Second World War

Gainsbourg, a life lived in revenge for the yellow star

By Eddi Fiegel, July 28, 2010

For most Jews, the yellow star that thousands were forced to wear by the Nazis would not be the most obvious choice of subject matter for a pop song. But then the French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg was never really your average Jew.

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Old boys remember Leeds school

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

Former pupils of a temporary wartime Ort school in Leeds were reunited on Sunday, 70 years after its relocation from Berlin.

More than 100 boys aged 15-to-17 fled to Britain from Nazi Germany in 1939, along with seven teachers and their spouses. From the following year until 1942, it operated from premises in Roseville Avenue as the Ort Technical Engineering School.

Eight old boys, who keep in regular contact, were at the anniversary celebration with family members and Ort officials at London's Jewish Museum in Camden.

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Jews in fight against weekend Nazis

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The Jewish community has been encouraged to come up with solutions to stop Nazi impersonators from infiltrating Second World War re-enactment events across the UK.

The general manager of the East Lancashire Railway, Andy Coward, said this week that he welcomed ideas on how to stop the imitators.

The heritage railway came under pressure from Manchester's Jewish community to ban dozens of actors who were spotted wearing Nazi insignia at its May event. It sparked angry complaints from local Jewish politicians.

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Franco made secret list of Jews for Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Spain’s record of protecting its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust has come under scrutiny.

New records, published in Spanish newspaper El País, show the fascist General Franco had plans to send 6,000 Jews into the hands of Hitler.

The wartime Spanish leader, long claimed to have been sympathetic to Jews during the Holocaust, in fact helped compile a list of Spanish Jews for the Nazi regime.

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Corsica shock over discovery of its only Holocaust victim

By Marcus Dysch, June 17, 2010

A Corsican history teacher has shattered a local myth by showing that one single Jew was indeed deported from the island during the Second World War and sent to his death.

For more than 60 years, the people of Corsica have prided themselves on the fact that no Jews were deported during Corsica's occupation by German and Italian forces. This extraordinary record is usually attributed to vigilance of the island's wartime prefect, Paul Balley, who protected Jews on the island from being sent to the camps.

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Royal honour for Israeli WW2 veterans

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010

Israeli war veterans who were injured fighting for Britain during the Second World War are to be royally honoured.

The 32 disabled soldiers will receive British Ministry of Defence medals on behalf of the Queen at a ceremony in Tel Aviv. The newly knighted Sir Tom Phillips, the outgoing British ambassador, will make the awards.

Some of the soldiers, who served in the Jewish Brigade, went on to fight for Israel during the war of independence in 1948.

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The children who swapped the death camps for the Lake District

By Anthea Gerrie, April 1, 2010

To ordinary Britons from the city, the Lake District is a place of tranquil beauty. To the hundreds of Jewish orphans who arrived there from the death camps in 1945 to start a new life, it was nothing less than paradise.

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Nun who hid Jewish family honoured

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

An Italian nun who hid a Jewish family in her convent during the Second World War has been awarded posthumously with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Madre Maria Agnes Tribbioli was nominated for the Yad Vashem honour by Cesare Sacerdoti, of Brondesbury, who was rescued by her when he was five years old.

Florence-born Mr Sacerdoti, 72, went into hiding with his mother and younger brother, Vittorio, on November 6 1943, after the Florence synagogue was raided and vandalised by German SS and Jews were rounded up.

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Mussolini iPhone withdrawn

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, February 4, 2010

Italy’s best-selling iPhone app is a collection of speeches by the country’s Second World War dictator Benito Mussolini, now withdrawn from sale.

The success of the “iMussolini” app sparked media debate and protests from Holocaust survivors.

“iMussolini” was launched on Italy’s iTunes store on January 21, less than a week before Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is widely marked in Italy. Three days later, it topped the Italian iPhone app sales list.

The app contained audio, video and text of more than 100 speeches of Mussolini dating back to 1914.

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Revealed: the British troops imprisoned at Auschwitz

By Simon Round, January 14, 2010

Amid all the testimonies about Auschwitz and the Final Solution which have been published since the end of the Second World War, one small group has remained silent.

Alongside the main Auschwitz complex was a prisoner-of-war camp known as Auschwitz E715, where the inmates included several hundred British soldiers.

They have not talked about their experience until now, partly because they were traumatised by what happened to them in the camp, partly because they thought that no-one would be interested, but mainly because few people were aware of their existence.

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