Germany

Libeskind to revamp Berlin Jewish museum

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2010

Daniel Libeskind, the celebrated architect behind the Jewish Museum in Berlin, has agreed to design an extension for it as part of an £8.5 million project.

The new building, expected to involve three oblique cube structures, will open in 2011, with work set to start next month.

Located next to the current museum, on the site of a former flower market, the extension will be used as an academy, housing archives, a library and classrooms.

More..

German may be jailed for Hitler ring tone

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

Grating mobile phone ringtones are the bane of every train passenger’s existence, but one carriage of Germans reported a particularly unsettling one.

Shocked listeners in Hamburg heard a phone ring several times to the tune of a speech made by Adolf Hitler calling for the “destruction of world Jewry”.

They reported the man to the police and he now faces up to six months in jail for using the hate speech as his ring tone.

The 54-year-old German was also found to have a photo of Hitler on his phone captioned “the greatest commander of all time”, as well as swastika stickers.

More..

Twilight star remembers Nazi victims

By Jennifer Lipman, June 22, 2010

Twilight star Kristen Stewart has paid her respects to victims of the Holocaust on a visit to Berlin.

The actress, 20, was accompanied by minders as she walked around the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Comprising nearly 3000 white concrete blocks, the memorial opened in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Ms Stewart was in the German capital to promote the latest outing in the Twilight saga, Eclipse.

The film, in which the actress plays a teenager in love with brooding vampire Edward Cullen, opens in British cinemas on July 9.

More..

Row over alleged Mossad man's German passport

By Jennifer Lipman, June 22, 2010

Relations between Germany and Israel have been threatened following revelations that an alleged Mossad agent fraudulently applied for a German passport with a story of Nazi persecution.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli suspected of involvement in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, is said to have helped a Mossad agent obtain illegal German documentation through the use of false papers and a concocted story.

Mr Brodsky has been arrested in Warsaw on a Europe-wide arrest warrant issued by the German federal authorities and is awaiting extradition to Germany.

More..

'Mossad spy' is arrested

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 17, 2010

An Israeli citizen has been arrested in Warsaw on charges that he fraudulently obtained a German passport that was used by one of the alleged assassins of Hamas operative Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai five months ago.

Uri Brodsky is currently awaiting extradition to Germany.

He was arrested at Warsaw Airport three weeks ago on a Europe-wide arrest warrant issued by the German federal authorities.

Mr Brodsky is suspected of using a false identity to obtain a German passport last year in the name of Michael Bodenheimer, an Israeli citizen who was unaware of his identity being stolen.

More..

German left-wingers rally for Israel

By Toby Axelrod, June 17, 2010

Non-Jewish groups expressed solidarity with Israel during rallies in Germany this past weekend.

On Saturday, a coalition of left-oriented groups gathered outside the headquarters of the Left Party in Berlin to show support for Israel's right to self-defence, and to protest the participation of three members of the Left Party in the flotilla.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..