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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Third Reich’

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

Holocaust Survivor, Speaker Max Mannheimer, 96, Passes Away

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Holocaust survivor and speaker Max Mannheimer passed away Friday at the age of 96 in a Munich hospital, Gabriele Hammermann, director of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial said in a statement.

“The memorial and its employees are mourning a good friend,” Hammermann said.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote on Twitter that she was “mourning Max Mannheimer — Holocaust survivor, reminder against oblivion and great reconciler. We owe him thanks.”

Mannheimer had been an adviser to the German government on the design and conception of its commemorative works on the Holocaust.

He dedicated his entire life to serving as a witness to the atrocities of the Nazi Third Reich and the memories of the six million Jews whose lives were stolen by them in the Holocaust they perpetrated during World War II. After the war, he painted under the name “ben jakov” — his Hebrew name — to cope with the terrible memories, later writing a book “Late Diary.”

Of his entire family and a new wife, only he and his brother Edgar survived.

Born in the Czech Republic in 1920, he personally survived two death camps, Auschwitz and Dachau, and was a transient resident of Theresienstadt concentration camp prior to those.

After seeing a swastika during a trip to the United States in 1986 and in response, suffering a nervous breakdown, Mannheimer spent the rest of his life giving speeches in schools, universities and concentration camp memorials to ensure that the world never forgot the horror humanity was capable of. Until that point, he had remained silent about the nightmares and depression he suffered, never speaking about his experiences.

Mannheimer was a recipient of the German cross of merit and the French Légion d’honneur. To the younger generation of Germans, his message was simple:

“You aren’t responsible for what happened. But you are responsible for ensuring that it won’t happen again.”

Boruch Dayan HoEmes.

Hana Levi Julian

Last Survivor of Sobibor Death Camp, Philip Bialowitz, obm, Passes Away

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Philip Bialowitz, age 90, was the last Polish Jewish survivor of the infamous Sobibor Nazi death camp.

After decades of bearing witness to the revolt staged by a small group of Jews who overpowered their captors and freed hundreds of their fellow prisoners, he passed away peacefully this past Saturday in a Florida hospice, surrounded by his four children.

Bialowitz saw it as a sacred duty to bear witness, having been exhorted to do exactly that by the two leaders of the revolt who stood on a table to launch the fight for survival.

“If you survive, bear witness!” they cried to their fellow prisoners. “Tell the world about this place!”

Bialowitz spent the rest of his life doing exactly that, honoring the memories of the 250,000 Jews whose lives were lost and the few who survived at Sobibor. Their “fighting spirit” became their legacy, that which he recounted to the thousands of children and adults in his countless speaking engagements around the world. “I had the honor of meeting Philip numerous times with former Deputy Minister of Education for the State of Israel Avi Wortzman, at Treblinka extermination camp and most memorably at Chabad in Warsaw, where I learnt of his love of Chazanut, Jewish music,” Jonny Daniels, founder of the Holocaust commemoration foundation ‘From the Depths’ wrote on Facebook.

“He always had a smile on his face and was always so open and willing to speak of his difficult past.

“Now is our turn to stand as his witness.”

His popular book, ‘A Promise at Sobibor,’ told the story of his life from his childhood in pre-war Poland and his teen years in WWII to the years after the war, when he married and grew a family. He helped build a community and bring Nazi monsters to justice while never forgetting to keep his promise to tell the story of the revolt at Sobibor.

Baruch Dayan HoEmes. “Yehi Zichro Baruch – May he rest in peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Two Roman-Era ‘Mummy Paintings’ Stolen By Nazis Returned to Jewish Heirs

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Two Roman-era mummy paintings stolen by the Nazis from Felicia Lachmann-Mosse were returned to the family heirs last month. Lachmann-Mosse was the daughter of German-Jewish art collector Rudolf Mosse, a publisher and philanthropist who died in 1920.

The artifacts were confiscated with the rest of the Mosse art collection in 1933, and sold with more than 400 items at an auction in 1934. But Lachmann-Mosse had already fled Germany with her husband, reaching safety in 1933.

After the Third Reich placed the Rudolf Mosse Foundation (as the family’s Company was known once the Nazis (took control) into receivership, it “confiscated and disposed of the family’s artwork and artifacts at auction — published in auction house catalogs (Lepke and Union),” according to the website of the Mosse Art Restitution Project. “This documentation did not represent the entirety of the Mosse family art collection. Items were removed from the collection after the confiscation and prior to the auctions.”

The paintings described above are mummy portraits of a young man and a young woman, both deceased. When Egypt was part of the Roman empire, the traditional embalming and mummification included a painted portrait of the departed.

The two portraits owned by Mosse were eventually acquired by German writer Erich Maria Remarque, author of “All Quiet on the Western Front.” They were purchased from his widow for approximately $137,000 as part of a collection by the University of Zurich in 1979.

Mosse’s heirs gave a “financial contribution” to the university in exchange for the paintings, the school said, but it is not clear whether the “contribution” was voluntary or required.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Stars of ‘Star Trek’ Shill for VW

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The German automaker Volkswagen has recruited the two Jewish stars of the original “Star Trek” series to plug its new e-Golf electric car in the United States in another attempt to rid itself of its stigma of having helped the Hitler regime.

Many Jews boycott Volkswagen and other industries that cooperated with the Nazis.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy apparently were tapped because the “Vulcan salute and the Volkswagen logo have so much in common,” the auto industry publication Auto Evolution reported.

That salute, as any Jewish Trekkie worth his salt will know, is similar to a Jewish blessing sign – two hands forming the Hebrew letter Shin — that frequently appears on Jewish gravestones.

Volkswagen donated more than a million dollars to an international youth center at Auschwitz last year, and in 2011 gave $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.


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.”

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

‘Nazi Essay’ Teacher Placed on Leave

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

The Albany school district has placed on leave a High School teacher whose persuasive writing assignment was for students to argue that Jews are evil in order to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty, the Albany Times Union reported.

Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said the district is planning to take some disciplinary action against the teacher, saying it could range from a letter of reprimand to termination. She asserted the district would not allow the teacher back in the classroom before the end of the year.

The district will also employ sensitivity trainers from the Anti-Defamation League to work with teachers and students before the end of the school year.

The students were instructed to imagine that their teacher was a Nazi and to construct an argument that Jews were “the source of our problems” using historical propaganda and, of course, a traditional high school essay structure.

The assignment read: “Your essay must be five paragraphs long, with an introduction, three body paragraphs containing your strongest arguments, and a conclusion. You do not have a choice in your position: you must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

One of the three classes given the assignment refused to do it. Perhaps that had been the intent of the entire project, to test how far High School students would go to comply with an authority figure?

At a news conference on Friday with members of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of New York, Vanden Wyngaard apologized to the community for the assignment. She said she was shocked at the assignment. “You asked a child to support the notion that the Holocaust was justified, that’s my struggle,” she said. “It’s an illogical leap for a student to make.”

Emily Karandy, 16, told the Times Union she was putting off the assignment, and felt “horrible” when she turned in her essay, “because I didn’t want to think about it and I didn’t want to say anything bad about Jewish people. We thought it would make more sense if we were Jews arguing against Nazis.” Karandy said.

The Times Union first reported on the assignment on Friday. Shelly Shapiro, director of the Jewish Federation of New York, said she was satisfied with the district’s response because administrators are treating the mistake as a learning experience, for teachers and students.

“It’s not how you teach about how prejudice has led to genocide,” she said. “There are ways to do it. This way was not the proper pedagogical way to do it.”

But Reform Rabbi Donald P. Cashman of the B’nai Sholom Congregation, who is the father of three Albany High graduates, empathized with the teacher. “Hypothetical situations are often effective teaching tools,” he told the NY Times, and debating positions one may not believe in can also be valuable.

“We know it’s important for kids to get out of their comfort zones,” Cashman said, noting that the assignment corresponded with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nazi-essay-teacher-placed-on-leave/2013/04/14/

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