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.


Scrutiny of Claims Conference grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 20, 2008

The Claims Conference is facing a deeper scrutiny of its affairs, both from the Israeli Comptroller and the German Auditor’s Office.

The German investigation into the Conference’s accounts is the result of rising criticism of the lack of transparency of the body which transfers pensions to Holocaust survivors from the Berlin government.


Berlin hands an extra £163m to claims body

By Toby Axelrod, June 13, 2008

The Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, smarting over a critical article in the German press, has obtained an additional estimated £163 million over the next decade through its annual negotiations with the German government.

The successful talks in Berlin took place as the organisation fended off suggestions in Der Spiegel that it is less transparent than it should be. Last week’s article drew a pointed rebuttal from the Claims Conference, which accused the authors of including “numerous inaccuracies and distortions”.


Man jailed for stabbing rabbi

May 23, 2008

A Frankfurt court sentenced a 23-year-old to three-and-a-half years for stabbing a rabbi last September. Sajed Aziz, who denied that he was motivated by antisemitism, was found guilty of serious bodily injury to Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch, 43.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.