The Holocaust

Britney Spears to star in Holocaust film

By Marcus Dysch, June 25, 2009

Of all the women you might pick to star in a sensitive film about the Holocaust, Britney Spears is unlikely to top the list. But the controversial singer, whose private life is frequently all over the tabloids, is rumoured to have been offered the leading role in a new Holocaust film.

Reports in the US suggest she will appear in The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton, which may start filming in North America later this year.

Britney’s character, Sophia, builds a time machine and travels back to the Second World War, where she meets Eton, a Jewish prisoner of a death camp.

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New looted art law effective ‘in autumn’

By Leon Symons, June 11, 2009

A new law to enable British museums and galleries to return looted art to its rightful owners rather than pay compensation should be law by the autumn..

The Holocaust Restitution Bill’s passage onto the statute books will clear the path for as many as 20 claims for the return of artworks in British collections by the end of the year.

The Bill passed the committee stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday with only minor amendments.

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Spielberg reels in UK man to run Holocaust archive

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2009

The founding director of Britain’s first Holocaust museum, Stephen Smith, is leaving the country to head a major archive of survivor testimonies established by film-maker Steven Spielberg.

Dr Smith, who opened the Holocaust Centre in Laxton, Nottinghamshire, in 1995 with his brother James, is to be the new executive director of the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, based at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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Museum shooting guard dies

By James Martin, June 10, 2009

An 89-year-old man with ties to white supremacist groups killed a security guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington yesterday.

James von Brunn opened fire with a rifle as he walked into the museum at 12.50pm, shooting his victim at close range, before being hit in an exchange of fire.

He was taken to the George Washington University hospital and was said to be in critical condition. Police sources said that Mr von Brunn had written a book and had a website that raged against Jews and Christianity.

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Anne Frank remembered

June 9, 2009

Image enhancing experts have produced a fascinating image of Anne Frank as she would have looked, had she reached the age of 80.

It was created for the Anne Frank Trust UK to mark her birthday on Friday, using the same techniques developed to artificially age missing people such as Madeleine McCann.

It is hoped it will help inspire schoolchildren to remember the loss of six million people in the Holocaust.

In the meantime, we thought it was a timely excuse to celebrate her life in pictures:

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New memorial to Shoah hero

By Ben Jaglom, June 4, 2009

A garden honouring the late MI6 agent who helped thousands of Jews to flee Nazi Germany was opened at Finchley’s Sternberg Centre on Sunday in the presence of Cherie Blair.

Frank Foley worked as a passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin as a cover for his spying activities. As well as favourably interpreting the rules on visas, he helped to forge passports and even sheltered Jews in his own home.

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Obama to visit Buchenwald

June 4, 2009

President Barack Obama will visit the Buchenwald concentration camp tomorrow (Friday, June 5), at the end of his mini-Middle East tour.

He is concluding his trip by meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dresden. Mrs Merkel and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel are scheduled to accompany Mr Obama to Buchenwald, one of the largest Nazi concentration camps where an estimated 56,000 prisoners were killed during the Shoah.

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Survivors’ big day in Parliament

June 4, 2009

A group of Holocaust survivors spent Wednesday at the heart of government.

Survivor Roman Halter wrote to Gordon Brown at the end of last year asking if it would be possible for him and his colleagues from the Survivors’ Centre in Hendon to visit Parliament.

As part of a programme co-ordinated with the Holocaust Educational Trust, MP Ian Austin escorted 19 survivors around the House of Commons.

In the most dramatic of political weeks, the group also watched Prime Minister’s Questions, took tea with Hendon MP Andrew Dismore and were given a tour of Downing Street.

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BNP candidate’s Shoah views

May 28, 2009

A BNP candidate in next week’s European elections has questioned the scale of the Holocaust and believes “dentistry and plastic surgery” were positives to come out of the concentration camps.

Marlene Guest, standing to represent Rotherham in the Yorkshire and Humber region, appeared in the Sky One documentary “BNP Wives”.

Leaders of Yorkshire’s Jewish communities have condemned her selection, calling it “horrendous and offensive”.

In the programme, broadcast in January 2008, Mrs Guest was asked about the Shoah and the number of people who died.

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Toben jailed in landmark Shoah case

By Dan Goldberg, May 27, 2009

A revisionist historian living in Australia has been sentenced to three months in prison for refusing to remove Holocaust denial material and other antisemitic vitriol from his website.

Fredrick Toben, the director of the notorious Adelaide Institute, was sentenced in the Federal Court of South Australia for breaching a 2002 court order to remove offensive material that denied the Holocaust, doubted the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and vilified Jews.

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