The Holocaust

I was 17 and surviving in the wild, but I'd fled humanity at its worst

By Naftali Schiff, July 15, 2010

It was not just any trip to Poland's concentration camps. One of the most powerful visits ever made to Treblinka, Sobibor and Auschwitz took place last week, in the run-up to Tisha b'Av.

The visit brought together three survivors: 86-year-old Eddie Weinstein, the only able-bodied survivor to have escaped the Treblinka death camp still alive today; Thomas (Toivi) Blatt, 83, the only survivor of Sobibor able to give first-hand testimony today; and Eva Neuman, 82, from Manchester.

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Exodus doctor dies at 86

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A British-born doctor who cared for passengers on board the Exodus ship as it sailed to pre-state Israel has been buried in Jersualem.

Dr Joshua Cohen, from Glasgow, who looked after the 4,500 Holocaust survivors on the ill-fated journey, died in Israel last week, aged 86.

As a newly qualified doctor, he volunteered on the ship setting up clinics for the passengers and helped those injured during fighting with British troops.

Following the Exodus journey he served in the British Army and the Israeli Medical Corps, and later became deputy director of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.

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Survivor disco dances at Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A video featuring a Holocaust survivor dancing at Auschwitz to the pop song "I Will Survive" has received a mixed reaction across the internet, with many slamming it as “disgusting” and “tasteless”.

Jane Korman, a Jewish Australian artist, filmed her 89-year-old father Adolk and other family members performing a routine to the disco hit at different points around the Nazi concentration camp.

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Artist torches barn in Holocaust memorial

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

A Polish artist has fired up debate after he burned down a barn to commemorate a Holocaust massacre and campaign against antisemitism.

Members of Poland’s Jewish community criticised the project but performance artist Rafal Betlejewski said he had been trying to remind the public of the 1941 Jedwabne massacre in which hundreds of Jews were burnt alive by Polish Nazi sympathisers.

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Nazi hunter slams Latvian Holocaust parade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

The world’s most prominent Nazi hunter has condemned Latvian officials for allowing an event commemorating the Nazi invasion of Riga to go ahead.

Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Israel, criticised the refusal by a Latvian court to call off the procession on July 1 as an “outrage”.

Mr Zuroff said: "To celebrate the anniversary is to celebrate the mass murder of all those victimised by the Nazis in Latvia -- primarily Jews, but also Communists, Gypsies and the mentally ill.”

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Swiss Jewish leader mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, June 29, 2010

The former president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) has died in hospital at 78.

Alfred Donath, a professor of nuclear medicine, was a tireless campaigner for Jewish causes.

He headed SIG from 2000 until 2008, and was committed to the organisation for many years before that.

Among the issues he championed was the campaign to help the relatives of Nazi victims retrieve money from Swiss banks.

He was the SIG vice president in 1998 when the banks finally reached an out-of-court settlement and paid heirs more than £800 million.

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Tourists detained for stealing from Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

Polish police have questioned two Canadian teachers who allegedly stole parts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau train tracks.

The pair, both said to be men in their 20s, were detained after security guards found them in possession of spikes from the railway which carried Jews and other Nazi victims to the concentration camp.

They have been released and police have not said whether they will face charges. A Polish radio station reported that the men were looking for a memento of their visit.

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Turkey blocks Israeli flight on trip to Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

A flight carrying a group of Israeli officers going to pay tribute to Holocaust victims at Auschwitz has been turned away after Turkey blocked it from its airspace.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bar on the military plane flying through Turkish skies was in response to the clash on a ship headed to Gaza in May.

Mr Erdogan, speaking while in Canada for a global summit, reportedly told a Turkish news agency: "We are not interested in making a show”.

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Art student's Holocaust project

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

A London art student has used his anger over a US oil company's role in the Holocaust as inspiration for his final project.

Leo Cohen, 23, said his work is a political statement about US Standard Oil, which was linked to IG Farben, the company which produced Zyklon B for the Nazis to use in the gas chambers.

Mr Cohen, a founder member of the Young Jewish Art collective, has built an art installation at Central Saint Martins which includes six pools of water, three of which are black and oily.

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Anne Frank's cousin slams 'sexed up' novel

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

Jewish Holocaust charities and Anne Frank's only living relative have criticised a new novel which suggests that Anne had a sexual relationship with the boy who was in hiding with her.

But the book's publisher, Klaus Flugge, hit back at critics of Sharon Dogar's Annexed, an imaginary diary by Peter van Pels which relates some of Anne's reflections, but from the boy's point of view.

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