World news

Russian succah message

October 24, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message of congratulations to a mass celebration in the communal succah in Moscow. The event was organised by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia near their community centre.


Relics of pogrom found

October 24, 2008

Relics from the Kristallnacht pogrom of 9 November 1938 have been discovered in a huge rubbish tip an hour's drive from Berlin.

Israeli journalist Yaron Svoray, who located the dump, described it as "a historic discovery".


Australia sanctions on Iran

October 24, 2008

Australia put in place United Nations sanctions on Iranian companies involved in nuclear proliferation.

This targeted two state-owned banks, Melli and Saderat, and officials involved in Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme.


Schindler’s List man dies, aged 90

By Dan Goldberg, October 24, 2008

A Holocaust survivor who owed his life to Oskar Schindler's famous "list" has died in Melbourne.

Leo Rosner, an accordionist, passed away aged 90. Born in Krakow, Poland, he was imprisoned in a nearby ghetto where he played his accordion in exchange for food. On the night of his wedding in 1943, he was taken to Plaszow, where he was selected by camp commandant Amon Goeth, who ordered him to play music to "celebrate" the mass murder of "Juden".


Building starts on $20m LA museum

October 24, 2008

Construction has begun on the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, scheduled to open in 2010.

The $20 million (£11.5m) project will include a library and an archive in a 15,000 sq ft building, integrated with the six black granite columns of the existing Holocaust Martyrs' Memorial. Some 50,000 visitors are expected each year, with Holocaust survivors or their direct descendants serving as guides.

The new museum originated with a group of survivors in 1961, but has been located in a series of temporary quarters until now.


Frankfurt book fair’s ‘hate texts’

By Toby Axelrod, October 24, 2008

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has urged the Frankfurt Book Fair to take action after discovering allegedly antisemitic texts at the event.

There had been no response at press time from the fair organisers.

In a letter to book-fair director Jürgen Boos, Shimon Samuels of the Wiesenthal Centre reported that several books in the stands of Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and Iran were "in violation of their contractual obligations to the Frankfurt Book Fair - among them are chronic annual recidivists.


Survivor's son and Israel fan tipped to be New Zealand PM

By Dan Goldberg, October 24, 2008

The son of an Austrian-Jewish refugee whose mother escaped the Nazis is tipped to become New Zealand's prime minister next month.

The election of John Key - who told the JC of his admiration for Israel - may also end a period of dire diplomatic relations between Wellington and Jerusalem.

Mr Key, 47, has been ahead of Prime Minister Helen Clark in all major polls for the last year, although the gap narrowed last week as the parties officially launched the election campaign.


Norway denies Irving a platform

By Craig Silver, October 24, 2008

A wave of protest has resulted in an invitation to the convicted Holocaust denier David Irving to a literary festival in Norway being withdrawn.

Irving was jailed in Austria and banned from entering several countries because of his claims that the gas chambers in Auschwitz were fake.

Organisers of the Norwegian Festival of Literature withdrew its invitation to Irving to be the inaugural speaker at the event, due to take place in Lillehammer next May. He had been scheduled to speak on the 2009 festival theme: Truth.


BNP seeks to reactivate far-right alliance in European Parliament

By Leon Symons, October 24, 2008

The seeds of a reactivated extreme right-wing alliance in Europe were being sown this week by British National Party leader Nick Griffin, who made visits to Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Mr Griffin was invited to the two East European countries by representatives of extremist parties who had made trips to Britain earlier in the year.


Pius XII row inflames Vatican

By Yaakov Katz, October 24, 2008

A contentious caption on a picture of Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum has led to increased tensions between Israel and the Vatican, possibly scuttling a visit to the Holy Land by the current pontiff.

The Vatican urged Yad Vashem to carry out "a new, objective and in-depth review" of the caption, which says that Pope Pius did not protest the genocide of Jews and maintained a neutral position.