Category Archive: Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem Post World News POLISH JEWISH LEADERS CALL FOR DIALOGUE IN WAKE OF ISRAEL-POLAND ROW

Two days after Katz’s comments, political journalist and commentator Artur Wróblewski said on a public radio station that “if there was no antisemitism, then perhaps Israel would invent it.”

BY JEREMY SHARON

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in New York.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in New York on September 26, 2018.. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON – GPO)

In the wake of the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland centered around the Holocaust and antisemitism, Polish Jewish leaders are urging for greater dialogue and understanding between Jews and Poles.

The head of Poland’s communal Jewish umbrella organization Monika Krawczyk has called to increase the opportunities for young Jews and Poles to meet, while both she and Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich have said that hostile rhetoric on both sides must be toned down.

Schudrich added that despite a recent series of antisemitic comments and news items in the Polish media, Jews are still safe in Poland. She says that Jews can wear Jewish symbols in public without fear of attack or harassment, noting that this is not the case in some Western European countries.

Concern has been raised of late regarding a series of antisemitic incidents in the Polish media, as well as a rash of antisemitic rhetoric online. Krawczyk and Schudrich said that although they are aware of this phenomenon, it must be put in context – and that the outrage over Foreign Minister Israel Katz’s comments, as well as those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, must be properly understood.

Schudrich argues that there has been some condemnation of recent antisemitic statements, and also points to the rise of antisemitism across Europe as evidence that Poland is not unique in suffering a recurrence of the phenomenon.

And he notes that many Poles were “genuinely hurt” by Katz’s comments.

“Katz was basically saying that all Poles are antisemitic, which is hurtful, unnecessary, wrong and false,” Schudrich told The Jerusalem Post.

“While we fight against antisemitism, we must look at ourselves and think about what we should be sensitive about and what we say – and if we do that, we have a chance of making a positive change.”

Schudrich said, however, that in the current political climate, those who have long-held antisemitic beliefs now feel free to express them in public. He pointed to events in other countries, such as the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 as evidence of the broader nature of this problem.

But he insists that life for Polish Jews remains good and that Jews may walk about publicly wearing Jewish symbols without fear of being attacked, something he says cannot be said of Jews in France and Belgium, for example.

“I call it the yarmulke test: Can you walk around safe with a yarmulke? It’s a crude measure of antisemitism, but in Warsaw and Krakow we have no problems. Can the same be said walking with a yarmulke in Belgium and France?”

Dr. Rafal Pankowski, an associate professor at Collegium Civitas and co-founder of the Never Again Association, is not quite as sanguine, pointing to several sever examples of antisemitism in the Polish media, saying that they constitute “a wave of antisemitic discourse that has not been seen for many years.”

In February, following Katz’s comments, Jacek Bartyzel, a professor of social science at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, said on Facebook that: “I can’t get worked up about the fact that Jews hate us and spit upon us – what can you expect from that viperish tribe full of arrogance, venom and anger?”

The influential right-wing news website wPolityce.pl then granted Bartyzel a flattering interview where he stood by his comments, giving another academic from the same university a platform to defend Bartyzel as well.

Two days after Katz’s comments, political journalist and commentator Artur Wróblewski said on a public radio station that “if there was no antisemitism, then perhaps Israel would invent it.”

And a day after Netanyahu said in Warsaw that “Poles collaborated with the Nazis,” journalist and author Rafal Ziemkiewicz accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of being “a sales rep of the Holocaust industry,” after Pompeo stated during a visit to Poland that the country had to address concerns about property restitution for Holocaust survivors.

Meanwhile, the right-wing Gazeta Warszawska ran a front-page in February with the headline “This is How the Jews murdered the Poles,” which highlighted the Jewish background of some Communist-era judges and officials who sentenced high-ranking Poles to death following the Second World War.

And just last week, the right-wing weekly newspaper Tylko Polska issued an edition with a front page headline telling readers “how to recognize a Jew,” including by “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities,” the Polsat news website reported on Wednesday.

The article added “How to defeat them? This cannot go on!” The newspaper itself was available for purchase in a kiosk in the Polish parliament.

But Krawczyk, head of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland is, like Schudrich, more cautious when discussing these recent incidents.

She, too, says that Katz’s comments were deeply unhelpful, and noted, like Pankowski, that the diplomatic row with Israel is being used by politicians in Poland to drum up support, although she accuses Israeli politicians of the same.

Krawczyk also underlines the historical and societal context of these debates, noting that Poland was devastated by the Second World War and was occupied by both the Nazi regime and the Soviet Union, yet never established a puppet government that collaborated with either side.

Poles therefore see themselves as not responsible for the Holocaust, she explains, because there was no formal collaboration on the state level.

Krawczyk nevertheless concedes that the recent outbreak of antisemitic rhetoric is worrying and that it needs to be addressed.

“It worries me, because if it is coming from people with higher education and academics who are copying rhetoric of pre-war right-wing groups that were responsible for acts of physical antisemitism, [then] we have a reason to be concerned and worried about that,” she says.

Krawczyk said that there is now a need to promote educational initiatives in Poland at the most fundamental level to underline the toxicity of antisemitism, saying that the Polish government should partner in such projects.

She also suggested broadening the interaction of Jewish and Israeli high-school pupils visiting Poland to meet with their Polish peers, as some groups have done, in order to increase understanding.

“This should be encouraged and developed. If we say all Poles are antisemites, and the other side says Jews are ungrateful, greedy and conspiring, then the possibility of dialogue is completely closed and there is nothing to talk about.”

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Polish-Jewish-leaders-call-for-dialogue-in-wake-of-Israel-Poland-row-583561

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Holocaust-memorial-in-central-Greece-vandalized

The monument was erected just four months ago in memory of the city’s fifty Jews who were deported to Auschwitz during the Holocaust, where they perished.

BY ILANIT CHERNICK

Holocaust memorial in central Greece vandalized

A man walks past a graffiti dedicated to the Holocaust in the northern port city of Thessaloniki. (photo credit: ALEXANDROS AVRAMIDIS/REUTERS)

A Holocaust memorial in the central Greek city of Trikala was allegedly found to be vandalized a few days ago. 

The local Jewish community discovered the desecration and complained to the police, which launched an investigation to locate the perpetrators of the antisemitic act, Arutz 7 reported.

The monument was erected just four months ago in memory of the city’s fifty Jews who were deported to Auschwitz during the Holocaust, where they perished.

During the Holocaust, 450 Jews from Trikala managed to escape the city and fled to isolated villages in the mountains and Turkey, later on also getting to Israel. 

However, in 1944, the Nazis arrested 50 Jews from the Trikala community who had been in hiding, and deported them to the Auschwitz death camp.

In October, the city’s Jewish cemetery was also desecrated by vandals in an act of antisemitism. Eight tombs were destroyed, two of which belonged to the parents of the city’s Jewish community president.

In more antisemitic incidents in Greece this year, a Jewish school in Athens was spray-painted with antisemitic slurs, while the monument commemorating the Jews of Thessaloniki, located at the University of Aristotle, was desecrated in January.

The menorah and Star of David adorning the memorial were broken and left lying on the ground, while headstones inside the memorial were pushed over.

Last year, there were 15 reported incidents of antisemitism across Greece.

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Holocaust-memorial-in-central-Greece-vandalized-583392

ANNE FRANK ANIMATED FILM COMING FROM ‘WALTZ WITH BASHIR’ DIRECTOR

Oscar nominee Ari Folman said he struggled with the decision to create ‘Where is Anne Frank?’

BY AMY SPIRO

Anne Frank animated film coming from ‘Waltz with Bashir’ director

Anna Frank as imagined for the new animated film by Ari Folman. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Ari Folman, the Academy Award-nominated director of the 2008 film Waltz with Bashir, is completing production of an animated film on the life of Anne Frank. Details of the upcoming feature film, titled Where is Anne Frank? were unveiled last week at the Cartoon Movie forum in France. Variety reported on Monday that a session on the animated movie was one of the most attended overall at the industry gathering. At the event, Folman explained that he was originally reluctant to tell the story through animation because of its dark psychological themes, according to Variety. To overcome that, he said, he decided to tell the story through the eyes of “Kitty,” Frank’s imaginary friend, to whom she addressed her diary entries. In the film,  Variety reported, Kitty wakes up in modern times, and imagines that if she’s alive, Anne must be as well, and so she sets out to find her. 

According to Animation Magazine, Folman said that he first thought about the film after he reread Frank’s original diary for the first time in decades. He and illustrator David Polonsky recently turned the diary into a graphic novel, published in collaboration with the Anne Frank Fonds Foundation.

“I hadn’t read the diary since I was 14,” Folman said, according to the magazine. The filmmaker said he spoke to his Holocaust survivor mother – who is currently 96 – about making the movie, and she said: “‘If you do decide to do this movie, I will live for the premiere whenever that may be.’ So I decided to do it because I want her to live to be at least 100!”

The film began production last year in Folman’s animation studio in Jaffa, and was created in partnership with production houses in Belgium, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands.

According to Animation Magazine, Folman said the 92-minute film has been completed and the voices have been recorded in English.

Folman said he agreed to do the film under two conditions, according to the magazine.

“That I will make it an animated film for young children, because my kids will never read a 360-page diary,” he said. “The other was to look at what happened to Anne after the family was caught in the secret annex. It was a big challenge because nobody knows what really happened. So the solution was to tell the story from her point of view of Kitty, her imaginary friend.”

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Anne-Frank-animated-film-coming-from-Waltz-with-Bashir-director-583225

FRIEDMAN: WHY CAN’T ANTISEMITISM BE REJECTED IN HALLS OF CONGRESS?

In a tweet on Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, “when bigotry of any kind rears its ugly head, it must be and often is condemned.”

BY ILANIT CHERNICK  
Jeremy Sharon and Seth J. Frantzman contributed to this report.

David Friedman (L) and Ilhan Omar (R)

David Friedman (L) and Ilhan Omar (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman weighed in on the recent antisemitism controversy on Capitol Hill stirred up by Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s public remarks.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Friedman said that “when bigotry of any kind rears its ugly head, it must be and often is condemned.” Read More Related Articles

“Why isn’t antisemitism afforded the same treatment?” he questioned. “When, as now, antisemitism is front and center in the Halls of Congress, why can’t it be called out and rejected without qualification?”Severe thunderstorms to jolt southern US this weekend


The comments come after Omar (D-Minn.) was once again enveloped in antisemitic controversies because of several tweets she has posted over the last few months.

In Omar’s most recent remark, she claimed that domestic support for Israel amounts to “allegiance to a foreign country.”

She made the remarks during a town hall meeting in Washington last week, during which she said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” The comments were in reference to the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. 

After being heavily criticized for the town hall meeting remarks, Omar tweeted, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

This was the third time in the last three months that Omar has made negative comments in reference to Israel. 

Following her comments, US President Donald Trump slammed the congresswoman on Tuesday.


In February, Omar was caught up in a major Twitter storm in which she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying American politicians to support Israel.

Omar received heavy backlash for the comments and was accused of antisemitism as a result with leaders on both the Right and Left condemning her remarks. Even her own Democratic Party issued a statement that called Omar’s statements “deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks.”

Omar apologized for her statement. 

“Antisemitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of antisemitic tropes,” she wrote. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”

Trump called the apology “lame” and said she should resign.

Just weeks prior to the comments, Omar defended her infamous tweet from 2012 in which she attacked Israel for how it “hypnotized the world.” 

Following heavy backlash, she later said the tweet was “unfortunate and offensive.”

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Friedman-Why-cant-antisemitism-be-rejected-in-hall-of-Congress-582594

HUNDREDS MARCH THROUGH IRELAND TO FIGHT BDS

In November, the Irish Senate passed with a majority legislation that would place a significant fine or potential imprisonment on anyone purchasing Israeli products from Judea and Samaria.

BY MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN

Hundreds march in Ireland against BDS.

Hundreds march in Ireland against BDS.. (photo credit: LEV HAOLAM)

More than 100 people took Dublin’s streets on Sunday in opposition to proposed legislation whose goal is to boycott products made in the West Bank. 

In November, the Irish Senate passed with a majority legislation that would place a significant fine or potential imprisonment on anyone purchasing Israeli products from Judea and Samaria.

Sunday’s marched was organized by attorney Nati Rom, founder and director of the Lev HaOlam organization, which works to fight against the global boycott of Judea and Samaria. It was co-organized by the Ireland Israel Alliance. 

The march took place on Dublin’s main road. Participants chanted Am Yisrael Chai.

On the side of the road Lev HaOlam erected a stand to sell chocolate, wine and other products made in the West Bank. They took pictures of those who purchased items holdings signs that read, “We are Irish citizens and we also buy products from Judea and Samaria.”

“We are happy to see the tremendous support we received from all the people who marched with us and took time to express their support and solidarity with Israel,” said Rom.

He said that in places where pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions groups have significant influence and power, as in Ireland, it is important to show that there are still many supporters of Israel.

“We cannot allow the BDS to carry out their schemes without protest,” he said. “Everywhere they act against us, we will be there and strengthen the alliances we have with Israel supporters all over the world.”

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/Hundreds-march-through-Ireland-to-fight-BDS-581317

GERMANY STILL PAYING PENSIONS TO FORMER SS OFFICERS IN UK, BELGIUM

Brussels lawmakers call on Berlin to halt payments.

BY AMY SPIRO

A bust of dictator Adolf Hitler, among other Nazi artifacts seized in Argentina.

A bust of dictator Adolf Hitler, among other Nazi artifacts seized in the house of an art collector, is on display in Buenos Aires, in this undated handout released on June 20, 2017. . (photo credit: ARGENTINE MINISTRY OF SECURITY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Germany is still paying pensions to dozens of men who served in and collaborated with the Nazi SS forces and currently live in Belgium and the UK, European media reported on Wednesday.

According to Deutsche Welle, the information was revealed when four Belgian parliamentarians submitted a proposal to halt the payments. The lawmakers called on the Belgian government to take up the issue with the German government, the newspaper reported. Deutsche Welle stated that around 30 Belgians who served in or worked with the Nazi SS forces receive between 435 and 1,275 euros a month from the German government.

The EuroNews website, based in France, reported Wednesday that the Belgian lawmakers presented a document to the country’s parliament proving the payments. According to EuroNews, the proposal to halt the payments was approved unanimously in a vote in a parliamentary committee this week. The site said that those receiving money “are citizens who pledged loyalty and obedience to Hitler following Germany’s occupation of Belgium and signed up to serve in the SS” and that many of them “were subsequently found guilty of collaboration by Belgian courts.”

The purported document stated that the pensions to these individuals “were the only decree implemented by Hitler that was not revoked at the Potsdam Conference of 1945,” according to EuroNews.

The RTL TV station in Luxembourg revealed Tuesday that the Belgian government does not know the names of the 27 individuals who are still receiving pensions, but the Germany Embassy does, and, “consequently, the 27 individuals have never been taxed on this additional income.”

Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that the report was in no way surprising.

“I’m not very shocked by this story because this is a story that’s actually much larger than this,” Zuroff said. “This is not just only those in [Belgium] and the UK, it relates to many countries.” Zuroff said he and the Wiesenthal Center worked with the German government for more than a decade to stop pension payments to Nazi war criminals – with limited success.

“We were quite frankly very disappointed by the small number of people who had their pensions canceled,” he said. And he does not have high expectations for the Belgian Parliament’s success in taking the matter up with the German government.

“I think they will be totally unreceptive,” he said.

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/Germany-still-paying-pensions-to-former-SS-officers-in-UK-Belgium-581234

HOW KARL LAGERFELD CLEARED CHANEL OF ITS ANTISEMITIC, NAZI ROOTS

Not only was Chanel in bed with the Nazi cause, but there is strong evidence to suggest that she actively worked for the Nazis as a secret agent.

BY JTA/MICHELLE HONIG

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

(JTA) — If you walk into any wealthy Jewish American neighborhood, a careful eye will spot designer duds – Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton – sported by well-coiffed men and women as they walk through town. But in a sea of expensive excess, one designer’s name is spoken of with an air of reverence: Chanel.

It is a brand that can at once whisper and scream one’s bourgeois status. The boxy tweed jackets and white camellia flower pins are logo-less signatures that boldly state their coveted designer status without saying (or, in this case, embroidering or printing) a word.

It’s that unique mix of modesty and immodesty that makes Chanel a household name among Orthodox and secular Jewish women alike. Chanel provides bewigged and be-hatted Hasidic women with stiff, below-the-knee boucle skirt suits while simultaneously appealing to the languorous Long Island crowd with its less understated interlocked “CC” logo branded crop tops and chokers.

But Chanel wasn’t always beloved by the upwardly mobile Jewish American elite. The namesake French founder Coco Chanel, despite her contributions to the development of modern fashion and luxury sportswear, was, as other writers have put it, a “wretched human being” and an “incorrigible antisemite.”

Not only was she in bed with the Nazi cause, but there is strong evidence to suggest that she actively worked for the Nazis as a secret agent.

And yet it was a wealthy Jewish family, the Wertheimers, who helped finance her prolific rise and still control the company today. And it was Karl Lagerfeld, who died Tuesday at age 85, who has made the brand so iconic and polished that it was easy to forget everything problematic about Chanel herself.

In 1924, the Wertheimer family provided financing to produce Chanel’s first and most iconic fragrance, Chanel No. 5, in exchange for a 70 percent share of the perfume division of her company. Theophile Bader, the Jewish businessman who introduced Chanel to Pierre Wertheimer at a racetrack, received an additional 20 percent  as a finder’s fee, leaving just 10 percent for Chanel herself. Chanel was not involved in the production of the perfume, but she soon came to resent the agreement, both because of her latent antisemitism and the financial success of her perfume business. Chanel began trying to take back control of her company, unsuccessfully suing the family enough times that the Wertheimers reportedly had a lawyer dedicated solely to dealing with her litigious efforts.

Before the Nazis invaded France, the Wertheimers escaped to family in New York. Nazi laws forbade Jewish ownership of property and businesses, and in 1941, after Germany invaded France, Chanel petitioned the Vichy government and Nazi officials for sole ownership of her perfume company. But even that effort proved fruitless — the family, knowing Chanel’s obsessive desire to take control of her perfume business and the Nazi anti-Jewish laws that were already in effect in Germany, took steps to ensure that would never happen. The Wertheimers bequeathed full control of their stake to a French Christian businessman named Felix Amiot, himself a collaborator who sold arms to the Nazis, for the duration of the war.

Chanel, for her part, would go on to spend the rest of the war years as the lover of Nazi officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage. But she was more than just a passive paramour. According to journalist Hal Vaughan in his book “Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War,” there is evidence that Chanel was an active Nazi intelligence operative.

Despite her involvement with Nazis and her underhanded tactics to usurp the Wertheimers’ control of her company, about a decade after the war the Wertheimers – in a move that was part business, part turning the other cheek – helped Chanel re-establish the House of Chanel (which had ceased operations after the Allies invaded France and Chanel moved to Switzerland), even going as far as financing her daily living expenses and paying her taxes for the rest of her life.

It was in her unrepentant postwar years that Chanel really established what would become the design signature that Lagerfeld would later reinvent and recycle again and again until it became almost comically repetitive – the boucle jackets, the flat-topped wide brimmed hats, the pencil skirts and the pearls.

Following Chanel’s death in 1961, the brand languished, searching fruitlessly for an appropriate successor who could be trusted with continuing her legacy.

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It was only in 1983, 22 years after Chanel died, that a young Lagerfeld – by then already known as a fashion wünderkind – was tapped to head up the languishing Chanel house. He was chosen because of his acknowledged creative genius, as well as his innate understanding and respect for what Coco Chanel had created, and had proven his chops while establishing the heritage French brand Chloe as an “it” brand that embodied the bohemian sensibility of the early ’70s.

Lagerfeld’s first couture collection played on the tight-and-trashy look that was in vogue in Paris at that time – a trend that Lagerfeld had helped shape before he was tapped to helm Chanel. The skirt suits were slimmer and sexier and worn with wide obi belts; evening dresses were flounced and tiered and topped with tulle boleros; gems were sewn onto a dress bodice as a trompe l’oeil of a necklace; white pique four leaf clover flowers were pinned onto the shoulders of suits.

This debut collection for Chanel received mixed reviews. Some believed the Chanel brand should have died with its founder, since she and her aesthetic were irreplaceable, while others thought that Lagerfeld’s touch paid proper homage that also showcased how he would shape the brand in the years to come.

It was the latter opinion that proved to be the most accurate.

That initial couture collection, with notes of verve and excitement usually reserved for ready-to-wear collections, was a success, setting in motion a lifetime contract with Chanel. Within a few seasons of his tenure, Chanel became the most exciting and coveted ticket at Paris Fashion Week. The shows were theatrical, the clothes were at once experimental and traditional; both fashion-forward and classic. Over the years, Chanel shows – mostly housed in Lagerfeld’s favored venue of choice, the Grand Palais – became grand productions where a runway could become a dreamy beach, a swanky airport, a French bistro and once even a supermarket in which every product bore the Chanel name and models carried grocery baskets edged in Chanel’s signature braided bag chain.

Under Lagerfeld, Chanel could appeal to a multitude of clients: old and young, staid and trendy. His expertise in taking the classic Chanel tropes, like the camellia and the tweed boucle, and reworking them into the trend of the day – whether that be logos or micro-minis – made the Lagerfeld name synonymous with Chanel. With his hauteur demeanor and rarely changing personal aesthetic – gloved hands, sunglasses even indoors and hair tied in a Beethoven-esque low pony – Lagerfeld wasn’t just the designer at Chanel; he was Chanel.

But Lagerfeld’s greatest service to the Chanel brand was his ability to erase the negative associations with Chanel, including the founder’s anti-Semitism. In fact, his contribution to the brand’s aesthetic and ethos was so extensive that his work often eclipses that of Coco Chanel herself. Many books written about the Chanel collections over the years often overlook the early years pre-Lagerfeld (much to the chagrin of Amazon book reviewers). Indeed it was only in recent years that the depth of Chanel’s involvement in Nazism has come to light. Lagerfeld made the brand so iconic and inclusive that it was easy to forget everything that was problematic about Chanel herself.

This isn’t to say that Lagerfeld hasn’t had his own brushes with antisemitism, racism and bigotry. In 2017, he used the legacy of the Holocaust to attack German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, saying, “You cannot kill millions of Jews and then take in millions of their worst enemies afterwards, even [after] decades.”

But what Lagerfeld created in the Chanel brand is so iconic, so overwhelmingly representative of wealth and luxury, so removed from controversy and politics (even a runway show dedicated to feminist slogans and protesting felt excessively bland because it lacked edge or controversy), that even Lagerfeld’s most problematic moments somehow got excused and pushed aside — that is the power of Lagerfeld’s Chanel.

But now that Lagerfeld is dead, the future of Chanel is again in peril: Who can replace a man who was such a virtuoso that he made Chanel into the most important, most recognizable brand – both in name and aesthetics – in fashion today? Let’s just hope that Chanel doesn’t languish for decades once more as the company searches for a designer who can respect and understand Lagerfeld’s vision, even as she or he remakes the brand in his or her image.

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/How-Karl-Lagerfeld-cleared-Chanel-of-its-antisemitic-Nazi-roots-581267

ANNE FRANK HOUSE REVAMPS MUSEUM FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

The museum then displays the government document registering the Franks’ deportation on a cattle car train to Auschwitz.

BY REUTERS, JERUSALEM POST STAFF

hotos of Anne Frank are seen at Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018

Photos of Anne Frank are seen at Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/EVA PLEVIER)

The museum, built around the secret apartment, has opened after being revamped to receive a new generation of visitors whose grandparents were born after World War II.

The museum and tiny apartment where Anne Frank wrote her diary — which has become the most widely-read document to emerge from the Holocaust — attract 1.2 million visitors annually.

Anne’s story is told through simple photos, quotes from her diary and video testimony of survivors. Curators have now added an audio tour.

“We sometimes say that the Anne Frank House Museum is one of the only museums in the world that doesn’t have much more to offer than empty spaces,” said museum director Ronald Leopold.

View of the entrance of the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands November 21, 2018. Picture taken November 21, 2018.

View of the entrance of the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands November 21, 2018. Picture taken November 21, 2018. 

“An audio tour gave us the ability to give information without disturbing what I think is one of the most powerful elements of this house: its emptiness,” he said.

A trip through the museum, which was reopened by Dutch King Willem-Alexander on Thursday, begins with the history of the Frank family, their flight to the Netherlands after Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and their decision to go into hiding on July 6, 1942.

Visitors pass through the swinging bookcase that concealed the cramped secret annex above a warehouse where Anne, her sister Margot, her father Otto, mother Edith and four other Jews hid until they were arrested by German police on August 4, 1944.

The museum then displays the government document registering the Franks’ deportation on a cattle car train to Auschwitz.

Anne was later transferred to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, where she died in early 1945 aged 15, one of the six million Jews who lost their life under the Nazi regime.

Photos are seen inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018.

Photos are seen inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018. 

Of those that hid in the secret apartment, only Otto Frank survived the war. He was given Anne’s diary, which had been preserved by Miep Gies, a member of the tight circle of Dutch friends that helped the Jews in hiding.

In a film clip, Otto Frank describes reading the diary after a period of grieving.

“I must say I was very much surprised about the deep thoughts there she had; her seriousness, especially her self-criticism. It was quite a different Anne I had known as my daughter,” he said.

View of a room inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018. Picture taken November 21, 2018.

View of a room inside the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 21, 2018. Picture taken November 21, 2018.

“My conclusion is, as I had been on very, very good terms with her, that most parents don’t know — don’t know really — their own children,” Frank said.

The museum concludes with a simple room where the original red-and-white bound diary — which outgrew its covers — and several additional pages are on display. Photographs are not allowed due to the fragility of the pages.