Second World War

Germany agrees to try Demjanjuk

By Toby Axelrod, December 18, 2008

Germany’s Federal Supreme Court has given its approval for a Munich court to try accused Nazi war criminal John (Ivan) Demjanjuk.

Following last week’s decision, the 88-year-old man, who has spent most of the post-war period as a US citizen, may now be extradited to Germany, despite the protests of family members who claim he is too frail.

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Foreign Office honours the spies who saved us

By Leon Symons, November 27, 2008

The heroic efforts of a group of British diplomats who helped thousands of Jews escape the Nazis in Germany and elsewhere in occupied Europe were finally officially recognised last week.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband unveiled a plaque commemorating their selfless actions on a main staircase wall in the Foreign Office.

There are no names on the plaque because there was no record of the actions they took. At least 11 are known. Frank Foley was arguably the most famous, while Robert Smallbones and Thomas Preston were two more.

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The baroness planning to sue Poland over lost family assets

By Miriam Shaviv, June 12, 2008

Baroness Deech, the former BBC governor and Oxford college head, has hired lawyers in a bid to force the Polish government to compensate her for a series of family properties apparently confiscated during the Second World War.

The estate includes a block of flats in Krakow which belonged to her maternal grandmother, killed in a concentration camp, and a now-derelict oil refinery owned by her paternal grandfather near a village where he was once mayor.

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You think I’m wild? You should see my mother

By Stephen Applebaum, June 5, 2008

In the swinging ’60s, Marianne Faithfull lived a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and almost ended up paying the ultimate price. But, as she reveals, she wasn’t the first wild child in her extraordinary Jewish family

Marianne Faithfull was raised as a Catholic, but the husky-voiced singer says she has her Jewish roots to thank for her acclaimed renditions of the songs of Bertholt Brecht and Kurt Weill. People were astounded when they first heard her perform their work, she recalls — which started her wondering why she had such an innate flair for their music.

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Sybil Wayne attends Sinclair House ceremony

May 29, 2008

Sybil Wayne, 93, a member of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue, was invited to attend a ceremony at Sinclair House, the Redbridge Jewish Community Centre. At the event, Jewish Care joined forces with Ajex to pay tribute to civilians who served as fire fighters with the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War. As the journey was too much for her, Mrs Wayne received her certificate by post.

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Bomber drops in

By Rachel Fletcher, May 1, 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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WWII memories sought after

May 1, 2008

The Experience Centre in Horsforth is seeking people from the Jewish community who lived through the Second World War in order to interview them about their experiences. Co-ordinator Carol Vickers said: “We need testimonies from the Jewish community. Whether people were in the armed forces, civilians, conscientious objectors or evacuees, we need to preserve their stories.” More information on 0113 258 4993.

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Travels with my father the 'spy'

By Alex Kasriel, April 24, 2008

Stuart Urban’s film about his dad’s wartime adventures led to some welcome family bonding, he tells Alex Kasriel

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Ajex looks to future

By Jodie Mablin, April 24, 2008

New Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women chairman Peter Wagerman insists that the organisation has a bright future, despite a dwindling pool of old soldiers from the Second World War.

Although disappointed that just 40 members attended the recent annual meeting at Hillel House, Euston, Dr Wagerman maintained that “Ajex has suddenly become a very busy place. The impetus is education and since the school curriculum teaches about World War Two, we can relate to the next generation.”

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Wanted man loses appeal

April 24, 2008

An alleged Nazi war criminal has lost his extradition appeal in the High Court of Australia, which ruled six-to-one against the appeal by Charles Zentai, 85. He is wanted in his native Hungary on charges that he murdered an 18-year-old Jewish boy in Budapest in 1944.

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