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February 8, 2016 / 29 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nazis’

US Soldier Named ‘Righteous among the Nations’

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

A U.S. Army soldier who fought in against the Nazis is now the first American soldier to be recognized by Yad VaShem as “Righteous among the Nations” for rescuing Jewish soldiers.

Four other Americans, all of them civilians, have been recognized with the same honor.

The late Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds fought in the 422nd Infantry Regiment and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. He was sent to the Stalag POW camp in Germany.

The Wehrmacht had an anti-Jewish policy, singling out Jewish POWs from the rest of the POW population, and many Jewish POWs were sent to extermination camps or murdered.

In January 1945, the Germans announced that all Jewish POWs in Stalag IXA were to report the following morning. Edmonds, who was the highest ranking solider in the American section of the camp ordered all his men, to fallout the following morning – Jews and non-Jews alike.

When the German camp commander, Major Siegmann, saw that all the camp’s inmates were standing in front of their barracks, he turned to Edmonds and exclaimed: “They cannot all be Jews!”

Edmonds replied, “We are all Jews.” After Siegmann took out his pistol and threatened Edmonds, the soldier declared:

According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes.

The Commandant turned around and left the scene.

NCO Paul Stern, who was stood near Edmonds during the exchange and who was Netanyahu of those saved by his action, recounted the story to Yad VaShem

Stern, who was taken prisoner on December 17, 1944, added, “Although seventy years have passed, I can still hear the words he said to the German Camp Commander.”

Another Jewish soldier who was witness to the incident is Lester Tanner, who had trained in Fort Jackson where Master Sergeant Edmonds was stationed.  Tanner recalled:

He did not throw his rank around. You knew he knew his stuff and he got across to you without being arrogant or inconsiderate. I admired him for his command… We were in combat on the front lines for only a short period, but it was clear that Roddie Edmonds was a man of great courage who led his men with the same capacity we had come to know him in the States

I would estimate that there were more than one thousand Americans standing in wide formation in front of the barracks with Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds standing in front with several senior non-coms beside him, of which I was one… Edmonds, at the risk of his immediate death, defied the Germans with the unexpected consequences that the Jewish prisoners were saved.

Edmonds died in 1985.

Yad VaShem chairman Avner Shalev said, “Edmonds seemed like an ordinary American soldier, but he had an extraordinary sense of responsibility and dedication to his fellow human beings….The choices and actions of Master Sergeant Edmonds set an example for his fellow American soldiers as they stood united against the barbaric evil of the Nazis.”

Edmonds’ son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, is currently in Israel participating in a seminar sponsored by the International School for Holocaust Studies for Christian leaders.

 

Poland Sues U.S. Prof. for Saying Poles Killed Jews than the Germans

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Poland is preparing to sue a Princeton University professor for libel in an article written last month alleging that Poles “in fact did kill more Jews than Germans during the war.”

Professor Jan T, Gross, a Polish-born Jew and historian, also stated that Polish intolerance is behind the country’s agreement to accept only 5,000 Syrian refugees instead of a larger number,

The article was re-published by the German newspaper Die Welt, prompting more than 100 complaints to the office of the Polish prosecutor. The prosecutor’s spokesman Przemyslaw Nowak told Polish television that the country’s criminal code “provides that any person who publicly insults the Polish nation is punishable by up to three years in prison.”

Gross previously has provoked Poland and wrote in a book n 2001 that Poles in the town of Jedwabne massacred several hundred Jews.

New Jerusalem Street Honors Savior of 40,000 Jews During Holocaust

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated a new street in Jerusalem in an official ceremony this week to honor Moshe (Miklós) Krausz, a little-known Hungarian Jew who saved about 40,000 Jews during the Holocaust

The street-naming publicly recognizes and honors Krausz’s work in a rare instance of recognition.

“This commemoration only begins to correct a historic injustice,” said Nachi Eyal, CEO of The Legal Forum for Israel and one of the people behind this initiative.

Eyal told Tazpit:

Krausz was a man of the World Zionist movement and the Mizrachi movement who saved tens of thousands of Jews and yet his name has been left out of the public knowledge. Krausz died alone and almost forgotten in Jerusalem after having immigrated here with the end of World War II.

Krausz served as the director of the Palestine Office for the World Zionist Movement in Budapest and was responsible for obtaining emigration permits for Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine.

Following the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, Krausz, aided by his connections with Swiss Vice-Consul Carl Lutz, began producing diplomatic patronage certificates to thousands of Hungarian Jews and their entire families, effectively granting them diplomatic immunity from the Nazis.

Through his Swiss connection, Krausz also obtained extraterritorial status under the auspices of the Swiss government to many private buildings where Jews would hide from Nazi extermination.

Most prominent among these “safe houses” was a disused glass factory in Budapest. Dubbed “The Glass House” by survivors, over 3,000 Jews used the building as a hiding place and survived the Holocaust.

“Jews from all walks of life and different backgrounds huddled together in the crowded cellars,” Mordechai Newmann, a Glass House survivor who attended the ceremony told TPS. “Orthodox rabbis, socialist youth activists, Zionist Organization workers, and their families all had their place in the Glass House.”

“At night, members of Zionist Youth organizations would dress up in Nazi uniform and sneak out of the cellars to find more Jews and smuggle them into the glass house,” recounts Newmann, who was 14 at the time.

This elaborate scheme that saved such a staggering number of lives from the Nazi extermination machine went unnoticed and did not receive much public attention in Israel until now.

According to Dr. Ayala Nadivi, a historian of Hungarian Jewry, the reasons for Krausz’s hitherto anonymity might have been political. She told Tazpit:

There was quite a lot of infighting and political ego struggles between the various Jewish and Zionist bodies of the time. Krausz was a member of the Mizrachi movement, while the Jewish leadership in British Mandate Palestine was predominantly of the Mapai movement (Worker’s Party of The Land of Israel). Independently of Krausz and Lutz’s rescue efforts, Mapai established the Budapest Rescue Committee and appointed Israel Kasztner to head it.

Later, with the end of the British Mandate and the founding of the State of Israel, the same Mapai became the governing party in Israel. When Kasztner was accused of collaboration with the Nazis during his rescue activities, Krausz gave unfavorable testimony against him on trial. From that point on and despite the evident existence of records of Krausz’s rescue efforts, not a single national organization or newspaper acknowledges him.

According Eyal, it was Dr. Nadivi’s book “Between Krausz and Kasztner: The Battle to Save Hungarian Jewry” published in 2014, that was the catalyst to the reemergence of Krausz’ name on public record.

“After being told about the book by my assistant and reading it, I felt compelled to petition Mayor Barkat,” Eyal told Tazpit. “After filing a request and all the necessary paperwork, including the historic records assembled by Dr. Nedivi, the Mayor acquiesced and named a Jerusalem street after this man who saved more Jews than Schindler and Kasztner combined and was a Jew himself.”

‘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.

What Would Spock Have to Say About Obama’s Nuclear Deal with Iran?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Here’s an excerpt from my favorite episode of Star Trek, “The City on the Edge of Forever”, in which Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Kirk and Spock have traveled back in time to the year 1930 in order to undo a disastrous change to history that was inadvertently caused by McCoy. After extracting the relevant information from his tricorder, Spock shows Kirk exactly how history diverged:

Spock: “This is how history went after McCoy changed it. Here, in the late 1930’s. A growing pacifist movement whose influence delayed the United States’ entry into the Second World War. While peace negotiations dragged on, Germany had time to complete its heavy-water experiments.”

Kirk: “Germany. Fascism. Hitler. They won the Second World War.”

Spock: “Because all this lets them develop the A-bomb first. There’s no mistake, Captain. Let me run it again. Edith Keeler. Founder of the peace movement.”

Kirk: “But she was right. Peace was the way.”

Spock: “She was right, but at the wrong time. With the A-bomb, and with their V2 rockets to carry them, Germany captured the world.”

In the altered version of history, a peace movement headed by Edith Keeler convinced the US government to enter into peace negotiations with Nazi Germany. Germany took advantage of these negotiations in order to buy time to develop and build nuclear weapons. By the time the US entered the war, it was too late: The Nazis had nuclear weapons, won the war, and conquered the world.

Kirk is startled and disturbed by the implication: By choosing to negotiate peace instead of going to war, the US allowed the world to be swallowed up by Nazism: “But she was right”, he says in his confusion. “Peace was the way.” (Kirk’s naivete is perhaps understandable, coming as it does from someone who grew up on an Earth that had been at peace for centuries.)

Spock, however, corrects Kirk’s misconception: “She was right, but at the wrong time.” Peace is the ultimate goal, but sometimes war is the only logical choice. When one is confronted with evil, it is the wrong time to negotiate peace. One does not appease evil or negotiate with it — one must destroy it, or else the repercussions may be catastrophic. Only when the threat of evil is removed is peace possible.

Belgian Jewish Schools Close Down in Fear of Terrorism

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Belgium Jewish’s schools shut down Friday, Chabad cancelled  a public Friday night dinner, and several Jews have stopped going to synagogue in the wake of Thursday’s counter-terror raid that ended with Belgian police killing two terrorists but still looking for others.

A Jewish school in Amsterdam also shut its doors Friday.

Jews fear a repeat of last week’s savage attack on a kosher deli in Paris, where four Jews were murdered and several others were held hostage until police stormed the store and ended the siege.

Belgium’s Joods Actueel reported that schools in Brussels and Antwerp were closed on Friday based on intelligence information from officials, including the Mossad, that it was “too dangerous” to allow children to go to school.

“We were informed that we are a potential target and therefore take no chances, said Isi Morsel, head of the organizing power of the largest Jewish school Jesode Hatora.

He is confident that schools will be able to re-open on Monday.

Confidence is the last thing Jews in Belgium, if not in all of Europe, have these days.

Belgian police have said that guarding Jewish’s schools does not mean they can prevent terror because they are not equipped,  with the proper weapons and training to challenge the animals from ISIS and other Islamic radical barbarians.

The director of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) thinks that perhaps Jews could take up the slack by arming themselves with guns.

RCE director Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director general of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Association (EJA) wrote to European Union officials “We hereby ask that gun licensing laws are reviewed with immediate effect to allow designated people in the Jewish communities and institutions to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities, as well as receiving the necessary training to protect their members from potential terror attacks.”

A Jewish cartoonist was among the victims of attack by radical Islamists on the Charles Hebdo offices in Paris last week, and four Jews were gunned down in the attack on a kosher deli in Paris two days later.

And Rabbi Margolin wants to allow Jews to carry guns?

That would mean terrorists, armed with assault rifles and prepared by months of military training, would be able to add a few pistols to their arsenal after killing their Jewish victims who would barely be able to pull their pistols out of holster before being sliced by machine-gun fire.

Perhaps Rabbi Margolin thinks that Belgian Jews are in the Warsaw Ghetto and are living in underground sewers, needing guns to fight off the Nazis.

Or perhaps he thinks that fighting terrorists is like a cowboys and Indians movie.

The recent attacks in France “have revealed the urgent need to stop talking and start acting,” Rabbi Margolin wrote.”Right now Jews do not feel safe.”

Right now?

Jew in Europe felt safe last month, or last year?

Hundreds of Jews, from Israel and elsewhere, wear a hat and not a kippa in the streets of many European cities because they are afraid of being spat on, beaten, robbed and killed.

Rabbi Margolin also wrote, “People are afraid to come to synagogue. People are afraid to go to Jewish schools.”

 

“[The police] are not doing enough, for sure. We just need more. The best solution is having at least two police officers at each Jewish institution, 24 hours a day. Until that happens we need to be able to feel secure in other ways” and allowing Jews to carry guns would “allow our people to feel protected.”

He is not talking about training Jews with assault rifles and counter-terror tactics, or even a bit of karate.

Preserved Polish Synagogue to Become Jewish Museum

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland plans to open a new Jewish museum in a preserved baroque synagogue built in the 17th century in eastern Poland.

Great Synagogue in Leczna, in Lublin province, was mostly destroyed during and after World War II. In the 1950s and 1960s it was reconstructed, retaining the most important architectural elements of the former synagogue, including its wooden ceilings, the bimah and the Torah ark.

Since 1966, the synagogue has housed a regional museum, which has in its collection some valuable Judaica.

In 2013, the synagogue was transferred to Jewish community and was placed under the responsibility of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

The Foundation has proposed re-opening the museum in the building with a focus on the Jewish community of the town and plans to open the revamped museum in 2016.

It could become part of the Chassidic Route – the project implemented by the Foundation which traces the Jewish communities of southeastern Poland. The project has been joined by 28 communities.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/preserved-polish-synagogue-to-become-jewish-museum/2014/12/29/

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