Sunday’s Presidential election, The Local reported. When Trimmel opened for business on Monday, she wrote on the menu board on the sidewalk that customers who are “part of the 35%” should go look for another café. And below that exclusionary message she added the hashtag #rightwingNOTwelcome.

Fett und Zucker Café

Fett und Zucker Café

Now, as we hinted above, there’s a big difference between rightwing Jewish politics, or GOP politics, and Austrian rightwing politics, obviously because Austria in the past provided Germany with some of its best Nazis. So that when Austrians are voting right, even when they’re doing it in a justified response to the Muslim influx that’s been overwhelming all of Europe, Jews and other folks with long memories get just a tad concerned.

Critics of Eva Trimmel have compared her action to the Nazis excluding Jews from public spaces and from various establishments. One commentator, Philipp K, wrote on Trimmel’s Facebook post: “The same as 70 years ago! Then Jews were not allowed to go in, and now it’s [FPÖ] voters!”

Trimmel responded: “I have positioned Fett und Zucker as a queer-feminist, anti-racist café. I want no people with right-wing points of view to come in.”

OK, so she’s on the obnoxious side, intolerant and probably forgets your order and serves your cappuccino either tongue-searing hot or tepid, and her cupcakes must be stale. Nevertheless, barring voters she doesn’t like is still short of marching them to the nearest train station for a one-way trip to Poland.

Are Europeans really this bad with proportionality all the time?

JNi.Media

Arab MK Refuses Holocaust Day Invite, Says It Motivates Humiliating Arabs

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) on Wednesday refused an invitation to the final memorial rally of Holocaust Day at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai (named after Mordechai Anielewicz, commander of the Jewish underground in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising). Zoabi said that “the lessons of the Holocaust should not be taught in order to increase the motivation to defend oneself by humiliating and repressing [others].” The organizers, the Havatselet group, invited all 120 Knesset members to the event on May 5.

Zoabi began her letter to the group saying she was honored to “participate in marking a human tragedy that took the lives of millions of people, and showed how far down it is possible to dive to the depths of human horror, to the boundary of the absurd and the loss of the human image.”

Then she noted, “It is an honor for me to stand in memory of the victims, but it is just as important to sound the alert for you regarding that which preceded the Holocaust and paved the road to it. And precisely for that reason I decided to refuse your invitation.”

“The memory you are reviving is not the same memory the victims now symbolize.” According to Zoabi, “the learning of the Holocaust lessons in the state is done selectively and manipulatively. … You shouldn’t teach the lessons of the Holocaust by adopting a policy of closure, extortion, robbery and murder, extrajudicial executions, arrests without a trial, torture, gag orders, persecution of demonstrators and political activists. It would be a cynical, selective, distorted exploitation against the spirit of the Holocaust.”

“You shouldn’t teach the lessons of the Holocaust when you don’t recognize the frightening likeness between what’s going on around us today and what took place in Germany in the 1930s,” Zoabi wrote.

The Havatselet group released a statement saying, “The assembly is a-political and the memory of the Holocaust is important to all mankind regardless of religion, race or sex.”

JNi.Media

90-Yr-Old New Yorker Suing Art Dealer for Info on Paintings Stolen by Nazis

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Attorney David Toren, 90, is asking courts in the State of New York to help him win back two valuable works of art stolen by the Nazis.

Recently Toren found out that the son of Hitler’s favorite art dealer, Cornelius Gurlitt, had for decades owned three of the paintings owned by his family. The story came out when German authorities raided Gurlitt’s Munich apartment in 2013. There they found a $1.3 billion art collection he had been selling off, piece by piece, whenever he needed income.

One of the paintings was Two Riders on the Beach, by Max Liebermann.

Now Toren is searching for two others: Liebermann’s Basket Weavers and Nach House, painted by Franz Skarbiner.

The paintings, worth an estimated $5 million, were stolen from the Breslau mansion of his great uncle, industrialist David Friedmann, during World War II.

Friedmann’s entire collection of 54 pieces of museum quality art in that home was seized by Nazis as they stripped the Jews of everything they owned, selling it to finance the war.

Attorneys for Toren have petitioned the court to order Berlin-based art dealer Villa Grisebach Auctions, Inc., which has a branch in Manhattan, to open its books and reveal the buyer of the two paintings.

Nach House was sold in 1995 and Basket Weavers was sold in 2000, but the court papers indicate the art dealer refused to identify the buyers, citing client confidentiality.

Hana Levi Julian

Venice Jews Mark 500th Anniversary of World’s First Ghetto

Monday, March 28th, 2016

The Jews of Venice are appealing on behalf of the Muslim immigrants who are reaching the shores of Italy as they prepare to mark the half-millennial anniversary of the first ghetto.

The event commemorates the opening of the Jewish ghetto of Venice, created on March 29, 1516 to separate the Jews from the primarily Christian population of the time.

A series of cultural events are slated to take place this Tuesday to mark that date. The Jews of Venice say they believe their history can teach Europe that minorities can integrate while preserving their identities.

University Professor Shaul Bassi told The National in an interview on Monday, “Those of us who have worked on this anniversary believe the ghetto has precious ethical and cultural lessons to educate the public about Jews as well as the broader question of cross-cultural dialogue, co-operation and co-existence.

“Today, Italian Jews are proof that a minority can keep its identity and still integrate in a process of reciprocal influence,” he said.

“Elsewhere in Europe Jews were treated worse, and Venice to some extent was a safe harbor,” said Paolo Gnignati, leader of Venice’s Jewish community. “The city wanted them to come because they needed access to Jewish trading networks; it was good business on the part of the doges.

“We were deprived of our rights here, but contributed to Europe’s identity and we are still here,” Gnignati said. “We can serve as an example to newcomers who want to participate in Europe while preserving their original identity.”

The word “ghetto” in Italian is “geto” from “gettare,” the verb “to cast.” The Jews were forced into a cramped, polluted area surrounded by canals for the next 300 years. They were locked in at night and forced to pay the wages of their Christian guards.

During the day they were required to wear yellow caps to identify them as Jews (does any of this sound familiar?) as they entered the rest of the city. They were also ordered to use Christian architects to build the five synagogues in the ghetto itself, which remain today. Because the ghetto was so small, the Jews ended up creating the first skyscrapers, building apartments one on top of the other in order to accommodate the growing population. Some of the buildings, eight or nine stories high, are still the tallest in the city.

Napoleon knocked down the gates of the ghetto when he occupied Venice in 1879, allowing Jews to live where they chose.

By the time of World War II, the city’s Jewish population had dropped from 5,000 to just over 1,000. During the war, 246 of the city’s Jews were sent to die in the concentration camps. Only eight returned.

Today in Venice only 450 Jews remain, with just a handful in the ‘ghetto.’ The five synagogues there are still open, and Venetian Jews say they’re urging incoming Muslims to learn from their history in order to survive.

Hana Levi Julian

Anne Frank’s Family Annex is Now ‘Escape Bunker’ Tourist Game in Netherlands

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

“Escape bunker” tourist games have become the latest rage now, but everything has a red line.

The Anne Frank Foundation drew that line last week when an ‘escape bunker’ tourist attraction opened in the Netherlands.

The new game is based on the annex attic where young teenager Anne Frank hid with her family from the Nazis, writing about the experience in a diary that became a world-renowned account of the Jews’ desperate attempt to escape the genocide.

The so-called “bunker” is located in Valkenswaard, a town about 87 miles south of Amsterdam. It is intended to make people think that if they were smart enough, they could remain hidden from the Nazis – maybe for the duration of World War II.

It’s been slammed as insensitive, especially since the room has been recreated to appear like the apartment where Anne Frank and her family lived during the war.

Game players are locked in and are given one hour within which to escape, using creative, “out of the box” teamwork.

But the Holocaust was no game. The lives of the young teenager and her family were trivial game pieces only to the monsters who tortured and stole their lives and those of their fellow villagers and loved ones.

A pitiful remnant of the majestic Jewish world that graced Europe with its wisdom and wealth was all that remained from blood-dripped hands of the Nazis in World War II.

Anne Frank was not among them.

The foundation which manages the museum in the house that contains the attic apartment in which the Frank family hid by the side of the canal, slammed the “game,” adding it was historically wrong as well.

“It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust) to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room,” the foundation said in a statement. The bunker “creates the impression that hiding (from the Nazis) is an exciting game and if those hiding are smart enough they won’t be caught.”

An impression that is obviously, tragically, horrifically wrong, as any member of the three subsequent generations of descendants of any Holocaust survivor can tell you.

Hana Levi Julian

Son of Saul’ Wins Oscar for Best Foreign Film

Monday, February 29th, 2016

The 2015 Hungarian drama of a Sonderkommando prisoner at Auschwitz forced to load dead Jewish bodies into crematoria for the Nazis has just won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

Directed by László Nemes and co-written by Nemes and Clara Royer, the plot follows a 36-hour period in the life of Saul, who discovers among the bodies a barely-living young boy.

Believing the child to be his young son and unable to save his life, he instead focuses on finding a rabbi to at least provide his child with a proper Jewish burial.

There are few among U.S. war veterans, American Jewry, their relations and their friends who would not be touched by this film.

First-time feature director Nemes accepted the award Sunday night for the film.

“Even in the darkest hours of mankind, there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human. That’s the hope of this film,” he said.

It is the ninth Hungarian film to be nominated for the honor, but the first one to win.

Twenty-four hours earlier, “Son of Saul” took the Indie Spirit for Best International Film and a win in its category at the Golden Reel Awards. The film was also shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It also took the 73rd Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in last month.

A Sony Pictures Classic picked up in Cannes (where it won the Grand Jury Prize last May) from Films Distribution, “Son of Saul” was released in the United States in December and has since grossed approximately $1.3 million.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama: US Must Lead Fight Against Rising Anti-Semitism

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama told a gathering at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday that America has an obligation to lead the fight against rising anti-Semitism.

“We are all Jews,” Obama said. “All of us have a responsibility.”Obama’s presence at the embassy signaled a thaw in relations between the White House and Jerusalem. Or at least, an effort by the president to win back Jewish voters before they go to the polls in November.

<iframe width=”475″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/HXHzHVTURs4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Speaking at a ceremony to present Righteous Among the Nations awards marking International Holocaust Day, Obama said the rise in anti-Semitism is “undeniable.” It is the first time that this event has ever been held at the Israeli embassy as well.

The families of Walery and Maryla Zbijewski of Poland, teacher Lois Gunden and Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds came to accept the honors for their deceased, heroic loved ones. They were presented with the “Righteous Among the Nations” awards by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Israel on behalf of the Jewish People for risking their lives to save Jews from the Nazis.

Without fanfare, the U.S. president entered the room together with Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, who was clearly, deeply appreciative of the honor granted him. “This is the first time a sitting president has ever spoken to our embassy,” Dermer said in his introduction.

Obama himself turned to the issue of the rising anti-Semitism around the globe, and in the United States as well.

“We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it,” the president said. “When we see some Jews leaving major European cities where their families have lived for generations, because they no longer feel safe; when Jewish centers are targeted from Mumbai to Overland Park, Kansas; when swastikas appear on college campuses – when we see all that and more, we must not be silent,” he continued.

“As president, I’ve made sure that the United States is leading the global fight against anti-Semitism. And it’s why, with Israel and countries around the world, we organized the first United Nations General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism. It’s why we’ve urged other nations to dedicate a special envoy this threat, as we have.”

Obama also spoke of his own family experience with the Holocaust, a memory of his grandmother’s narration. He spoke of how his great uncle returned home from helping to liberate Buchenwald so shaken by what he had seen that “he did not speak to anyone for six months, just went up in his attic, couldn’t fully absorb the horror that he had witnessed.”

The U.S. president also took his own family to Buchenwald, to see for himself the place where his great uncle had been so traumatized, and where he had helped save so many lives. He also brought his two daughters to the Holocaust Museum “because our children must know this chapter of our history and must never repeat it.”

He underlined the difference between criticizing Israeli policies, and denying Israel’s right to exist, and said “when Israel faces terrorism we stand up forcefully and proudly in defense of our ally, in defense of our friend, in defense of the Jewish State of Israel.

“America’s commitment to Israel’s security remains, now and forever, unshakeable,” Obama said. “It would be a fundamental moral failing if America broke that bond.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pres-obama-us-must-lead-fight-against-rising-anti-semitism/2016/01/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: