Germany

Show reveals how hate lingered in East Germany

By Toby Axelrod, September 26, 2008

An exhibition detailing the extent of antisemitism in the former East Germany has opened in East Berlin.

"There was no such thing!" - Antisemitism in the German Democratic Republic is the the product of Erik Thews, 21, and several other students who began researching the subject as part of a high-school assignment. 

Mr Thews and his fellow students were presented with piles of archival documents that their advisor, Konstanze Ameer, obtained.

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Berlin memorial daubed

August 28, 2008

Berlin's Holocaust memorial was daubed with 11 red and black swastikas over the weekend. The monument, consisting of 2,700 concrete slabs near the Brandenburg Gate, has been vandalised several times since it opened in 2005. This latest incident comes a week after a memorial to gay victims of the Nazis was vandalised in the German capital, close to the Shoah monument.

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German Jewish pundit defends right to call another Jew anti-Semitic

By Toby Axelrod, August 18, 2008

In a scandal unfolding in a Cologne courtroom, a German Jewish journalist is standing up for his right to call another Jew anti-Semitic.

Henryk Broder, acerbic columnist for Der Spiegel magazine and a well-known pro-Israel blogger in Germany, has refused to settle a civil case with Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, daughter of a former leader of Germany's Jewish community, whom he has publicly accused of making anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist statements.

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Germany in row over Iran deal

By Toby Axelrod, August 14, 2008

Pressure is mounting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tighten economic sanctions on Iran after news broke of a major gas deal between a German firm and the Islamic Republic.

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Heirs invited to view Hitler’s art collection online

By Toby Axelrod, August 7, 2008

A Berlin museum is presenting an online museum of works collected by Adolf Hitler in the hope of uniting former owners or their heirs with stolen works.

The virtual collection, a joint project by the German Historical Museum and Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues, is also meant to provide research material on the National Socialist abuse of art for political purposes, according to Angelika Enderlein of the Federal Agency, Museum collection director Monika Flacke and Berlin historian Hanns Christian Löhr, who co-ordinated the project.

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Refugee’s 13-year fight opens floodgates for Kinder claims

By Simon Rocker, July 31, 2008

Dozens of former refugees from Nazi Germany are set to receive improved compensation after a 13-year campaign by a London man.

Hermann Hirschberger, 82, was one of the 10,000 children sent to Britain by their parents on the Kindertransport shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

This week his tenacity paid off when Britain said it would remove a legal obstacle which, until now, has prevented many of his fellow-Kinder from getting the full German payments.

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Survivors blast Germany for ‘worthless’ compensation

By Craig Silver, July 17, 2008

Berlin gives two former slave labourers just £1,600 after more than 60 years

Two Holocaust survivors have attacked the German government for “worthless” offers of £1,600 in compensation payments.

Helena Aronson and Krulik Wilder survived two Polish ghettos where they worked as slave labourers in filthy factories for up to 12 hours a day.

Mr Wilder, who now lives in Radlett, Herts, was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp in December 1944. He was liberated by the Russians from Theresienstadt in May 1945.

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German citizen test omits Shoah

By Toby Axelrod, July 17, 2008

Jewish groups have criticised Germany’s proposed citizenship exam for failing to include a single question about the Holocaust.

The general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan Kramer, said he was shocked to find that the Interior Ministry’s new test includes some 320 questions related to history and society, but that the word Holocaust is not mentioned once. The test is to go into effect in September.

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Germans row over Shoah event

By Toby Axelrod, July 4, 2008

A debate over how best to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom has underlined differences between Moshe Kantor, the embattled head of the European Jewish Congress, and Jewish leaders in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

In May, Mr Kantor had announced the formation of the European Forum of Tolerance: The Council of Europe’s Civil Society Representatives, whose first task would be to host a huge commemoration of Kristallnacht in Brussels in November. 

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Israel will swap land for peace, Livni tells Berlin

By Shelly Paz, June 27, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told a Berlin conference this week that Israel was willing to accept territorial compromise in return for peace.

But Israel would not accept another “extremist Islamic state which is unable to fulfil its commitments and control its own territory”, said Ms Livni. She was one of 20 foreign ministers — including US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — at the Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and the Rule of Law hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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