The Holocaust

'British Schindler' Sir Nicholas Winton's film debut

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011

A British man’s Holocaust-era heroics will be celebrated tonight at the world premiere of a film about how he saved hundreds of children from the Nazis.

Sir Nicholas Winton, described as the British Schindler, organised the safe passage of 669 children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia to Britain as war broke out in 1939.

A 29-year-old stockbroker from a family of German Jewish background, he was moved to help rescue the children after visiting a refugee camp in 1938, three months after Adolf Hitler annexed the border region of Sudetenland.

More..

On this day: The Wannsee conference

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011

A peaceful lakeside spot in a sleepy suburb of Berlin, an uninformed visitor to Wannsee might be quite charmed by the place.

But the villa there has a chilling history – it was there, 69 years ago, that 15 Nazi leaders coined the term “Final Solution” and coordinated the genocidal campaign it would involve.

Those gathered at the conference included the man who ran the Gestapo, Reinhard Heydrich, his deputy, Adolph Eichmann and Dr Joseph Bühler, secretary of state for the general government.

More..

On this day: Klaus Barbie arrested

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

Known as the “Butcher of Lyon”, Barbie was the local head of the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied France during the Holocaust.

Estimated to be responsible for the murders of 4,000 people, among his many hideous crimes, he tortured members of the French resistance and personally arranged for 44 Jewish children in an orphanage to be sent to Auschwitz.

More..

Spanish warrant for suspected Nazi Demjanjuk

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

Spain has issued an arrest warrant for a man currently on trial in Germany for alleged Nazi war crimes.

John Demjanjuk is on trial in Munich over his suspected role in the deaths of more than 28,000 people at Sobibor concentration camp.

That trial began in November 2009, after the United States agreed to deport him. But the proceedings have been delayed because of questions over the health of Demjanjuk, now aged 90.

More..

Teen on Twitter for Holocaust memorial campaign

January 13, 2011

A Hendon teenager whose grandmother survived Auschwitz is running a campaign on Twitter to educate his peers about the Holocaust.

Josh Zietcer, 14, is asking followers to complete the sentence: "It is important to remember the Holocaust because…"

He hopes to attract several hundred responses to his "Memorial Project" by Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

The Haberdasher's Aske's pupil was motivated by his grandmother Marlene Altmann telling him about her time in the death camp.

More..

Germany top for prosecuting Nazi war criminals

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Germany has been praised for its efforts to bring suspected Nazi war criminals to justice.

The country has been awarded an “A” grade by the Los Angeles - based Simon Wiesenthal Centre in a new report on the international commitment to tracking down former Nazis.

It is the first time anywhere other than the United States has been given the top mark. The findings are based on the period between April 2009 and March 2010.

However, countries including Hungary and Canada have come under criticism in the new report for failing to prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals.

More..

Perfect punishment for Dutch teen's anti-Jewish slur

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

A teenager whose offensive comments about Jews were published online has been given a particularly fitting punishment.

The Dutch 18-year-old, referred to as Omar E in court, has been sentenced to community service at the Holocaust hiding place of Jewish diarist Anne Frank.

He had told the website GeenStijl that he believed Jewish people should be exterminated.

Despite a claim by Omar E’s lawyer that the case should not even have come to court because of the negative publicity his client had faced, a judge ruled that the teenager should do16 hours of community service.

More..

On this day: Miep Gies dies

By Jennifer Lipman, January 11, 2011

The two years during which Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic would not have been possible without the group of people who risked their lives to help.

Miep Gies, who was 100 when she died, was also the one who made the astounding discovery of Anne’s diary.

After the war, when she discovered Anne had died of typhus in Bergen Belsen concentration camp, she kept it safe until Anne’s father Otto could be tracked down.

Mrs Gies went on to help Otto publish Anne’s diary, of which millions of copies in an array on languages have been sold.

More..

Teacher banned for Holocaust 'obsession' back at work

By Jennifer Lipman, January 11, 2011

A Jewish history teacher who was suspended by French education authorities for teaching too much about the Holocaust has returned to work.

In September 2010 Catherine Pederzoli was given a four-month suspension for lacking "distance, neutrality and secularism", principles seen by the French as vital safeguards of the separation of Church and state.

Ms Pederzoli, from Nancy in eastern France, faced the allegation that she was obsessed with the Nazi gas chambers.

More..

Quaker rescues recorded

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem and a British university are to give the first recognition to British Quakers who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. The initative comes after an eight-year campaign by a 79-year-old Jewish refugee.

More..