The Holocaust

A Holocaust survivor hierarchy? How absurd

By Monica Porter, July 22, 2010

After all that I have read, researched and written about the Holocaust over the past four decades, I considered myself fairly au fait with the subject. I have known a number of survivors, as well as rescuers - starting with my own mother, the Hungarian singer Vali Racz, a Righteous Among the Nations. But I guess there is always something new to learn, and recently I was able to add to my general knowledge of the Holocaust a little-known - and somewhat disturbing - aspect of it.

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Payout for painting looted by Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, July 21, 2010

An Austrian museum has agreed to pay more than £12 million for a painting stolen from its Jewish owner by the Nazis.

The dispute over the expressionist painting by Egon Schiele was due to go to trial later in July, but has now been settled outside of court.

The family of its Viennese owner, Lea Bondi Jaray, described the large payout as proportional to the artwork's true value.

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'Obscene' Wiesel play to open in New York

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2010

A play on the Madoff financial scandal that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel branded "obscene" and "defamatory" is set to open in New York.

The renowned human rights campaigner had threatened legal action over the play, which depicted a fictional conversation between disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and Mr Wiesel.

But despite opposition from the Holocaust survivor, Imagining Madoff will go ahead, although in a small Hudson theatre rather than in its original Washington location.

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Grave of Warsaw Ghetto heroine vandalised

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2010

The grave of a woman who saved thousands of Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto has been desecrated, according to Polish authorities.

The words “Jews out” were sprayed onto the Warsaw gravestone of Irena Sendler, a woman honoured by Holocaust museum Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Police have launched an investigation after the graffiti was discovered in the Warsaw cemetery.

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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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