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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Swedish’

UN Chemical Weapons Inspectors Arrive in Syria

Monday, August 19th, 2013

UN inspectors tasked with investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria arrived there on Sunday, Xinhu reported.

The 20-member UN delegation, led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, will begin their two-week mission today.

The Syrian government and the opposition have accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack on Khan al-Asal town on March 19 that killed at least 25 people and injured 130 others, and both sides are denying responsibility.

The UN fact-finding mission, set up in March at the request of the Syrian government, will investigate the use of chemical weapons at the town of Khan al-Asal, outside Aleppo, and in two other sites.

The locations of two other incidents have not been publicized for security reasons. The UN investigation team’s mandate is to report on whether chemical weapons were used, and to specify what kind of chemical weapons was used. But they are not asked to determine the responsible party.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Swedes Fume at Comparison of Palestinian Prisoners to Murderer Breivik

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Comments by Israel’s ambassador to Sweden comparing the recently-released Palestinian prisoners to the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who, on 22 July 2011, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing 8, then killed 69 on a vacation island, have left relatives of victims of the Utøya massacre seething, Swedish news website The Local reports.

In a Tuesday interview with Svergies Radio (SR), Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman compared the release of Palestinian prisoners to setting the monster Breivik free.

“The horrors that [the Palestinian prisoners] did, to put it in a Scandinavian understanding, it’s like what happened in Norway with Breivik,” Bachman told SR.

“Imagine if Breivik was released as a gesture of some sort,” he added, and complained that Israel is not getting enough credit for agreeing to the release.

Pointing out the enormous risk Israel was taking with its gesture, Bachman noted that “research has shown that these people will return to crime. It’s not easy to get public support for releasing these people.”

It turns out the good ambassador was completely wrong in his comparison, which seemed completely reasonable to him, but not to the listeners. You see, Breivik – he killed sweet, pink skinned, blond Norwegians, which was a crime against humanity, while the Palestinians only killed Jews. Big difference, apparently, in Scandinavia.

The comments, which came on the eve of Israel’s Wednesday release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, sparked outrage from none other than survivors and family members of victims of Breivik’s 2011 attack, The Local reported.

“I think it is ridiculous to compare this with a mass murderer from Norway,” Trond Blattmann, whose son Torjusdatter was killed when Breivik opened fire on Utøya, told The Local. “There’s no similarity at all. This is a ridiculous way to talk.”

“The comparison does not make sense,” added Bjørn Ihler, who survived the Breivik massacre by hiding on the southern tip of the island. “Breivik was a solo terrorist whose actions were based purely on an unreal situation. The situation in the Middle East is very different. There is a real fight for Palestinian freedom going on.”

You see, when an entire Jewish family, babies and all, is butchered in its own kitchen – that’s freedom fighting. You have to think blond.

Even Middle East expert Per Jönsson with the Swedish Institute for International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutets – UI) slammed Bachman’s Breivik comparison.

“The comparison with Brevik is insane in several ways. Breivik is very special. These people that Israel is now releasing are freedom fighters, murderers, and in some cases terrorists, but they are nevertheless rather normal people,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

We have to understand that the reactions from Sweden are an expression of pure, unadulterated Jew hatred, whether those people are aware of it or not. The world is changing around us, and being Jewish is no longer for the faint of heart.

Yori Yanover

Rally Backing Jewish Community Held in Malmo

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu was among some 300 marchers who demonstrated in the Swedish city in support of the Jewish community.

Saturday’s march follows a series of anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish community in the city of approximately 300,000 in the south of Sweden. Many of the participants wore kipahs as a sign of solidarity, according to thelocal.se.

Reepalu has called on Malmo Jews to reject Zionism as a strategy for repelling violent attacks on the community.

The Swedish minister for integration, Erik Ullenhag, announced a $76,000 government grant to the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism for a new initiative in Malmo schools to help address problems faced by the city’s Muslim and Jewish populations, thelocal.se reported.

Malmo police over the weekend announced the establishment of a dedicated hate crimes hotline following an increase in attacks on Jewish and Muslim targets.

Earlier this month, demonstrations were held outside the Jewish community center in Malmo and in Stockholm to show solidarity with the community following a firebombing of the JCC’s offices.


A Unanimous Senate Awards Wallenberg Congressional Gold Medal

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to award Raoul Wallenberg the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by Congress.

The vote was part of an effort to confer the honor upon Wallenberg in time for the 100th anniversary of his birth in August. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved awarding the medal in April. The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature.

“Raoul Wallenberg’s courageous actions were a shining example of selfless heroism at a time when others stood mute in the face of unimaginable horror,” said Kathy Manning, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, which had led advocacy for the medal. “That this legislation passed with such broad bipartisan support is a reflection of how deserving Raoul Wallenberg is of the Congressional Gold Medal.”

The legislation was introduced in September by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budapest during the German occupation in 1944, issued Swedish travel documents – known as “Wallenberg passports” – to at least 20,000 Jews, and also set up more than 30 safe houses for Jews. Other diplomats from neutral countries collaborated in the effort.

The details of Wallenberg’s fate have remained a mystery. He disappeared while being escorted out of Hungary to the Soviet Union. The Soviets claimed that he died of a heart attack in 1957, but other evidence indicated that he was killed in Lubyanka prison or that he may have lived years longer.

The Congressional Gold Medal has been conferred since the American Revolution to honor “the highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.” It was first awarded to George Washington.

Awardees need not be Americans. Past honorees include Simon Wiesenthal, Natan and Avital Sharansky, the Dalai Lama, and Burmese democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi.


Egypt Bans Swedish NGO worker From Leaving Country

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A Swedish NGO worker was prevented from boarding a flight from Egypt to Cyprus Monday. According to Cairo International Airport Authorities, Jean Eric was on a list of people banned from leaving Egypt due to their involvement in ongoing investigations into NGOs that have been the recipients of foreign funding.

“During the passport check-in process for passengers boarding the Egyptian plane headed to Larnaca, the Swedish passenger Jean Eric (65 years old), who works at the ‘Think and Work’ Organization, specializing in financing the building of churches and which is included in the investigation file concerning the foreign funded organizations, came forward and as his information was checked on the computer his name was found to be on the travel ban list,” an airport source said. “Eric was prevented from traveling and his luggage was taken off the plane, which took off without him.”

The source claimed that Eric was not arrested.

43 NGO employees – including 29 foreigners – are currently being prosecuted in Egypt for their pro-democracy activities, causing great strain on Egypt’s relations with the US.

Jewish Press Staff

Raoul Wallenberg’s 100th Birthday: Iranian Participation, New Investigation

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

A celebration of the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of over 20,000 Hungarian Jews in the final days of World War II, also marks the renewal of investigations into the events surrounding his death.

The event, which took place in the portrait hall of Budapest’s National Museum in Hungary, was attended by a slew of international representatives, including the wife of late Congressman Tom Lantons, who was saved by Wallenberg, and Holocaust survivor and Israeli Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled.  A surprise to attendees was the participation of Iranian Ambassador to Hungary Seyed Agha Banihashemi Saeed, who remained throughout the duration of the ceremony, including during a speech made by Peled.  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an open Holocaust denier and has made frequent calls for the destruction of Israel.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was also in attendance, has asked experts to open a new probe into what happened to Wallenberg after his capture in 1945.

Wallenberg was personally responsible for the issuing of Swedish diplomatic papers to Hungarian Jews beginning in July 1944, as well as for establishing hiding places for Jews throughout Budapest.

Wallenberg was arrested by Russian officers on January 17, 1945.  He was never heard from again, and his whereabouts or circumstances of death were never established. He was 32 years old at the time of his disappearance.

The new investigation will be led by Hans Magnusson, who began his inquiry into Wallenberg’s whereabouts in the 1990s along with Russian experts.  At the time, the Russians said Wallenberg was probably killed on June 17, 1947 in Soviet custody.  At the time, the Soviets said Wallenberg died of a heart attack in prison.  However, some evidence and eye-witness reports suggest he may have survived beyond that date.

Moreover, two US researchers are now saying a recently discovered Swedish document shows that the KGB intervened to thwart Magnusson’s investigation of Wallenberg’s disappearance.

At the ceremony, Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi admitted that Hungary played a role in the deaths of 600,000 Hungarian Jews, and reaffirmed Hungary’s current support for Israel.

The year of Wallenberg’s 100th birthday will include a Hungarian commemorative stamp, a national competition for high school students on Holocaust history, and an event honoring Hungarian non-Jewish “Righteous Among the Nations” at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Malkah Fleisher

Mishnitz, Myszyniec

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

I often get requests for information on various towns and shtetlach in Poland and I try my best to help. Recently I received a letter with an inquiry about the town of Mishnitz. After consulting various maps and atlases from the First World War to the post-Communist era, I could not find any place with that spelling. It is possible that the request came from a second or even third generation American who only remembers stories of a certain shtetl with a partially-remembered name that is given a spelling which is nowhere to be found in Poland. I believe Mishnitz is one such place. The closest I was able to come was the town of Myszyniec.



Mr. Shmuel Ben Eliezer:

I have just read your article about Kiernoza, a small Jewish village in Poland. Maybe you can help or point me in the right direction.

My mother also came from a small village called Mishnitz. It was near a larger city called Estralenka, near a river by the same name. I could not find them on a map of Poland, so I guess the Polish names were not the same. According to my mother, we still had family in the village. We know that an Uncle Berrel Teitelbaum and his family were alive during the early part of the war. The last we heard from him, He and the family were transported to Warsaw. He had eight children, ranging in ages from two to 13 or 14. We know of no survivors of this family or any of the others. All from the generation who came from Europe are no longer with us, and I guess I cannot forget my roots. I would like my children and grandchildren to know a little more about their roots. If you could shed any light on the village or how to find survivors, I would be grateful.

The following are sources that I often use to find information on Jewish history in Poland. I hope this is the right town and the following information is of use.

Sources: The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. www.polishjews.org/home.htm

Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, 8 Lyle Road, New Britain, CT 06053-2104. E-mail: pgsctne@yahoo.com.


Myszyniec, the largest town in the Kurpie region and the regional trade and commercial center of the area, can trace its beginnings to 1654. The Jesuits in Lomza assigned two priests to convert the inhabitants of the nearby Kurpian Forest. King Jan III gave the Jesuits permission to clear two “wloks” of land to build a school, tavern and brewery.

During the Swedish wars in 1702, the Swedes were defeated by the Kurpian tribesmen. As punishment, the Swedish invaders burned down the entire town in 1708. In 1716 Jan Kos, the Wojewoda of Ostroleka, supervised the reconstruction of the town. King August II gave permission to conduct fairs at the town’s market place in 1719 and a settlement gradually grew there. Originally the settlement was called Martuny after a tar maker named Martun, who settled there after the conclusion of the Swedish Wars.

Myszyniec is located on a flat plain on the Rozoga River. In the 19th century, it was located in the area of Poland seized by Russia during the partitions of the late 18th century. Administratively, Myszyniec belonged to the Province (gubernia) of Lomza, County of Ostroleka. It was only a few miles from the border with Prussia. The people inhabiting the town and surrounding villages were and are distinct from other nearby regions in speech and customs. The Kurpian region is known as a major folklore center in Northeastern Poland, and the distinct form and characteristics of Kurpie peasant art is visible in the architecture and customs of the region.

The land in parts of this area is sandy and swampy, making efficient farming difficult. At the end of the 19th century, the basis for the existence and livelihood of most Kurpian families consisted of a seven- to 10-acre farm, in many cases located in a forest clearing. Since families were large, consisting of seven to 10 members – and it was estimated that a minimum of 28 acres was necessary to sustain an average sized family of the era – it is no surprise that by 1914 nearly 20 percent of the population of the area had departed for the United States, Canada and Brazil.

At this point, I have not been able to find much specific information on the Jewish history of the town, but it is probably similar to that of the other towns in the area, including Lomza.

Myszyniec was first occupied by the Germans, then handed over to the Russians – but was later re-conquered by the Germans. Most of the Jews were murdered in Treblinka. Today there are no Jewish remains left and it is hardly even mentioned in books on Polish Jewish history.

Shmuel Ben Eliezer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/mishnitz-myszyniec/2006/05/10/

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