Germany

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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Dutch issue arrest warrant for Nazi living in Germany

By Jessica Elgot, November 25, 2010

The Netherlands has issued a fresh European arrest warrant for a Dutch-born convicted Nazi war criminal living in Germany.

Klass-Carel Faber, 88, served as an SS officer and is high on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of Nazi criminals. Germany has refused to extradite him and he lives in Bavaria.

The Dutch public prosecutor's office said the warrant was a “preliminary step” and then a formal extradition request will be made to Germany.

This is the first time the Netherlands has issued a European arrest warrant for a war criminal.

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Germany outsources its Israel hatred now

By Benjamin Weinthal, November 18, 2010

The Mayor of Frankfurt Petra Roth's decision to invite hardcore anti-Israeli academic Alfred Grosser to deliver the keynote speech at last week's commemoration of Kristallnacht, a wave of state-sponsored violence against German Jews on November 9, 1938, triggered a bitter public row in Germany and Israel. What's more, this outsourcing of hatred of the Jewish state to anti-Israeli Jews has become an annual fixture.

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Jewish doctor refuses to treat Nazi tattoo patient

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

A German Jewish doctor has refused to operate on a patient after seeing a Nazi tattoo on his arm.

The patient, in the city of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, had a graphic on his arm of a swastika and the Bundesadler (Imperial Eagle), the German national symbol adopted by the Nazi party.

According to the newspaper Bild, the doctor said it would go against his conscience to treat the 36-year-old man.

He told the patient’s wife: “I’m Jewish. I will not operate on your husband”.

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Controversy over anti-Israel Kristallnacht speaker

By Jennifer Lipman, November 10, 2010

The choice of a writer seen to be disproportionately critical of Israel as the speaker at a Kristallnacht memorial ceremony has been described as “unnecessary”.

German-French academic Alfred Grosser was invited by Frankfurt Mayor Petra Roth to speak at an event on Tuesday evening marking 72 years since the pogrom.

Members of the German Jewish community had warned that they might walk out of the talk in protest at his invitation but did not do so.

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Controversy over anti-Israel Kristallnacht speaker

By Jennifer Lipman, November 10, 2010

The choice of a writer seen to be disproportionately critical of Israel as the speaker at a Kristallnacht memorial ceremony has been described as “unnecessary”.

German-French academic Alfred Grosser was invited by Frankfurt Mayor Petra Roth to speak at an event on Tuesday evening marking 72 years since the pogrom.

Members of the German Jewish community had warned that they might walk out of the talk in protest at his invitation but did not do so.

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Art buried since Holocaust to go on show

By Jennifer Lipman, November 8, 2010

Several pieces of artwork considered as “deviant” by the Nazis have been unearthed in Berlin.

The 11 sculptures, discovered when a construction team began digging a new railway line in the German capital, were thought to have been destroyed after the Holocaust.

But the terracotta and bronze statues, including one of a mother with her child and another of a woman stretching, were hidden underneath the site of a building destroyed in a fire in 1944.

The pieces were part of a collection of 15,000 artworks deemed to go against Nazi ideology or to contain degenerate sexual elements.

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Berlin Orthodox deny rabbinical turf war

By Toby Axelrod, November 4, 2010

The head of the Berlin Orthodox rabbinical seminary, Rabbi Josh Spinner, has denied reports that he is engaged in an inter-denominational funding battle.

His statement comes after it emerged that the German Federal Ministry of the Interior was resisting the funding of Orthodox rabbis while continuing to contribute to the training of Reform rabbis.

Rabbi Spinner said that both the Reform and Orthodox seminaries are official, legal successors to Germany's two pre-war seminaries, which were shut down by the Nazis, and should get equal support.

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First German female rabbi after 75 years

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A female rabbi has been ordained in Germany for the second time in the country’s history – and the first time since the Holocaust.

Alina Treiger, 31, officially became a rabbi at a ceremony in Berlin today, in the presence of Germany's president, Christian Wulff.

The Ukrainian born former music student will look after a liberal Jewish community in Oldenburg, in western Germany. She follows in the footsteps of Regina Jonas, who became a rabbi in 1935 at the age of 33.

Ms Jonas was ordained, amidst some controversy, as Adolf Hitler consolidated power over Nazi Germany.

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Chilean president makes Nazi gaffe in Berlin

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2010

The Chilean president has apologised for writing a phrase associated with the Nazis in a message to the German government while on a state visit.

President Sebastian Pinera wrote in the government’s guest book the slogan “Deutschland uber alles" which translates as “Germany above all.”

The phrase was used by Nazi politicians during the Third Reich and after the Second World War was removed from the German national anthem because of its connotations.

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