Germany

Germany top for prosecuting Nazi war criminals

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Germany has been praised for its efforts to bring suspected Nazi war criminals to justice.

The country has been awarded an “A” grade by the Los Angeles - based Simon Wiesenthal Centre in a new report on the international commitment to tracking down former Nazis.

It is the first time anywhere other than the United States has been given the top mark. The findings are based on the period between April 2009 and March 2010.

However, countries including Hungary and Canada have come under criticism in the new report for failing to prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals.

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German rabbi: it's unsafe to look Jewish here

By Jennifer Lipman, January 6, 2011

A German rabbi has cautioned Jewish residents not to wear kippot or other overt Jewish symbols in public out of concerns for their safety.

Rabbi Shaul Nekrich, who was born in the Soviet Unionis the chief rabbi of the east German state, which is home to around 1,300 Jews.

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper he said he felt it was dangerous to display himself as Jewish in Brandenburg and the surrounding area. He also said there was a problem with antisemitism in the state.

He said: “I hear the stories from the communities.“

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'Focus on the future' - new German Jewish chief

By Toby Axelrod, January 6, 2011

Jews in Germany should focus more on the future than the past, said the newly elected head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann.

In an interview last week in the Financial Times Deutschland, Mr Graumann said that while it is important to remember the Holocaust, the role of Jews in Germany should not merely be that of a moral compass.

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Prince Harry meets Holocaust survivor in Germany

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

Prince Harry has visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.

Only five years ago the then 21-year-old prince was forced to issue apologies after a furore when he dressed as a Nazi, complete with swastika armband, at a London fancy-dress party.

But this week, during a visit to Germany for a charity gala at which he was honoured for his humanitarian work, Prince Harry was able directly to pay his respects to victims of the Holocaust.

He spent time with a Holocaust survivor who works at the Berlin museum, and spent at least an hour viewing the exhibits.

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Tax threat to family's Shoah cash

By Jessica Elgot, December 10, 2010

A granddaughter of Shoah survivors may be forced to repay compensation because Germany believes she owes tax on her family's pre-war property.

Judy Sherwood's family owned an East Berlin apartment which was confiscated by the Nazis. Her grandparents died in the Holocaust, but their six children escaped, fleeing to North and South America, Israel and the UK.

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Antisemitic theories on the rise in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, December 9, 2010

Higher-earners are more xenophobic than the average German, and resentment of Jews and Muslims is on the rise, according to an annual study of social trends released last week.

The 9th annual "German Situation" study, from the University of Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, suggests a clear "cooling of the social climate" as a result of tougher economic times.

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Care for Holocaust survivors doubled

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2010

The German government is to double funding to help care for elderly Holocaust survivors - but there is no indication of how much the UK will benefit.

The Claims Conference has secured £93m, double last year's grant, for its Homecare scheme to support Holocaust survivors around the world.

Gordon Greenfield, director of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said: "We already receive substantial funding for elderly Holocaust survivors, but we don't know how exactly this increase will affect us or how much more we will get in 2011.

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Was this the ultimate Nazi hunt?

By Toby Axelrod, December 9, 2010

It appeared to be a remarkable sting, finally bringing to justice one of the men who helped to kick-start the Holocaust.

Former SS Lieutenant Colonel Bernhard Frank, who had rubbed shoulders with Nazi leaders, was living out his old age in Frankfurt, never suspecting that the American neo-Nazi who had been interviewing him for years was really out to get him.

Last week, the 97-year-old found out. The American, Mark Gould, a self-proclaimed Nazi-hunter, had posed as a Nazi to get close to Frank and interview him.

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Duggan family asks for answers to death

December 2, 2010

The family of a Jewish student who died in Germany under suspicious circumstances seven years ago are demanding answers now that his inquest has been indefinitely adjourned.

Jeremiah Duggan, from Golders Green, north west London, was found dead, aged 22, on a highway near Wiesbaden, Germany, in March 2003, while attending a youth event organised by the far-right LaRouche group.

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Germany elects new Jewsih community leader

By Benjamin Weinthal, December 2, 2010

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has elected Dieter Graumann to the presidency of its 105,000 member community, prompting a sea-change for Germany's Jews. The 60-year old Mr Graumann is the council's first Israeli-born, non-Holocaust survivor leader.

Mr Graumann, the son of Polish Jewish survivors of the Shoah, succeeds the 78-year old Charlotte Knobloch, who survived the Holocaust by hiding in Bavaria in the house of a Catholic family as a young girl. She will continue to be president of the Munich Jewish community.

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