Former Intel CEO Andy Grove, a Holocaust survivor, dies at 79

(JTA) — Andy Grove, a Holocaust survivor who would revolutionize the personal computer industry as chairman of Intel, has died.

Grove, who survived the Holocaust living under a false name, died Monday at 79, Intel announced the following day. Grove was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000 and contributed toward research for a cure.

Grove was present at the founding of Intel in 1968, becoming the company’s president in 1979 and CEO in 1987. He played a critical role in the decision to move Intel’s focus from memory chips to microprocessors and led the firm’s transformation into a widely recognized consumer brand.

He was a noted scientist, earning a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He held several patents on semiconductor devices and wrote over 40 technical papers. He also was the author of several books.

Grove was born András István Gróf to middle-class Jewish parents in Budapest, Hungary. When the Nazis occupied Hungary, Grove and his mother were hidden by non-Jewish friends under assumed names. He escaped into Austria during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, immigrating to the United States in 1957.

He donated $26 million to the City College of New York in 2006 to help establish the Grove School of Engineering.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”

He and his wife, Eva, also a refugee from Europe whom he met while working at a resort in New Hampshire, were married for 58 years.


UK teens face theft charges in Poland over Auschwitz items

Stolen objects include part of old hair-cutting machine, pieces of reinforced glass, and some buttons

Poland-Auschwitz Death CampA court in Poland on Monday refused to drop a case against two British teenagers caught stealing from the Nazi Auschwitz death camp and has referred it to a lower court.

Initially, the 17-year-old teenagers from Hertfordshire, in southern England, pleaded guilty to charges of stealing items from the historic site while on a school trip in June and were seeking settlement.

They were allowed to return home. But later their lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out, because the teenagers were not aware that the objects they took from the site of the former camp’s warehouses had special historic value.

The objects included part of an old hair-cutting machine, two pieces of reinforced glass from the warehouses and some buttons.

A court in the southern city of Krakow admitted the items were of no special historic value, but ordered a court in Oswiecim, where the former camp is located, to weigh charges of simple theft. The verdict is subject to appeal.

Pawel Sawicki, of the museum’s press office, said the authorities of the Auschwitz Museum are considering an appeal in which they would stress that any objects coming from the site are of special value to history and to culture.

Polish courts have handed out suspended prison terms and heavy fines to people convicted of stealing objects from Auschwitz, including to an elderly Israeli couple caught in 2011 and a German teacher caught in 2014.

In the most dramatic theft, the ominous “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) sign was stolen from the former death camp’s historic gate in 2009. It was found days later, cut into pieces. The Poles who stole it and the Swedish man who instigated them were sentenced to prison.

Between 1940 and 1945 the German Nazis killed more than 1.1 million people in the camp. The victims were mainly European Jews, but also Russian prisoners of war, Poles, Gypsies and others.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

Museum criticizes game’s Anne Frank-themed ‘escape room’

Part of ‘Escape Bunker,’ based in Dutch town, designed to resemble apartment where teenage Jewish diarist and family hid from Nazis

Anne Frank Escape RoomAMSTERDAM — The Anne Frank foundation on Friday criticized an “escape room” game made to look like the small Amsterdam apartment where the teenage Jewish diarist hid with her family from the Netherlands’ Nazi occupiers during World War II.

According to its website, the recently opened Escape Bunker in the town of Valkenswaard, 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Amsterdam, has a room styled to look like the apartment. As part of the game, visitors are locked in and have to escape within an hour using teamwork, creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking.

The Anne Frank foundation, which manages the museum in the canal-side house that includes the Frank family’s hidden apartment, said the apartment was one of the places where the Holocaust, or Shoah, played out and said, “It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room.”

The bunker “creates the impression that hiding (from the Nazis) is an exciting game and if those hiding are smart enough they won’t be caught,” the foundation said, calling that impression historically wrong.

Anne FrankThijs Verberne, the operator of the bunker, defended it in a telephone interview, calling the escape room “an educational experience.”

Anne Frank became posthumously famous for the diary she kept while her family went into hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam.

The Jewish teenager and her sister Margot died at in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, shortly before it was liberated by Allied forces. Her mother Edith died in Auschwitz in January 1945; her father Otto was the family’s sole survivor of the Holocaust.


Hitler’s copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ sells for $20,655

Book found in Nazi leader’s Munich apartment at end of war signed by 11 officers from US field artillery battalion

Hitler ManifestoHESAPEAKE CITY — A copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” owned by the Nazi leader and found in his Munich apartment sold for $20,655 in the United States on Friday, an auction house said.

The book, which is bound in red leather, was discovered by US soldiers who liberated Munich at the end of World War II, said Alexander Historical Auctions.

It was likely kept by Hitler for his own use or as a potential gift for an admirer, the auction house said.

The flyleaf is signed by 11 officers from a US field artillery battalion of the 45th Infantry Division, the first soldiers to liberate Munich.

“From Adolph Hitlers apartment in Munich on May 2 1945,” wrote one officer followed by his signature and that of 10 others.

An August 20, 2015 letter from the daughter of Captain Daniel Allen of the 45th Infantry Division says that her father, who belonged to a field artillery unit, brought the book home with him at the end of the war.

There were more than 10 bidders, on phone and online, and the book sold to an American buyer, the auction house in Chesapeake City, Maryland told AFP. It had been valued pre-sale at $12,000 to 15,000.

Hitler wrote the book, whose title means “My Struggle,” in 1924 while jailed for treason after his failed takeover of the Bavarian state government.

The inflammatory tract sets out the political doctrine he enacted as Fuehrer: annexing neighboring countries to gain “Lebensraum” or “living space” for Germans, and his hatred of Jews, which led to the Holocaust.

The limited edition sold Friday is a 354-page volume II of the manifesto, printed by the Nazi Party’s publishers Verlag Franz Eher in Munich, 1927.

Millions of copies of the book were published in Germany after Hitler seized power in 1933 until his fall in 1945. From 1936, the Nazi state gave a copy to all newlyweds as a gift.

New copies of the book were printed in Germany in January for the first time since World War II, unsettling some Jewish community leaders, after its copyright expired.

For 70 years, Bavarian authorities refused to allow it to be republished out of respect for victims of the Nazis and to prevent incitement of hatred.

In February 2014, two rare copies of “Mein Kampf” signed by a young Hitler sold at auction in Los Angeles for $64,850.


Polish hole that hid 14 Jews during Holocaust to become memorial

Hideout in the southern village of Stankowa is a dank, stone-lined hole measuring 5 by 2.5 meters (16 by 8 foot)

Underground Hideout
STANKOWA, Poland (AFP) — Fit as a fiddle at 85, Jozef Jarosz slips into a muddy underground hideout in Poland. Memories flash through his mind: this is where his family hid 14 Jews during World War II.

It was an extreme act of courage in the only Nazi-occupied country where harboring Jews was punishable by death.

More than 6,600 Poles have since been honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem institute — outnumbering any other nationality — a title given to non-Jews who stood up to Nazi genocide.

Now the international foundation From The Depths wants to turn the hideout in the southern village of Stankowa — a dank, stone-lined hole measuring 5 by 2.5 meters (16 by 8 foot) — into a memorial center.

The nonprofit, which works to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, is seeking to buy the land and create a welcome center to inform visitors about how families like the Jaroszes saved Jews in secret.

“It is unique. This hiding place has remained intact,” said the group’s head Jonny Daniels.

“More than that, we have here a savior and a survivor.”

The survivor is Anna Grygiel-Huryn, a bubbly old lady who was four when her family emerged from two years inside the hideout on the wooded hillside of the Carpathian Mountains.

She has no memory of her stay in the hole, which the Jaroszes originally dug out as a place to store potatoes.

She does, however, remember tearing up a terrible photo taken of her soon after.

“I looked monstrous. I’d started squinting because I was always trying to catch the one ray of sunlight that passed through a slit in the cellar,” she told AFP.

“I had scrawny legs, a belly, a hunchback,” she said from her home in the southern town of Nowy Sacz.

The family was sometimes able to leave the hole in the dead of night, sneaking up to the shed covering their hideout, which was razed after the war.

Grygiel-Huryn was forbidden from crying lest someone overhear and blow their cover. But she did anyway, and the others hushed up her cries — or she did so herself with her hand over her mouth.

“We lived like moles,” she said with a sigh.

Life and death rubbed shoulders in the hole. A baby, Abraham Rygielhaupt, was conceived at the time and born soon after the liberation. He now lives in Israel.

But his father and another man never returned from a trip to see debtors, most likely killed by the people who owed them money.

The whole group had a brush with death when a local teenager named Piotr heard Grygiel-Huryn cry. He accused the Jaroszes of harboring Jews and said he would turn them in.

But the family went to speak with his mother, who “picked up a pitchfork and warned Piotr that if he did, she would kill him,” recalls Jozef Jarosz.

Piotr kept quiet.

A photo taken two years after the war’s end shows Grygiel-Huryn beaming. She would go on to marry and have a daughter who lives in Tel Aviv.

She has Jozef’s father Franciszek to thank for what she calls his “heroism.”

He had done business with the family, and decided to help them hide — first for a couple of days, then ultimately until Germany’s defeat.

Jozef, his sister and their parents were all honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” in the 1990s.

At Stankowa, From The Depths plans to record 3D in-depth interviews with Grygiel-Huryn and Jarosz, so that visitors can learn from their holograms.

They have raised most of the 800,000 euros ($900,000) needed, aiming to complete the project by next year.

French historians unveil WWII secret services’ archives

After 70 years in storage, documents lend insight on French Nazi collaborators, including designer Coco Chanel

 files of a Nazi German office

French historians on Wednesday unveiled secret services’ archives from World War II that offer a unique insight into underground operations led by both the Nazis and the French resistance — along with the individual paths taken by thousands of agents, including celebrities like French designer Coco Chanel.

Most of the letters, reports, cables and photos from the rival intelligence agencies of the French Resistance, the collaborationist Vichy regime and the German authorities remain unpublished. The documents, stored for years in the archives at the medieval castle of Vincennes, east of Paris, have not been explored by historians until recently.

They include details of operations led by German spies hunting members of the French resistance, the secret activities of London-based Gen. Charles De Gaulle’s government and efforts to track war criminals.

The French secret services also had files on celebrities they deemed suspicious. Designer Coco Chanel’s file includes a note written in Paris in November 1944.

“A source in Madrid informed us that Madam Chanel was in 1942-43 the mistress and agent of Baron Guenter von Dinklage. Dinklage used to be an attache at the German embassy in 1935. He worked as a propagandist and we suspect him of being a (German) agent,” the document says.

According to Frederic Queguineur, in charge of the secret services’ archives, the file shows that Coco Chanel was documented as an agent by the Nazi intelligence organization, the Abwehr.

“From the German point of view, they registered her, so it means she potentially could be a source of information, fulfill a mission, work for them. But from her point of view, we don’t know if she was really aware of that,” he told the AP.

Following a government decision in 1999, hundreds of boxes were given to the defense ministry’s archives with no classification system — an intelligence technique so no foreign country would get easy access to secret documents. Only half of the archives have now been inventoried.

“We have been captivated by the importance … and the richness of these archives, the feeling, in some way, to find documents that had never been seen for 70 years,” Queguineur said.

Once the archives have been identified, the public can get access to them but as they are not digitized, people need to go to the Chateau de Vincennes.

The secret services’ archives include German documents seized by the French at the end of the war and thousands of individual files of members of the French resistance and investigation files of suspected collaborators.

Historian Thomas Fontaine stressed that history is more complex than a complete division between the ones who resisted and the ones who betrayed, giving the example of a regional Resistance group leader who later served the Germans.

“It’s very clear in the files of the Gestapo that they detain his wife and daughter in order to make him talk,” he said.

Lots of notes provide personal details on people involved in French or German operations. De Gaulle’s intelligence services in 1943 wrote a note on American-born singer and dancer Josephine Baker, who helped his Free French effort.

“She demonstrates a tremendous devotion, she is totally unselfish. Keen and vibrant spirit, she is able to render us great services,” it said.

Many Resistance members told their stories to the French intelligence services at the end of the war. Historian Sebastien Albertelli is starting research on some 600 women who served in uniform in De Gaulle’s army.

“I can hear their voices, I can let them talk (with these documents),” he said.

The archives also include private documents, such as a moving handwritten letter from De Gaulle’s niece Genevieve to her “dear uncle Charles” in which she seeks advice on the better way to serve in May 1943.

Yet historians noted that some files are incomplete, with some documents having probably been purged to keep some details secret. Those appear to include the file of former French President Francois Mitterrand, who served under the Vichy regime before joining the Resistance.


Anne Frank’s signed fairy-tale book up for auction in New York

Holocaust diarist’s well-worn German edition of Grimm’s fairy tales could sell for up to $30,000

Anne and Margot Frank's copy of Grimm's Fairy TalesA book of fairy tales owned and signed by German-Jewish diarist Anne Frank before she perished in the Holocaust will go on sale in New York valued at $20,000 to $30,000, an auction house said Wednesday.

The well-worn edition of Grimm’s fairy tales in German, which includes favorites Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, belonged to Frank and her sister Margot before they went into hiding in 1942 to escape the Nazis.

Frank wrote her name and that of her sister on the fly leaf, said Swann Auction Galleries, which will conduct the sale on May 5. The book will go on public display in its New York showroom on May 2.

The handwriting matches other samples written by Anne Frank, said the auction house. The inside cover of the book is stamped in purple with the initials MF.

It was not known when Frank acquired the book, nor when she signed it. She was born in Frankfurt in 1929 and her sister in 1926. The family moved to Amsterdam in the mid-1930s to escape the Nazis.

The book was published in 1925 in Vienna.

“What just infuses it with so much incredible emotion and history and potential value is the fact that it is signed by Anne Frank, it was her personal copy,” said Nicholas Lowry, president of Swann Auction Galleries.

Anne Frank’s diary, which she wrote in hiding, was published two years after she died aged 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, just two months before the Nazis were defeated.

It has sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into 67 languages.
‘Source of inspiration’

The teenager also wrote short stories while living in a secret annex with her family and four other Jews until they were betrayed in August 1944.

“This book, a book of Grimms fairy tales, was very likely the well source of all of her inspiration,” said Lowry. “This book really is the springboard from which her nascent literary career and dreams of being a writer were launched.”

Lowry said the pre-sale estimate of the book was $20,000 to $30,000. The well-thumbed volume has 148 pages and is illustrated with black silhouettes. It has some dog-eared pages and a few ink stains.

“There’s no real way of knowing exactly how much it’s going to sell for,” Lowry told AFP. “But the estimate that we’ve put on it I think reflects that we’re going to let the market decide.”

Swann Auction Galleries said it is only the third piece of Anne Frank material to come to public sale and the first in nearly 30 years.

In 1988, Swann sold letters and postcards written by the Frank sisters to pen pals in the United States for $165,000. In 1989, Christie’s sold a verse inscription signed “Anne Frank” for $35,200.

The book, which was left behind when the family went into hiding, was bought in a bookshop by a family who only realized its progeny in the 1970s, when they wrote to Frank’s father Otto offering to return it, Lowry said.

A letter from Otto, the only person from the annex to survive the war, urging them to keep it in 1977, is being sold with the book.


German anti-fascists face down pro-Nazi Latvian demonstrators in Riga

Protest March Sign
Several German anti-fascists were arrested in Latvia this week after arriving to protest an annual march by former Nazi collaborators and their supporters.

The marchers, whose ranks included a number parliamentarians, made their way through the capital city of Riga on Wednesday in an annual show of support for the anti-Soviet Latvian Legion – a locally raised unit of the Waffen-SS.

Five members of the Berlin-based Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime/ Federation of Anti-Fascists (VVN-BdA) – Thomas Willms, Markus Tervooren, Günther Hoppe, Lothar Eberhard and Werner Müller – were detained by Latvian officials after landing in Riga on Tuesday, the group claimed. In addition, the organization’s leader, Cornelia Kerth, was denied permission to enter the country and was prevented from boarding an Air Baltic flight from Germany.

In a statement released on the day prior to the march, the group accused Latvian authorities of “repression” against Latvian protesters.

“For years, the march of Waffen-SS admirers enjoys the protection of the Latvian government. The few anti-fascists who protest against the right deployment will be handled by politicians and the media as enemies of the state,” the VVN-BdA accused, adding that the five detained protesters were given a choice of deportation or two-days incarceration.

Around 40 protesters were present at Wednesday’s march, according to local media and were prevented from coming within several hundred meters of the SS supporters.

“The Security Police has warned that provocations might be attempted by some persons who have arrived from abroad,” The Baltic Times reported.

Thirteen members of parliament were reported to have participated in the march.

Two years ago the country’s environmental minister was fired after disobeying a prime ministerial directive for cabinet members to refrain from participating.

According to Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, while the Latvian Legion did not directly participate in Holocaust crimes, it did fight for the Germans and many off its members had previously taken part in the mass murder of Jews as part of the Latvian security police and the Arajs Kommando, a police unit connected to the German SD.

“The organizers of the march are trying to present the members of the legion as freedom fighters who paved the way for Latvian independence but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

“The Nazis had absolutely no intention of granting independence to any of the Baltic countries and it is only because Nazi Germany lost the Second World War could Latvia regain its independence after the fall of the USSR. People who fought for victory of Third Reich should not be glorified as heroes – such a victory would have meant the end of Western civilization,” he said.

Calling the arrest of the German protesters “absurd,” Zuroff, who was present in Riga for the march, called the decision to keep protesters far from the Legion supporters “highly objectionable.”

Last week Latvian parliamentarian Karlis Serzants made waves when he was reported as saying that “clever Jews” were responsible for several national problems.