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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nazi Germany’

Nazis Continue to have their Evils Undone

Friday, May 15th, 2015

A brilliant German scientist was denied her doctorate back in 1938 because, as the daughter of a Jewish woman, she was ineligible as “a first-degree crossbreed,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

But now, at the age of 102, Inbeborg Rapoport will finally receive her doctorate for work on the infectious disease diphtheria, which was ravaging European and American children when she submitted her doctoral papers.

Rapoport was a student at the University of Hamburg, which declared itself “the first national-socialist institute of higher learning in the Reich,” and refused to allow her to complete her oral defense of her dissertation.

But now, almost eight decades later, Rapoport will finally receive her doctorate. Rapoport is already a doctor, having obtained a medical degree from Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, after having arrived alone and penniless in the U.S. in 1938.

Rapoport has had quite the life – she fled Nazi Germany, came to the States and married an Austrian-Jew who came under suspicion as an active member of the Communist party, then fled the U.S. for Europe and now lives in Berlin.

Her son, a Harvard Medical School professor, was able to connect with the dean of the University of Hamburg’s medical school. After many obstacles, Rapoport finally was given – and passed – her oral defense of her dissertation and will receive the long-denied doctorate on June 9.

Rapoport will be the oldest person on record to receive a doctorate.

Surviving Auschwitz: Kate Bernath’s Testimonial

Friday, April 17th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined in-studio by 88-year-old Kate Bernath, grandmother of his wife, Malkah, to hear her Holocaust testimonial: What was it like as a Hungarian Jew getting off the train at Auschwitz, and how it felt to have your mother separated from you forever by Dr. Mengele.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Ex-Auschwitz Guard Charged with 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Germany has charged a 93-year-old former guard at the Auschwitz death camp with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder.

The former guard and his lawyer said he “only” witnessed murders and in any case was only a “cog” in the Nazi death machine.

Groening, in good health, is one of approximately 30 former Auschwitz guards who face possible charges.

He previously has talked freely about the Nazi slaughter of Jews and told Der Spiegel in 2005 that once he heard a baby crying and “I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs… He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.”

But he was only a cog, right? Just following orders.

Twenty Auschwitz survivors and relatives of victims are co-plaintiffs against Groening, and one of them, Thomas Walther, told the Associated Press, time is running out “to participate in bringing justice to one of the SS men who had a part in the murder of their closest relatives.”

Groening was a guard at Auschwitz in 1944, and his job was to take and count money from hundreds of thousands of Jews who Nazis crammed into cattle cars and transported from Poland to Auschwitz. Most of them were butchered or gassed to death, but only after Groening made sure their money was counted and in the hands of his superiors.

 

 

 

The Holocaust Survivor Who Fought in Every Israeli War (Video)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Ze’ev Tibi Ram is one of two Holocaust survivors who fought in every Israeli war.

He perfectly symbolizes “Shoah ve Tkuma”- Holocaust and rebirth. As a Holocaust survivor, Tibi understands better than anyone the importance of protecting the Jewish state.

He lost his whole family in the Holocaust but survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

After being separated from his mother and eventually finding her at the end of the war, she disappeared and Tibi never saw her again. His brother survived until the end of the war, but died shortly after.

Now, Tibi gives lectures to soldiers about the Holocaust and his extensive military experience. He is also the proud grandfather of an IDF soldier

He says life has been good – except for that one insane year of Nazi persecution.

Hungary’s Jewish Community Marks 70th Anniversary of Nazi Invasion

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The Hungarian Jewish community held a memorial event in front of the downtown Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest Wednesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the occupation of Hungary by the Nazi-led German Army.

The event, sponsored by the Jewish community but open to the public, comes after representatives of Mazsihisz, the Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, voted to boycott state-sponsored Holocaust memorial programs.

“This event is the beginning of Holocaust commemorations in Hungary for the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust,” said András Heisler, president of Mazsihisz, the Federations of Hungarian Jewish Communities, in the opening speech of the event, which drew thousands.

“In the name of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed during the Shoah, we raise our voice against those, who are in power, in whom as a minority we cannot trust,” said Heisler, expressing the Hungarian Jewish community’s disappointment with the government, which it accuses of shifting away national responsibility for the murder of the country’s Jews during the Holocaust.

Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, was invited to the event, but did not attend; however, his deputy, Zsolt Semjén, was present. The head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, Cardinal Peter Erdő, and Gusztav Bölcskei, Bishop of the Protestant Church in Hungary, also attended the program.

Hungarian general elections are set for April 6.

“In solidarity with the Hungarian Jews, we are not accepting the relativization of the Holocaust, not accepting the denial of the Holocaust, and not accepting the culture of amnesia, of forgetting,” Israel’s ambassador to Hungary, Ilan Mor, said at the event.

Tags: Breaking News, Holocaust memorial program, Mazsihisz, Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, Viktor Orban

 

Alleged Ex-Auschwitz Medic, 93, Arrested in Germany

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

An alleged former medic at Auschwitz was arrested in Germany on accusations that he was an accessory to murder.

The name of the 93-year-old man was not released in accordance with German privacy laws. He is accused of serving as a medic at the concentration camp in September 1944. Eight transports arrived at Auschwitz during that time, and 1,721 people were murdered after being labeled unfit to work, according to Der Spiegel.

Stefan Urbanek, a spokesman for the state prosecutor in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in northeast Germany, told reporters that the accused has not denied being at Auschwitz, but he “said that he had had no idea about the purpose of the camp” at the time.

Court doctors have determined that the man is well enough to stand trial and serve jail time.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder praised German authorities for making the arrest, noting that such prosecutions nearly 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz “sends a clear message that justice must be done, no matter how late the hour. There cannot be a statute of limitation for crimes against humanity, and mass murderers must continue to live in fear of the long arm of the law.”

“Old age should not afford protection to those who helped run the largest mass murder operation in human history,” the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, Israel director Efraim Zuroff, told JTA in an email.

Zuroff last fall renewed the Operation Last Chance campaign to find the last Nazi war criminals in Germany.

Clues leading to about 30 suspects last fall came from the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in Ludwigsburg, which made a major push to identify former death camp guards after the conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2011 for his role in the murders of nearly 30,000 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in Poland.

The Demjanjuk case set a precedent that serving as a guard at a death camp was sufficient to prove complicity in murder.

Refugee Who Rescued Husband from Dachau, Dies at 111

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Soon after Kristallnacht, when she was 36, Gisela Kohn Dollinger persuaded the Gestapo to release her husband from the Dachau concentration camp, and the two of them fled Austria for Shanghai, where she almost died of typhoid.

After that, death seemed to forget all about her — until last week, when Dollinger passed away peacefully at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was 111 years old.

Dollinger’s passing came just weeks after Alice Herz-Sommer, a pianist and the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary who was believed to be the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, died at the comparatively young age of 110.

Known by her friends and family as “Gisa,” Dollinger was the youngest of 15 children. She was born in Baden-be-Wien, a Vienna suburb, on Aug. 30, 1902, according to her relatives.

Widowed in 1993 after more than 60 years of marriage, Dollinger never had children but leaves behind scores of nieces, nephews and their offspring in numerous countries, including the United States, Israel and England.

“To everyone in the family she was always Aunt Gisa or Tante Gisa,” recalled Dr. Mark Horowitz, a grand-nephew who lives in Manhattan.

Dollinger retained her full mental faculties and was able to remain in her New York apartment until the end, although in her final years her vision and hearing deteriorated — a source of frustration since reading, conversation and listening to music were her favorite activities.

Horowitz described his great-aunt as “well educated and well cultured,” a frequent theater and opera-goer who spoke several languages.

Carole Vogel, a great-great-niece who is the unofficial family historian, told how in 2005, at the age of 103, Dollinger returned to Austria for the first time since she and her husband, Bernard, had fled in December 1938.

She had been invited to speak at the rededication of the synagogue her father had helped found in the 1880s and decided to use the trip as an excuse for a family reunion. At least 22 family members came along.

“I don’t know how many 103-year-olds go on trans-Atlantic flights, but she did,” recalled Vogel, who attended the reunion.

During the trip, the centenarian guided family members around Baden-be-Wien, pointing out where family members and other Jews lived.

“She also pointed out the homes of the Nazis and their names,” Vogel said. “She’d say, ‘I went to school with her, and she married a Nazi.’ She had a phenomenal memory up until the end.”

Shortly after Kristallnacht, when her family-owned dry-goods store was destroyed and Bernard was deported to Dachau, Dollinger went to the Gestapo in Vienna — putting herself at risk — and asked for her husband’s release, arguing successfully that since he was not an Austrian citizen (he was Polish), he should not have been included in the roundup.

Some family members have speculated that her persuasion included a bribe, but Dollinger never mentioned that when recounting the story, Vogel said.

“She credited the release of her husband to the fact that someone had advised her to speak to a certain Gestapo officer who was known to be more open to reason and that she showed him a valid Polish passport belonging to Bernard,” Vogel explained, adding that “open to reason” might have meant bribes, because “with Gisa everything could be in the nuance.”

Upon his release, Bernard was told that if he did not leave Austria within two weeks he would be returned to the concentration camp. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation, the couple managed to obtain two first-class tickets on a boat to Japanese-occupied China, one of the few places where Jews could easily obtain visas at the time.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/refugee-who-rescued-husband-from-dachau-dies-at-111/2014/03/19/

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