Category Archive: Hate Crimes

Former Auschwitz medic arrested in Germany

93-year-old held on charges of aiding and abetting mass murder of prisoners at Nazi death camp

Agence France-Press theguardian.com, Tuesday 18 March 2014 13.22 EDT

Agence France-Press
theguardian.com, Tuesday 18 March 2014 13.22 EDT

German police have arrested a former Nazi medic who served at the Auschwitz death camp on multiple charges of aiding and abetting murder.

The 93-year-old, who was arrested at his home near Neubrandenburg, north of Berlin, underwent a medical checkup before he faced a judge and was then taken into pre-trial detention.

The former SS member allegedly assisted in the mass murder of prisoners who arrived on eight transports from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia in September 1944.

Of the arrivals, 1,721 were killed in gas chambers after they were deemed unfit for forced labour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland, prosecutors said.

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Nazi Symbols Seller Ordered To Take Holocaust Course

Argentinian Court Also Requires Community Service

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

A Buenos Aires city court is requiring a vendor of Nazi souvenirs and symbols to perform community service and take a course about the Holocaust. City prosecutor Gustavo Galante collected evidence in the case with the help of the Anti-Discriminatory Division of the Federal Police. The seller, who has not been publicly named, sold Nazi souvenirs and symbols in Argentina and abroad. They were offered in Argentinean currency as well as in dollars and euros. Judge Fernanda Botana made his ruling following a plea agreement struck with the sellers’ lawyers.
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WJC resolution urges Hungary to crack down on Jobbik

BUDAPEST, Hungary — As the World Jewish Congress pressed Hungary to crack down further on the Jobbik party, WJC President Ronald Lauder apologized to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
In a resolution passed Tuesday, the WJC called on the Hungarian government to implement laws to protect all citizens, “in particular vulnerable minorities such as the Roma and the Jews,” against “threats of violence, racist hate and insults and the denial of the Holocaust.”
In closing remarks to the WJC plenary assembly, however, Lauder apologized for some of the criticism he had leveled during the assembly at Orban. On Monday, he chastised Orban for not mentioning Jobbik, the country’s third-largest political movement, in the prime minister’s speech to the opening session and suggested Orban was being soft on Jobbik in order to win right-wing votes.
Lauder said he had not known about an interview Orban gave to the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot ahead of the WJC meeting in which Orban had called Jobbik “a real danger, an increasing danger.” Lauder read out Orban’s interview statement, which said that “if we want to protect democracy, we must take a firm stand against Jobbik. Jobbik has developed a political ideology that quite obviously violates the human rights of Jews at both an individual and community level.”
The WJC meeting, usually held every four years in Jerusalem, took place in Budapest to show solidarity with Hungary’s Jewish community in the face of Jobbik’s political rise and a series of anti-Semitic incidents.
Jobbik, which uses virulently anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Roma rhetoric, won nearly 17 percent of the vote in the last elections.
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Auschwitz guard, 93, arrested in Germany

BERLIN — Hans Lipschis, reportedly one of the 10 most wanted Nazis, was arrested in Germany.
Lipschis, 93, of Aalen is facing charges of complicity in murder as a former guard at the Auschwitz extermination camp. He was arrested on Monday. According to German news reports, state prosecutors in Stuttgart are preparing an indictment against Lipschis, a native of Lithuania who was an Auschwitz guard from the fall of 1941 until the Nazis abandoned the camp in January 1945. Lipschis reportedly belonged to the Totenkopf-Sturmbann, or Death’s Head Battalion, that guarded the camp. He later became a cook for SS troops at the camp.
The Zeit Online newspaper reported that Lipschis is one of the “ten most wanted Nazi war criminals.”
In April, Lipschis told the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag that he was in Auschwitz “as a cook, the whole time.” Lipschis reportedly moved to the United States in 1956, but was expelled in 1982 after immigration authorities determined that he had lied about his Nazi past in order to gain entry into the United States.
His arrest follows the announcement last month by Germany’s Central Office for Clarification of Nazi Crimes, based in Ludwigsburg, that it had provided information about 50 former Auschwitz guards to German courts, with the aim of assisting in possible war crimes trials. All the suspects are around 90 years old.
The development was triggered by the 2011 guilty verdict in Munich against former death camp guard John Demjanjuk as an accessory to murder of nearly 29,000 Jews at Sobibor in Poland. There were no direct witnesses to Demjanjuk having physically committed murder himself, but there was sufficient evidence that he was a guard at the camp.
Kurt Schrimm, who heads the Ludwigsburg agency, told reporters last month that since the Demjanjuk verdict, “any job in a concentration camp is sufficient evidence towards a conviction as accessory to murder.”
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EU court rejects PETA appeal on Holocaust ad

Germany can bar the animal rights group PETA from comparing the fate of animals today with that of Holocaust victims, Europe’s highest court for human rights ruled. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Thursday upheld a 2009 German Supreme Court ruling that banned People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals from using photos of concentration camp inmates and other images of the Nazi genocide alongside photos of abused animals in its campaign Holocaust on your Plate. PETA has three months to appeal the ruling, according to German news reports.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany, which had fought the PETA campaign since it was launched here in 2004, welcomed the ruling. “The judges were correct in determining that the ban did not infringe on freedom of expression, but rather trivialized the Holocaust in an irresponsible manner,” Dieter Graumann, head of the council, said.
The German PETA campaign included eight large panels showing black-and-white images of emaciated concentration camp inmates next to full color photos of chickens, turkeys and other animals fattened for the slaughter. One poster bore the slogan, in German, “Final Humiliation” and another read “For animals, all people are Nazis.”
A photo of children in a concentration camp stood next to one of piglets in a stall. Under them was the caption “Child Butcher.” According to reports, the PETA campaign in Germany was even more explicit than the US ad campaign that was launched in 2003.
The Central Council sued PETA in 2004. The late Paul Spiegel, then head of the council, called the ad campaign “the most disgusting abuse of the memory of the Holocaust in recent years.”
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Naming Holocaust denier government minister concerns Romanian Jews

The appointment of a Romanian lawmaker who denied his countrymen’s complicity in the Holocaust “seriously concerns” Romanian Jews. Dan Sova was appointed minister for parliamentary affairs on Monday. In March, Sova was filmed saying that Romanians never participated in the persecution of Jews. The Social Democrat lawmaker added that only 24 Jews, not thousands, had died during the violent Iasi pogrom, which he attributed to the German army. Sova later retracted his statements.
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Jewish teen beaten in France as anti-Semitism surges in Europe

A 17-year-old French-Jewish student from the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, where Muslim extremist Mohammed Merah went on a shooting spree in March and killed three children and a rabbi, was a victim of a violent attack on Thursday on a train traveling from Toulouse to Lyon.
Two 18-year-olds of North African descent reportedly attacked the student while he was traveling to visit his family. The victim, who boarded the train on Wednesday, was wearing a Star of David around his neck.
According to a source in the French Interior Ministry, “During the ride the victim rose to use one of the bathrooms on board. The two attackers waited for him and severely beat him all over his body. Only after a fellow passenger and train ushers intervened did the violent attack against the youth stop.”
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Latvian minister resigns in protest of Holocaust restitution plan

Latvian Justice Minister Gaidis Berzins has resigned in protest of plans to offer restitution for Jewish property seized after the Holocaust. Berzins is chair of the rightist All For Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom Party. In 2006, the Latvian parliament blocked a bill proposing $55 million in restitution for property that once belonged to institutions of Latvia’s Jewish community. Berzins’ party believes that offering restitution would place the interests of one minority group over others.  Ilja Lenskis, director of the Jews in Latvia Museum, said restitution was a “painful and harsh issue” in the public discourse in Latvia. The Jewish community broached the subject again in 2011 and this year, he said.  Latvia had a Jewish population of some 95,000 before the Holocaust. Nazi troops and local volunteers decimated the community.
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