Germany

Germany opens door for neo-Nazis in EU election

By Toby Axelrod, March 20, 2014

A German Supreme Court ruling meant to protect democratic values has paved the way for extremist and anti-democratic parties to win seats in the May EU Parliament elections.

While parties still need to get 5 per cent of the vote to win seats in German legislative bodies, the court found in favour of groups who claim that the existing 3 per cent hurdle for the EU Parliament is anti-democratic.

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Merkel must do more on looted art

February 28, 2014

Congratulations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on being awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction in Jerusalem this week. But well deserved as the honour may be, there is one field in which Germany and Chancellor Merkel deserve no medals, only brickbats: returning property stolen from German Jews to its rightful owners.

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Merkel visit overshadowed as Netanyahu finger-pointing goes viral

By Charlotte Oliver, February 26, 2014

An unfortunate image eclipsed an otherwise happy occasion on Tuesday, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel was photographed standing beside the Israeli Prime Minister at a joint press conference in Jerusalem.

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Obituary: Alice Sommer-Herz

By Gloria Tessler, February 24, 2014

BORN PRAGUE, NOVEMBER 26, 1903.
DIED LONDON, FEBRUARY 23, 2014, AGED 110

She has been called the supercentenarian, the oldest known Holocaust survivor, but it was music that helped sustain Alice Sommer-Herz throughout the Nazi years and beyond.

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How Jews hothoused cosmopolitanism

By Cathy Gelbin, February 7, 2014

When I was growing up behind the Wall in East Germany, cosmopolitanism was not a good word for the Jews. Hitler had persecuted us as “rootless parasites”. And hushed up as they were, rumours of Stalin’s purges of Jews as “rootless cosmopolitans” had not escaped me either.

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Gurlitt suggests he may return looted art

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2014

The reclusive German pensioner accused of hoarding more than 1,400 pieces of art thought to have been looted by the Nazis is reportedly willing to return items to the heirs of their original owners.

Cornelius Gurlitt had said he intended to keep the paintings discovered at his Munich flat after details of the haul were revealed last November.

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Honour for Bach expert

By Simon Rocker, January 17, 2014

A London philanthropist, who fled Germany as a child, is to be presented with the country’s highest award.

Sir Ralph Kohn, 86, is to receive the Order of Merit at a ceremony at the German Embassy on Tuesday.

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After the punch-up, the putsch: Berliners move to expel their leaders

By Toby Axelrod, January 16, 2014

After months of verbal and physical confrontations among its members, Berlin’s Jewish community has broken new ground: it has become the first in post-war Germany to demand the removal of its council and early elections.

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Documentary to be made about Csanad Szegedi

By Rosa Doherty, January 10, 2014

A UK-based production company is to make a documentary about Csanad Szegedi, the Hungarian politician who stood down from the antisemitic Jobbik party after he discovered he was Jewish.

Mr Szegedi, a member of the European Parliament, was asked to leave the party when he revealed that his grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor

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‘Looted art’ found hanging in Bundestag

By Daniel Easterman, December 31, 2013

Two paintings stolen by the Nazis have been found hanging inside Germany’s parliament building, according to research provided by an art historian.

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