Holocaust survivors return to Poland with new world fortunes to help rebuild Jewish life
WARSAW, Poland: They spent their childhoods in the rich, layered Jewish life of prewar Poland, then survived Hitler’s mission to wipe out European Jewry in the ghettos and gas chambers of occupied Europe.

Now, men such as Tad Taube, Sigmund Rolat and Severyn Ashkenazy have returned to Poland as philanthropists — after making fortunes in the United States — to nurture a grass-roots revival of Jewish life in their homeland.

And while some Jews in America and elsewhere cannot comprehend why the philanthropists choose to return to a land where their ancestors suffered such pain and loss, members of Poland’s Jewish community praise the help as crucial to the small renaissance now under way.



Prayers mark 63 years since liquidation of Lodz Ghetto
The Associated PressPublished: August 29, 2007

WARSAW, Poland: Jewish and Polish officials held prayers and walked in a March of Remembrance in the central city of Lodz on Wednesday, marking 63 years since the deportation of the last Jews from the city’s ghetto.

Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, Israeli Ambassador David Peleg and the Mayor of Lodz, Jerzy Kropiwnicki, led dozens of participants from the Jewish cemetery to the preserved ramp of the former Radegast train station.

Between 1942-44, the Nazis sent more than 200,000 Jews from the city’s Litzmannstadt Ghetto to be gassed in the Nazi death camps of Chelmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau.



Bolton caught in Holocaust Memorial Day row

By Elham Asaad Buaras

Bolton Interfaith Council (BIC) was forced to reinstate the Holocaust Memorial Day after pressure from some sections of the communities.
In January, BIC leaders took the decision to replace the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) usually held on January 27, with a more inclusive Genocide Memorial Day. The angry reaction that followed prompted the council to agree to reinstate the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony next year.
Secretary of the Interfaith Council, Tony McNeile, told The Muslim News how the initial decision was made: “It was felt that a Genocide Memorial Day would better reflect the current world situation and be recognition of the many sufferings our refugee communities have endured – and sadly many groups in the world continue to endure.



Anti-Semitism Is A Potential Threat to People of All Faiths and Cultures, Says US Special Envoy
By Judith Latham
24 August 2007

Last few years have witnessed a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world
The Secretary of State’s “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism” is a position that grew out of the 2004 Global Anti-Semitism Review Act passed by the U.S. Congress. The Congress had noted a rise in anti-Semitic incidents around the world. They include violence against Jews, desecration of Jewish property, publication of books by government-owned publishing houses that encourage “hatred toward Jews,” and conferences sponsoring denial of the Holocaust



Racism has an ugly FACE
Christopher Bantick

August 29, 2007 12:00am

A WEEK after the unprovoked attacks on two Jewish teenagers in Balaclava, there are some lessons to be learnt.

That anti-Semitic baseball-bat wielding thugs are causing injury in Carlisle St is bad enough, but there was a fearful symmetry.

It was the 20th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Nazi party deputy.

In simple terms, many Jews feel unsafe on Melbourne’s streets, and this reality should appal all fair-minded people.

Last October, Melbourne man Menachem Vorchheimer was attacked and vilified by a group of footballers on an end-of-season trip.

This was not high-spirited fun, but undiluted racism


Deportation poster reeks of Nazi-style racism say critics
THE campaign poster is blatant in its xenophobic symbolism: Three white sheep kicking out a black sheep, over a caption that reads – “For more security.”

The message is from no fringe force in Switzerland’s political scene but from its largest party – the nationalist Swiss People’s Party, which controls the justice ministry and shares power in an unwieldy coalition that includes all major parties.

The party is seeking to whip up enthusiasm for a deportation scheme that anti-racism campaigners say evokes Nazi-era practices. Under its proposed law, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offences, or benefits fraud.


Angela Merkel named recipient of highest German Jewry honor


Chancellor Angela Merkel was Friday named the recipient of a top award of German Jewry, the Leo Baeck Prize.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany singled out Merkel for her “continuous and credible commitment in the area of rapprochement between Jews and non-Jews as well as between Germany and Israel.”

The chancellor, who was this week named the world’s most powerful woman by the U.S. magazine Forbes, will receive the award at a ceremony in Berlin on November 6.


Reporter’s Notebook
By Ari Shapiro
Staying Put in New Orleans

Weekend Edition Saturday, September 1, 2007 · For Jewish kids growing up in America, Holocaust education is a fact of life. And there comes a certain plateau — or there did for me anyway — where I thought I pretty much knew everything I was going to learn about the Holocaust. And if I was going to have any kind of a revelation, I didn’t expect it to be in New Orleans.

Marta Schnabel, a lawyer in New Orleans for about 25 years, was head of the Louisiana Bar Association for a year after Hurricane Katrina.

It seems like almost every interview in New Orleans eventually turns to the question of why people have decided to stay. This one did too. Marta told me she thinks about her teenage children and whether they have a future in New Orleans. When I asked why she hasn’t relocated her family, she said, “It’s so hard to think about leaving your home.”



Holocaust Centre reflects on the past . . .

Catherine Allen

THE Holocaust Centre at Laxton is an extremely moving testimony to the bravery and dignity of the victims of genocide.
Located just outside Ollerton, Beth Shalom — the Place of Peace — gives a valuable insight into the past with an emphasis on the continuing importance of people’s experiences in concentration camps as something everyone can learn from.

It was created by brothers Stephen and James Smith in 1995 following a life-changing family holiday to Israel in 1981. Here they realised that the Holocaust — which reached its height in the Second World War with the systematic killing of Jews in Europe — was not just a part of Jewish history, but something that had consequences for everyone.




Peter Wilson, The StarPhoenix

Suspended in the museum’s glass display case, the heart-shaped autograph book told a story that belied its delicate innocence.

Tiny, no bigger than a walnut, the autograph book was a gift created for a friend by 16 young women, slave labourers in an Auschwitz munitions factory in the early 1940s. The highlighted narrative under the exhibit was brief, but poignant.

“The autograph book, with inscriptions in several languages, indicates a refusal to give up hope, and the understanding that no one could survive the camps alone.”

The gift was a tiny symbol of commitment to friendship, life and common humanity in the darkest of worlds imaginable. Having in their possession the paper and thread that went into making this gift, would have been enough to have all these young girls summarily executed.