The Holocaust

Austrian death camp to be ‘filled with trash’

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 2, 2009

Parts of the Gusen 2 Concentration Camp in Austria, almost forgotten for 64 years, are being turned into a residential development, and a former underground slave-labour factory is being filled in, local residents claim.

Tens of thousands of prisoners toiled and died in the vast underground caverns, building jet planes for the Luftwaffe. The site has remained sealed since the camp’s liberation, but redevelopment work recently began.

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'We’re saving the site', says Austria

July 2, 2009

“The present emergency measures to secure the tunnel system are taken in order to prevent the further decay of the tunnel system,” says the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs.

“They are considered urgent and unavoidable and are based on an expertise by a renowned Professor of the Austrian Mining University in Leoben.

“After the completion of the works by October 2009, more than 1,900 metres of the tunnels shall be preserved, including the so called ‘natural’ tunnel dug by hand by inmates.

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New rights body for survivors

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2009

A new body has been set up to oversee the work of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, which restores Shoah assets to their owners.

The European Shoah Legacy Institute will act as a forum for those representing Holocaust survivors and other victims of the Nazis. It will also be involved in the fight against racism, xenophobia and antisemitism in Europe and worldwide.

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Survivors recall Lingfield

By Cathy Forman, July 2, 2009

Child survivors of the Holocaust were reunited at the Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire to celebrate an exhibition based on their experiences.

“The Journey” recalls the experiences of survivors of Nazi camps who, on their arrival in Britain in 1945, were housed at an orphanage in Lingfield, Surrey.

Theresienstadt survivor Joanna Millan, who was three when she arrived in Britain, said: “Lingfield gave us the opportunity to rebuild our lives.”

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Grant supports charity’s goals in UK

By James Martin, July 2, 2009

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant told the story of his father’s survival of the Holocaust at the launch of the UK branch of an Israeli charity.

Meir Panim supports Israelis living in poverty, including Holocaust survivors.

Mr Grant, who coached Chelsea to last year’s Champions League final, discussed his father Meir Granat’s survival in Siberia, where he was exiled for three years during the Holocaust.

“I will never forget him screaming during the night,” said Mr Grant, who was told of his father’s story when he was 15.

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New Shoah archive opens

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2009

The testimonies of 150 Holocaust survivors and refugees who fled to Britain from Nazi Europe have been brought together in a groundbreaking audio-visual archive.

“Refugee Voices” has been organised and produced by the Association of Jewish Refugees, which provides social and welfare services to Holocaust victims living in Britain.

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Holocaust hero lawyer struck off

By Miriam Shaviv, June 29, 2009

A lawyer who won reparations for Holocaust survivors in the 1990s was disbarred in New Jersey after he swindled some of the very survivors he helped.

The New Jersey Supreme Court found that Edward Fagan had taken $350,000 from the accounts of survivors Gizela Weisshaus, Estelle Sapir and others without their permission to pay his bills. The court also reportedly froze his assets.

Fagan also was disbarred last year in New York on an unrelated case.

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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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