The Holocaust

Anne Frank exhibition 'too expensive' says council

By Marcus Dysch, March 25, 2010

The proposed hosting of an Anne Frank exhibition has sparked a war of words between relatives of Holocaust survivors and anti-Israel campaigners.

Councillors in Aberystwyth rejected the possibility of accommodating a month-long exhibition, following a request from the Anne Frank Trust.

One council member questioned the "pertinence" of hosting the project which he felt was "not appropriate".

But the council confirmed this week that it had turned down the request for cost alone. The Trust charges at least £16,000 to cover transport, setting up and insurance of the exhibits.

More..

Three men who stole Auschwitz sign jailed

By Jessica Elgot, March 18, 2010

Three men who stole and vandalised the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from Auschwitz have been jailed after pleading guilty to the theft.

The three men, two of them brothers, were named only as Radoslaw M, Lukasz M and Pawel S. They were sentenced to between 18 and 30 months at the court in Krakow.

Police arrested five men when they recovered the 16-foot wrought-iron sign, which had been cut into three pieces. The two other men are awaiting trial.

More..

Stag parties at Auschwitz

By Marcus Dysch, March 18, 2010

Holocaust survivors and education groups have attacked the promotion of Auschwitz as a tour destination for stag parties.

Trips to the concentration camp are offered by two British companies providing pre-wedding weekends which also include lap dancing, bar crawls and go-karting.

Party-goers can put together their own tailor-made weekends, choosing from different "activities" or pay for a package trip.

Auschwitz survivor Martin Bennett said: "It is terrible. Auschwitz is not a joyride or a holiday camp. It is a solemn place for people to learn about history.

More..

Ecclestone: Hitler's actions were 'unnecessary'

By Jessica Elgot, March 16, 2010

Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One motor racing, has described the Holocaust as “at best disgusting. And unnecessary”.

In July last year Mr Ecclestone was forced to make a public apology for comments to the Times where he appeared to praise Hitler’s leadership and his ability to “get things done”.

He later apologised in an interview with the JC, in which he said: “I never supported Hitler, I don’t think there’s anybody in this world who could support Hitler and the atrocities they [the Nazis] carried out.”

More..

Holocaust heroes honoured by Gordon Brown

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2010

A man who sneaked into Auschwitz to "witness its horrors" is among the recipients of a new award which commemorates British heroes of the Holocaust.

Denis Avey, now 91, was a prisoner of war in 1944 when he left a neighbouring camp and swapped uniforms with an unknown prisoner - and managed to save the life of Jewish inmate, Ernst Lobethall.

His story was revealed last year when a connection was made from the recorded testimony Mr Lobethall had given before he died.

More..

I played Chopin as they sent my family to their deaths

By Jessica Duchen, March 11, 2010

At the age of 106, the concert pianist Alice Sommer Herz is an international celebrity. But despite playing in front of audiences all over the world, perhaps what is most remarkable about her life is her continued capacity for hope in the face of unimaginable suffering.

In 1943, with her husband and their six-year-old son, she was deported from Prague to the Nazis' "model" concentration camp at Terezin; her music helped to sustain her spirit there and throughout her astonishing life.

More..

Three Auschwitz sign thieves plead guilty

By Jessica Elgot, March 10, 2010

Three men who stole and vandalised the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign from Auschwitz may face up to three years in jail after pleading guilty to the theft.

Five Polish men aged in their 20s and 30s were arrested by police when they recovered the 16-foot wrought-iron sign, which had been cut into three pieces.

Three of the men have pleaded guilty, said Boguslawa Marcinkowska, spokesperson of the Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow.

The prosecution have suggested prison terms between 18 months and three years.

More..

Gordon Brown honours British Holocaust heroes

By Robyn Rosen, March 8, 2010

Gordon Brown will commemorate more than 20 British heroes of the Holocaust with a new award at a ceremony in Downing Street tomorrow.

The Prime Minister will hold a reception honouring those that risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust.

Of those awarded, only two are still alive and will attend the reception: Denis Avey, now 91, who saved an Auschwitz prisoner’s life after temporarily swapping places with an inmate and “British Schindler” Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia.

More..

Auschwitz opened my eyes and I have closure

March 4, 2010

I wanted to see Poland to explore my heritage. My small, Yiddish-speaking booba, Bella, came from a town called Szczebrzeszyn in south east Poland. She and her family managed to escape the Nazi onslaught and spent the war working in frozen Siberia.

The Jeneration trip was led by renowned Jewish educator Jeremy Leigh, and we also had a Polish guide, Marcelina, who gave us a different insight into the story of the Jews of Poland.

More..

Fraudsters steal Holocaust victims reparations money

By Paul Berger, February 18, 2010

An organisation that distributes German reparations to Holocaust victims around the world has fired three employees following a suspected fraud estimated at more than £200,000.

The New York office of the Claims Conference called in a private law firm late last year after employees came forward with suspicions that co-workers had approved dozens of fraudulent applications.

Executive vice president Greg Schneider said he feared the Claims Conference may have discovered "100 or more" fraudulent claims, each worth €2,500 (about £2,100).

More..