World remembers HOLOCAUST amid signs of rising hatred... ...Where Does the Figure of 6 Million Jewish Victims Originate? Jewish American officer recounts Nazi horrors

  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Jan 30, 2018 5:06 AM GMT
    World remembers Holocaust amid signs of rising hatred
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076828,00.html

    Associated Press | Published: 01.27.18 , 18:09

    With many countries seeing a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents, Holocaust survivors are meeting at the Auschwitz death camp to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, warn it should continue to serve as an example of the dangers of prejudice and xenophobia.

    Elderly survivors were gathering Saturday at the former Auschwitz death camp and political leaders warned that the Nazi genocide must continue to serve as a warning as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    In Warsaw, Poland, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid his respects in a solemn ceremony at a memorial to the Jews who died revolting against German forces in the doomed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.

    Tillerson trailed two uniformed Polish military officers and readjusted a wreath underneath the monument, a hulking structure located in what was once the Warsaw Ghetto.

    The head of Warsaw's Jewish community read a prayer and Tillerson made brief remarks about the importance of not forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust.

    "On this occasion it reminds us that we can never, we can never, be indifferent to the face of evil," Tillerson said.

    "The western alliance which emerged from World War II has committed itself to the assuring the security of all, that this would never happen again," he said. "As we mark this day in solemn remembrance, let us repeat the words of our own commitment: Never again. Never again."

    His words came amid signs in Europe and beyond that ultra-nationalism and extreme right-wing groups are on the rise.

    In Germany and Austria, the nations that perpetrated the killing of 6 million Jews and millions of others during World War II, far-right parties with their roots in the Nazi era are gaining strength. The anti-migrant, anti-Muslim AfD party won seats in the German parliament for the first time last year, while in Austria the nationalist, anti-migrant Freedom Party is in the government.

    Both parties have had issues with members making anti-Semitic remarks.

    Even Poland—which was occupied and terrorized by Hitler's regime—was convulsed this week by revelations of a fringe neo-Nazi group that honors Hitler. Other ultranationalist parties that espouse anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim views seem increasingly emboldened as well.

    In Europe, that support is partially a backlash to the large influx of mostly Muslim migrants to Europe that peaked in 2015.

    Some of those migrants, especially from Arab countries, have brought their own brand of anti-Semitism with them.

    In Germany, many Jews have reported feeling threatened by anti-Semitism—both from native far-right groups and from Arabs—and Jewish institutions across the country have increased security.

    Meanwhile, Muslim immigrants have been the target of German far-right attacks or threats.

    Hanni Levy, a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor from Berlin, criticized anti-migrant hatred during a speech at a Greens party convention in Hannover.

    "In the past, the Jews were found guilty of everything. Today it's the refugees," said Levy, who survived thanks to the Germans who hid her. "One should never forget how difficult it is to leave behind everything just to survive."

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the day by addressing the rising anti-Semitism in her weekly Saturday podcast.

    She said that schools, which already teach about the country's Nazi past, need to work harder at that especially so immigrant students from Arab countries will not "exercise anti-Semitism."

    She called it "incomprehensible and a disgrace that no Jewish institution can exist without police security—whether it is a school, a kindergarten or a synagogue."

    Commemorations are set to take place on Saturday after dusk, after the end of the Jewish Sabbath, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, located in southern Poland.

    The United Nations recognized January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005.

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Jan 31, 2018 1:54 AM GMT
    Chelsea F.C. launches campaign against anti-Semitism
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5075709,00.html

    Chelsea players recently met Harry Spiro, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, and heard his painful story about the murder of his entire family by the Nazis; 'We're reminded there is still much to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism,' says owner Abramovich; captain Cahill tells Ynet: 'I feel obligated to spread Spiro’s message.'

    LONDON - As players of Chelsea F.C. prepare for a photograph with Harry Spiro, he chides them kindly: “You nearly gave me a heart attack last night.” Spiro was referrign to the FA Cup match between Chelsea and Norwich, which eventually happily ended with a Chelsea win—but only after much suspense, extra time and a penalty shoot-out.

    However, during their meeting with Spiro, the players let the match—or the upcoming league game—completely slip their minds. They were shocked when Spiro, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor living in London, recounted to them his horrifying life story during the Holocaust, during which his entire family was murdered.

    Spiro, among the only Jews of the village of Piotrków—the first Jewish ghetto in Poland—to survive the Holocaust, recently visited the team’s training facility in Cobham.

    The Holocaust survivor’s visit was part of an immensely important initiative taken by Chelsea to battle anti-Semitism.

    "With people around the world observing International Holocaust Remembrance Day later this month, we are reminded that there is still much to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism," said club owner Roman Abramovich, who is himself Jewish. "That’s why I am proud to have launched, together with Chelsea Football Club, this initiative to challenge anti-Semitism in all its forms. I am very impressed by the important work the World Jewish Congress is doing in this area and am delighted, therefore, with the partnership we have entered into to jointly raise awareness of anti-Semitism in sports and together make an effort to tackle it."

    Spiro’s visit is actually the first event in a large-scale international campaign to fight anti-Semitism both on and off the pitch. The new initiative, headed by the team's chairperson, Bruce Buck, will be officially launched to the public on January 31, at Chelsea’s home match against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

    Racism and anti-Semitism are not foreign to football fields. Many fans, in many countries, call out ugly racist chants against players and fans of the rival team and sometimes even against players of their own team. But Chelsea’s project is especially important in the current climate in Europe and in Britain: the record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain is broken almost every year.

    The internet has become the preferred and easy—too easy—arena for expressing ugly anti-Semitic opinions. Try to Google “Jewish memes” and you will discover cartoons, images and memes that seem to have been taken from Adolf Hitler’s social media account, had the Nazi leader been alive today. The ease with which a person can disseminate such hate is both infuriating and frustrating, and if there is one platform that can be used in Britain to circulate a strong message against anti-Semitism, it’s football.

    Football is the official religion in Britain. On weekends, you will find more Britons watching football matches on the fields and at pubs, than at church. The ability to convey the message through Chelsea is not only a privilege, but a great opportunity. Think of all of the young fans who will be seeing their heroes over the next few months as they passionately speak out against anti-Semitism and call on their fans to reject those opinions. One cannot overstate the importance of this project and cynicism surrounding it must be eliminated.

    Gary Cahill, Captain for both Chelsea and the England National Team, was much moved. In an interview just a few minutes after he and his teammates listened to Spiro’s story, Cahill looked emotional. He was so moved, in fact, that he was late for the interview. During the interview itself, the deep impression left by Spiro's story was evident on Cahill’s face.

    It is encouraging to know that the captain of one of the greatest teams in the world will be an ambassador for the cause. Anti-Semitism cannot be eradicated in a day, but it is a step in the right direction—a welcome step.

    “I’ll never be able to understand how a story like Harry Spiro’s truly occurred,” said Cahill, “but I feel obligated to spread his message on.”

    “We were so grateful that Harry came in to see us and share his incredible story," said coach Antonio Conte. "Learning the lessons of history is so important and we must continue to pass stories like Harry’s on down to other generations so we continue to learn. My staff, my players and I were really touched by this occasion.”

    Player Eden Hazard added, “It was a privilege to meet Harry and hear his experiences. When you learn about the difficulties people like Harry and millions of others affected by the Holocaust faced in their lives, it puts football into perspective. I think we all went out to training afterwards with a different mindset. Those kinds of stories stay with you and it’s important we never forget what happened.”

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    The team with Spiro
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 01, 2018 4:29 AM GMT
    German corporations join Holocaust remembrance campaign
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076310,00.html

    Senior administrators from Volkswagen, BMW and Siemens have joined the World Jewish Congress's campaign against anti-Semitism and hatred, and were photographed with placards emblazoned with the 'WeRemember' slogan; photos from the campaign to be screened on the walls of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp's walls until Saturday; 'Volkswagen recognizes its historic responsibility and is committed to combating anti-Semitism,' says the company's CEO Müller.

    Heads of the enormous German corporations that supported the Nazi regime during World War Two joined the World Jewish Congress (WJC)'s international Holocaust memorialization initiative, dubbed, #WeRemember, in anticipation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked January 27.

    The leaders of German juggernauts Volkswagen, BMW and Siemens, all of which supported Adolf Hitler's regime during the Holocaust, declared Tuesday that they too were joining the WJC's WeRemember initiative.

    Volkswagen Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch and the company's CEO Matthias Müller were photographed holding placards with the campaign's slogan, as did Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

    The WeRemember initiative is an international campaign as part of which photos uploaded to social media networks with the slogan will then be screened at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp before and during International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    "Volkswagen recognizes its historic responsibility and is committed to acting out against intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism, as well as to engender international understanding and humanity," said the company's CEO Müller.

    "Today, learning from history is a significant portion of our organizational culture. It has been a difficult and painful process for the company, but we will never abandon this value," he vowed.

    WJC CEO Robert Singer added, "The world will be marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day Saturday. This day is an opportunity to spread the message that never again truly does mean never again."

    The WeRemember project is the largest such initiative to be undertaken in the world, whose origins date back to last year's International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    The 2018 campaign will operate in 45 countries around the world and in 23 languages. More than 250 million people have been exposed to the project worldwide, and more than 150 million have already uploaded photos of themselves holding the WeRemember sign.

    Photos of the campaign's participants have begun to be screened on the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp's walls Tuesday and will continue to be screened until Saturday. The photos will also be inundating social networks in an effort to drum up awareness for anti-Semitism and hatred the world over.

    In only several weeks' time, WeRemember has become the number one hashtag on social networks in Germany and elsewhere.

    WJC President Ronald Lauder said, "Anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and hatred towards the 'other' continue rearing their ugly heads even today. We have to remember the Holocaust, because the number of living survivors is dwindling and in mere decades, they will all be gone."

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    Volkswagen CEO Matthias Muller (L) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Potsch participated in the WeRemember campaign (Photo: World Jewish Congress)
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    Feb 01, 2018 4:40 AM GMT
    German parliament commemorates Holocaust

    The lower house of German parliament devoted its early afternoon session on Wednesday to the annual commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime, a few days after the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This time however — for the first time since World War II — members of a far-right party were sitting in the Bundestag.

    http://www.dw.com/en/german-parliament-commemorates-holocaust/a-42378576

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 01, 2018 11:28 PM GMT
    Evidently remembering the Holocaust rankles our resident haters, who immediately posted this:

    SamX/Covfefe pissed
    The World Remembers The Holocaust

    But didn't realized there were some traitor Jews that side with Nazis.

    Then blame everyone who says that^ is an anti-semitic b.s. Sorry, I don't buy that b.s. from Zionist cowards.

    I am trying to shut wmoverine up about his bitching about the Holocaust. Blaming other people beside his own people.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sick.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 01, 2018 11:31 PM GMT
    Muskelprotz> "the annual commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime, "

    Oooh. Just wait till our haters find out. Will they try to "shut the German parliament up", too?


    Muskelprotz> "for the first time since World War II — members of a far-right party were sitting in the Bundestag."

    How did they react?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2018 5:40 AM GMT
    This sort of captured the position of the AfD as far as I can tell and as reported by Die Welt. Applause with respect to honoring the Holocaust:

    Am Ende aber erhoben sich alle Abgeordneten, um sich mehr oder weniger engagiert an der minutenlangen Ovation für die Holocaust-Überlebende zu beteiligen. Die 1925 in Breslau geborene Tochter einer deutsch-jüdischen bildungsbürgerlichen Familie hatte die Parlamentarier bei der Gedenkstunde für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus anlässlich des 85. Jahrestags der Machtübernahme Hitlers vielleicht deshalb so tief beeindruckt, weil ihre Rede von einer fast lakonisch knappen Klarheit und Eindringlichkeit war.

    In the end, however, all MPs rose to participate more or less enthusiastically in the minute-long ovation for the Holocaust survivors . The 1925 born in Breslau daughter of a German-Jewish middle class family had impressed the parliamentarians at the commemoration of the victims of National Socialism on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of Hitler's takeover perhaps so deeply because their speech was almost laconically concise with clarity and urgency.

    https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article173082044/Holocaust-Gedenken-im-Bundestag-Anita-Lasker-Wallfisch-warnt-vor-Judenhass.html

    The AfD is much less enthusiastic about the 2015 "open borders" crowd.

    AfD is stronger in the former East Germany where many residents feel left behind economically after the reunification. This is not unlike the mid-west USA where manufacturing jobs disappeared leaving nothing in it's place.

    see map:

    n180201-adf-map_539cd5c82ca0f942ae75fd18

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/how-fall-berlin-wall-paved-way-germany-s-populists-n840921


  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 03, 2018 2:51 AM GMT
    Holocaust survivors pay visit to Schindler's grave
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076439,00.html

    Holocaust survivors, descendents, saved by Oskar Schindler pay visit to his grave on Mt. Zion together with rabbis, Franciscan priests in honor of upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    Just like in the final haunting scene of Schindler's List, a group of Holocaust survivors who owe their lives to the German industrialist, and their descendants, paid a visit to the gravesite of Oskar Schindler Thursday in preparation for International Holocaust Remembrance Day this coming Saturday.

    The scene shown in the movie was filmed 25 years ago and the number of survivors is decreasing each year, but the families keep the memory alive and continue to pay respect to the man to whom they owe their lives.

    Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of 1,200 Polish Jews and was recognized as a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, is buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Dozens of survivors, together with rabbis, representatives of the Vatican and of the Franciscan Order of Jerusalem visited the site Thursday.

    "This event is especially emotional for me," said Bronia Shkolnik, 86, a Holocaust survivor, during the candle lighting ceremony. "To be here, in the State of Israel, and pay tribute to those who saved so many lives—it cannot be taken for granted."

    Lily Heber [Haber], Director of the Organization for Survivors of Cracow, grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust. Her father, Yaakov Lazar was saved by Schindler. She stressed that Schindler also saved the thousands of descendents of those 1,200 Jews he saved and that we must remember the heroes who risked their lives to save Jews.

    Lazar was born in Austria-Hungary and was transported to the Cracow Ghetto with his family in 1941. With the liquidation of the ghetto, he was transferred to the Plaszow camp where he was lucky enough to find work at Schindler's factory, together with two siblings, that saved his life.

    When Schindler passed away in 1974, he was buried, as per his request, in the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion next to the country's first Holocaust museum. The cemetery became a pilgrimage point for the survivors who decorated the walls of the museum with plaques commemorating their communities destroyed by the Nazis. The ashes of 250,000 victims were also brought there from 20 different concentration camps.

    Father Alberto, the representative of the Franciscan Order told Ynet the group "wants to remember the Christians who understood the importance of rescuing Jews and overturning history."

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 04, 2018 1:35 AM GMT
    Polish neo-Nazis praising Hitler spark revulsion and debate
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076607,00.html

    Interior Minister promises to crack down on neo-Nazis after TV expose films them celebrating Hitler in a nighttime forest ceremony while burning a large swastika, praising the Führer and giving the Nazi salute.

    An undercover expose of Polish neo-Nazis celebrating Adolf Hitler in a nighttime forest ceremony has sparked widespread revulsion in Poland, a country where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered millions Jews, other minorities and political opponents in concentration camps, ghettos and in the bombing of cities.

    Leaders have condemned the extremists and launched an investigation that has already led to the detention of six people and to the confiscation of fascist paraphernalia and ammunition.

    There is widespread disbelief that young Poles, whose own ancestors were among the victims of World War II, could celebrate Hitler, who believed that Poles and other Slavs were "Untermenschen," or subhuman, and committed mass exterminations or forced many into performing labor for Nazi Germany.

    The debate was sparked by a report broadcast Saturday by private news station TVN24 that showed members of a Polish neo-Nazi group called "Pride and Modernity" celebrating the 128th anniversary of Hitler's birth in a forest at night last spring.

    Using hidden cameras, TVN24 captured footage of them preparing for the ceremony by dressing in SS and Wehrmacht uniforms and nailing swastikas to trees.

    Mostly young men, they raised a toast to Hitler, whose photo hung also from a tree, praising him and making the stiff-armed "Sieg Heil" salute as a large wooden swastika burned. The ceremony even included a birthday cake decorated with a swastika.

    The ceremony took place only 33 miles (53 kilometers) from Auschwitz, where Nazi Germany killed more than a million people, among them Poles. On Saturday a ceremony will be held at the former death camp to mark the 73rd anniversary of its liberation by Soviet troops.

    The denunciations from leaders came swiftly.

    Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said propagating fascism tramples "the memory of our ancestors and their heroic fight for a Poland that is just and free from hatred."

    This week he also called for tougher action against them.

    "Organizations that are using symbols and concepts that glorify and tolerate German Nazism or other totalitarianisms should be outlawed," Morawiecki said.

    President Andrzej Duda, asked about the matter while at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said such behavior "must be eradicated with all of our might."

    "There is no place in Poland for the glorification of Adolf Hitler, on whose orders 6 million Polish citizens were murdered," Duda said.

    Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski also strongly condemned the extremists, telling lawmakers in parliament on Thursday that "you have to be a complete idiot to dress up in an SS man's uniform and eat a waffle cake with a swastika in the forest. We will crack down on this!"

    But he also faced criticism for seeming to portray them as a marginal phenomenon, even though many other observers have long been warning of a rise in far-right extremism in the country.

    "In Poland such toads have to hide in the woods, but in Germany they walk through the center of Berlin," Brudzinski told lawmakers.

    Some members of the opposition Civic Platform described his words as a disgrace.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 05, 2018 8:31 AM GMT
    Israel rebukes Poland over death camp dissociation bill
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076939,00.html

    Israel denounces Poland's newly passed legislation barring the association of Poland with the Nazi death camps in a proclaimed move to 'defend the truth against slander,' calling it 'an attempt to rewrite history and eschew responsibility.'

    Israel's government spoke out Saturday against a bill that was approved by the Polish parliament the day before which seeks to distance Poland from the construction and operations of the Nazi regime's concentration camps.

    The bill, approved on the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, prescribes prison time for defaming the Polish nation by using phrases such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

    Israel vehemently disapproved of the bill, asking the Polish government to amend the proposal before continuing to advance the legislation.

    "No law can change a historical truth," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    Several minutes later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated his strong opposition to the bill, which he called "baseless."

    "History cannot be changed, and the Holocaust must not be denied," Netanyahu tweeted, adding that he "instructed the Israeli Ambassador to Poland to meet with the Polish Prime Minister" Saturday evening to express his "strong position against the law."

    President Reuven Rivlin responded to the passing of the bill by quoting former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski's May 2000 address to the Knesset.

    "One must not falsify history! One must not conceal the truth! Every crime and every roguery should be named and castigated, and circumstances examined and revealed," Rivlin quoted.

    Several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle also made sure to express their strong indignation, calling on the Polish government to either revise the proposed legislation or nix it altogether.

    Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked echoed the assertions of the president and prime minister, calling the bill "an attempt to rewrite history and remove responsibility from the Polish nation," noting that "many Poles, like other nations (Hungarians, Ukrainians, and others), helped Nazi Germany murder Jews," and speaking against their move to eschew responsibility.

    Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog demanded Netanyahu to "call the Israeli ambassador in Warsaw for consultations on a bill that is fundamentally unacceptable."

    Meanwhile, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid got into a twitter feud with the embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tel Aviv after he posted his strong condemnation of the bill, which he claimed "tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust."

    "It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that," Lapid wrote, to which the embassy replied that the intention of the bill "is not to ‘whitewash’ the past, but to protect the truth against such slander."

    "Your unsupportable claims show how badly Holocaust education is needed, even here in Israel," the embassy slammed Lapid.

    Refusing to let the lashing go unanswered, Lapid noted that he is the son of a Holocaust survivor and that he lost family in Poland to both Germans and Poles, adding he "doesn't need to be educated about the Holocaust" by the Polish embassy and demanding they apologize immediately.

    In response, the embassy noted that the death camps aforementioned were Nazi and staffed with German troops, calling Lapid's remarks "shameless."

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon commented on the argument, calling the Polish embassy's decision to "preach morality to us about Holocaust remembrance" both "amazing and saddening."

    Yad Vashem stated that, although "there is no doubt that the term "Polish death camps" is a historical misrepresentation," as the camps were built and staffed by Nazi occupiers, passing the bill as it stands "is liable to blur the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust" and could be used to restrict " statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people's direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust."

    Dorota Glowacka, a legal adviser with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw, said the broad scope of the bill opens up the potential for abuse.

    Anti-slander efforts and national pride

    Many major news organizations are sensitive to the issue and ban the language, but it nonetheless crops up in foreign media and statements by public officials. Former US President Barack Obama used it in 2012, prompting outrage in Poland.

    Many Poles fear such phrasing makes some people, especially younger generations, incorrectly conclude that Poles had a role in running the camps.

    The legislation calls for prison sentences of up to three years. It still needs approval from Poland's Senate and president.

    Critics say enforcing such a law would be impossible outside Poland and that within the country it would have a chilling effect on debating history, harming freedom of expression.

    While the law contains a provision excluding scholarly or academic works, opponents still see a danger.

    They especially worry it could be used to stifle research and debate on topics that are anathema to Poland's nationalistic authorities, particularly the painful issue of Poles who blackmailed Jews or denounced them to the Nazis during the war.

    Poland's ruling party, the Law and Justice Party, has been trying to raise awareness of the hardships suffered by Poles under Nazi rule, including the death penalty imposed on Poles who aided the Jews. This legislation is their most recent step in bringing the better part of their past to the limelight.

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    Auschwitz [Birkenau] concentration camp, Poland (Photo: AP)
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 06, 2018 6:16 AM GMT
    Envelopes reveal Polish support for Nazis during World War Two
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5077683,00.html

    Missives collected by Jewish organization head Michał Weichert in World War Two Poland reveal writings scribbled by Polish postmen on envelopes he had sent his organization's branches; inscriptions include 'The Jew no longer exists' and 'The Jews have been expelled'; envelopes revealed by Jerusalem's National Library following Polish death camp bill controversy.

    The National Library of Israel unveiled Monday a collection of 59 bone-chilling letters sent to the different branches of a Jewish social assistance organization from the organization's Krakow chairman Michał Weichert, on the backdrop of the contentious Polish bill outlawing references to "Polish death camps."

    Weichert's organization, Yidishe Sotsyale Aleynhilf—meaning "Jewish Social Self-Help"—was a legal organization that organized aid for Jews in camps and ghettos during World War Two.

    The letters in question were mailed between September 1940 and May 1941 in order to try and ascertain the situation in Jewish communities across Poland, but the country's mail service returned them to sender adding various handwritten comments on the envelopes, which deftly point to Polish collaboration with the Nazi regime.

    Among the inscriptions written on the envelopes by Polish mailmen were remarks such as "The Jew no longer exists," "The Jew has left the address," "The Jews have been expelled," and "The Jewish council no longer exists."

    It seems reasonable to assume, then, that the Polish mailmen were well aware of what befell the letters' recipients when they returned them to sender with the aforementioned remarks.

    Weichert was shaken by the returned letters, surmising that the mailmen's remarks hinted at the annihilation of an entire community.

    The envelopes, some of which were stamped in Polish with "Victory for the Germans on all fronts!", were taken by Weichert as proof of many Poles' collaboration and unequivocal identification with the Nazis' goals and actions.

    The organization's head therefore decided to secrete the missives in a hiding place, along with additional documentation from the same period. When the war ended, he removed the material from its hiding place and added it to his personal archive.

    While his archives were transferred to the National Library some 50 years ago, the collection of envelopes remained in his family's hands and only last April did Michał's son Yosef Weichert decide to hand them over to the National Library as well.

    "Now is the time to deliver these historical items into your hands," the junior Weichert told the National Library officials. "It's important for the world to know the story and remember and be aware that Poles took part in the Germans' cruel actions during the Holocaust, and for everyone to know of their horrors."

    The Jewish Social Self-Help organization that Weichert founded was based in Krakow and starting May 1940 disseminated funds raised by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in the United States to Poland's Jewish communities, with German assent.

    Alongside Weichert, the organization's administration also included Marek Bieberstein, head of the Krakow Ghetto's Judenrat. The organization's relatively close ties to the Nazi authorities were considered by many to be deplorable, and at the end of the war caused Weichert to be accused of collaborationism himself.

    The allegations greatly wounded Weichert, who then devoted many years to clearing his name and proving his innocence.

    Weichert, his wife, and son survived the Holocaust, and came to Israel in 1958 carrying a large and invaluable trove of uniquely important documentation for Holocaust studies.

    The envelopes of the letters returned to Weichert from the different branches of the organization he headed were unassailable testimony as to the period's events, as it was effectively the Polish mailmen who notified Weichert of successive Jewish communities being decimated all across Poland.

    The letters are now preserved at the National Library, where they are available for researchers and historians.

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 07, 2018 8:14 AM GMT
    Polish journalist: Jews also took part in the Holocaust
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5078716,00.html?utm_source=Taboola_internal&utm_medium=organic

    Amid furor over Polish legislation on Nazi death camps, TV host and journalist spark further outrage by suggesting they be referred to as 'Jewish death camps' due to Jews role in Holocaust; hours before, journalist tweets and deletes anti-Semitic post about 'scabby and greedy' people; Israeli Foreign Ministry weighs discussing matter with Warsaw embassy.

    A Polish TV host has suggested that World War II death camps in Poland be referred to as “Jewish death camps” instead of Polish or German, while a journalist intimated on his program that Jews played a part in the Nazi Final Solution.

    The comments have fanned the flames that have already mildly burned relations between Warsaw and Jerusalem after the Polish parliament recently moved to pass legislation that Israel has argued is an attempt to downplay Poland’s role in Nazi atrocities.

    The guest of the program aired by TVP2 also slammed Israel for its vociferous opposition to the bill, which prescribes prison time for defaming the Polish nation by using phrases such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

    “This narrative is built out of contempt for the facts,” argued Marcin Jerzy Wolski who hosts the Polish public mainstream TV channel operated by TVP.

    Discussing an experiment carried out in Germany in which exhaust fumes were pumped into rooms containing monkeys and humans, Wloski and the conservative commentator and author Rafal Aleksander Ziemkiewicz digressed into a conversation about Jews in the Holocaust, gas chambers and how the Nazis improvised as they searched for more efficient methods to murder European Jewry.

    The two then segued into an attack of Israeli criticism against the new bill and the “claims” that Poles participated in the Holocaust. Ziemkiewicz also slammed the notion of blaming nations for the actions of individuals.

    “Don’t be surprised if someone teaches that the Jewish people crucified Jesus or participated in the Holocaust,” he said. “If we look at the percentage of involvement of countries that took part, Jews also were part of their own destruction.”

    Wolski responded by saying: “Using this terminology, linguistically, we could say these were not German or Polish camps, but were Jewish camps. After all, who dealt with the crematoria?”

    Taking the theory further, Ziemkiewicz asked: “And who died in them? Jews. History has been forgotten. Instead of history there is a narrative that serves political and other interests. This narrative is built out of contempt for facts.”

    A few hours before the program, Ziemkiewicz published on Twitter an anti-Semitic post before deleting it shortly after.

    “For many years I have convinced my people that we must support Israel. Today, because of a few scabby or greedy people, I feel like an idiot,” he wrote in his tweet, evoking a term often used in anti-Semitic slurs in Poland

    During and after the Holocaust, Poles frequently referred to Jews as “scabby” as a derogatory expression.

    A statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern about the discussion.

    “We are anxiously following the statements of an anti-Semitic nature made on Polish media and are considering discussing the subject with the embassy in Warsaw,” the statement read.

    The interview was not the only public expression in the Polish media against Israeli furor. One radio presenter suggested that Poles who support the Israeli positions should consider forfeiting their Polish citizenship.

    “If there’s someone who behaves like a spokesperson for Israeli interests, maybe it’s worth it for him to consider giving up his Polish citizenship and getting Israeli citizenship,” Piotr Nisztor said in statements that were published on the radio station’s twitter account.

    It is not only the Israeli political establishment that has expressed outrage over the Polish initiative, however.

    An Israeli historian of Jewish-Israeli heritage who was awarded in 2012 the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic from the then Polish president for his contribution to promoting the memory—and increasing awareness of—the Polish Righteous Among the Nations, has returned his award in protest against the “demonic” legislation.

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 08, 2018 3:34 PM GMT
    Pope denounces Holocaust 'indifference' amid Polish uproar
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5077996,00.html

    Addressing audience at Rome conference on anti-Semitism as Poland moves ahead with legislation to outlaw references to 'Polish death camps', Pope calls on Christians and Jews to build a 'common memory' on the Holocaust.

    Pope Francis said Monday that countries have a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism and the "virus of indifference" that threatens to erase the memory of the Holocaust.

    Francis' comments to an international conference on anti-Semitism came as the largely Roman Catholic Poland considers legislation that would outlaw blaming Poles for the crimes of the Holocaust. The proposed legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel.

    Francis didn't mention the dispute but he did speak of his 2016 visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in German-occupied Poland, saying he remembered "the roar of the deafening silence" that the left room for only tears, prayer and requests for forgiveness.

    He called for Christians and Jews to build a "common memory" of the Holocaust, saying "it is our responsibility to hand it on in a dignified way to young generations."

    "The enemy against which we fight is not only hatred in all of its forms, but even more fundamentally indifference, for it is indifference that paralyzes and impedes us from doing what is right even when we know that it is right," he said.

    The anti-Semitism conference, hosted by the Italian foreign ministry in cooperation with the OSCE and Italy's Jewish communities, was timed to correspond to International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    On the eve of the commemoration, Poland's lower house parliament approved a bill calling for prison time for referring to "Polish death camps" and criminalizes the mention of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.

    Many Poles believe such phrasing implies that Poles had a role in running the camps. But critics worry it could be used to stifle research and debate on topics that are anathema to Poland's nationalistic authorities, particularly the painful issue of Poles who blackmailed Jews or denounced them to the Nazis during the war.

    In his remarks, Francis called for a "culture of responsibility" among nations to establish an "alliance against indifference" about the Holocaust.

    "We need urgently to educate young generations to be actively involved in the struggle against hatred and discrimination, but also in overcoming conflicting positions in the past, and never grow tired of seeking out the other," he said.

    Quoting his predecessor, Pope John Paul, Francis said everyone should work for a future where "the unspeakable iniquity of the Shoah will never again be possible." Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

    Poland, where Auschwitz is located, has also seen acts of anti-Semitism recently.

    One, exposed by a television station, showed people in a forest last year chanting "Sieg Heil" on what would have been Adolf Hitler's 128th birthday.

    About 60,000 people, some carrying banners with slogans such as "pure blood, clear mind," marched in a far-right demonstration in Warsaw in November and arsonists set fire to a synagogue in Sweden last month.

    Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said: "In country after country, we are watching a growing wave of far-right, ultra-national, and in some cases neo-Nazi parties gaining strength."

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 09, 2018 6:36 AM GMT
    Minority groups in Poland decry aggression, anti-Semitism
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/minority-groups-poland-decry-aggression-anti-semitism-52830299

    Minority group representatives in Poland have written to the president to express concern about what they see as a rising wave of aggression based on nationality, race and religion.

    The leaders of Ukrainian, Tartar, Jewish and other groups said in a letter published by the Polish Press Agency late Saturday they especially oppose recent "numerous and loud manifestations of anti-Semitism."

    They attributed the voicing of anti-Semitic remarks to lawmakers' passage of legislation seeking to outlaw statements blaming Poles as a nation for World War II crimes committed by Nazi Germany.

    Israel and international Jewish organizations have strongly criticized the proposal.

    The opposition sparked anti-Semitic comments on social media in Poland. Members of the ruling Law and Justice party, including deputy parliament speaker Beata Mazurek, retweeted some of the comments.

    The minority group leaders called on President Andrzej Duda, lawmakers and the government to "counteract all forms of xenophobia, intolerance and anti-Semitism."

    Duda has less than three weeks to sign into law or reject the Holocaust speech bill.

    WireAP_36f43ae6edcf44a297c721e077176d3d_
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lays a wreath as he visits the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Who Saved Jews during WWII, in Markowa, Poland, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Poland and Israel are locked in a bitter dispute over Poland's new legislation that is to regulate Holocaust speech. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 10, 2018 6:26 PM GMT
    Ukraine’s new heroes: Anti-Semites and murderers of Jews
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076191,00.html

    Stepan Bandera collaborated with the Nazis, Symon Petliura is linked to the massacre of as many as 100,000 Jews, and Ivan Rohach was the editor of an anti-Semitic newspaper—yet the three of them are commemorated in Ukraine’s city squares and streets; ‘this is morally unacceptable,’ a local Jewish leader says, accusing the government of rewriting history and denying the Holocaust.

    KIEV—A statue in memory of Symon Petliura was unveiled several months ago in the Jewish neighborhood of Vinnitsa. The monument was initiated and erected by the Ukraine authorities. Petliura, by the way, is linked to the massacre of as many as 100,000 innocent Jews during the 1918-1920 civil war.

    And he’s not alone. Meet Ukraine’s new heroes: Anti-Semitic murderers who massacred Jews and are being commemorated as part of a “decommunization” (a process of dismantling the legacies of communism) in the streets and city squares.

    Avenues and streets have been named after Stepan Bandera and his partners, who collaborated with the Nazis and massacred Jews during the Holocaust. Ironically, the avenue leading to Moscow and to Babi Yar (the site of massacres carried out by German forces and local Ukrainian collaborators) is named after Bandera.

    It’s no wonder Ukraine’s Jews are angry and troubled, living in a country where anti-Semitic murderers are backed by the authorities and spraying hate graffiti is routine. During Catholic Christmas, for example, hate graffiti were sprayed in three Jewish sites—the gates of the Holocaust museum in Odessa, a Jewish cultural center and an inactive synagogue in the city.

    So security around Jewish institutions is being boosted, but at the same time—according to Jewish sources in the country—the authorities are encouraging a glorification of anti-Semites.

    “My call on the president and prime minister of Ukraine to condemn the acts has yet to be answered,” the chief rabbi of Odessa and South Ukraine, Avraham Wolff, said in response to the graffiti. He expressed his confidence, however, that the condemnation would eventually arrive. “It’s very important to prevent it to begin with, because unfortunately everyone knows where it begins and where it ends.”

    The acts were strongly condemned by the European Parliament, which rushed to send Rabi Wolff a letter calling on President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to denounce the acts and monitor the investigation.

    When the government owes nationalists

    Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of Ukrainian Jewish Committee, is waging an all-out war on this alarming trend. He is often forced to confront a long list of angry nationalists on the country’s most popular current affairs program, but his performances have turned him into a popular blogger and a leader in the Jewish community.

    If you’re wondering how all this is happening in a country led by a man called Groysman, Dolinsky explains that “the prime minister wasn’t elected as a Jew and he is doing his non-Jewish job, so his Jewishness has no influence whatsoever on the agenda.”

    As for the anti-Semites’ successful integration into Ukraine’s legitimate mainstream, Dolinsky explains that the nationalists have a lot of influence. “They helped senior officials rise to power, and they owe them quite a bit. The second reason is the impact of the conflict with Russia. Glorifying the anti-Semites is an ideological and practical way of recruiting the population. In other words, in a bid to enlist the public against the aggressor, they have to create an agenda of ‘heroes’ who fought for our country with weapons in their hands. This is also happening under the nationalists’ influence.”

    Dolinsky says Ukraine is basically shooting itself in the foot with its policy of glorifying anti-Semite criminals. “It has already led to a serious conflict with Poland, which has barred some of the government workers involved in this policy from entering the country, and they are also working to prevent it from joining the European Union. In other words, these issues are already serving as an obstacle for Ukraine’s integration in Europe.”

    A monument for an anti-Semite at Babi Yar

    Earlier this month, on Stepan Bandera’s birthday, the anti-Semites held a torch parade just like they did last year, when they chanted, ‘Jews Out.”

    Dolinsky accuses his country of denying the Holocaust and warns that “a conflict with Israel, Germany and the United States is inevitable.

    “These countries are keeping silent for now, because of the conflict with Russia, but they’ll never accept a glorification of the Nazis’ collaborators.

    “The Ukrainian government,” he says, “participates in memorial events, like the one marking 75 years since the Babi Yar massacre, but at the same time it places signs in Babi Yar in memory of the Ukrainian nationalists who helped target the Jews, whether ideologically or practically.

    “There is a sign there, for example, for Ivan Rohach, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper which called for the murder of Jews at around the same time of the Babi Yar massacre, but you won’t read anything about that on the memorial plaque. Both the murderers and their victims are commemorated at Babi Yar, in one place. This is morally unacceptable. It’s a case of abusing the memory of the annihilated Jews, rewriting history and denying the Holocaust.”

    Dolinsky mentions other incidents, like the erection of a Petliura statue at the center of the Jewish neighborhood of Vinnitsa. “They are trying to impose one ideology on the Ukrainian public. This group, which is organized around the Institute of National Remembrance, the nationalist and anti-Semitic parties like Svoboda, and others, is creating activities that infiltrate the government bodies and the public.

    “For example, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UPA (the Ukrainian Insurgent Army), the Ukrainian president’s office issued a special document to local authorities on how to mark the event, including instructions on ‘how to respond’ to claims of anti-Semitism in the organization and its denial. They presented a series of

    examples of Jews’ participation in the organization, but all their examples were in fact false. Some were of Jewish doctors who were forcefully held by the UPA, and some were of people who never even existed. These examples were aimed at whitewashing the criminals who played a part in the Holocaust.”

    Brainwashing the youth

    Dolinsky clarifies that “the Jewish community has a unified stance on this issue against the glorification of murderers and collaborators of the Nazis who took part in the Holocaust. I’m talking about the entire Jewish community and the Jewish organizations. “Having said that, there are few Jewish activists who have an opposite opinion, but they only represent themselves.”
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 10, 2018 6:32 PM GMT
    What are the chances of winning this battle against the falsification of history?

    “I think the pressure on Ukraine will increase both internationally and internally. The thing is that most of the country’s residents are related to millions of Ukrainians who fought against the Nazis in the Soviet army. These people are very unhappy with policy of glorifying that small group of the OUN-UPA, which was mainly active in western Ukraine and is now becoming the main historical agenda. There is a concern, however, that the damage has already been done and that the youth has been successfully brainwashed.”

    Dolinsky pins his hopes on the international pressure. “We can’t announce that we accept the European values, and at the same time declare people who collaborated with the Nazis as heroes, while completely denying those exact same values. Ukraine will have to make a choice: Either to become an enlightened European state or to sink into the mud of historical contradictions and nationalism.”

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    An official ceremony in memory of Petliura [seated statue] in the Jewish neighborhood of Vinnitsa
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 12, 2018 4:36 AM GMT
    ‘A Nazi travels to Palestine’: A swastika and Star of David on one coin
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5072424,00.html?utm_source=Taboola_internal&utm_medium=organic

    The unique, juxtaposing coin, sold in a recent Israeli auction, contains the remarkable story about an unlikely friendship between two Germans—a Jew and a Nazi—and about the forgotten moment in history when it might have still been possible to save the Jews of Europe from extermination.

    The auction organized by Israeli collectors’ house CollecTodo several days ago was unusual. On the occasion of the 10th of Tevet fast day, which was selected by the Chief Rabbinate as the general Kaddish day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, a number of historic relics from that period were offered for sale.

    They included an oil painting created at the Theresienstadt concentration camp, a prayer for the Jews of Europe composed by then-Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, and documents related to the murder of Rudolf Israel Kastner.

    The most unique item, however, was a small brass coin—just 3.5 centimeters in diameter. One side of the coin features a Star of David surrounded by a caption in German. The other side is engraved with a swastika, the Nazi party’s symbol.

    ...The news about the coin with the spine-tingling combination between a Star of David and a swastika stirred a row in certain circles. Jewish American blogger Richard Silverstein, for example, implied on Facebook that the coin was proof of the cooperation between Zionism and Nazism, which he said was being silenced and denied. Others saw it as blasphemy.

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    The real story behind this unbelievable collector’s item, however, seems to be a reflection of a forgotten moment in history when it might have still been possible to save the Jews of Europe from extermination. It’s also a story about a government mouthpiece, which was backed by one of the most successful propagandists in history, Joseph Goebbels. Above all, it’s a story about a brave friendship between two Germans—a Jew and a Nazi.

    In a car from Germany to [Mandate] Palestine [the Jewish state-to-be]

    It may be slightly difficult to understand today, but in the beginning of the Nazi rule in Germany, way before anyone could have imagined the horrors that would be committed by the German people, there were some Zionist Jews who saw Hitler’s political doctrine as an advantage. The Nazis didn’t conceal their desire to get rid of Germany’s Jews, and some Zionists saw it as an opportunity to boost the rate of Jewish immigration from Germany to the British Mandate of Palestine, Land of Israel. One of them was Dr. Kurt Tuchler, a German Jewish judge and an active member of the Zionist Federation of Germany.

    [MW: Flunkies who read history in reverse will never understand this - or many other things. Those useless idiots propagandize that Zionists "collaborated" with nazis - as if rather than trying to rescue Jews in Europe they had sold them out.]]

    Even before Adolf Hitler was named chancellor, the Federation decided to contact Nazi Party officials who they thought might support the Zionist goal. Tuchler turned to Leopold von Mildenstein, who was in charge of the Jewish Desk at the in the security service of the SS and was known for his journalistic writing.

    “In those years, Mildenstein became famous for his travel stories,” says filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger, Tuchler’s grandson.

    ...And so in the spring of 1933, Tuchler and Mildenstein got in a car with their wives (who were both called Gerda) and embarked on a journey from Germany to the Land of Israel.

    Mildenstein returned from Palestine excited by what he saw. In his writings, he described how Jews were working the land, drying up swamps and fulfilling the Zionist idea, and praised Zionism for benefitting both the Jews and the world.

    The Reich’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, was also very keen about the narrative presented by Mildenstein. As horrible and unbelievable as it may seem from our perspective, the story Mildenstein brought from Palestine matched not only the Zionist stance but also the Nazi one. The bottom line of his articles was clear: Zionism is a way of solving Germany’s “Jewish problem.”

    Goebbels used Nazi mouthpiece Der Angriff ("The Attack" in English), which he had set up in 1927, to convey this insight to the Germans. In 1934, the newspaper published a series of 12 articles by Mildenstein titled “A Nazi travels to Palestine.” Goebbels likely saw the series as his newspaper’s flagship project, using it as a means of advertising.

    As part of the project, the Nazi Party produced a series of small brass coins. One side of the coins featured a Star of David with the caption “A Nazi travels to Palestine,” and the other side featured a swastika with the newspaper’s name, Angriff. These coins, used to promote the “Zionist” articles from the Land of Israel, were given as a free gift to anyone who purchased a subscription for the mouthpiece. “A sort of sales promotion,” Goldfinger explains.

    It’s unclear how many of these coins were produced, but today we know that only few of them survived. Goldfinger himself, who dealt with the Tuchler-Mildenstein story in his award-winning feature documentary film “The Flat,” has one of the coins. The film was born after Goldfinger’s grandmother, Greda Tuchler, died and her family was surprised to find a Nazi newspaper in her apartment—the same newspaper that had published Mildenstein’s articles. Gildfinger’s research revealed that his grandparents had kept in touch with the Mildensteins, even after the Holocaust.

    A missed opportunity

    “It’s very hard for us to understand, because we know history,” Goldfinger explains. “But my grandfather and Mildenstein were both Germans from a pretty close socioeconomic class, they were both openminded, and after their journey together they became good friends. They developed a shared language, largely thanks to their wives, and remained good friends.

    Goldfinger is one of the few people in the world who owns the “A Nazi travels to Palestine” coin. “I was shocked by the existence of such a medallion, and then I ended up buying one myself in an online auction,” he says, refusing to reveal how much he paid for it.

    Another person who owns one of these coins is Professor Shaul Ladany, a Holocaust survivor, racewalker and two-time Olympian who survived the [1972 Olympic] Munich massacre. Ladany, a passionate collector of medallions related to the Land of Israel, says he searched for years for the specific medallion combining a Star of David and a swastika.

    “It’s a very rare medallion. For years, I used to visit Germany on different occasions, walk into stores for coin and medal collectors and inquire about this medallion. Everyone was surprised to learn that such a medallion even existed. None of the merchants had heard about it. I searched for it in Canada, Australia and the United States too.”

    Ladany believes the coin represents a missed opportunity. “Mildenstein’s series of articles described the Jewish Yishuv in bright colors. He wrote about the establishment of Jewish life here, about the institutions being built, etc. The Nazis wanted to encourage the Jews to leave Germany. In the beginning, they didn’t necessarily want to get rid of the Jews through extermination, as they did later on. Today we know that if more Jews had immigrated from Germany at the time, the majority of German Jews may have survived.”
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 13, 2018 2:26 AM GMT
    Neo-Nazis vandalize Holocaust monument in Greece
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5076292,00.html

    Activists belonging to the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party deface Thessaloniki Holocaust monument by spraying party's name on it; days later, activists handed out anti-Semitic flyers in local landmark; other parties sprayed 'Free Palestine' on the memorial; 'Greek still most anti-Semitic country in non-Muslim world,' says Greek Jewish activist.

    A Holocaust memorial was found vandalized in Thessaloniki, Greece this week, just days ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked worldwide on January 27. The memorial was apparently vandalized by local neo-Nazis, who sprayed it with the words "Golden Dawn," the name of the country's far-right party.

    The monument, erected to commemorate the memory of the city's Jews who were sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust.

    The incident took place during the extremist party's demonstration against a compromise between Greece and Macedonia over the latter country's name—which is identical to a geographical region in Greece—in which tens of thousands of people participated.

    Golden Dawn activists sprayed their party's name on the memorial during the protest. Days later, unknown parties sprayed "Free Palestine" on the memorial.

    To add insult to injury, neo-Nazi activists handed out anti-Semitic flyers to passersby Wednesday near the White Tower, one of the city's most recognizable symbols, aimed against Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, who was dubbed "a slave to Jews."

    Sabby Mionis, a Greek Jew who made Aliyah to Israel 12 years ago and serves as the joint chairman of the Jewish Agency's taskforce for combating anti-Semitism, said, "Despite this government and Prime Minister (Alexis) Tsipras's staunch stance against anti-Semitism, racist activists still pollute many Greek institutions.

    "Everyone knows Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi party, but what's even more dangerous is anti-Semites who—motivated by their hatred of Jews—work behind the scenes to sabotage the two countries' relationship. According to a study by the Anti-Defamation League, Greek is still the most anti-Semitic (country) in the non-Muslim world."

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  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 14, 2018 12:27 AM GMT
    Holocaust survivor, US lawmaker Lantos gets Budapest statute
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5079809,00.html

    A statue for Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the US Congress, was unveiled in Budapest; Lantos, whose family perished in the Holocaust, served in the House of Representatives from 1981 until his death in 2008; 'Tom Lantos called on all of us to show courage in the face of fear,' says US official at ceremony.

    A statue of Hungarian-born US Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in the US Congress, was unveiled Thursday in Budapest as those attending praised the man known for his advocacy of democracy and human rights around the world.

    A California Democrat in office from 1981 until his death in 2008, Lantos frequently visited his homeland, often warning against anti-Semitism while also supporting Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries.

    "During his whole life, his heart was in Hungary," said his widow Annette, speaking at the unveiling ceremony on what would have been Lantos' 90th birthday.

    The top US diplomat in Hungary remembered Lantos as "Hungarian by birth and a dedicated American by choice" who worked to build consensus and strengthen relations between the two countries.

    "Tom Lantos called on all of us—not just those in government service, but all citizens, all human beings—to show courage in the face of fear, to smooth difficulties and correct mistakes," said David Kostelancik, the charge d'affaires at the US Embassy. "He called on us to remember that the very essence of our civilization, the belief we hold most dear, is the inherent dignity and worth of every single person."

    During World War Two, the teenage Lantos, like many other Jews, was sent to a forced labor camp, this one not far from Budapest. He escaped but was caught and severely beaten, escaped again and managed to survive the final stages of the war with relatives in a Budapest safe house set up by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews by issuing Swedish diplomatic passes.

    Lantos joined Wallenberg's anti-Nazi underground network, carrying messages, food and medicines around the Hungarian capital. After the war ended, Lantos found out that his mother and other relatives had been killed in the Holocaust. At just 19, he arrived in the United States in 1947 on an academic scholarship.

    In 1983, Lantos co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which after his death was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. In 2011, the Hungarian government and the US Senate established the Budapest-based Tom Lantos Institute, a research institute and think-tank focusing mainly on Jewish and Roma issues.

    In a video during Thursday's ceremony, former US Vice President Joe Biden recalled being Lantos' guest in Hungary and said he often cited a Lantos quote in his own speeches—"The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest."

    The bronze statue with a special red patina, depicting a slightly larger-than-life Lantos sitting on a bench with his favorite dogs, was created by Mamikon Yengibarian, a Budapest-based Armenian sculptor. It was placed on Tom Lantos Promenade in Budapest's 13th district, near his high school, the Berzsenyi Daniel Gimnazium.

    Yengibarian said he wanted to show "a magnificent, brilliant man who is not afraid ... and fights for justice and humanity until the end."

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    The late Holocaust survivor's family was present at the ceremony (Photo: AP)
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 15, 2018 3:29 AM GMT
    French PM: France is facing violent 'new form of anti-Semitism'
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5079243,00.html

    Edouard Philippe deplores assault on an eight-year-old boy wearing a Jewish skullcap in a Paris suburb earlier this week; President Emmanuel Macron says 'every time that a citizen is attacked because of their age, their appearance or their religion, it is an attack on the whole country.'

    France is facing a "new form of anti-Semitism" marked by violence, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Wednesday, deploring an assault this week in a Paris suburb on an eight-year-old boy wearing a Jewish skullcap.

    President Emmanuel Macron has denounced the attack Monday in Sarcelles, a northern suburb with a large Jewish population, as "heinous."

    Two teenagers beat the boy up in the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles on Tuesday, in what prosecutors said appeared to be attack motivated by the child's religion.

    It is the latest in a string of assaults that has worried France's large Jewish community, coming three weeks after a kosher supermarket in the Paris suburbs was gutted in a suspected arson attack.

    Prosecutors said the two youths attacked the boy while he was on his way to after-school tutoring on Tuesday, pushing him to the ground and then beating him. Police were investigating but there have been no arrests.

    Sarcelles, nicknamed "Little Jerusalem" due to its large Jewish population, was rocked by anti-Jewish violence during the 2014 war in Gaza.

    Several shops were set on fire or vandalized, including a kosher grocery.

    Speaking before lawmakers, Philippe noted the emergence of a new kind of anti-Semitism in France, which has the largest Jewish population in Western Europe

    To fight something, one must have "the courage to put a name on it ... to acknowledge that, yes, there is a new form of anti-Semitism, violent and brutal, emerging more and more openly in our land," Philippe said.

    Interior Minister Gerard Collomb and Jewish leaders say the number of anti-Semitic acts in France has risen this month after a drop in previous years.

    A record 7,900 French Jews emigrated to Israel in 2015 following the deadly jihadist shooting at a Parisian kosher supermarket two days after the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    That exodus has since slowed, but a spate of anti-Semitic attacks since have continued to frighten one of Europe's biggest Jewish communities, numbering an estimated half a million.

    An annual national count of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian acts—mainly threats—dipped in 2017 compared to the year before. However, the count, released Wednesday by the Interior Ministry, shows that violent racist acts in France increased overall, and notably anti-Semitic acts went up 20 percent, from 77 in 2016 to 97 last year.

    Collomb told Jewish leaders last week that such acts are "an attack on the principles that unify our nation."

    "An eight-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippa," Macron tweeted late Tuesday.

    "Every time that a citizen is attacked because of their age, their appearance or their religion, it is an attack on the whole country," the president added.

    "And it's the whole country that must rise up today alongside French Jews to fight with them against these disgusting attacks."
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Feb 26, 2018 3:09 AM GMT


  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Mar 01, 2018 2:24 AM GMT
    Poland Just Passed a Holocaust Bill That Is Causing Outrage.
    Here's What You Need to Know

    http://time.com/5128341/poland-holocaust-law

    Poland’s Senate passed a controversial bill on Thursday that outlaws blaming Poland for any crimes committed during the Holocaust.

    The bill was proposed by the country’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) and calls for up to three years in prison or a fine for accusing the Polish state or people of involvement or responsibility for the Nazi occupation during World War II. The proposed legislation has raised concerns among critics about how the Polish state will decide what it considers to be facts. Lawmakers in Israel have pointed to historical records citing complicity by some Poles in the activities of the Nazi regime. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it an “attempt to rewrite history.”

    Early Thursday morning, senators voted 57 to 23 for the bill, with two abstentions. The proposal requires approval by President Andrzej Duda, who supports it, to become law. “We have to send a clear signal to the world that we won’t allow for Poland to continue being insulted,” Patryk Jaki, a deputy justice minister, told reporters in parliament.

    What exactly would the law make illegal in Poland?

    The legislation criminalizes any mention of Poles “being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich.” The harshest penalties are reserved for those who refer to Nazi-era concentration camps such as Auschwitz as “Polish death camps.” Only scientific research into the war and artistic work are exempted.

    The use of the term “Polish death camp” has riled both the current nationalist government and its more liberal predecessors. According to Polish politician Jan Grabiec, the Polish foreign ministry issued 913 statements between 2008 and 2015 in response to the term being mentioned.

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama caused an uproar in Poland when he used the phrase “Polish death camp” while posthumously bestowing a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 to Jan Karski, a Polish World War II resistance fighter. Obama apologized for using the phrase after being denounced by current European Council President Donald Tusk, who was then the Prime Minister of Poland.

    Why has the proposed law become a diplomatic incident?

    The bill sparked outrage in Israel after it passed through Poland’s parliament on Jan. 26, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many in Israel call it an attempt to whitewash the role some Poles had in the detention and killing of around three million Polish Jews during World War II.

    “The legislation will not help further the exposure of historical truth and may harm freedom of research, as well as prevent discussion of the historical message and legacy of World War II,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The bill was passed despite assurances from Poland that there would be a dialogue with Israel before the vote took place.

    The U.S. State Department also warned Polish lawmakers against passing the bill, saying it could have “repercussion” on the country’s “strategic interests and relationships, including with the United States.”

    What does the historical record say?

    Poland was attacked and occupied in 1939 by Nazi Germany, which led to the building of concentration camps, including Treblinka and Auschwitz, that were operated by the Germans. The Germans killed about 1.9 million non-Jewish civilians and about three million Jews during the occupation of Poland, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. A number of Poles risked their lives to help hide Jews, according to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

    But like certain citizens of other nations occupied by Nazi Germany, some Poles were complicit in the Nazi atrocities. According to the POLIN museum, a small minority of Poles either extorted money from Jews hiding from the Germans or outed them. The Nazis also recruited local collaborators to round up Jews for the camps. In addition, there were anti-Semitic pogroms during and after the war. The most infamous happened in 1941 in the town of Jedwabne, in which 400 Jews were set on fire in a barn by their neighbors.

    Why Poland is doing this now?

    Critics have accused the right-wing government of using the issue to bolster political support. PiS has been accused of pandering to nationalists and the far-right through xenophobic language and tailoring its message to appeal to a spectrum of right-wing voters. PiS’s leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski once said Muslim refugees carried “various parasites and protozoa” and the government’s education minister in 2016 discounted two well-documented massacres of Jews, including Jedwabne, by calling it a matter of “opinion, ” according to the Times of Israel.

    There has been a resurgence of far-right sentiment in the country. A Polish government pollster found in a November survey that more than one in three polled said they supported far-right activities. That same month, far-right nationalists marched in Warsaw, brandishing slogans and signs that said “Clean Blood,” “White Europe, and “Europe Will Be White.” Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said the march wad fueled by “patriotic behavior of Poles” and displays of xenophobia were “incidents” that were “of course, reprehensible.”

    The government denies the bill was intended to limit free expression or rewrite history, but critics say otherwise. Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, agreed that the term “Polish death camps” was a historical misrepresentation in a statement late last month. “However, restrictions on statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people’s direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust are a serious distortion” the statement read.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Mar 03, 2018 6:51 PM GMT
    Chelsea goalkeeper: Holocaust survivors’ stories must be shared with more people
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5134885,00.html

    When the English Premier League club launched a campaign to tackle anti-Semitism, Thibaut Courtois already knew a lot about the Holocaust from history lessons in Belgium, yet nothing prepared him for the players’ meeting with an avid fan who survived the Nazis; ‘The thought of locking people up in a ghetto or a concentration camp here in Europe, not many years ago, is unbelievable,’ he tells Yedioth Ahronoth in an exclusive interview.

    ...Recently, Courtois became the prominent spokesperson for a campaign to tackle anti-Semitism launched by the elite English club he plays on. Chelsea is the first team in the world to launch a multi-annual, high-budget campaign against anti-Semitism on—and off—the football fields.

    “To us, the campaign is part of a bigger and more comprehensive fight against discrimination,” says Bruce Buck, the club’s chairman. “When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea, he wanted the team to win championships and cups, but he also wanted it to contribute to the community.

    “One of our projects in recent years has been about fighting against discrimination based on religion, race, skin color and sexual preference. But there has recently been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents around the world, which is evident in France, the United States and here in Britain too. So we came up with the idea of launching a specific campaign against anti-Semitism, which goes beyond one game or a specific one-time activity. We want to promote the project for a long time.”

    ...In preparation for the campaign, and shortly before launching it, Chelsea’s players met with Harry Spiro, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor living in Britain. Spiro, an avid fan of the club, visited Chelsea’s training facility and shared his personal story with the players. They appeared shocked and found it difficult to speak after the encounter. Their poor performance against Norwich the night before suddenly seemed insignificant.

    “Harry’s experience was shattering,” says Courtois. “It’s inconceivable, leaving your family behind and never seeing them again. The thought of locking people up in a ghetto or a concentration camp here, in Europe, not many years ago, is unbelievable.

    “When I met Harry, I knew more or less what he had gone through, because I studied about it in history classes. But you don’t really understand things until you listen to the testimony of someone who was there. I was shocked by his testimony, and I wasn’t the only one.

    “I want other people to hear testimonies from Holocaust survivors. These people are dying, and I’m concerned that the memory of the Holocaust will fade away and be forgotten. It’s important to pass these stories on to the next generations, so that they learn from them and gain inspiration.”

    83223480100258640360no.jpg
    Thibaut Courtois. ‘It all begins with education’ (Photo: AP)

    9831811_9833673_rumble.jpg
    Chelsea’s Eden Hazard with the campaign sign (Photo: Chelsea FC)
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Mar 04, 2018 8:31 PM GMT
    Polish Holocaust rescuers call for Polish-Israeli dialogue
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5135008,00.html

    50 Poles, the last survivors of over 6,700 who have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, appeal to Polish and Israeli governments in open letter, urging return to path of 'dialogue and reconciliation' amid diplomatic crisis caused by Polish Holocaust law.

    WARSAW - The last surviving Christian Poles who helped Jews during the Holocaust appealed this week to Polish and Israeli authorities to return to a path of "dialogue and reconciliation" amid a diplomatic crisis and a surge of anti-Semitism sparked by a new Polish law that criminalizes some forms of Holocaust speech.

    They made their appeal in an open letter which one of them read out to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a ceremony in Warsaw on Monday attended by six elderly rescuers, most of whom were teenagers who helped their parents shelter Jews during World War II.

    The letter, addressed to the Polish and Israeli governments and parliaments, was signed by 50 Poles who describe themselves as the last survivors of the more than 6,700 Poles who have been recognized by Israel's Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among the Nations"—gentiles who risked their own lives to hide Jews from the occupying Nazi German forces.

    They wrote that they oppose divisions between Poles and Jews and seek a "future based on friendship, solidarity and truth."

    Morawiecki thanked them for the letter and paid tribute to them for helping Jews during World War II. He told them they had "served humanity and Poland ... saving our common brothers during the times of the second apocalypse."

    The legislation criminalizes falsely attributing the Holocaust crimes of Nazi Germany to Poland. The measure has angered Holocaust survivors and officials in Israel, where it is seen as an attempt to whitewash the actions of Poles who killed Jews during World War II.

    Polish officials insist the law won't be used against anyone who speaks the truth, only those who try to defame Poland with lies.

    Bartosz Cichocki, a deputy foreign minister, said Monday that "the fears expressed by Israel and international opinion" are "completely unfounded."

    There has been a resurgence of openly anti-Semitic comments in Polish public life amid the diplomatic crisis, sometimes expressed by elected officials or carried by public media. Leaders in Poland's Jewish community have called it the worst anti-Semitism in Poland in decades and said it has created fears among many members.

    Some Jewish officials and groups have also made anti-Polish comments, with the most controversial a video released last week by a US-based philanthropic organization, the Ruderman Family Foundation, which shows people using the historically inaccurate term "Polish Holocaust" in a provocative defiance of the law.

    The foundation withdrew that video amid outrage by Poles and Jewish organizations in Poland and elsewhere, which said using the term was wrong and unfair and exacerbated an already difficult situation.

    Also Monday, Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, issued an open letter in The New York Times in which he said the legislation "has created a firestorm of ill will" and urged Polish officials to resume dialogue with Jewish representatives.

    "This entire controversy must now be dialed back, and I would like to see Polish and Jewish leaders sit down now and get back to the business of reconciliation and progress," Lauder wrote.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5591

    Mar 06, 2018 6:07 PM GMT
    Elsewhere, of course, the AyaTrolLiar (banned a 5th time!) sought to minimize the Holocaust, knowing that outright denial would expose him for the flunky fraud he is. Just as he claimed not to support BDS but constantly pushed their agenda and cheered their rare successes, as if only seeking to convince others to support BDS when he didn't? But having puked that "one Jewish state is too many" (and that Jews need to be punished before they can have peace) it was clear he has the same agenda. Not peace, but destroying Israel by hook or by crook.

    AyaTrolLiar> 5 million
    AyaTrolLiar> fake Holocaust survivors

    Holocaust Facts: Where Does the Figure of 6 Million Victims Come From?
    https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/holocaust-remembrance-day/.premium-6-million-where-is-the-figure-from-1.5319546

    || One of the earliest researchers, Raul Hilberg, came up with a figure of 5.1 million in his 1961 classic

    But this is a very early figure and has to be treated as a minimum.

    Later researchers all concluded higher numbers. Indeed, following the break-up of the USSR, more information came out about entire Jewish communities that had been destroyed, with no survivors left to count them.

    || Lucy Dawidowicz, in her The War Against the Jews (1975), used prewar birth and death records to come up with a more precise figure of 5,933,900. And one of the more authoritative German scholars of the subject, Wolfgang Benz, offered a range of 5.3 to 6.2 million. Each used his or her own method to arrive at the totals.

    || Six million is not, and was never intended to be, a precise accounting. But the number, which has now been part of the public consciousness for more than 50 years, would never have continued to be cited if it did not mirror the scholarly tallies that have followed in the succeeding decades, and confirmed that rough figure.

    Well, never was anything scholarly about the flunky fool. In his perverted world, he somehow thinks that he "wins" if "only" 5 million, not 6 million, Jews were methodically murdered during the Holocaust. As if this "proves" that Jews are "ruthless shysters" seeking to defraud the world....


    See also:

    SURVEY EXPOSES AMERICAN IGNORANCE ABOUT HOLOCAUST
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4366505

    On Yom HaShoah, we remember the six million who were murdered by the Nazis.
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4366377

    Why does virulent Anti-Semitism play such a large role in MidEast - and Holocaust! - discussions on RJ?
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4015076

    Israel Plans Monument to Gays Persecuted by Nazis
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3401610