Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

Holocaust


  • Originally published 05/22/2014

    Chilling Holocaust ignorance among our youth

    According to a recent global survey by the Anti-Defamation League, two-thirds of respondents either had never heard of the Holocaust or believed historical accounts were exaggerated.

  • Originally published 05/15/2014

    The World Is Full of Holocaust Deniers

    A new survey suggests that many Asians, Africans, Middle Easterners, young people, Muslims, and Hindus believe that facts about the genocide have been distorted.

  • Originally published 04/27/2014

    Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust

    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority issued a formal statement on Sunday calling the Holocaust “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era.”

  • Originally published 04/09/2014

    "Before the Witnesses are Gone"


    Fifteen years ago, when I set out to write a book about the Holocaust experiences of my father’s family, I knew I didn’t have forever.

  • Originally published 03/11/2014

    Revisiting a Scholar Unmasked by Scandal

    Yale literay theorist Paul de Man, one of deconstructionist theory's earliest proponents, turned out to be a collaborator, swindler, forger, bigamist, and deceiver, according to a new biography.

  • Originally published 01/30/2014

    Loot No Longer

    French authorities continue to struggle to return looted art.

  • Originally published 12/20/2013

    Never Again

    Entertainment's continued interest in the Holocaust.

  • Originally published 10/25/2013

    Handmaidens of Genocide

    "Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields" is a shocking reading experience.

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Thai educators grapple with Nazi imagery

    Bangkok, Thailand - After a deluge of incidents, Thailand is currently in discussions to re-work its national curriculum to include Holocaust education.Thailand has recently witnessed a shop in a mall in Bangkok selling Nazi clothes and accessories, parading students in Chiang Mai performing the "Sieg Heil" Nazi salutes wearing SS uniforms, the discovery of a fried chicken restaurant called "Hitler" and a mural apparently lionising Hitler displayed on the campus of one of Thailand's oldest and most respected schools, Chulalongkorn University (CU).Thailand's association with Nazi imagery is not new. Chetana Nagavajara, a professor of German literature at Silapakorn University, said the Hitler mural at CU "could have happened at any institution".Decades ago, a "Nazi bar" was set up in a popular Bangkok entertainment district, with waiters dressed up as SS officers and saluting customers. Former Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj lashed out at the practice in Siam Rath, a tabloid newspaper, and the bar was shut down soon after....

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Wiesenthal Center calls for boycott of Adolf Hitler wine

    It's been called "sickening," an "[apology] for fascism," and "an affront to humanity as a whole."But enough about the wine -- it's the label that's causing a furor.The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights organization, has called for a global ban on Italian winemakers Vini Lunardelli, whose "historical line" of wines includes labels featuring images of Adolf Hitler and various Nazi slogans.

  • Originally published 08/13/2013

    Jerry Lewis holocaust film footage surfaces

    Even Jerry Lewis admits his unreleased 1970s Holocaust movie is “bad, bad, bad” — no minor fact because the 87-year-old comedian directed, wrote and starred in the film. Now, thanks to some leaked video, people can see how Lewis might have been right.A seven-minute report from a 1972 Danish television show about the making of “The Day the Clown Cried” surfaced recently, and based on that, the movie looks hammy and self-important at the same time.Shot more than 40 years ago, the movie stars Lewis, in one of his first serious turns as an actor, as a circus performer arrested by the Gestapo and thrown into a concentration camp. Once there, he starts performing for Jewish children, and reportedly travels with some of them to Auschwitz....

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    NH auction offers Schindler documents, including letter paving way for Jewish workers’ rescue

    CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire auction house is offering a collection of documents from Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved more than 1,000 Jewish workers at his factories during World War II, including a letter he signed that paved the way for the rescue chronicled in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List.”The letter, dated Aug. 22, 1944, describes permission to move his enamelware factory, workers included, out of Krakow, Poland, to Czechoslovakia, a move that historians say allowed him to save the workers....

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    Treblinka survivor recalls suffering and resistance

    Wearing a military beret, medals and walking with a stick, 90-year-old Samuel Willenberg led a crowd of people through a clearing in the pine forest, stopping sporadically to point out: "And the platform was here, the trains stopped here."Nothing remains of Treblinka extermination camp apart from the ashes of the estimated 870,000 mostly Jewish men, women and children that the Nazis gassed and buried underground.On a bright summer's day, with storks nesting nearby, it is hard to imagine the horror that occurred here.Samuel Willenberg is the last survivor of the Jewish prisoners' revolt in the camp and he had returned for the 70th anniversary....

  • Originally published 07/29/2013

    Unrepentant Nazi criminal Priebke chills Rome

    There has been a renewed call in Italy for one of the oldest surviving Nazi war criminals to repent.It came on the eve of the 100th birthday of Erich Priebke, who has never expressed remorse for his part in a World War ll massacre at the Ardeatine Caves, on the outskirts of Rome.The former SS officer is actually still in the Italian capital.He lives under house arrest in what some in the city regard as conditions that are far too comfortable and lenient....

  • Originally published 07/26/2013

    Moshe Dann: Zionism as a Civilization

    Moshe Dann, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Zionism is not just supporting the State of Israel, it is the recognition of the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. This connection is critical for understanding the state as the basis upon which a third Jewish commonwealth/ civilization is being created.The most important factor in the creation of the state is the Shoah. It has shaped the consciousness of every Jew, in one way or another, and it is an open wound. The rise of Jew-hatred and its proxy, opposition to Israel, is a constant reminder that Jews are still vulnerable.In response to the Shoah, Jews took three major directions.First, there was an attempt – primarily by Hassidim and haredim (ultra- Orthodox) – to recreate the Jewish world that was lost.Second was the creation of a sovereign state that would be able to rescue Jews and have the ability to defend itself.The third response was to assimilate, in varying degrees; building secular or “traditional” Jewish lifestyles and culture, or, in extreme cases, abandoning any connection to Judaism and the Jewish people....

  • Originally published 07/22/2013

    Antonin Scalia: Holocaust Was Partially Brought About By Judicial Activism

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's warnings on judicial activism appear to have gained a new chapter at the Utah Bar Association's 2013 summer convention.The Aspen Times reported Sunday that Scalia drew upon the Holocaust as an example of how judicial activism can lead to problems. According to the Utah Bar Association's website, Scalia was slated to be the keynote speaker for the 2013 Summer Convention event, which was held from July 17-20 in Snowmass, Colo....Scalia opened his talk with a reference to the Holocaust, which happened to occur in a society that was, at the time, “the most advanced country in the world.” One of the many mistakes that Germany made in the 1930s was that judges began to interpret the law in ways that reflected “the spirit of the age.” When judges accept this sort of moral authority, as Scalia claims they’re doing now in the U.S., they get themselves and society into trouble....

  • Originally published 07/10/2013

    In Portugal, a protector of a people is honored

    CABANAS DE VIRIATO, Portugal — Lee Sterling knew that his sister had not survived the harrowing journey 73 years ago that allowed him and his parents to escape Nazism by traveling from their home in Brussels to Lisbon and eventually on to New York.He was just 4 years old and is barely able to recall her now, but after consulting Portuguese archives, he found that his sister, Raymonde Estelle, had spent six weeks in a hospital before dying of septicemia, at age 7. “I hadn’t cried in years, but when I found out, I just couldn’t stop,” he said.Mr. Sterling, who lives in California, was among 40 people who made an emotional pilgrimage last month to retrace their families’ pasts. They also wanted to pay homage to the man who saved their lives: Aristides de Sousa Mendes....

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Roger Berkowitz: Misreading ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’

    Roger Berkowitz is associate professor of political studies and human rights, and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities, at Bard College.The movie “Hannah Arendt,” which opened in New York in May, has unleashed emotional commentary that mirrors the fierce debate Arendt herself ignited over half a century ago, when she covered the trial of the notorious war criminal Adolf Eichmann. One of the pre-eminent political thinkers of the 20th century, Arendt, who died in 1975 at the age of 69, was a Jew arrested by the German police in 1933, forced into exile and later imprisoned in an internment camp. She escaped and fled to the United States in 1941, where she wrote the seminal books “The Origins of Totalitarianism” and “The Human Condition.”

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Italian praised for saving Jews now seen as Nazi collaborator

    He has been called the Italian Schindler, credited with helping to save 5,000 Jews during the Holocaust. Giovanni Palatucci, a wartime police official, has been honored in Israel, in New York and in Italy, where squares and promenades have been named in his honor, and in the Vatican, where Pope John Paul II declared him a martyr, a step toward potential sainthood.But at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the tale of his heroic exploits is being removed from an exhibition after officials there learned of new evidence suggesting that, far from being a hero, he was an enthusiastic Nazi collaborator involved in the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz.A letter sent this month to the museum’s director by the Centro Primo Levi at the Center for Jewish History in New York stated that a research panel of more than a dozen scholars who reviewed nearly 700 documents concluded that for six years, Palatucci was “a willing executor of the racial legislation and — after taking the oath to Mussolini’s Social Republic, collaborated with the Nazis.”...

  • Originally published 06/18/2013

    Hungarian indicted for Nazi-era war crimes

    BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian prosecutors indicted a 98-year-old former police officer Tuesday for abusing Jews and assisting in their deportation to Nazi death camps during World War II.They said Laszlo Csatary was the chief of an internment camp for 12,000 Jews at a brick factory in Kosice – a Slovak city then part of Hungary – in May 1944, and that he beat them with his bare hands and a dog whip.He also allegedly refused to allow ventilation holes to be cut into the walls of a railcar crammed with 80 Jews being deported.With his actions, Csatary "willfully assisted in the unlawful execution and torture of the Jews deported from (Kosice) to concentration camps in territories occupied by the Germans," the prosecution said in a statement....

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Netanyahu warns of another Holocaust

    WARSAW, Poland — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his two-day visit to Poland, which Germany’s Nazis occupied during World War II and where they committed the worst crimes ever against the Jewish people, with a stern warning about a potential Holocaust from Iran.Netanyahu said Wednesday the upcoming “so-called” Iranian presidential election will “change nothing” in the Islamic republic’s quest for nuclear weapons and that the regime will continue to pursue a bomb aimed at destroying Israel. Iran insists its uranium enrichment program has only peaceful goals.Iran’s election overseers have approved a list of would-be hopefuls, most of them loyalists favored by both the theocracy and the military, and any future president will likely side with the supreme leadership’s nuclear aspirations....

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Netanyahu helps dedicate upgraded Holocaust exhibit at Auschwitz

    OSWIECIM, Poland —For decades, the Communist-era memorial to Jewish victims at the barracks known as Block 27 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of death camps stood dilapidated and mostly ignored.“No one visited. They opened the doors, that was it,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s vast and authoritative Holocaust memorial museum and research center.Key artifacts had gone missing. The history presented in the signage was inaccurate, at best, and dominated by Soviet propaganda....

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Suzy Snyder: Holocaust Artifacts Bear Witness

    Suzy Snyder is curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She joins Pamela Brown on CNN "Sunday Morning" at 7:15 a.m. to talk about the museum's 20th Anniversary National Tour and the challenge to collect artifacts before time runs out.The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's ability to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations relies on its collections. The museum has been on a 20th anniversary four-city tour to engage the public and gather artifacts that tell survivors' stories in vivid, lasting and personal ways.The museum held a historic gathering of Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans in Washington for a national marking of its 20th anniversary.The road trip started in Boca Raton, Florida, and continued in Los Angeles and New York. Now we're in Chicago, where Sunday, June 9, the museum will hold a daylong public event with many opportunities to engage with museum resources, people, and programs, and pay tribute to local Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans....

  • Originally published 06/07/2013

    Jack Bemporad, Marshall Preger, and Suhail A. Khan: Muslims Reflect on the Holocaust

    Rabbi Jack Bemporad is Director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (New Jersey), and Director of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue at the Pontifical Angelicum University (Rome).Professor Marshall Breger is Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America; former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and liaison to the Jewish community.Suhail A Khan is Senior Fellow, Institute for Global Engagement in Washington, DC and former liaison to the Muslim community for President George W. Bush.

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Historians' report on Finance Ministry under Nazis concludes it was key to Hitler's agenda

    BERLIN - Germany's Finance Ministry has released the first part of an independent commission's investigation into its Nazi past, showing civil servants played an important role in Hitler's anti-Semitic agenda.The book released Monday, "Bureaucracy and Crimes" by historian Christiane Kuller, concludes that the ministry played a key role in stripping Jews of their money and possessions.In a presentation at the ministry — a Nazi-built building that served as Luftwaffe headquarters — Kuller said after the war the ministry's civil servants claimed they were only following rules and regulations they were given.But she found the long-term employees used their knowledge with "high efficiency" to apply existing regulations "systematically in a racist way."...

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    German tax inspectors oblivious to Holocaust

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Many low-level tax inspectors in Germany's Nazi-era finance ministry were oblivious to the Holocaust and dutifully tried to contact murdered Jews whose wealth was being plundered by the ministry's top officials, according to a new book.Germans have publicly atoned for Nazi crimes in a myriad of ways over six decades, providing scores of billions of dollars in reparations to Holocaust victims, their descendants and the state of Israel. But only recently have leading government ministries come clean on their own particular Nazi past....The finance ministry's role in assisting the Nazis was long assumed as a fact but never examined in real detail until Berlin historian Christine Kuller's book "Bureaucracy and Crime", which it commissioned....

  • Originally published 06/03/2013

    Jay Winter: Raphael Lemkin, a Prophet Without Honors

    Jay Winter is a professor of history at Yale University. His latest book, René Cassin and Human Rights, with Antoine Prost, is just out from Cambridge University Press.When did the Second World War end? In the absence of a formal peace treaty in 1945, we celebrate on the dates of military surrender—V-E Day (May 8), or V-J Day (August 15). But in a sense, it would be better to see December 9-10, 1948, as when the war came to an end. It was then that the United Nations, sitting in plenary session in Paris, voted for two major advances in international law, which together said to the world: "Never again." The last joint operation of the war against the Axis powers was to establish a human-rights regime to affirm everything the Nazis tried to destroy.The first law was the Genocide Convention; the second was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their passage in a 24-hour period was an astonishing achievement. Consider the moment. The Berlin blockade had been under way for six months. The bloodbath attending the end of British rule in India was continuing. The Arab-Israeli war of 1948 had ended, for the time being. Mao's army was approaching Beijing. Eight months later, the Soviet Union would explode its first atomic bomb. The cold war was well and truly on.

  • Originally published 06/02/2013

    Israeli national museum finds owner of painting that was looted by Nazis during Holocaust

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s national museum has located the heir of the owner of a valuable impressionist painting that was stolen by the Nazis after a photo was discovered showing the work in the original owner’s home, the museum said Wednesday.Israel Museum spokeswoman Dena Scher said the museum purchased the “Garden in Wannsee” painting by the German-Jewish artist Max Liebermann from the owner’s heir after ownership was established. The painting is already on display in the museum and will stay there.The painting’s original owner, Max Cassirer, was a wealthy Berlin businessman from a family of art dealers. The impressionist painting, which depicts the garden of the artist’s summer residence, was confiscated by the Nazis in 1941 together with Cassirer’s other assets. After the war, it was given to a Jewish restitution organization and found its way to Israel....

  • Originally published 05/29/2013

    Polish history professor dismissed for blaming Jews for Shoah

    WARSAW, Poland  (JTA) — Polish historian Prof. Krzysztof Jasiewicz [not to be confused with the anthropology professor of the same name at Washington and Lee University, to whom he is not related] was dismissed from the Polish Academy of Sciences following an interview in which he partly blames Jews for the Holocaust.Jasiewicz, 61, will lose his position as head of the Department of Analysis of Eastern Issues on June 1 but announced that he will appeal the decision.In the interview, which was published in April in a special edition of Focus magazine on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Jasiewicz said that “generations of Jews worked for centuries to bring about the Holocaust,” that “without the active participation of the Jews the Holocaust would have been impossible,” and that “it is a waste of time to dialogue with the Jews.”...

  • Originally published 05/21/2013

    Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

    Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93.His death was confirmed by his son, Julius, a retired parks commissioner of Brooklyn. Mr. Spiegel lived in Montreal.The Warsaw ghetto uprising has been regarded as the signal episode of resistance to the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum calls it the first armed urban rebellion in German-occupied Europe.As a young man, Mr. Spiegel was active in the leftist Jewish Labor Bund, and when it became clear that the Germans were not just deporting Jews but systematically killing them in death camps like Treblinka, Bundists joined with other left-wing groups to form the Jewish Combat Organization, known by its Polish acronym ZOB....

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    A salute to the 'British Schindler' as he turns 104

    Nicholas Winton is famous because he did not turn over the page. While many British people tut-tutted when they read about the plight of Jews in central Europe under the Nazis in late 1938 and then turned to the next item of news, he took action. At the time, he was working as a broker at the London Stock Exchange and was about to go on a skiing trip as a Christmas break. Instead, he received an urgent call from a friend to come to Prague, where the latter was visiting a refugee camp. Winton cancelled his holiday, went over and saw the situation facing the Jews in the Nazi-occupied part of Czechoslovakia.

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    The Real Story of the MS St. Louis

    The MS St. Louis in Havana. Credit: Wiki Commons.Critics of Franklin Delano Roosevelt often use the ship the St. Louis as an emblem of FDR’s alleged indifference toward the Holocaust. In Hollywood’s version, now deeply engrained in American popular culture, the 937 German-Jewish passengers of the MS St. Louis undertook the “voyage of the damned.” The president could have saved them and did nothing. As a result, most of them perished.In our new book FDR and the Jews, we noted in passing that American officials did not order the Coast Guard to prevent the St. Louis from landing in the United States. Since our book appeared a few months ago our critics in the press -- and some surviving St. Louis passengers -- have complained about this particular statement.

  • Originally published 05/08/2013

    Israeli Holocaust memorial seeks to preserve memory of the 6 million victims, a name at a time

    REHOVOT, Israel — With a hand on her chest, 82-year-old Rivka Fringeru battled back tears as she reeled off a list of names she has rarely voiced in the past 70 years: her father, Moshe, then her mother, Hava, and finally her two older brothers, Michael and Yisrael.All perished in the Holocaust after the Harabju family from Dorohoi, Romania, was rounded up in 1944 and sent to ghettos and camps. Only Rivka and her brother Marco survived, and like many others, they spent the rest of their lives trying to move on and forget.Now, Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, is asking them to remember.Decades after the Holocaust, experts have documented the names of about 4.2 million of the roughly 6 million Jews who were killed by the Nazis in World War II, and officials are going door-to-door in a race to record the memories of elderly survivors before their stories are lost forever....

  • Originally published 05/07/2013

    Over 100 Holocaust scholars urge Obama: Cancel invite to Sudan delegation

    Washington, D.C. - One hundred and seven leading Holocaust and genocide scholars from around the world have sent a letter of protest to President Obama, urging him to cancel a planned visit to the United States by Sudanese leaders involved in the Darfur genocide. The delegation will represent Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in the Darfur genocide. Heading the delegation will be Bashir adviser Nafie Ali Nafie, a prominent participant in the mass killings. The letter of protest was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, based in Washington, D.C. It is the latest in a series of Wyman Institute initiatives seeking U.S. action to stop the Darfur atrocities and bring Bashir to justice. "We must make it clear to the perpetrators of genocide that the United States will treat them as outlaws and bring them to justice, not treat them as respected statesmen and bring them here for friendly visits," the letter of protest argues.

  • Originally published 05/07/2013

    Bulgarian street-naming request in DC stirs broader debate over country’s role in Holocaust

    WASHINGTON — A request by the Bulgarian Embassy to name a Washington intersection after a favorite native son — a man credited with helping save the country’s Jewish population from deportation — has gotten tangled up in a broader debate about whether the nation is accurately accounting for the actions of its leaders during the Holocaust.A tense exchange between the embassy and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has played out behind the scenes as the D.C. Council prepares to consider honoring Dimitar Peshev this month. The debate underscores not only the complexities of Holocaust history but also the difficulty countries can face reconciling the heroic deeds of an individual during World War II with the record of a nation as a whole. It also comes as historians and Jewish organizations continue encouraging nations to take unvarnished stock of their actions in Nazi-era Europe....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    93-year-old 'Auschwitz guard' arrested

    A 93-year-old man who was deported from the US for lying about his Nazi past was arrested by German authorities on Monday on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard, Stuttgart prosecutors said.Hans Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was "compelling evidence" he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while posted there from 1941 to 1945, prosecutor Claudia Krauth said.Lipschis has acknowledged being assigned to an SS guard unit at Auschwitz but maintains he only served as a cook and was not involved in any war crimes....

  • Originally published 05/05/2013

    Hollywood conservative unmasked as Holocaust revisionist

    To those who knew him, or thought they knew him, he was a cerebral, fun-loving gadfly who hosted boozy gatherings for Hollywood's political conservatives. David Stein brought right-wing congressmen, celebrities, writers and entertainment industry figures together for shindigs, closed to outsiders, where they could scorn liberals and proclaim their true beliefs.Over the past five years Stein's organisation, Republican Party Animals, drew hundreds to regular events in and around Los Angeles, making him a darling of conservative blogs and talkshows. That he made respected documentaries on the Holocaust added intellectual cachet and Jewish support to Stein's cocktail of politics, irreverence and rock and roll.There was just one problem. Stein was not who he claimed. His real name can be revealed for the first time publicly – a close circle of confidants only found out the truth recently – as David Cole. And under that name he was once a reviled Holocaust revisionist who questioned the existence of Nazi gas chambers. He changed identities in January 1998....

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Sirens Blare In Honor of Warsaw’s Jewish Insurgents

    A small part of the chasm in Polish-Jewish relations closed on Friday, when, to commemorate the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, alarm signals sounded across the city. Until now, sirens have sounded on August 1, in honor of the fighters of the city-wide Warsaw Uprising in 1944.These alarms mark the moment when an important part of Jewish history—when a small group in the Warsaw Ghetto opted to choose their own deaths, to resist rather than go to the gas chambers—becomes a part of the narrative of Polish history.Often the two narratives, of Jewish suffering and of Polish suffering at the hands of the Nazis, run along parallel lines never to meet.Simcha Rotem, who was honored by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski with the Grand Cross of the Polonia Restituta order Friday, is now one of only three still living ghetto insurgents....

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Holocaust museum hits 20th anniversary

    Today marks the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Called “a living memorial to the Holocaust,” and hailed as groundbreaking, its unsparing narrative–populated with artifacts, oral and video histories, and conversations with survivors –has attracted nearly 35 million visitors. Two days of formal anniversary observances kick off next week with a National Tribute Dinner April 28 and a National Tribute to Holocaust Survivors and World War II Veterans April 29 featuring former President Bill Clinton, and Founding Chairman Elie Wiesel....

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Marci Shore: The Jewish Hero History Forgot

    Marci Shore, an associate professor of history at Yale University, is the author of “The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe.”SEVENTY years ago today, a group of young men and women fired the shots that began the largest single act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is rightly commemorated — through books, memoirs and movies — as an extraordinary act of courage in the face of near-certain death. Those who fought in the ghetto provide the iconic image of heroism, and an antidote to images of Jews being led to the gas chambers.The uprising was indeed extraordinary. But the manner in which it has been remembered over the years — in Communist Poland, in the West and in Israel — says more about the use of history for contemporary purposes than the uprising itself. The true nature of the uprising cannot be understood through its postwar commemorations but only through its wartime origins....

  • Originally published 04/19/2013

    Adam Chandler: Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    Adam Chandler is the editor of The Scroll. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.After a week of warm April weather, sunny afternoons and calm evenings, Friday morning in Warsaw was grey. An easily imaginable and heavy Polish grey: cold, windy, and threatening rain.Like all anniversaries, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising represented the interaction between history and the public marking of time. There were ceremonial sirens, church bells, military drums, and symbolic rifle fire, all of which echoed through the open plaza between Nathan Rapoport’s iconic monument to the ghetto fighters and the newly-minted Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The silences were tense and even the weather had conspired to project solemness.

  • Originally published 04/19/2013

    Francis to 'open files on Hitler's Pope'

    Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who has known the Argentine former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio for 20 years, said he had discussed the role of Pius XII – the man long dubbed as "Hitler's Pope" – at length with the new pontiff.The Rabbi, who recently co-authored On Heaven and Earth, a book of interviews with his friend, said he had made clear that he thought Pius's legacy ought to be "investigated thoroughly"."It's a terribly sensitive issue, but he says that it must be investigated thoroughly," he said. "I have no doubt that he will move to open the archives."...

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    ‘Branko: Return to Auschwitz’

    April 15 marks the 68th anniversary of Branko Lustig’s liberation from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when he was not quite 13 years old. In this Op-Doc video, we follow Mr. Lustig back to Poland to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps (where he was also interned) and to celebrate the bar mitzvah he could never have as a young man. [Click here or on link above for video.]

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Polish nationalists defend historian who blamed Jews for Holocaust

    JTA — Leaders of a Polish nationalist movement said a historian’s claims that Jews helped perpetrate the Holocaust were “factual” and “necessary.”The historian who made the claims, Krzysztof Jasiewicz, was “far from politically correct but his statements are supported by historical facts,” Robert Winnicki, president of the All-Polish Youth, said in a statement published Tuesday on the website of the ultra-nationalist organization, which has a few thousand registered members.Artur Zawisza, a former lawmaker in the Polish parliament, is quoted as telling the news site NaTemat.pl that Jasiewicz “said too much common sense that has long been present in the literature.” He said the historian’s claims were a “necessary part of open debate.”...

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Hidden WWII photos inspire doc

    BOSTON — Matthew Nash’s grandfather only mentioned the photographs to him once.Twenty-five-years later, they are the subject of a new documentary on the Holocaust that Nash spent three years making after finding the pictures his grandfather took while serving as an Army medic in World War II.Kept hidden from Nash and others in the family, the photos were not something Nash’s grandfather seemed to want to talk about with relatives. But they were something he could never forget....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Exhibit recalls Jewish refugees and Nazi prisoners held together in Canadian prisons

    VANCOUVER, Canada (JTA) -- When Austrian and German Jews escaped Nazism by fleeing to Britain during the 1930s, the last thing they expected was to find themselves prisoners in Canada, interred in camps with some of the same Nazis they had tried to escape back home.But that's what happened to some 7,000 European Jews and “Category A” prisoners -- the most dangerous prisoners of war -- who arrived on Canadian shores in 1940. Fearing a German invasion, Britain had asked its colonies to take some German prisoners and enemy spies. But the boats included many refugees, including religious Jews and university students.Though Britain alerted Canada to the mistake, it would take three years for all the refugees to be freed.“It was a period where everybody was closing their doors,” said Paula Draper, a historian who worked on an exhibit about the refugees currently on display at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. “But Canada closed its doors more tightly than almost anybody else.”...

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Yair Auron: Israel must recognize Armenian genocide

    YEREVAN, MARCH 23, ARMENPRESS: Being a country which experienced the suffering of the genocide, Israel has to recognize Armenian Genocide. Israeli historian, scholar and expert specializing on Holocaust and Genocide studies, racism and contemporary Jewry Yair Auron made a statement at two-day international scientific conference titled “Armenian Genocide. Challenges ahead of the century”....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    A new lease on life for the mysterious lost bank accounts of Switzerland

    One of the most enduring myths associated with Swiss banks is the money of “unknown” origin that has been hidden in their coffers for generations. Because of a number of laws enacted in the past 15 years, Switzerland’s financial institutions are now tightly regulated, but at least one mystery still remains: who owns hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of unclaimed assets languishing in the nation’s banks — and how long will they be kept there?Earlier this month, Switzerland’s parliament set a 62-year deadline for the recovery of unclaimed assets, which are roughly estimated at anywhere from $100 million to $600 million. This means that the banks must keep inactive accounts for six decades after the last contact with the customer, and then turn the assets over to the Swiss government. The new time limit is longer than allowed in most other countries, which liquidate dormant accounts after five to 30 years. And while the deadline is part of larger reforms of the banking sector, it is born out of the scandal that erupted in the 1990s over the dormant World War II accounts stashed in Swiss banks by Jews fleeing Nazi persecution....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    The dwarves of Auschwitz

    'I was saved by the grace of the devil," Holocaust survivor Perla Ovitz told us. Again and again, she recounted in detail how she and her family were taken to the gas chamber and ordered to strip naked. A heavy door opened and they were pushed inside. "It was almost dark and we stood in what looked like a large washing room, waiting for something to happen. We looked up to the ceiling to see why the water was not coming. Suddenly we smelled gas. We gasped heavily, some of us fainting on the floor. With our last breath we cried out. Minutes passed, or maybe just seconds, then we heard an angry voice from outside – 'Where is my dwarf family?' The door opened, and we saw Dr Mengele standing there. He ordered us to be carried out and had cold water poured on us to revive us."

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Slavery, Holocaust never OK as political fodder, but Cuccinelli’s history on faith was right

    RICHMOND, Va. — Ken Cuccinelli learned last week that it’s foolhardy to invoke slavery to make a political point.The presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee set off a furor when Democratic Party video surfaced of him comparing the 19th century abolition struggle that triggered the nation’s deadliest war with today’s anti-abortion movement.In remarks made in June 2012 to a Family Foundation gathering of Christian conservatives in Williamsburg, Cuccinelli connected the dots between the role of churches in the early 19th century played in fomenting the movement to contain and eradicate slavery to that of evangelicals in today’s moral crusade against abortion....

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    Obama visits Yad Vashem

    JERUSALEM — President Barack Obama on Friday pledged that with the “survival” of Israel, “the Holocaust will never happen again.”“Here on your ancient land, let it be said for all the world to hear,” Obama said at a service held at Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, Yad Vashem. “The state of Israel does not exist because of the Holocaust, but in the survival of a strong Jewish state of Israel the Holocaust will never happen again.”Obama’s third day of his trip to Israel got off to a solemn start on Friday with the Yad Vashem trip as well as trips to grave sites of Israeli heroes....

  • Originally published 03/09/2013

    Allan Lichtman & Richard Breitman say FDR deserves credit for rescuing hundreds of thousands of Jews

    For decades, it has been one of the most politically charged questions in American history: What did Franklin D. Roosevelt do — or, more to the point, not do — in response to the Holocaust? The issue has spawned a large literary response, with books often bearing polemical titles like “The Abandonment of the Jews” or “Saving the Jews.” But in a new volume from Harvard University Press, two historians aim to set the matter straight with what they call both a neutral assessment of Roosevelt’s broader record on Jewish issues and a corrective to the popular view of it, which they say has become overly scathing. In “FDR and the Jews,” Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, professors at American University, contend that Roosevelt hardly did everything he could. But they maintain that his overall record — several hundred thousand Jews saved, some of them thanks to little-known initiatives — exceeds that of any subsequent president in responding to genocide in the midst of fierce domestic political opposition. “The consensus among the public is that Roosevelt really failed,” Mr. Breitman said in a recent interview.

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    David Thomson: Schindler's Girl in the Red Coat Speaks Out

    David Thomson is a film critic who often writes for The New Republic.Here’s an oddity, from Yahoo Movies this past Monday: two photographs, side by side—a dark-haired woman, apparently 23-years-old, in a belted red raincoat, standing in front of a wall covered with Jewish imagery; and then, a child, 3-years-old, in a red coat, but in the foreground of a black-and-white picture that shows German soldiers guarding abashed citizens. It is the same person in both pictures, Oliwia Dabrowska, from Krakow in Poland. There is a heading to the pictures and the short article that follows: “‘Red coat girl’ from ‘Schindler’s List’: I was ‘horrified.’”

  • Originally published 03/02/2013

    Holocaust worse than we thought

     THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust. The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945…. The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions. The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Israelis upset with Chevy "SS" car

    The recently introduced 2014 Chevrolet SS muscle car has been welcomed in NASCAR country with open arms, but GM’s latest halo car isn’t getting as warm of a response in The Holy Land.It’s not the performance of the 415 hp V8-powered sedan that’s at issue, but the name: SS.It’s short for Super Sport, but an official at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem says the name evokes memories of Nazi Germany’s paramilitary Schutzstaffel organization, infamously known as the SS, which was the primary force behind the Holocaust that killed over 6 million Jews in Nazi occupied lands....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    France to return 7 paintings looted during WWII

    PARIS (AP) — France is returning seven paintings taken from their Jewish owners during World War II, part of an ongoing effort to give back hundreds of looted artworks that still hang in the Louvre and other museums.The works were stolen or sold under duress up to seven decades ago as their Jewish owners fled Nazi-occupied Europe. All seven were destined for display in the art gallery Adolf Hitler wanted to build in his birthplace of Linz, Austria, according to a catalog for the planned museum....

  • Originally published 02/14/2013

    Only surviving synagogue near Auschwitz on verge of collapse

    A synagogue near the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz is on the verge of collapse, officials warned on Wednesday.The head of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, which maintains the historic building in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim, said in a phone interview that the synagogue is on unstable ground and if it is not reinforced soon, it may crumble."There are already small cracks visible," Tomasz Kuncewicz said. "A thorough examination found that the ground is unstable and with heavy rain or something similar, anything can happen."...

  • Originally published 02/14/2013

    Only surviving synagogue near Auschwitz on verge of collapse

    A synagogue near the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz is on the verge of collapse, officials warned on Wednesday.The head of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, which maintains the historic building in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim, said in a phone interview that the synagogue is on unstable ground and if it is not reinforced soon, it may crumble."There are already small cracks visible," Tomasz Kuncewicz said. "A thorough examination found that the ground is unstable and with heavy rain or something similar, anything can happen."...

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Swiss rejected fewer Jews, Nazi tracker says

    Serge Klarsfeld, known along with his wife, Beate, for documenting details of the Holocaust and for racking down former Nazis, maintains that 3,000 Jews were stopped from entering Switzerland. Klarsfeld’s claim, recorded in an interview with German-language weekly newspaper Der Sonntag, contrasts with the previous estimate of 25,300 made in a report issued in 1999 by the Bergier Commission. “Since 1999, we have made progress with our research,” Klarsfeld, 77, told the newspaper....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    New doubts cast on Holocaust account Nazi child mascot

    SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) -- A war crimes investigator cast fresh doubts on the account of a purported Holocaust survivor who says he was a child mascot for Nazis.Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, wrote to officials last week at the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, contesting the miraculous survival story of Alex Kurzem, an elderly man who now lives in Melbourne.“Everything in this case appears to point to a scam, but only a comprehensive investigation can finally determine whether Kurzem is indeed a Holocaust survivor, which I very much doubt, or an impostor whose main motivation was to gain fortune and fame by distorting his unusual wartime experiences,” Zuroff wrote....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    Did gun control enable the Holocaust?

    Editor's Note: No, it did not.As gun control moved toward the top of the American agenda after the Dec. 14 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, gun rights activists began to invoke a curious analogy: the Holocaust.On television, radio and in letters to the editor, the argument went that Hitler’s gun control laws left European Jews defenseless, and that the Holocaust would not have happened — or at least would not have been as catastrophic in scale — had Jews had guns....Many American Jews and others have had enough of the claim, and are denouncing as specious the comparison between the Third Reich law that forbade Jews to own guns and current gun control proposals under consideration by President Obama, Congress and state legislatures.The Anti-Defamation League “has always strenuously objected to the use of Nazi analogies to advance any kind of political debate, including the gun control debate,” said Deborah Lauter, the group’s civil rights director. “We believe it’s historically inaccurate and incredibly insensitive, particularly to Holocaust survivors and their families.”...

  • Originally published 02/02/2013

    Obamacare = Holocaust?

    As the debate over Idaho's proposed state health insurance exchange heats up, state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R) compared the role of insurance companies to "the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps," saying the federal government is using private insurers and in the future will "pull the trigger" on them, the Idaho Spokesman-Review reports.Nuxoll defended the analogy: "I felt badly for the Jews - it wasn't just Jews, but Jews, and Christians, and Catholics, and priests. My thing was they didn't know what was going on. The insurance companies are not realizing what's going to end up in their demise."

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    Plans to destroy prewar building in former Warsaw ghetto set off struggle to save it

    WARSAW, Poland — It was the place where Jewish women did their ritual bathing. It was a tuberculosis clinic. It survived the German onslaught and became a gathering point for Holocaust survivors.Now “the white building,” the headquarters of the Jewish community and one of the few surviving remnants of the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, could be torn down to make way for a multistory tower that would fit seamlessly into a modern city skyline.The building’s fate will soon be determined by the Culture Ministry, which has been asked by advocates of historic preservation to declare it a historical monument, a classification that would ban its destruction. It’s not yet clear how officials will decide, though previous rulings by other state offices had declared the building not worth saving. Now those for and against destroying the old building are anxiously awaiting a verdict....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    Poignant photograph that proves pensioner's family died at Auschwitz

    It finally proved what the Dorset pensioner had long suspected – that his parents and grandmother perished in the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz nearly seven decades ago.Mr Grenville and his sister were among 10,000 Jewish children evacuated from Germany to Britain before the war as part of the Kindertransport refugee mission.They knew their parents Jacob and Klara Greilsamer and grandmother Sara Ottenheimer had been sent to an internment camp in Czechoslovakia and had been able to exchange brief messages with them via the Red Cross....

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Edwin Black at Fordham University traces Farhud and the roots of the Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust

    Award-winning, bestselling author Edwin Black will chronicle the centuries of intersection between Islam and Jewry that led to the Farhud pogrom in Baghdad in 1941 and the ensuing Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust in a major address at Fordham University 6 PM January 31, 2013. Black's presentation is based on his recent bestselling and critically acclaimed book, The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. The event at the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham is sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy. Black's presentation will be followed by a 28-minute filmed testimony by actual victims in the documentary "The Farhud," screened by Professor Haim Shaked.Dr. Shaked is flying in from Miami for the special event. He is the director of The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami. Black's presentation and the film are predicted to "completely re-define people's perception of mideast history, the Palestine conflict, and the basis for the robust international Arab alliance with the Nazis," said author Black.

Subscribe to our mailing list