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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Nazis’

Yad Vashem Cites Egyptian Doctor as Righteous Among the Nations

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Yad Vashem recently recognized Dr. Mohamed Helmy and Frieda Szturmann as Righteous Among the Nations, an honorary title bestowed by Yad Vashem on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Dr. Helmy, an Egyptian physician living in Berlin and Szturmann, a local German woman, worked together in the heart of Nazi Germany to help save a Jewish family during the height of the Holocaust.

Dr. Helmy is the first Egyptian to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem is currently searching for the rescuers’ next of kin to posthumously honor their relatives in a ceremony and present them with the certificate and medal of the Righteous.

Dr. Mohamed Helmy was born in Khartoum in 1901 to Egyptian parents. In 1922, Helmy went to Germany to study medicine and settled in Berlin., where, he went to work at the Robert Koch Institute.

According to Nazi racial theory, Dr. Helmy was not being of the Aryan race and was discriminated against.

Despite being targeted by the regime, Helmy spoke out against Nazi policies, and notwithstanding the great danger, risked his life by helping his Jewish friends.

Hollywood Collaborated With the Nazi Regime

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Hollywood film industry maintained close ties with the Third Reich and collaborated with the regime,  according to a new book written by Harvard University doctoral student Ben Urwand. He charges that Hollywood’s major studios not only passively accepted Nazi censorship, but also further actively collaborated with Hitler’s propaganda machine to protect their interests in the German market.

In the book “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler,” Urwand, whose maternal grandfather and grandmother were Jews who hid in Hungary during the Holocaust, reveals documents that have never before been made public.

The book offers evidence that heads of large Hollywood studios, some of them Jews, edited films, scene by scene, at the request of senior Nazi officials. The results were films that could easily have been used as Nazi propaganda. One document even suggests that Hollywood sent money to Germany to produce munitions.

“Hollywood [in the 1930s] is not just collaborating with Nazi Germany, it’s also collaborating with Adolf Hitler, the person and human being,” Urwand told The New York Times.

The fact that the Nazi regime intervened in the Hollywood’s film industry is known and documented, but Urwand suggests that the relationship between Hollywood and the Third Reich was much deeper and long-lasting than previously known, that this warm relationship continued until the beginning of the 1940′s.

According to Urwand, collaboration with the Nazis began in 1930, when Carl Laemmle, a Jew who headed Universal Studios, agreed to far-reaching changes in “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930) after Nazis who watched the movie rioted.

Later on, in January 1938, the German offices of Fox studios sent a letter with a request to receive Hitler’s opinion about several movies. The letter ends with the salutation “Heil Hitler.” In 1939, MGM studios hosted ten editors of Nazi newspapers on a studio tour.

Urwand says he found a total of nearly 20 films aimed at American audiences in which content was influenced by senior Nazis. The most important point, he says, is that Jewish characters were almost entirely erased from films.

Another discovery included notes by Hitler’s adjutants recording his reactions to the movies he watched each night. He loved Laurel and Hardy but hated “Tarzan.”

Hitler’s ‘I Knew Nothing’ Bodyguard Dies at 96

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Adolf Hitler’s bodyguard, who claimed he knew nothing about the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews. Has died at the age of 96.

SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch was at Hitler’s side he and Eva Braun committed suicide before the Allies could capture them. Braun, who was his mistress until a quick marriage ceremony shortly before their deaths, died of poisoning and Hitler shot himself. Misch escaped for a short while when the Soviet army took over Berlin. He served nine years in prisoner camps in the Soviet Union before being allowed to return to Germany in 1954.

In an interview with the Associated Press in 2005, he insisted he knew nothing of the Hitler’s Final Solution and that Hitler never brought up the subject when he was present.

He considered Hitler his boss, and said, “He was no brute. He was no monster. He was no superman.”

Misch was born in what now is Poland and joined the SS in 1937 because it was for “the war against Bolshevism.” He later was appointed as one of the two SS men who were Hitler’s personal guards and aides.

Facebook Neglects ‘Community Standards’ for Anti-Semitic Page

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Facebook is the world’s largest social media website, one with hundreds of millions of users in well over a hundred countries. Despite its size, however, Facebook is not an entirely public forum on which “anything goes.” Rather, it is a worldwide gathering place where certain forms of speech and certain kinds of images are not allowed.

On its community standards page, the site lists a variety of types of speech that are not allowed, including threats of violence, pornography, and spam. Among those prohibited is “hate speech,” about which the policy is as follows:

“Hate Speech: Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.” [Emphasis added.]

This has nothing to do with censorship (which is a government activity, and cannot be engaged in by a private individual or organization), but with maintaining a civil space for the exchange of ideas. Granted, that isn’t always the case, but that’s why Facebook makes provision for hate speech to be reported. One can disagree with the policy, but it is clear what sorts of speech are being curtailed.

I was recently pointed in the direction of a Facebook page entitled The Untold History, run by a group out of Sweden that calls itself the European Knights Project, a partner of the Institute for Historical Review. On its masthead, it proclaims in all-caps that it is a “HISTORICAL SITE NON-POLITICAL,” but this is a sham. It is, in fact, a Holocaust denial site that not only presents bogus and falsified history, but also traffics in the vilest sort of anti-Semitism.

Presented primarily in the form of graphics with messages, Photoshopped pictures, and cartoons, the page offers all of the anti-Semitic greatest hits: Jews control America and want to control the world; the Holocaust never happened; Jews exploit the Holocaust myth for money; the Allies did far worse to the Germans, Japanese, and Japanese-Americans than the Nazis did to the Jews; Hitler was a great guy who was just standing up for Christian civilization; Communism is a Jewish tool; Israel is the source of all evil in the world; 9/11 was a Mossad job; etc. In one graphic, a “quote” fabricated by the American evangelist Texe Marrs is put in the mouth of Menachem Begin:

“Our race is the ‘Master Race.’ We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects…. other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”

Once I had examined “The Untold History” for myself, I reported it to Facebook, and expected it to be quickly removed. Instead, I received this response from administrators:

“Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on hate speech.”

Flabbergasted by this response, I began contacting my Facebook friends, and urging them to report “The Untold History” for violating site standards. Dozens have done so, and all have received the same response. For some reason that is impossible to fathom, the administrators of Facebook seem completely incapable of recognizing anti-Semitism when it is staring them in the face, or see how it constitutes a violation of terms of use that ban hate speech.

In an effort to put pressure on Facebook to act, I have set up a page called Protest “The Untold History” and Other Anti-Semitic Pages. Oddly enough, this page seems to have a problem with disappearing posts. But you can still “like” it to send a message. I have also contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Anti-Defamation League to look into Facebook’s non-disapproval of hate speech directed at Jews. As the word gets out, hopefully the company will do some serious self-examination, and ask itself why it has such a difficult time seeing what is obvious to all but the most bigoted observer.

This article was written for JNS by David Fischler, an Evangelical Presbyterian pastor and writer who blogs religious and moral issues.

‘It Can Be Done’: the Rosh Hashana 1943 Escape of Danish Jews

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

As the final minutes of Rosh Hashanah ticked away, 13-year-old Leo Goldberger was hiding, along with his parents and three brothers, in the thick brush along the shore of Dragor, a small fishing village south of Copenhagen. The year was 1943, and the Goldbergers, like thousands of other Danish Jews, were desperately trying to escape an imminent Nazi roundup.

“Finally, after what seemed like an excruciatingly long wait, we saw our signal offshore,” Goldberger later recalled. His family “strode straight into the ocean and waded through three or four feet of icy water until we were hauled aboard a fishing boat” and covered themselves “with smelly canvases.” Shivering and frightened, but grateful, the Goldberger family soon found itself in the safety and freedom of neighboring Sweden.

For years, Allied leaders had insisted that nothing could be done to rescue Jews from the Nazis except to win the war. But in one extraordinary night, seventy years ago next month, the Danish people exploded that myth and changed history.

When the Nazis occupied Denmark during the Holocaust in 1940, the Danes put up little resistance. As a result, the German authorities agreed to let the Danish government continue functioning with greater autonomy than other occupied countries. They also postponed taking steps against Denmark’s 8,000 Jewish citizens.

In the late summer of 1943, amid rising tensions between the occupation regime and the Danish government, the Nazis declared martial law and decided the time had come to deport Danish Jews to the death camps. But Georg Duckwitz, a German diplomat in Denmark, leaked the information to Danish friends. Duckwitz was later honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. As word of the Germans’ plans spread, the Danish public responded with a spontaneous nationwide grassroots effort to help the Jews.

The Danes’ remarkable response gave rise to the legend that King Christian X himself rode through the streets of Copenhagen on horseback, wearing a yellow Star of David, and that the citizens of the city likewise donned the star in solidarity with the Jews.

The story may have had its origins in a political cartoon that appeared in a Swedish newspaper in 1942. It showed King Christian pointing to a Star of David and declaring that if the Nazis imposed it upon the Jews of Demark, “then we must all wear the star.” Leon Uris’s novel Exodus, and the movie based on that book, helped spread the legend. But subsequent investigations by historians have concluded that the story is a myth.

On Rosh Hashanah – which fell on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in 1943 – and the days that followed, numerous Danish Christian families hid Jews in their homes or farms, and then smuggled them to the seashore late at night. From there, fishermen took them across the Kattegat Straits to neighboring Sweden.

The three-week operation had the strong support of Danish church leaders, who used their pulpits to urge aid to the Jews, as well as Danish universities, which shut down so that students could assist the smugglers. More than 7,000 Danish Jews reached Sweden and were sheltered there until the end of the war.

Esther Finkler, a young newlywed, was hidden, together with her husband and their mothers, in a greenhouse.

“At night, we saw the [German] searchlights sweeping back and forth throughout the neighborhood” as the Nazis hunted for Jews, Esther later recalled. One evening, a member of the Danish Underground arrived and drove the four “through streets saturated with Nazi stormtroopers” to a point near the shore.

There they hid in an underground shelter, and then in the attic of a bakery, until finally they were brought to a beach, where they boarded a small fishing vessel together with other Jewish refugees.

“There were nine of us, lying down on the deck or the floor,” Esther said. “The captain covered us with fishing nets. When everyone had been properly concealed, the fishermen started the boat, and as the motor started to run, so did my pent-up tears.”

Then, suddenly, trouble. “The captain began to sing and whistle nonchalantly, which puzzled us. Soon we heard him shouting in German toward a passing Nazi patrol boat: ‘Wollen sie einen beer haben?’ (Would you like a beer?) – a clever gimmick designed to avoid the Germans’ suspicions. After three tense hours at sea, we heard shouting: ‘Get up! Get up! And welcome to Sweden!’ It was hard to believe, but we were now safe. We cried and the Swedes cried with us as they escorted as ashore. The nightmare was over,” Esther recalled.

Peres Flying to Lithuania, Will Thank Blacklisting Hezbollah

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

President Shimon Peres is flying  on Sunday to Latvia and Lithuania, temporary president of the European Union whom he will thank the European Union for blacklisting the Hezbollah military wing as a terrorist organization. The EU decision does not affect the Hezbollah political party, which gives orders to the branch.

He will return just in time to celebrate the English date for his 90th birthday in Friday. His Hebrew birthday was on Shabbat.

President Peres will attend memorial ceremonies in Ponar, Lithuania, where nearly 100,000 Jews were killed during the  Holocaust, and in Riga, Latvia, where Nazi soldiers slaughtered 25,000 Jews.

 

 

I Slept in Hitler’s Room and Germany Went Ballistic

Monday, July 8th, 2013

By Tuvia Tenenbom

Three years ago I was contacted by an editor of Rowohlt, one of the biggest book publishers in Germany. She said she loved my articles in the Zeit, the prestigious German newspaper I’ve been writing for, and would like me to come to Germany for a few months, interview people and write about them “in the same style you write for the Zeit.”

It didn’t take long to convince me and soon enough I showed up in Germany.

Unbelievable landscapes, delicious food, shiny museums, celebrated intellectuals, tireless farmers, sleepless artists, blasphemous zealots, faithful atheists and a highly modern society welcomed me. All I had to do was to befriend everybody.

Germany, I sadly found out, was obsessed with Jews. Even those who claimed to like Jews had very strange thoughts about them. I interviewed people from all walks of life.

From the famous chain-smoking iconic Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, to the forlorn heroin addicts on the streets of Frankfurt; from the publisher of the largest European daily, Bild, to obscure bloggers; from the Prime Minister of Saxony, to bored museum guards; frail WWII veterans, to sporty high schoolers; radical leftists who want to overthrow the government, any government, to neo-Nazis who won’t settle for anything less than Adolf Hitler; top officials of Mercedes and Volkswagen, to street sellers of cheep necklaces; educated and illiterates; rich and poor; on the east and on the west, in the north and in the south.

We ate together, drank together, and they talked.

Hardly a day passed by without at least one interviewee talking to me about the “rich Jews,” the “shrewd Jews,” the Israelis who eat Palestinians for breakfast on a daily basis, the “manipulating Jew,” or anything else “Jew.”

Germany, I sadly found out, was obsessed with Jews. Even those who claimed to like Jews had very strange thoughts about them. Some told me that all Jews knew each other, others said that all Jews helped each other, and still others claimed that all Jews were “very good” with money.

The people thus talked and I wrote down what they said, word for word. I submitted the book, a testimonial to the rampant anti-Semitism in today’s Germany, to my editor.

We met a week later and she told me that she cried and laughed when reading the book and that it was even better than what she had expected it to be. But the head of the publishing company, who comes of Germany’s top families, went into a rage. He told me that I couldn’t write and that the book needed serious editing.

I asked him to show me what good writing was.

He did..

If there was a line in the book about people not liking “Jews,” he demanded that I change the word to “Israel.”

A chapter about a club that preached the killing of all living Jews had to be erased, he ordered. If somebody told me in an interview that the Jews were “the real Nazis,” their words had to be changed or cut. Only if I obeyed him, I was led to understand, would I become a “good writer.”

He didn’t stop there. He went really low, at one point calling me a “hysterical Jew.” And then he broke our contract.

No American publisher I approached agreed to give the book life. No matter what evidence at hand, mainstream American publishers were not willing to take on Germany. Taking on a Western ally, I guess, is not on the agenda of present-day publishers.

Fearing that the book’s findings would get forever lost, the Jewish Theater of New York decided to make the book available to Americans and published it under the title “I Sleep in Hitler’s Room.”

In December of 2012 one of the most prestigious of German publishers, Suhrkamp, made the book available in Germany, under the title “Allein unter Deutschen.”

Initially, German critics went ballistic, passionately denying the book’s findings that most Germans today hold anti-Semitic views.

One of them, in the highly regarded Liberal newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, didn’t shy away from going racist, shamelessly referring to me as “the Jew Tenenbom.”

Responding to the growing claims against me, I offered to face any intellectual willing to debate me in public.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/i-slept-in-hitlers-room-and-germany-went-ballistic/2013/07/08/

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