Germany

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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Israeli author wins German peace prize

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

An Israeli novelist has been awarded a German peace prize for giving a literary voice to coexistence.

David Grossman, whose books include The Smile of the Lamb and Someone to Run With, was announced as the recipient of the peace prize of the German book trade on Sunday.

Mr Grossman, 56, is a prominent figure of Israel’s left , and a campaigner for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. He is close friends with fellow Israeli writer Amos Oz.

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Jewish boat passenger as Jewish as 'pork chop'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 8, 2010

A German woman who took part in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza pretended to be Jewish in order to take part.

According to Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Edith Lutz may not have formally converted to Judaism.

Ms Lutz was part of the Jewish boat that attempted to sail to Gaza last week. The boat, named the Irene, was intercepted by the Israeli navy and redirected to Ashdod.

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Insights into slave labour from a Holocaust survivor

By Toby Axelrod, September 21, 2010

Hidden behind protective trees on a green hillside is a small, private Holocaust memorial. At the feet of six rough, natural boulders on a low stone, forged in metal, is the word zachor - remember.

It is the key word in the title of Marcel Tuchman's new autobiography, Remember: My Stories of Survival and Beyond, to be published in coming weeks by Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Project.

It offers rare into a little-known chapter: the recruitment of slave labourers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by Siemens, the German industrial giant.

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