The Holocaust

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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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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