Category Archive: Jerusalem Post

‘HOLOCAUST BY BULLETS’ TO BE MEMORIALIZED IN EASTERN EUROPE

Upon the 78th anniversary of Babi Yar: It was a poet’s pen rather than a soldier’s bayonet that first punctured the Iron Curtain.

BY HEDDY BREUER ABRAMOWITZ

When a human atrocity takes place in your figurative backyard, it is hard – if not impossible – to let go of that memory. The events which took place at Babi Yar were first obliterated physically, with cremation pyres manned by adjacent concentration camp prisoners – Jews and non-Jews – followed by other attempts to hide and disguise the site, including construction there during the Soviet era.

Yevtushenko was acquainted with the Russian-language writer Anatoly Kuznetsov, who would later write Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel, and Yevtushenko asked him to take him to the site. Yevtushenko recalled to the BBC World Service on the 70th anniversary of the massacre: “What I saw was absolutely terrible – there were lots of trucks and they were unloading stinking garbage on the tens of thousands of people who were killed. I did not expect that.” He went back to his hotel and wrote the poem in under five hours.

Babi Yar – ‘grandmother’s gully’ in Ukrainian – is, surprisingly, not a remote location. It is a natural ravine in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, then the city’s outskirts near the medieval monastery of St. Cyril.

The Babi Yar atrocities followed Germany’s surprise invasion of its ally, the Soviet Union, in June 1941. Some 160,000 Jews resided in Kiev, comprising around 20% of the city’s population. German forces entered Kiev on September 19, 1941.

DURING THE first week of the German occupation, on September 24, two major explosions occurred, thought to be set off by Soviet military engineers, blasting the German headquarters. The sabotage was deemed by the Nazi commandant to be the responsibility of the Jews, and this became the pretext for retribution to murder the remaining Jews of Kiev. It also roused enormous animosity on the part of Ukrainians towards their Jewish neighbors.

According to Yad Vashem, there were still about 60,000-70,000 Jews living in the city, mostly those who could not flee: women, children, the elderly and the sick.

NEW SYNAGOGUES INAUGURATED IN MEMORY OF DANUBE HOLOCAUST VICTIMS

600,000 letters in each Torah represent the 600,000 victims of the massacre.

BY ILANIT CHERNICK
New synagogues inaugurated in memory of Danube Holocaust victims

Religious leaders fill in the final letters of each newly dedicated Torah.. (photo credit: ILANIT CHERNICK)

BUDAPEST – “From the ashes, this community is being revived.”

These were the words of Rabbi Simcha Weiss of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.

On Sunday afternoon, a bittersweet ceremony was held on the banks of the Danube River.

The Jewish community in Budapest celebrated the opening of two new synagogues and the dedication of two new Torah’s in memory of some 600,000 Hungarian Jews murdered on the banks of the river during the Holocaust.

Between December 1944 and January 1945, the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews at the Danube River, which runs through Budapest.

The first synagogue was inaugurated in Budapest and the second in Szentendre, a small town just outside the capital city.

Referring to the Torah, Weiss stressed that “you can kill us, but our message will live on.”

“No one could destroy their neshamas (souls),” Weiss of the Jews murdered at the Danube. “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah… those killed at the Danube have now come full circle.”

Weiss made it clear that each letter of the Torahs that are being inaugurated represent each of the 600,000 murdered, and that it was truly significant that the ceremony was taking place at the place where “their neshama came to rest here… they are now resting in peace.”

He also praised the strong relationship between Israel and Hungary, and this Jewish community’s contribution to the world.

Rabbi Shlomo Koves, chief rabbi of the EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Alliance and a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary, told attendees that “it was important to live and learn our own traditions,” and said these two synagogues would give Jews in Budapest and Szentendre the opportunity to do so.

“This is dedicated to the future, but we must also be proud of our traditions,” he said.

Hungarian Holocaust survivor and State Secretary of Parliamentary Affairs Concerning National Assets János Fónagy said he had no memories of the years he was in the Holocaust, and it was the Shoe memorial that “gives me memories.”

He said he was born in 1942 and “there is no one in my family to give me those memories,” adding that much of his family had been murdered during the Holocaust.
“This memorial is remembering those who did not survive and those who are missing their own personal memories,” he said. “We have duty and responsibility to remember, to respect the past, but also the future.

“The Torah is the heart of the Jews, it is the symbol of life itself,” he said, adding that it must be passed on to the next generation.

For Rabbi Baruch Oberlander, chief of the Orthodox Rabbinate of Budapest, this ceremony had special meaning. He grew emotional recalling his father, a Holocaust survivor, telling him of how he watched the killings of Jews at the Danube. He added that his father’s fake identity papers saved him from the same fate.

“It’s a privilege to be standing here today,” he said. “We are passing on the spirit of these martyrs through these Torahs.”

The Klein family told The Jerusalem Post how their father and brother had been murdered at the Danube.

Mr. Klein, who asked for his first name not to be used, became deeply emotional as he knelt down to light candles by the Shoe Memorial for the loved ones he lost.

From there, the entourage traveled to Szentendre in several buses, escorted by Police.

Leaders and community members danced through the streets of the small town as the Torah’s were brought to the newly built synagogue.

Locals and onlookers watched in awe as the dancing moved through, stopping to take pictures and some even leaning out of their windows to get a part of the action.

Koves joked that if the locals didn’t know there was a synagogue before, “now they do.”

Dancing and prayers continued for some time into the evening. As the celebrations came to a close, the shofar was blown in the spirit of Elul, Rosh Hashana and the theme of renewal.

YESHIVA U. TO OPEN HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE STUDIES CENTER

The center ‘plans to offer educators interdisciplinary graduate programs in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, incorporating history, Jewish studies, literature, law, philosophy and social work’

BY ILANIT CHERNICK
Yeshiva U. to open Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center

Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus where the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will be based.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“The center’s consequential mission will be to train both school and university educators in the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, with plans to offer graduate programs in the discipline,” the university announced on its website on Friday.

The Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is named for Holocaust survivor Emil Fish, who is funding the project.

“We must know the history about what happened and why and what the implications are for today,” Fish explained. “The Center will educate young people and adults about a singular event in history that regrettably, too few people understand, including what conditions existed before the Nazis ascended to power, how they rose to leadership positions, and why they targeted Jews.”

Born in Bardejov, Slovakia, Fish was sent as a young boy with his mother and sister to Bergen-Belsen, from where he was liberated in 1945. The family later reunited with Fish’s father and immigrated to Canada, and moved to Los Angeles in 1955.

Fish is the founder and president of the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee, which works to preserve and create a memorial for the survivors of the Holocaust in the Jewish suburb in Bardejov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As antisemitism continues to remain rampant in New York and across the United States, and knowledge of the Holocaust begins to falter among future generations, Fish said that he believes “it is important to provide educators with the resources and programs needed to impart the relevancy of the Holocaust to a new generation of students who know less and less about this.”

YU President Dr. Ari Berman said that as “Holocaust education and awareness across the globe is transitioning from a pedagogy of living testimony to one anchored in memory, the center… will serve a crucial role as a leader and role model for a new generation of Holocaust scholarship and education.”

The center plans to offer educators interdisciplinary graduate programs in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, incorporating history, Jewish studies, literature, law, philosophy and social work.

The Center, which will be located on YU’s Wilf Campus, will conduct academic research and organize public events to further the goal of extending Holocaust education to people of all ages and backgrounds.

“By leveraging the uniquely qualified faculty and resources of Yeshiva University’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and affiliates, the Center will be an impactful and essential focus of research, education, teacher training, and public programming,” YU explained.

POLISH RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS HONORED IN WARSAW

Some 30 rescuers attended a special event organized by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous

BY ILANIT CHERNICK
An illustrative photo of Righteous Among the Nations medal belonging to Marta Bocheńska who helped s

An illustrative photo of Righteous Among the Nations medal belonging to Marta Bocheńska who helped save Halina Buchwald in Warsaw during the Holocaust.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

During the dark days of the Holocaust, more than 27,000 thousand non-Jewish men, women and teenagers risked their lives to save their Jewish neighbors and friends from a certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

On Sunday, a special event in Warsaw on Sunday to honor Polish Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust was held by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR).

Some 30 Polish rescuers – who today are in their eighties, nineties and even hundreds – attended the event with their families.

“These righteous gentiles are dwindling in number, such that the JFR luncheon is likely to be among the last of such commemorations of its kind,” the organization said in a statement.

The JFR’s website explained that the organization “provides monthly financial assistance to the aged and needy Righteous Gentiles living in 18 countries.”

“The majority of the rescuers receiving financial support live in Eastern Europe, with Poland having the largest number of rescuers,” according to the site.

As of September 1, the JFR said it gives financial assistance to a total of 275 aged and needy rescuers, including 147 Polish rescuers, 37 rescuers in the Ukraine, 23 in Lithuania, 12 in Belarus and 11 in Hungary.

Although such events are held by the JFR, Sunday’s was extra special as it also served as the launch event for the partnership between the organization and Warsaw’s first kosher food bank, which launched earlier this year under the leadership of Poland’s chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, with the support and guidance of Yad Ezra of Detroit.

The food pantry, based in the Nozyk Synagogue complex, will provide food packages bimonthly to righteous gentile rescuers who are in need.

The event was also attended by foreign diplomats, as well as religious and community leaders, who spoke at the gathering.

Israeli ambassador-designate Alexandre Ben-Zvi paid his respects, while the US deputy chief of mission Bix Aliu, who is of Albanian heritage, paid tribute to their extraordinary courage.

“The JFR provides monthly financial support to some 147 aged and needy Polish rescuers,” the foundation said. “In the calendar year 2019, the JFR will send approximately US $600,000 to rescuers living in Poland.”

JFR executive vice president Stanlee Stahl said that “these are heroic people of exceptional character who risked their lives and often the lives of their families to save Jews during the Holocaust.”

“This special event is designed to recognize them and give them the proper honor they deserve,” Stahl said. “While we have been doing this event for some time, this is a special year with the opening of the food bank.

“Having developed food banks in the United States, I personally know the positive impact they have on families, so I am very happy we can play a role in the creation of the facility in Warsaw and utilize it as a local base through which to provide support to Polish rescuers,” she added.

During her address, she highlighted the actions of two brothers who were in attendance. Andrzej and Leszek Mikolajkow, together with their parents, saved a Jewish mother, father and two sons. One of the sons moved to Israel and had 12 sons of his own. Today, the family numbers about 300.

“You made it possible for hundreds – if not thousands – of people to be alive today,” Stahl told the brothers. “You have helped repair the world.”

THE JFR first funded eight rescuers, and that number quickly grew, reaching 1,800. Now, as the rescuers age and pass on, the number of them receiving support is declining; however, the foundation continues to receive new applications.

The foundation also does its best to provide “one-time grants for the purchase of food during the Christmas holiday season to rescuers living in Poland and other Eastern European countries,” depending on availability of funds, it said.

In 2018, the JFR distributed approximately $1.1 million in direct support of Righteous Gentiles.

All those being funded have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Yad Vashem defines Righteous Among the Nations as “non-Jews who took great risks to save Jews during the Holocaust. Rescue took many forms, and the Righteous came from different nations, religions and walks of life.

“What they had in common was that they protected their Jewish neighbors at a time when hostility and indifference prevailed,” the Holocaust remembrance center said.

According to Yad Vashem, as of January 1, there are 27,362 people recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, including nearly 7,000 Polish men and women.

The center also stressed that “the numbers of Righteous recognized do not reflect the full extent of help given by non-Jews to Jews during the Holocaust,” and that it is “rather based on the material and documentation that was made available to Yad Vashem.”

Yad Vashem made it clear that “most Righteous were recognized following requests made by the rescued Jews,” however, sometimes survivors were unable to “overcome the difficulty of grappling with the painful past and didn’t come forward.” Others “were not aware of the program or couldn’t apply, especially people who lived behind the Iron Curtain during the years of Communist regime in Eastern Europe.”

Yad Vashem also pointed out that survivors may have also died “before they could make the request.”

75 YEARS LATER, HUNT CONTINUES FOR INFORMANT WHO BETRAYED ANNE FRANK

One researcher holds that there’s a possibility that there was no informant. The Franks and their friends may have been found by accident, during a search concerning fraudulent ration coupons.

BY JERUSALEM POST STAFF
View of a room inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018.

View of a room inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018. Picture taken November 21, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/EVA PLEVIER)

Over 30 people have been accused of betraying the Franks and their friends. In 1947 and in 1963, investigations were opened to find if an overly-curious warehouse employee who worked beneath the hiding place betrayed the group. Wilhelm Geradus van Maaren said that he wasn’t the informant and due to a lack of evidence, he remained uncharged.
Lena Hartog-van Bladeren, another suspect who helped manage pests in the warehouse was said to have suspected that people were hiding in the warehouse and started a rumor, but it was never confirmed that she knew that anyone was hidden there until the raid.
The rest of the suspects also remained uncharged due to a lack of evidence to prove or disprove any involvement.
The Cold Case Diary team, a group of over 20 forensic, criminology and data researchers are working to narrow down the suspect list. Led by retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke, the team is working the case like a modern cold case. They’ve been searching through archives and interviewing sources while using more up-to-date technology to crosscheck leads. They’ve even created a 3-D scan of the hiding place to see how sounds may have traveled to nearby buildings.
The forensic team is also using artificial intelligence to find connections between people, places and events connected to the case.
A data science company, Xomnia, made a custom program that, among other functions, analyzes archival text to create nuanced and layered network maps.
“What you can do is try to see how often, for example, words or names are used together. If certain names are used together a lot, you can create kind of a network and do some kind of network analysis,” says a lead data scientist at Xomnia Robbert van Hintum. One possibility is to cross-reference addresses with family relations and police reports to see who might have been involved or aware of various occurrences in the neighborhood.
“By adding all these dimensions together, an image emerges which you weren’t able to see before,” explained the Xomnia researcher.
The Cold Case Diary team will announce the findings in a book expected to be published next year.
The lead researcher with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Gertjan Broek, actually believes that the focus on looking for an informant may actually be keeping researchers from finding the real reason that the hidden rooms were found.
“By asking ‘Who betrayed Anne Frank?’ you actually assume tunnel vision already. You leave out other options,” said Broek.
The researcher holds that there’s a possibility that there was no informant. The Franks and their friends may have been found by accident, during a search concerning fraudulent ration coupons.
The few facts that have been verified from the day support this theory. For one, the German and Dutch officials who arrived at the scene did not have transportation ready for the hidden people and had to improvise on the spot. Also, one of the three officers known to be at the raid was part of the unit the investigated economic crimes. Two men who provided the hidden people with black-market ration coupons were arrested, although one of their cases was dismissed for unknown reasons. It could be that a deal was made by one of the men.
Although it’s a plausible theory, Broek cannot prove it, according to National Geographic. “No conclusive evidence in the end, of course, unfortunately,” said the researcher. “But the more flags you can pin on the map, the more you narrow the margins of what’s possible and that’s the main virtue.”
Although it may be too late to bring the informant to justice, the research may still serve a purpose. “By better understanding what happened there, we can learn how people treat each other and prepare for the future,” said Emile Schrijver, the general director of the Jewish Historical Museum and the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank and her family hid in the secret annex on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, where she wrote the bulk of her famous diary. Frank and her family, along with four other people and the family’s helpers, Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler were arrested on August 4, 1944.
Anne Frank and her family were deported to Auschwitz on September 3, 1944.
Frank eventually died from typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp the following February.

HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA – NEW STUDY

The findings add to an ongoing debate about the psychological effects of trauma.

BY SONIA EPSTEIN
Holocaust survivors more likely to develop dementia – new study

Polish-born Holocaust survivor Meyer Hack shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm during a news conference at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem June 15, 2009.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The findings, recently published in The Journal of Traumatic Stress by Dr. Arad Kodesh, Prof. Itzhak Levav and Prof. Stephen Levine, add to an ongoing debate about the psychological effects of extreme adversity.

Some scientists hypothesize that those who experience horrific events may develop mechanisms that make them resistant to neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, which is characterized by a decline in cognitive ability and a decrease in daily activity. Others argue, however, that the risk of developing these diseases may increase with exposure to trauma, Levine explained.

The University of Haifa researchers found that 16.5%  of those who were exposed to the Holocaust – more than 10,000 participants, or about one-fifth of the total study pool – contracted dementia, compared with a rate of 9.3% among the other participants.

The results of the study are therefore consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to the trauma of genocide increases vulnerability to the risk of dementia later in life.

The researchers analyzed registry data on 51,752 Israeli residents who were born between 1901 and 1945 and who did not have a history of dementia during the period 2002 and 2012, but who were still alive in 2012. They then reexamined whether those people developed the disease between January 2013 and October 2017.

The researchers classified participants by their exposure to the Holocaust based on government recognition and assigned hazard ratios from Cox proportional hazards-regression models to quantify risk of dementia, with adjustments made for demographic factors such as sex and age.

“The study findings are clinically significant in terms of the long-term identification of dementia among Holocaust survivors, and they may also be relevant regarding crimes against humanity in general,” Levine said. “The findings highlight the need for careful monitoring of cognitive decline in risk populations that experienced extreme and protracted trauma in general, and Holocaust survivors in particular.”

WHO BOYCOTTED THE NAZIS AND WHO DIDN’T?

As a precedent for using boycotting as a political tool, Omar’s resolution points out, “Americans of conscience… boycott[ed] Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941.

BY RAFAEL MEDOFF
AMERICANS PROTESTING against trade with the Nazis before World War II.

AMERICANS PROTESTING against trade with the Nazis before World War II.. (photo credit: US HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM)

Leaving aside the obvious fallacy of Omar’s comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany, her resolution casts an unexpected spotlight on a little-known chapter in American history that deserves more attention: the nationwide boycott of German goods in the 1930s.

As a precedent for using boycotting as a political tool, Omar’s resolution points out, “Americans of conscience… boycott[ed] Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust.”

As soon as the Nazis rose to power in early 1933, German Jews were barred from numerous professions, subjected to severe discrimination and targeted by mob violence.

One of America’s foremost Jewish leaders of the time, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, reported receiving letters from Germany telling of “tortures, the cutting of Hackenkreuze [swastikas] into the flesh of Jews, imprisonment, death, and [Ku Klux Klan-style] night visits and night rides from which Jews never return…. It is hell, truly worse than hell.”

In response, American Jews boycotted German goods. Picket lines were set up in front of stores such as Macy’s and Gimbel’s that imported products from Nazi Germany. Doctors and pharmacists were encouraged to turn to non-German alternatives to German-made medicines. Athletes who qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Berlin were urged to stay home.

Jewish organizations were not alone in this effort. US Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas joined the picketing outside Macy’s. The American Federation of Labor actively assisted the boycott. New York City’s Republican mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, canceled a contract for German steel that was supposed to be used to build the Triboro Bridge. Gallup polls found most Americans in sympathy with the boycott.

Some prominent Americans, however, opposed boycotting the Nazis. The opposition cut across party lines – it came not just from conservative isolationists (who feared boycotting would drag America into a foreign war), but from prominent liberal figures as well.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pre-World War II policy was to maintain trade and diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany. FDR’s secretary of state, Cordell Hull, said the administration opposed any “racial or political boycott” of Germany.

The Roosevelt administration went so far as to help the Hitler regime elude the boycott. The Treasury Department permitted the Nazis to forego the usual “Made in Germany” label and instead mark goods as having been made in a particular city or region, which many consumers would not recognize. US officials also looked the other way when the print on German labels was illegible, or when they were attached in a way that made them inaccessible.

SOME LIBERAL academics supported the boycott. Others not only opposed the boycott, but personally violated it by visiting Germany in the 1930s and maintaining student exchange programs with German universities that were totally controlled by the Hitler regime. The sordid details are recounted in Prof. Stephen Norwood’s study, The Third Reich and the Ivory Tower.

Smith College president William Neilson, a longtime NAACP board member, visited Nazi Germany in 1933 and found “no cases of mistreatment” of Jewish citizens. Barnard College dean Virginia Gildersleeve, a staunch Roosevelt supporter, announced after touring Germany in 1935 that Hitler’s desire to acquire “new land” was “legitimate,” and that the sharp reduction in the admission of Jews and women to German universities was justified.

Pacifists such as Vassar College president Henry MacCraken saw the boycott as a step toward war, and in 1934, organized a tour of Nazi Germany for college students and professors. Footage of the trip was used for a Nazi propaganda film called Germany Today, which was shown in the United States in an effort to soften Hitler’s image.

Another prominent pacifist, Bryn Mawr professor Henry Cadbury, denounced the boycott as “simply war without bloodshed.” He admonished American Jews to “display good will instead of hatred” toward Hitler, claiming, “By hating him and trying to fight him, you will only help make him worse in his attack on the Jews.”

The boycott controversy roiled the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a leading left-of-center activist group. Its mostly-Jewish Brooklyn chapter asked the group’s national leadership to endorse the boycott. The request was rebuffed. WILPF leaders said they resented the notion of “separating the Jewish question from the larger minority problems.” One WILPF leader confided to a colleague, “For the first time in my life I am beginning to feel a little antisemitic.” Many members of the Brooklyn branch, and nearly the entire Bronx chapter, resigned in protest over the boycott issue.

Although the boycott fell short of its goal of driving Hitler from power, its impact was evident from the significant decline in German exports and the repeated complaints by German officials to the US ambassador in Berlin about the damage the boycott was doing to their economy.

The story of the anti-Nazi boycott movement in America is a reminder that courage and cowardice may be found on both sides of the political aisle. When it came to boycotting Hitler there were “Americans of conscience” in both camps, but unfortunately, not enough them where it could have made the most difference – in the White House.

The writer is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and the author of The Jews Should Keep Quiet: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust, forthcoming from The Jewish Publication Society in 2019.

FORMER SS OFFICER ON TRIAL FOR HOLOCAUST DENIAL, HATE SPEECH

Karl Munter, 96, a former SS war criminal who served under the commander who ordered the massacre in Ascq on Apr. 1-2, 1944, is being prosecuted.

BY JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Former Nazi SS war criminal Karl Munter interviewed on German TV.

Former Nazi SS war criminal Karl Munter interviewed on German TV. . (photo credit: screenshot)

A former SS soldier might spend his 100th birthday in jail if he is convicted of Holocaust denial and hate speech, according to a report published this week by Algemeiner. Karl Munter, 96, a former SS war criminal who served under the commander who ordered the massacre in Ascq on Apr. 1-2, 1944, is being prosecuted for remarks he made to journalists from the German network ARD in which he claimed that less than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and that the SS murdering French civilians was justified.

 

According to Algemeiner, Munter made the comments to undercover journalists on camera in November 2018. He was at a meeting of neo-Nazis.

Munter told reporters that 6 million Jews could not have been murdered because “there weren’t that many Jews in our country!”
When ARD asked him if he regretted the murder of 86 French civilians in the village of Ascq in 1944, he answered that the victims have “brought their fate on themselves.”
Munter and his commander, Obersturmführer Walter Hauck, were sentenced to death after the war by the French military court but were later pardoned.
Since the war, according to Algemeiner, Munter has continued his neo-Nazi activities.
If convicted, Munter would serve a maximum sentence of five years.