The Holocaust

Nun back on Shoah hero list

By Simon Caldwell, May 14, 2009

A Catholic nun who saved a family of French Jews from the Nazis has been added to a list of British heroes proposed for an honour by the government after initially being forgotten.

Sister Agnes Walsh is one of just 13 Britons already honoured as Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem.

But she was left out of a list of the rescuers, put together by the Holocaust Education Trust, who may be posthumously honoured by the government for their actions in saving Jewish lives.

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Demjanjuk to be tried in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, May 14, 2009

One of the last major Nazi war crimes trials is within sight, with the arrival of accused war criminal Ivan Demjanjuk in Germany on Tuesday.

Demjanjuk, 89, is accused of having been a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland from March to September 1943, and of having been involved in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews.

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New award for Britain’s Shoah heroes

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

An award is to be created by the government to honour British heroes of the Holocaust who risked their lives to rescue those persecuted by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Liam Byrne, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, announced the initiative on Wednesday, the day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid his first visit to Auschwitz, accompanied by his wife Sarah.

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Builders find Auschwitz message

April 28, 2009

Builders working near the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have found a message in a bottle written by prisoners.

The message, dated 9 September 1944, bears names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young inmates from Poland and France, written in pencil. All were aged between 18 and 20.

At least two survived the war, according to the Auschwitz museum.

The bottle was buried in a concrete wall in a school that prisoners had been forced to rebuild.

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Survivor’s lesson to teaching staff

April 23, 2009

Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper received a standing ovation from over 400 educators when he addressed the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference in Liverpool.

Mr Shipper never saw his father again after being sent to the Lodz ghetto with his grandparents in 1940. He managed to escape from a lorry transporting people from the ghetto and returned to work in the metal factory until the ghetto’s liquidation in 1944. He was sent to Auschwitz and then to another camp near Danzig, where he volunteered to work at a railway yard so as to get more food.

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Michael Howard recalls family Shoah victim

By James Martin, April 23, 2009

Former Tory Party leader Michael Howard spoke movingly about his family connection to the Holocaust before an audience of 500 at a Yom Hashoah event in central London on Sunday.

Mr Howard’s grandmother died in Auschwitz after she and his aunt “had been taken from Romania in a stinking cattle truck”. His aunt had survived — on one occasion “because they ran out of gas” — and came to live with his family in Wales after the war. The MP has visited the death camp site on three occasions and paid tribute to the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

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Rise in antisemitic attacks worldwide

By Isabel Janner, April 22, 2009

Holocaust images are increasingly used in antisemitic attacks worldwide, according to a new survey.

The survey, carried out by Tel Aviv University and the European Jewish Congress, shows the number of incidents increasing gradually from 1989 to 2007, peaking in 2007 and dropping slightly in 2008.

The start of 2009 saw sharp increases, triggered by the economic crisis and war in Gaza.

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Jerusalem: Yad Vashem cash woe

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 22, 2009

Holocaust research and commemoration programmes have been hit by the global recession and Israel’s security problems.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, which opened a new $50m museum four years ago, has been forced to freeze some of its main programmes. Among them was an initiative to collect the names of all the Jews murdered in the Holocaust — with 3.5 million gathered so far; to record survivors’ testimonies; and to compile an encyclopedia of Jewish communities.

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Haifa University: Shoah survivors in Israel happy

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 22, 2009

Shoah survivors are more prone to health problems than their contemporaries, and are happiest living in Israel, according to research published this week.

Research carried out by the Brookdale Institute identified 233,700 survivors living in Israel. It found that they are 40 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than other European-born Israelis of the same age group. In addition, 57 per cent suffer from high blood-pressure, 40 per cent from chronic back and neck pains and 26 per cent from rheumatism.

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Israel attacks ‘hide antisemitism’

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2009

The majority of people believe criticism of Israel is often used as a cover for antisemitism, a survey looking at attitudes towards the Holocaust has revealed.

Commissioned by the Holocaust Centre to coincide with Yom Ha’Shoah on Tuesday, the questionnaire investigated how Shoah education influences public perceptions of Jews compared to the effect of media coverage of Israel.

It found that 54 per cent of British residents think that although criticising Israeli government actions is sometimes legitimate, such criticisms are often based in antisemitic beliefs.

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