The Holocaust

Arab MK to visit Auschwitz

By Ben Lynfield, January 21, 2010

Israeli Arab legislator Mohammed Barakeh is under fire from Arab and Jewish hardliners for deciding to visit Auschwitz as part of a Knesset delegation on International Holocaust Remembrance Day next Wednesday.

But Mr Barakeh, from the hard-left Arab-Jewish Hadash party, is undeterred. “Nothing is going to change my decision.”

Mr Barakeh’s step has been called “courageous” by Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, who invited him.

The move could deal a blow to rampant Holocaust denial in the Arab world.

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Liddle defends his Auschwitz ‘humour’

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

Journalist Rod Liddle has defended comments he made about Auschwitz in an online forum which contains virulently antisemitic jokes.

Mr Liddle, the former editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, said his remarks needed to be viewed in context and that he had been attempting to show the Nazi death camp has been “rendered politically correct…something much less than it should be”.

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British POW joins Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010

The British prisoner of war who helped save the life of an Auschwitz prisoner will join survivors for a memorial service on Holocaust Memorial Day.

Denis Avey, 91, was a prisoner of war in Auschwitz who swapped places with a Jewish inmate. He met Ernst Lobethall, smuggling him cigarettes and bartering to repair his shoes to improve his chances of surviving the harsh winter and death marches.

In 1996, Mr Lobethall told the Shoah Foundation that he credited a British POW with saving his life, who he knew only as “Ginger”. He died in 2002, never meeting Mr Avey again.

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Muslim Council of Britain split over Holocaust Day boycott

By Martin Bright, January 14, 2010

The Muslim Council of Britain has refused to say if it will boycott Holocaust Memorial Day for the second year running.

The umbrella organisation attended the commemoration for the first time in 2008 after it voted to end a longstanding boycott following pressure from government. But the MCB did not attend last year in protest at Israel’s military intervention in Gaza.

However, MCB’s high-profile spokesman Inayat Bunglawala has broken with the organisation to say he will attend in his personal capacity.

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"We could smell the bodies being burnt"

January 14, 2010

Brian Bishop, now 89 and living near Chard in Somerset, was captured by the Germans in North Africa in 1942. He later spent 15 months in the British prisoner of war camp at Auschwitz. This is his story.

I was captured in North Africa. We were surrounded by the Germans and we fought until we had no ammunition left and then we had to give ourselves up.

We were handed over to the Italians and I spent the next year and three months in Italy. When Italy capitulated we were captured by the Germans. I was taken to Germany and eventually ended up on the train to Auschwitz.

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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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Auschwitz plea for UK donation

By Jessica Elgot, January 13, 2010

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has called on Gordon Brown to fulfill his promise to donate some of the £110m needed to save the former concentration camp from decay and ruin.

The camp has been built on marshland between two rivers and damp is seeping into the barracks, which are rotting and splintering.

Restoration experts have warned that the camp has less than two years before some parts are beyond repair.

In early December, the infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign was stolen by vandals, highlighting the vulnerability of the site.

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Demjanjuk's lawyers calls to abandon trial

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

The alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk may have his trial postponed yet again after an appeal from his lawyer.

The 89-year-old Ukrainian is on trial in Munich charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp.

The case resumed today after being suspended in early December due to Demjanjuk’s apparent ill health.

His defence lawyer Ulrich Busch has launched a new argument that German law cannot be applied to Demjanjuk, who was born in the Ukraine.

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Anne Frank's helper Miep Gies dies aged 100

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies, the last survivor of the group which hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, has died aged 100.

Mrs Gies was the first to discover 15-year-old Anne’s diary of her life in hiding for two years in Amsterdam. Anne died of typhus in concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, just two weeks before liberation.

Miep Gies kept the diary safe until after the war, when she returned it to Anne’s father Otto Frank.

She helped Otto publish the diary in 1947. It was eventually published in dozens of languages worldwide and sold, and continues to sell, millions of copies.

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Analysis: A sinister scheme to devalue the Holocaust is gathering steam

By Efraim Zuroff, January 8, 2010

The question of how Lithuania deals with its Holocaust past has simmered for 18 years, ever since it gained independence.

But in the past few weeks it has become crucial, due to Lithuania’s campaign to obtain recognition that Communism is the equivalent of Nazism.

The current controversy kicked off on November 30, 2009, when Lithuanian PM Andrius Kubilius was the guest on BBC’s Hardtalk.

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