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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

‘Britain’s Schindler’ Dies at the Age of 106

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Nicholas Winton, known as “Britain’s Schindler” for his rescuing 669 Jewish children from the Holocaust, died in England on Wednesday at the age of 106.

He remained silent about his heroism in helping the children escape from Czechoslovakia until his wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their home in 1988. It included a record of names and pictures of the children whom he helped rescue and prompted an exposure of his heroism.

Winton discovered the situation of Jews in Czechoslovakia when he visited there at the behest of a friend in 1938. A stockbroker by trade, Winton bribed German officials and forged document to rescue children, despite the Gestapo’s being on his trail.

He returned to Britain a year later and continued to help rescue efforts by raising money and finding foster homes for more children whom two friends were still working to rescue from within Czechoslovakia. Queen Elizabeth granted Winton knighthood for his work.

The New York Times reported that among “Winton’s children” are film director Karel Reisz, who made “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” and “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” (1960); Lord Alfred Dubs, who became a member of Parliament; Joe Schlesinger, a Canadian broadcast correspondent; Hugo Marom, a founder of the Israeli Air Force; author Vera Gissing; and Renata Laxová, a geneticist who discovered the Neu-Laxová Syndrome, a congenital abnormality.
Winton’s wife died in 1999, and he is survived by two children and grandchildren.

Nicholas Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London, a son of Barbara (née Wertheimer) and Rudolph Wertheim. His parents were German Jews who had moved to London two years earlier.The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptized.

‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’: ‘I can only ask my God for forgiveness’

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Former Nazi guard Oskar Groening, 94, asked for forgiveness on Wednesday upon testifying in his trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. Groening, dubbed the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” collected and tallied money from new prisoners arriving at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

He testified:

There was self-denial in me that today I find impossible to explain. Perhaps it was also the convenience of obedience with which we were brought up, which allowed no contradiction. This indoctrinated obedience prevented registering the daily atrocities as such and rebelling against them.

I can only ask my God for forgiveness.

During the trial on Wednesday, Auschwitz survivor Irene Weiss, 84, recounted how she arrived to the death camp at age 13 and was immediately separated from most of her family. “A woman pointed to a chimney and said: ‘Do you see the smoke? There is your family,'” she said.

Weiss said she considers Groening more than just a “small cog in the machine.”

“To that 13-year-old, any person who wore that uniform in that place, represented terror and the depths to which humanity can sink, regardless of what function they performed,” she said.

Social Security Administration Paid $20 Million to Nazi Suspects

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Social Security Administration of the United States paid 130 suspected Nazi war criminals $20.2 million in benefits before this year’s new “No Social Security for Nazis Act” took effect, the Associated Press reported.

The amount of money is far greater than previously estimated and provides further evidence that thousands of former Nazis, including SS guards, lied their way into the United States, denied their past and then collected federal  benefits after retiring.

The Justice Dept. also used a legal loophole to offer Social Security payments to suspected Nazis who agreed to leave the United States until this year’s act ended the practice.

A full report of a federal investigation, prompted by a previous AP story, is to be released later this week.

The news agency said it obtained a copy of the report of payments to Nazi war criminals since 1962. No names are listed in the report, but the Social Security Administration obviously has the names, raising questions of whether it and the Justice Dept. are protecting them from possible prosecution for war crimes.

The American government was inactive when it came to looking for Nazis until it established its own unit in 1979 to hunt them.

After the original AP report last year, New York Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked Social Security to investigate, and she said on Saturday that the report shows the recipients included confirmed Nazis.

She said in a statement:

We must continue working to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and hold those responsible accountable. One way to do that is by providing as much information to the public as possible. This report hopefully provides some clarity.

The report said 38 formers Nazis received $5.6 million before being deported while 95 suspected Nazis, whose possible war crimes were not confirmed, continued to collect $14.5 million.

Red Cross Says it ‘Failed to Protect Jews’ Murdered by Nazis

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The Red Cross failed to protest Jews murdered by the Nazis, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps in Geneva said that

Peter Maurer said in the keynote address:

The ICRC failed to protect civilians and, most notably, the Jews persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime. It failed as a humanitarian organization because it lost its moral compass….

The ICRC did not see Nazi Germany for what it was. Instead, the organization maintained the illusion that the Third Reich was a ‘regular partner’, a state that occasionally violates laws, not unlike any army during World War I, occasionally using illegal means and methods of warfare.

World Jewish Congress president Ron Lauder told the audience, “World silence and indifference to the fate of the Jewish people led to the Holocaust. The Red Cross chose silence as well.”

The Geneva-based ICRC was the principal humanitarian institution maintaining communications with both the Allied and Axis powers in World War II.

The Red Cross assisted and protected to Allied prisoners of war held by Nazi Germany but not for Jewish deportees as Berlin.

The ICRC also did not publicly denounce the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.

Maurer declared at the event, called “Remembering the Shoah: The ICRC and the International Community’s Efforts in Responding to Genocide and Protecting Civilians,” that “never again” may only be an expression because “we cannot guarantee that a humanitarian catastrophe of the extent of the Holocaust will not happen again. On the contrary, we witness a catalogue of atrocities, every day, in wars across the globe.”

Lauder noted that the ‘ICRC needs to lead in struggle between good and evil’… and has an important obligation that goes beyond relief work.

Left unsaid was that the Red Cross actually helped Nazi criminals escape Germany during the war.

Also left unsaid was the Red Cross’ paralysis during the captivity of Israel soldier Gilad Shalit after he was kidnapped by Hamas. The Red Cross failed to convince Hamas to honor the Geneva Convention and allow communication with his family but continued to make sure that Gaza Arabs could visit their terrorist relatives in Israeli prisons.

Obama Saves ‘Never Again’ but Steers Clear of Mentioning Iran

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

President Barack Obama recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day that was marked in Israel on Thursday with a  splendid statement against anti-Semitism while ignoring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks last night  that noted that Iran is preparing to murder 6 million Jews in Israel with a nuclear weapon.

Obama dutifully said, “Never Forget” and “Never Again” and added:

Yet, even as we recognize that mankind is capable of unspeakable acts of evil, we also draw strength from the survivors, the liberators, and the righteous among nations who represented humanity at its best.

With their example to guide us, together we must firmly and forcefully condemn the anti-Semitism that is still far too common today. Together we must stand against bigotry and hatred in all their forms. And together, we can leave our children a world that is more just, more free, and more secure for all humankind.

Netanyahu has asked that if President Obama is so sure his deal with Iran can stop the regime in Tehran from procuring a nuclear warhead to be aimed at Israel, all Iran has to do to signal its peaceful intentions is to recognize Israel as a country.

Obama rejected the idea out of hand, explaining  that  it is not practical because it would ruin his deal with the Islamic Republic.

Netanyahu Warns ‘Bad Deal’ with Iran Repeats Appeasement to Hitler

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that the “bad deal” with Iran repeats the sin of appeasing the evil Nazi regime.

In his remarks at the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance away, the Prime Minister  said:

Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a “master race” to replace it in controlling the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.

The Prime Minister said that before World War II, “The free world tried to appease the Nazi regime, to gain its trust, to curry its favor through gestures. There were those who warned that this compromising policy would only whet Hitler’s appetite, but these warnings were ignored due to the natural human desire for calm at all costs. And indeed, the price was exacted not long later, and it .was too heavy to bear – six million of our people were slaughtered in the Holocaust….

“Today, evermore threats challenge the human civilization. Radical Islamic forces are flooding the Middle East, destroying remnants of the past, torturing the helpless, murdering innocents. They hope to establish caliphates, more than one, like in the Middle Ages. At the same time, the extremist regime in Iran is oppressing its people; it is rushing forward and submerging the Middle East in blood and suffering – in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Gaza and across the border of the Golan.”

Netanyahu stressed that Iran not only is accumulating a stockpile of ballistic missiles but also is exporting terror by openly trying to take over parts of the Middle East while appeasers remain blind to reality.

Prime Minister Netanyahu quoted the Prophet Isaiah:

For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples.

He commented, “The determination and lessons that were acquired in blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place. The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized. The West is yielding in the face of Iran’s aggressive actions. Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the nuclear program in Iran – a country that clearly states its plans to exterminate six million Jews here and elsewhere, to eradicate many countries and many regimes – the superpowers back down. They are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities, and even allowing it to expand them later on, regardless of Iran’s actions in the Middle East and around the world.

“As the civilized world is lulled into slumber on a bed of illusions, the rulers of Iran continue to encourage subversion and terrorism, and disseminate destruction and death. The superpowers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting ‘Death to America; Death to Israel.’

“They turn a blind eye to the scenes of execution of those who oppose the regime and the members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also again hinted that a new Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance is taking place in the face of the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“The bubble of this illusion is going to burst. Democratic governments made a critical mistake before World War II, and we are convinced – and I must say that many of our neighbors are too – that they are making a grave mistake now too,” the Prime Minister declared. “It is possible that this partnership with many of our neighbors, the partnership in identifying threats, is the foundation for the partnership in forging a better, safer and more peaceful future in our region

Number of Holocaust Survivors Declines to 189,000

Monday, April 13th, 2015

There are 189,000 survivors of the Holocaust still living, but an average of 40 die every day, the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel reported Monday in its annual report.

Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The Foundation also said that 45,000 survivors live in poverty, as defined by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).

One-third of the survivors live alone, and two-thirds of them are women. The average age of survivors now is 83.3.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/number-of-holocaust-survivors-declines-to-189000/2015/04/13/

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