Germany

Bomber drops in

By Rachel Fletcher, May 2, 2008

An apology by a former German bomber pilot has been welcomed by Jewish war veterans and others.

Willi Schludecker, 87, returned to Bath last week to apologise for three raids on the city in April 1942, in which he had taken part.

Mr Schludecker, one of the Luftwaffe’s most decorated pilots, dropped nearly 4,000kg of bombs on the city.

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Lift Mein Kampf ban, urge German Jews

May 2, 2008

The secretary-general of Germany’s Jewish community has called for the country’s ban on Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf to be overturned. Stephan Kramer, of the Central Council of Jews, suggested that his organisation could help edit the text.

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A recipe for survival in Weimar Germany

By Amanda Hopkinson, May 2, 2008

Weimar has always had a strong cultural, as well as political resonance. A period as much as a place, it combined the frenetic pace of things falling apart with the slow, smoky seduction of cabaret. Its evocative power is particularly felt now, with the current vogue for the burlesque.

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Germany seeks to bring wartime killer to justice

By Leon Symons, April 18, 2008

A dogged German prosecutor has charged an 86-year-old man with three wartime murders of which he was originally convicted almost 60 years ago.

Dortmund prosecutor Ulrich Maass told a news agency that he has charged Heinrich Boere with the murders in 1944 of three Dutch civilians when Boere was a member of a death squad code-named Silbertanne (Silver Pine).

Boere was convicted of the same murders in 1949 in the Netherlands. A death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment but he has managed to stay out of prison ever since.

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Shoah 'train' in Berlin

April 18, 2008

A travelling Shoah memorial in the form of a train carrying photos and letters of victims visited Berlin en route to Auschwitz, its final destination. Some 160,000 people have been to see the train.

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Jewish museum books Jesus show by mistake

By Toby Axelrod, April 11, 2008

It might have been a lovely concert to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary — but the Jewish Museum in Berlin will not be hosting it any more.

The museum has announced it will not rent out its auditorium for a May 4 event featuring US pianist Sam Rotman, after learning that the self-described “Orthodox Jew” planned to share not only Mozart, Debussy and Schubert from the stage, but also his spiritual journey to Jesus.

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Discover your inner German

By Simon Round, April 4, 2008

A press release from the German Tourist Board invites us not only to sample the delights of Germany, but also to “discover your inner German”. We wonder just how many JC readers will be following the board’s advice this summer?

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Germans take YouTube to court over ‘hate films’

By Toby Axelrod, March 27, 2008

The video-sharing website YouTube has become an unwitting purveyor of hate material, but it should not accept this role, the Central Council of Jews in Germany has warned.

Stephan Kramer, its secretary general, filed a lawsuit in Hamburg last week on behalf of the Council, asking for a temporary injunction to pull especially offensive hate material from YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, the US-based web search business.

In one video cited, a photograph of the late president of the Central Council, Paul Spiegel, was burned against a background of swastikas, according to Mr Kramer.

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