Germany

Cologne refuses action against artist 'blood libel'

By Jessica Elgot, March 2, 2010

An anti-Israel display in Cologne, which features a cartoon of an Israeli eating a Palestinian child, does not incite racial hatred, the public prosecutor has ruled.

The image is part of a longstanding display put up in Cologne’s Cathedral Square by Walter Herrmann, named the “Wailing Wall”.

The display has now been removed from the square but Mr Herrmann has posted a sign that he plans to remount the “Wailing Wall” in June.

Many of the town’s councillors have appealed for the exhibition to be taken down.

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Nazi-looted Matisse painting returned to Frankfurt

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

It travelled around Europe for a decade, passed through the hands of a senior Nazi officer and was displayed in a Paris museum for almost 60 years.

But an original Matisse painting, looted by the Nazis from a German Jewish family, has finally been returned to its rightful owner's home city.

Le Mur Rose (The Pink Wall), worth about £174,000, was handed to Frankfurt's Jewish Museum last Thursday by Magen David Adom UK, which was willed the 1898 oil canvas in a legacy. The Frankfurt municipality, the German government and a local bank shared the cost of the painting.

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Peres remembers Holocaust in German Parliament speech

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2010

Israeli president Shimon Peres has delivered a historic speech to the German Parliament for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Peres visited Berlin to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

His visit has been tightly protected, with 3,000 German police officers on duty and road blocks in the centre of the German capital.

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Peres' speech to German parliament: In full

January 27, 2010

I stand here before you, as the President of the State of Israel, the home of the Jewish People.

While my heart is breaking at the memory of the atrocious past – my eyes envision a common future for a world that is young, a world free of all hatred.

A world in which the words "war" and "anti-Semitism" will be dead words.

In the Jewish tradition that accompanies us for thousands of years, there exists a prayer in Aramaic recited when mourning the dead, in memory of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters.

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New inquest for Duggan death

By Robyn Rosen, January 21, 2010

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, has given her backing to a new inquest into the suspicious death of Jewish student Jeremiah Duggan after years of campaigning by his family.

Mr Duggan, 22, was found dead on a highway near Wiesbaden, Germany in March 2003, while attending a youth event organised by the far-right LaRouche group.

The German police ruled his death a suicide but a British coroner rejected the verdict in November 2003 after the London Metropolitan Police testified that the LaRouche movement was a “political cult with sinister and dangerous connections”.

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Demjanjuk trial: camp testimony

By Toby Axelrod in Berlin, January 21, 2010

The war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk continued this week with testimony from Thomas Blatt, one of the few survivors the Sobibor death camp.

But while Mr Blatt’s testimony was powerful in depicting the everyday terror for prisoners in Sobibor, it is doubtful that he brought the case closer to resolution, since Mr Blatt, 82, has always stressed he does not recall seeing Demjanjuk at the camp.

The Ukrainian-born defendant, 89, is charged as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor in 1943.

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Demjanjuk trial opens - and closes

By Toby Axelrod, December 3, 2009

The gathering began at 6am on Monday, outside the Munich District Court: journalists and members of the public, huddling together against the pre-dawn chill.

Ultimately, against expectations, most would be let into courtroom 101/1 to witness the opening day of the Nazi war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk, charged as an accessory to the murder of 29,700 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Poland in 1943.

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Rare, looted relief finally paid for by Berlin museum

By Leon Symons, December 3, 2009

Israel and Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service, will benefit from the latest restitution case involving Nazi-looted art.

A 570-year-old alabaster relief of Christ carrying the cross, described as one of the most important medieval portrayals of the Passion, was owned by Harry Fuld of Frankfurt, who made a fortune from telephones and telecommunications equipment.

In 1932 his business, which had passed to his son Harry Jr, was appropriated by the Nazis. In 1936, his art collection met the same fate.

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Iran: West provoked us to approve 10 nuclear plants

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2009

Iran’s vice-president has accused the UN and the West of “provoking” Iran into building further uranium enrichment facilities.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has slammed the move by the Iranian government to approve the construction of 10 new uranium enrichment plants. He said: “This epitomises the fundamental problem that we face with Iran.

“We have stated over and again that we recognise Iran's right to a civilian nuclear programme, but they must restore international confidence in their intentions.

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Demjanjuk: Judgment day for the 'last Nazi'

By Toby Axelrod, November 26, 2009

When John Demjanjuk enters Munich District Court II on November 30, it will be the second time he has stood trial for crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the Second World War.

Sixteen years ago, Israeli courts released Demjanjuk from a death sentence after evidence showed he probably was not the notorious Treblinka guard “Ivan the Terrible”.

This time, the Ukrainian-born 89-year-old is charged with involvement in the murder of 27,900 Jews in the notorious Sobibor death camp in 1943, as an SS guard trained in the Trawniki camps.

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