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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Rare Color Footage: a Shtetl in 1939

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Amateur photographer David Teitelbaum, born in the town of Wielopole Skrzyńskie in 1891, probably shot this footage in June or July of 1939, only weeks before the September 1 Nazi invasion. It could also have been on his previous visit to his hometown, in 1938.

The film, shown on the Yad Vashem website, features members of the Wielopole Teitelbaum, Rappaport and Sartoria families, their neighbors and acquaintances.

On 26 June, 1942, the Jews of Wielopole Skrzyńskie were deported to the ghetto in Ropzcyce. Some 50 sick and elderly Jews were murdered before the forced departure. Some of the people who appear in the film were amongst those murdered that day.


German Police Three Auschwitz Guard Suspects

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

German police arrested three men in their 80s and 90s Thursday on suspicion of accessory to murder when they were guards at the Auschwitz death camp. Three others, all in their 90s, may also be arrested if police uncover enough evidence to warrant putting them on trial.

“This is a major step,” said Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem. After being told of the arrests, he told the Associated Press, “Given the advanced age of the defendants, every effort should be made to expedite their prosecution.”

German authorities announced last year they would investigate former guards at Nazi death camps. At the trial of former Sobibor death camp guard John Demjanjuk, who died in 2012 while appealing his conviction, the courts set a precedent by accepting prosecutors’ arguments that death camp guards were accessories to murder.

Argentinean Selling Nazi Symbols Ordered to Perform Community Service

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

A Buenos Aires city court is requiring a vendor of Nazi souvenirs and symbols to perform community service and take a course about the Holocaust.

City prosecutor Gustavo Galante collected evidence in the case with the help of the Anti-Discriminatory Division of the Federal Police. The seller, who has not been publicly named, sold Nazi souvenirs and symbols in Argentina and abroad. They were offered in Argentinean currency as well as in dollars and euros.

Judge Fernanda Botana made his ruling following a plea agreement struck with the sellers’ lawyers.

The seller must perform 40 hours of community service through a charitable organization, take a course about the Holocaust at the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and take a course about tolerance at the National Institute Against Discrimination.

The prosecutor told local media that the unnamed settler acted alone and is not a member of the Nazi party or another neo-Nazi organization.

Argentina has had an anti-discriminatory law on the books since 1988.

European-Israeli Friendship, Oxymoron?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Considering what’s in the news recently, I really wonder if there is such a thing as European countries that like and support the State of Israel.  Europe’s Leftists are in the forefront of banning kosher slaughter (shechita,) the BDS movement, the anti-Israel pro-Palestine sic organizations and work hard to train the local Arabs in how to best undermine the State of Israel, its reputation and legal legitimacy.

And of course we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the Holocaust was initiated in Nazi Germany, and the other European countries did nothing to stop it.  Many, such as Switzerland kept its borders closed to Jews, while claiming neutrality.

So nobody should be all that surprised that European Parliament President Martin Schulz used our Knesset (Parliament) to spout the Arab terrorist accusations against Israel.  He should have been stopped and carted off to jail for public incitement and slander against the State of Israel.

Speaking about a meeting with Palestinians in Ramallah earlier this week, Schulz said, “One of the questions these young people asked me which I found most moving — although I could not check the exact figures — was this: how can it be that an Israeli is allowed to use 70 liters of water per day, but a Palestinian only 17?” Schulz also called Israeli settlement policy an “obstacle” to a peace deal and said Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is “driving people to despair — despair which in turn is being exploited by extremists.” “The blockade may in fact undermine, rather than strengthen, Israel’s security,” Schulz asserted.

There must at least be formal protests and sanctions against Schulz by the State of Israel!

For some strange reason, Israelis like to think of Holland as a friend and ally, but there isn’t much friendship there, either.

Nearly Half the Dutch Believe Israel Trying to Exterminate Arabs The Dutch believe Israel is the greatest threat to world peace and that it is trying to exterminate the Palestinian Arabs

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/nearly-half-the-dutch-believe-israel-trying-to-exterminate-arabs/2014/02/14/

Some of these numbers may be because there is now a high percentage of muslims in the Dutch population. As many old time Dutch now say:

“Holland isn’t Holland any more.”

Among the most dangerous of the anti-Israel propaganda groups is the BDS Movement which uses boycott and threats of boycott not only to deny Jews their legitimate civil rights in the State of Israel but to pressure Israel to make dangerous irreversible changes in policy.

It would be a lot better if the State of Israel would just recognize that no foreign government, international organization or NPO can be trusted as friend and ally.  Our only true ally is G-d Almighty, the All Powerful Who Makes Miracles.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor Stars in Oscar-Nominated Film

Friday, February 14th, 2014

In her 110 years, Alice Herz-Sommer has been an accomplished concert pianist and teacher, a wife and mother — and a prisoner in Theresienstadt.

Now she is the star of an Oscar-nominated documentary showing her  indomitable optimism, cheerfulness and vitality despite all the upheavals and horrors she faced in the 20th century.

“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” a 38-minute film up for best short documentary at the Academy Awards to be handed out next month, begins in her native Prague. Alice — everyone from presidents on down calls her Alice — was born on Nov. 26, 1903 into an upper-class Jewish family steeped in literature and classical music.

A friend and frequent visitor was “Uncle Franz,” surname Kafka, along with composer Gustav Mahler and other luminaries.

Trained as a pianist from childhood, Alice made her concert debut as a teenager, married, had a son and seemed destined for the pleasant, cultured life of a prosperous Middle European. But everything changed in 1939 when Hitler, casually tearing up the Munich accord of a year earlier, marched his troops into Prague and brought with him his anti-Semitic edicts.

Her public concert career was over, yet the family managed to hang on in an increasingly restrictive existence in the Czech capital.

In 1943, however, Alice and her husband, their 6-year old son Raphael (Rafi), and Alice’s mother were loaded on the transport to Theresienstadt. The fortress town some 30 miles from Prague was touted by Nazi propaganda as the model ghetto — “The Fuhrer’s gift to the Jews,” with its own orchestra, theater group and even soccer teams.

With the full extent of the Holocaust still largely unknown, Alice took her deportation with relative equanimity, as was typical for many European Jews.

“If they have an orchestra in Terezin, how bad can it be?” she recalled asking, using the Czech name of the town.

Alice soon found out, as her mother and husband perished there. Alice was saved by her musical gifts and became a member of the camp orchestra and gave more than 100 recitals.

But her main focus was on Rafi, trying to make his life bearable, to escape the constant hunger and infuse him with her own hopefulness.

“What she did reminded me of Roberto Benigni in the Italian film ‘Life is Beautiful,’ “ said Malcolm Clarke, director of “The Lady in Number 6.” “He plays an Italian Jew who pretends to his young son that life in the camp is some kind of elaborate game for the boy’s special amusement.”

Liberated in 1945, Alice and Rafi returned to Prague but four years later left for Israel. There she taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and performed in concerts frequently attended by Golda Meir, while Rafi became a concert cellist.

Alice said she loved her 37 years living in Israel, but when Rafi, her only child, decided to move to London, she went with him. A few years later Rafi died at 65, but the mother remained in her small flat, No. 6, in a North London apartment house.

Nearly all of the film was shot over a two-year period inside the flat dominated by an old Steinway piano on which Alice played four hours each day, to the enjoyment of her neighbors.

Originally the filmmakers considered “Dancing Under the Gallows” as the film’s title before going with “The Lady in Number 6.”

It was a wise decision, for the film is anything but a grim Holocaust documentary with Alice’s unfailing affirmation of life, usually accompanied by gusts of laughter.

Her health and speech have declined in recent months, and she no longer does interviews. But in a brief phone conversation, conducted mainly in German, Alice attributed her outlook partially to having been born with optimistic genes and a positive attitude.

British MP Apologizes for Equating Palestinian Suffering with Shoah

Monday, February 10th, 2014

A British lawmaker apologized for remarks comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

Yasmin Qureshi of the Labor Party made her apology in a statement on Friday for remarks she made two days earlier to the Parliament.

“The debate was about the plight of the Palestinian people and in no way did I mean to equate events in Gaza with the Holocaust. I apologize for any offense caused,” she said. “I am also personally hurt if people thought I meant this.

“As someone who has visited the crematoria and gas chambers of Auschwitz, I know the Holocaust was the most brutal act of genocide of the 20th century and no one should seek to underestimate its impact.”

Qureshi had said on Feb. 5, “Israel was founded because of what happened to the millions and millions of Jews who suffered genocide. Their properties, homes and land, everything, were taken away, and they were deprived of rights. Of course, many millions perished.

“It is quite strange that some of the people who are running the state of Israel seem to be quite complacent and happy to allow the same to happen in Gaza.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, condemned the remarks.

“We expect our politicians to speak responsibly and sensitively about the past and about events today,” she said, the Jewish Chronicle reported. “These lazy and deliberate distortions have no place in British politics.”

Labor Friends of Israel had called on Qureshi to apologize following the remarks.

Jewish Groups Rejecting Hungary’s Grants for Holocaust Events

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Several Jewish organizations in Hungary as a form of protest will not accept government grants for memorial events marking the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust.

The groups are protesting what they consider the state’s whitewashing of Hungary’s role in the Holocaust.

The organizations turning down the grants from the Civil Fund include the Frankel Leo synagogue in Budapest, the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival and the Jewish community in Nove Zamky, which is located over the border in Slovakia.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Frankel Synagogue Foundation said it decided to reject the funds to “draw attention” to several instances of what it called the state’s distortion of Holocaust history and the role of the regime of Miklos Horthy, who led Hungary into World War II as an ally of Nazi Germany.

The incidents, the synagogue statement said, “are incompatible with granting support for memorial events that pay tribute to the victims of mass murders or an honorable way of thinking.”

The synagogue, which is popular with young families, will hold memorial events, but does not “wish to use support from a government that displays turncoat behavior, arousing the indignation of the majority of Hungary’s Jewish community as well as the democratic international community.”

Hungary has named 2014 as Holocaust Memorial Year, marking the 70th anniversary of mass deportations of some 450,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. As part of the observances, the Civil Fund issued monetary grants to about 400 projects linked to commemoration, Jewish heritage or Jewish life.

In declining the grant, the president of the Nove Zamky Jewish community, Tomas Lang, wrote to the Civil Fund that while some Hungarian leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics, had recognized Hungarian responsibility in the Holocaust when speaking in international forums, “the direction of official statements and actions belies their words.”

Lang also wrote last week, “We cannot lend our names to the falsification of history and the whitewashing of the Horthy regime.”

A number of Jewish organizations are meeting with government representatives on Thursday. On Sunday, a special assembly of Hungarian Jewish communities will decide whether to stage a general boycott of state-sponsored events.

Report: Croatia Probes Former US Citizen on Auschwitz War Crimes

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Croatian authorities are investigating a 90-year-old man suspected of committing war crimes as an SS soldier and guard at the Auschwitz death camp.

Germany’s Special Prosecutor’s Office for Investigation of Crimes during the Period of National Socialism last month alerted Croatian authorities to the presence in Croatia of Jacob Dencinger, the Croatian news outlet Jutarnji reported.

Dencinger reportedly was flagged by the United States  for having lied in applying for American citizenship, which he received in 1972, according to Jutarnji. He had moved to the United States nearly 16 years earlier and left in 1989, after his citizenship was revoked.

Born in Cepin, Dencinger is reportedly an ethnic German who allegedly joined the Waffen SS elite Nazi unit during World War II, when Croatia had a pro-Nazi government.

The Croatian State Attorney’s Office confirmed receiving the information but gave no further information. Additional information was requested from the United States, Jutarnji reported.

The Dencinger listed by German authorities joined the Waffen SS at the age of 18, and served as a guard in at least five concentration camps, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of labor and death camps, where 1.5 million Jews were murdered.

Sasa Cvetkovic, vice president of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, said in a statement last week that the community was “closely monitoring the investigation by the Croatian authorities.”

Tags: Breaking News, jacon dencinger, Nazi war criminals, war crimes in croatia, Germany’s Special Prosecutor’s Office for Investigation of Crimes during the Period of National Socialism

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-croatia-probes-former-us-citizen-on-auschwitz-war-crimes/2014/02/05/

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