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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘nazi’

ADL, Trump, Clashing over ‘Nazi’

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

It began with a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump (how many stories nowadays start exactly this way, one wonders), who vented: “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

In case you’ve been keeping out of the gutter that seems to be the place where our national and international news prefer to hover, we’ll enlighten you: on Wednesday, CNN reported that “a dossier, compiled by a person who has claimed to be a former British intelligence official, alleges Russia has compromising information on Trump.” Noting that said allegations are “unverified,” and the report “contains errors,” CNN nevertheless reported that the dossier includes compromising information about Donald Trump compiled by the Russians. And when we say compromising, they really, really are.

That’s why Trump was implying in his tweet that our clandestine services, who are not especially friendly to him (he did put them down a lot during and after the campaign), were behind the leaked dossier, which he insists is a total fake.

Incidentally, Trump is at war with CNN as well, and flogged their correspondent during this week’s press conference for being part of a “fake news” organization.

 

And now, because he has to, enter ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who apparently hates it when folks use the word “Nazi” too loosely. Needless to say, Greenblatt also doesn’t qualify as a big fan of the President-elect.

“The President-elect’s use of Nazi Germany to make a political analogy is not only an inappropriate comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust,” Greenblatt said in a stern statement (Apparently, “Nazi” should be kept for only special occasions, like the good service?).

“There are legitimate questions on all sides regarding foreign influence in the 2016 presidential race,” Greenblatt explained, “But the United States has democratic elections, a free press, rule of law and a civil service – including our intelligence agencies – that is deeply loyal to the US Constitution. These facts invalidate any analogies between America and totalitarian societies.”

That’s always good to know, by the way.

Greenblatt continued, extra-sober: “ADL always has maintained that glib comparisons to Nazi Germany are offensive and a trivialization of the Holocaust. We have a long record of speaking out when both Democrats and Republicans engage in such overheated rhetoric. It would be helpful for the President-Elect to explain his intentions or apologize for the remark.”

OK, how about press releases that take a piggyback ride on a harmless “Nazi” from a tweeting president-to-be – does that also count as glib Holocaust trivialization? Just wondering.

In case you were wondering, President-elect Trump did not apologize, but, as expected, Greenblatt got some copy for a day (including this story), so everybody is happy.

So, for the record, we are NOT living in Nazi Germany, and next time the president wants to use the N word, he should call up Jonathan Greenblatt.

JNi.Media

Maryland Jewish Couple Gets Nazi Note on Windshield after Hanging Black Lives Matter Flag

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Sonya and Mikey Franklin, transplanted Londoners living in the DC area who are also, as Mikey’s Twitter profile puts it, “Red Sea pedestrians,” on Sunday told BuzzFeed News that, just two days after they hung a Black Lives Matter flag on their window, their Rockville, Md. home was vandalized with toilet paper and eggs were thrown at their car “to scare us, and they succeeded because we’re scared,” Mikey Franklin told BuzzFeed News. “Not that people will harm us, but that there are people that would do this in our very diverse area.”

Also, on Saturday, the Franklins woke up to discover a crumpled anti-Semitic note–all caps–on their car windshield, with a yellow star and the word “Jude,” Nazi style.

The car has Black Lives Matter bumper stickers. Still, Mikey is certain “it had to be someone who knew that we were Jewish.”

Sonya, whose family hails from the Soviet Union, told BuzzFeed about the hate letter that “somehow, putting a yellow star on it, it’s made it more personal.”

Rockville Police classified the incident as a “possible hate crime and will be investigated as such,” even though there’s nothing in the all-caps text that’s outright anti-Semitic, because the Franklins explained to Sgt. Christopher Peck that “Jude” meant “Jew” in German. “We have no clue who did this,” Peck told BuzzFeed. “There’s no video cameras or surveillance video and no one has come forward as a witness.”

Franklin said the note and the vandalism came just two days after they took down a Black Lives Matter flag they hung from their kitchen window, which faces the public street.

Here’s one unexpected direction for the investigation: the Franklins received a note from the property management company of their unit telling them it’s against rules to personal item on the front of their building. So Thursday night they took down the offending flag.

JNi.Media

First Jewish Members Appointed to Germany’s Nazi Looted Art Panel

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Gary Smith, former director of the American Academy in Berlin, and Raphael Gross, director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture in Leipzig, have been appointed by German Culture Minister Monika Grütters as the first Jewish members of the Limbach Commission, established in 2003 to mediate in Nazi-looted art ownership disputes, The Art Newspaper reported.

The commission surprised the art world in 2014 when it concluded that the sale of the $250 million Guelph Treasure, a 40-piece trove of Medieval goldsmith works, which had been forced out of several German-Jewish art dealers from Frankfurt by Prime Minister Hermann Göring, “was not a compulsory sale due to persecution.”

And last March, Grütters faced shocked protests after telling the New York Times that if a Jew is appointed to the commission his “would be the only voice who would be prejudiced.” Needless to say, it didn’t play so good in New York City.

Minister Grütters is also introducing an increase in transparency to the workings of the commission, including a promise to publish its schedule and the reasons for its decisions. She also instituted a ten-year limit on members’ terms in office, and she plans to authorize the generation of provenance reports when necessary, paid for by the government. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved the reforms last week.

“I expect all German museums without exception to be willing to subject disputes to the Advisory Commission as a matter of course,” Grütters said. Unlike its Dutch and Austrian equivalents, the German Nazi Loot commission can only be called if both sides of a dispute agree.

David Israel

Kastner: Holocaust Hero Or Nazi Collaborator? – An Interview with Author Paul Bogdanor

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

In 1952, an elderly Hungarian Jew, Malchiel Gruenwald, published a pamphlet accusing Rudolph Kastner – a spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Trade and Industry – of collaborating with the Nazis during the Holocaust. The Israeli government sued Gruenwald for libel, expecting the trial to last a couple of days.

It didn’t. It lasted a yearAnd at its conclusion, instead of exonerating Kastner, Judge Benjamin Halevi found that Kastner had “sold his soul to the devil.” The trial led to the government’s collapse and the assassination of Kastner in 1957.

Although six decades have since passed, the Kastner Affair remains highly controversial. Some continue to see Kastner as a collaborator while others – like Israel’s Supreme Court, which overturned Halevi’s ruling by a vote of 3-2 in 1958 – argue that Kastner’s dealings with the Nazis enabled him to save over 1,500 Jews. The latest to weigh in on the debate is Paul Bogdanor, an independent researcher in England and author of the recently released “Kasztner’s Crime” (Transaction Publishers).

The Jewish Press: Many Jews know about Rudolph Kastner from the riveting book Perfidy, by Ben Hecht. Are your book’s findings in consonance, or in conflict, with those of Perfidy?

Bogdanor: What Perfidy says about Kastner is accurate. Its accusations against the Zionist movement as a whole, however, are not so accurate.

For example, Perfidy accuses Ben-Gurion and his colleagues of deliberately sabotaging a mission by Kastner’s colleague Joel Brand to convey Eichmann’s “goods for blood” offer to the West. This was an offer by the Nazis to release a million Jews in exchange for 10,000 trucks and other goods from the West. Hecht says the Zionist leadership willingly sabotaged this mission, and thus doomed the Jews to extermination.

But the opposite is true. Ben-Gurion and his colleagues went all out to further the “goods for blood” offer. In doing so, though, they fell into a Nazi trap since these trucks were going to be used on the Eastern front against the Soviets in an effort to split the Allied coalition at a crucial point of the war.

Furthermore, Eichmann told Brand that he would not murder Hungary’s Jews until he had a definite answer on the “goods for blood” offer when, in fact, he had already started deporting thousands of Hungarian Jews a day to Auschwitz even before Brand left Budapest to convey Eichmann’s offer to the Zionist leadership. In other words, the Nazis used this offer as a way of keeping the Jewish leadership busy while it went about murdering Jews.

You write that Brand might have been naïve but you offer no such excuses for Kastner. You regard him as an outright Nazi collaborator. Why?

Because he deliberately misled scores of thousands of Jews into boarding the trains to Auschwitz. And because throughout the mass deportation from Hungary to Auschwitz he sent Nazi disinformation to his Jewish contacts in the free world with the aim of aborting any successful rescue effort.

How so?

For example, at the height of the deportations – when 12,000 Hungarian Jews every day were being driven onto death trains and sent to Auschwitz – he wrote that the deported Jews were alive in “Waldsee,” which was a Nazi camouflage for Auschwitz. At one point he even claimed to have received 750,000 postcards from these Jews saying they were alive and well. So Kastner’s Jewish contacts abroad read these letters and were misled about what was going on.

Is it clear that Kastner knew the Nazis intended to exterminate these Jews?

Absolutely. There’s no doubt about that because he admitted it. After the war he said Eichmann repeatedly told him that Hungarian Jews were being exterminated in Auschwitz. He also knew that escapees from Auschwitz had warned that the camp was being prepared to receive – and murder – massive numbers of Hungarian Jews.

If Kastner knew the Nazis planned on exterminating Hungarian Jewry, why didn’t he sound the alarm? He negotiated with the Nazis to save 1,684 select Jews on board what later became known as the “Kastner Train,” but why didn’t he warn all of Hungarian Jewry to go underground or resist boarding the deportation trains to Auschwitz?

When the Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944, Kastner tried to negotiate the rescue of all of Hungary’s Jews. At the very first meeting with Adolf Eichmann’s officer, Dieter Wisliceny, on April 5, 1944, Kastner and Brand made four demands: no executions, no concentration in ghettoes, no deportations, and permission for Jews to emigrate.

Wisliceny, though, told Kastner that the Jews could only emigrate if the emigration was disguised as a deportation. Kastner agreed, and from that moment on he had to collaborate with the Nazis because he had to make sure Jews boarded the deportation trains. But of course, once the Jews were on these trains, the Nazis could do whatever they wanted with them, and they sent them to Auschwitz.

Perhaps Kastner thought he had no choice. Perhaps he believed the Nazis would most likely kill everyone and that only by negotiating and cooperating did he stand a chance of rescuing at least some Hungarian Jews.

First of all, if the Jews were going to be killed, they didn’t have to be killed with Kastner’s help. And secondly, there was an opportunity to save many thousands of Hungarian Jews in north Transylvania. There was an escape route across the border to Romania, but on May 3, 1944, Wisliceny told Kastner to tell the Jewish leaders in Kolozsvar – Kastner’s hometown – that the escape routes had been blocked.

Kastner gave this false information to the leaders in Kolozsvar who immediately ended all the escapes. Kastner directly obeyed a Nazi instruction to sabotage the escape routes from his hometown.

Didn’t Kastner realize at some point that he was being used? After all, the Nazis exempted him from wearing a yellow star and allowed him use of a phone and car. At one point, they even convinced him to hand over two rescue activists – Yoel Palgi and Peretz Goldstein – who had been smuggled into Hungary by the Zionist leadership. Didn’t this close relationship with the Nazis make Kastner suspicious?

Exactly. Kastner must have understood he was serving the interests of the Nazis and that his rescue negotiations were gaining time, not for the Jewish victims but for the Nazis to exterminate them. And I argue that he understood this very early on in the rescue negotiations.

So what are we to conclude – that Kastner was an evil man?

My conclusion is that he was motivated partly by his pessimism about the possibility of saving any Hungarian Jews and partly by his megalomania. You have to remember that before the Nazi occupation of Hungary, Kastner was an underground rescue activist. He wasn’t a major figure among Hungarian Jews; he was a minor figure operating illegally. As soon as the Nazis occupied the country, though, he suddenly became the most important figure in Hungarian Jewry because he was the only person (after Brand’s departure) allowed to negotiate officially with Eichmann on the fate of the Jews of Hungary.

Even Kastner’s enemies usually give him credit for saving 1,684 Jews aboard the “Kastner Train.” You don’t. You argue, provocatively, that this rescue train was actually a Nazi hostage operation. How so?

Elliot Resnick

German Frozen Pizza Maker Reveals Nazi Art Loot in Company Collection

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Dr. Oetker, a German outfit that produces baking powder, cake mixes, yogurts, frozen pizza, pudding, cake decoration, and cornflakes, announced it had discovered four works in the company art collection that have been stolen from Jews by the Nazis, The Art Newspaper reported Monday. Dr. Oetker said it had contacted the heirs of the original Jewish owners to discuss a settlement.

According to an official statement, the Dr. Oetker collection includes several hundred paintings, silver and porcelain, mostly acquired in the 1950s by billionaire Rudolf-August Oetker, owner of the private food company Oetker-Gruppe, who died in 2007. Back in 2015, the company assigned a provenance researcher to investigate its art collection, following a study of Dr. Oetker’s history during the Third Reich.

The company was founded by Doctor August Oetker in 1891, to produce “Backin” baking powder. Rudolf-August Oetker was the grandson of Dr. August Oetker. He ran the company from 1944 to 1981.

“The goal is to check whether works in the collection were originally owned by people who were persecuted by the Nazis,” Dr Oetker said in an October 26 statement, adding that if any of the works is identified as Nazi loot, a settlement would be reached with the heirs of the original owners.

Four works have already been identified as looted by the Nazis, but a spokesman for Dr. Oetker did not identify them, due to confidentiality agreements with the heirs. The spokesman also would not discuss the private collection, which rarely loans works to museums or galleries.

JNi.Media

Republican HQ in Orange County, North Carolina Firebombed, With Threat on Adjacent Wall

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

GOP electoral campaign headquarters was firebombed overnight Sunday (Oct. 16) in Orange County, North Carolina, setting afire not only furniture but also bipartisan relations in the state.

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, called the incident “a horrific, horrific act of political terrorism,” in an interview with ABC News.

North Carolina is one of the swing states in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and the race between GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is getting tighter by the minute.

Both candidates condemned the attack.

In addition to the Molotov cocktail that torched the headquarters, local authorities said in their statement, posted on the website of the town of Hillsborough, that the vandals had also left a message for the campaign workers.

Spray-painted on an adjacent building was a swastika, and the threat, “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”

The building sustained heavy smoke damage and “some fire damage,” according to the most recent statement from local officials. “The flammable substance appears to have ignited inside the building, burned some furniture and damaged the building’s interior before going out on its own. No damage estimates are available at this time,” the statement said.

The Hillsborough Police Department said in a tweet that evidence was still being processed, but that local police was receiving help from ATF, FBI, SBI and the OCNC Sheriff.

“We’re so grateful that no one was hurt and that no buildings in the [nearby] complex were destroyed,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said. “I have every confidence in the joint effort of our law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute the perpetrator of this reprehensible act.”

A tip line phone number “routed directly to voice mail” that “does not record callers’ phone numbers” was listed on the town’s website.

Hana Levi Julian

Hitler’s Childhood Home to be Demolished by Austrian Government

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The home where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 is to be demolished, pending passage of a law to legally ensure its destruction because the owner of the house was refusing to sell – or demolish – it. The same family has owned the property for more than a century, although the Nazi regime bought the house and used it during the reign of the Third Reich. It was returned to the owner’s family in 1952.

Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said a committee of experts ruled in favor of demolition of the former guest house, according to a report in Die Presse, a German-language Austrian newspaper. “A thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building,” Sobbotka said.

The structure, located in the western town of Braunau, will be replaced instead with a new building to be used for administrative or charitable purposes, the paper reported.

There has been discussion for some time over whether to demolish the building, or simply renovate it to change its use. However, the Austrian government wants to block the structure from becoming a pilgrimage destination for neo-Nazis. The building has been empty since 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hitlers-childhood-home-to-be-demolished-by-austrian-government/2016/10/17/

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