Category Archive: Exhibits

Mississippi Holocaust memorial gets $25K — plus 1.5M pennies

(JTA) – A memorial in Mississippi to child victims of the Holocaust is getting a $25,000 boost from a Southern hospital network.

The planned memorial in Hernando, a city in northern Mississippi located about 30 miles south of Memphis, Tenn., will hold 1.5 million pennies donated by local schools and businesses to commemorate the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.

The $25,000 gift to the Unknown Child Holocaust Remembrance Penny Project is from Baptist Memorial Health Care, The Associated Press reported.

Designed by architect Doug Thornton of Architectural and Engineering Resources for Construction, the memorial will feature a spiral path leading to six wall sections forming a fractured Star of David that will be covered by the 1.5 million pennies. Inside the star will be a bronze sculpture designed by Rick Wienecke called “The Unknown Child.”

The project’s anticipated cost is about $2 million.

Thornton said the project has yet to obtain the land on which to build the memorial.

“Like many things associated with Israel and the Jewish people, land always seemed to be an issue, isn’t it?” Thornton told JTA. “We’re waiting for that promised land.”

Students at Horn Lake Middle School came up with the idea for the memorial and raised the 1.5 million pennies in the 2009-10 school year while studying the Holocaust.

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Gurlitt collection mostly kosher, his spokesman claims

BERLIN (JTA) — A friend of Cornelius Gurlitt said only eight of the late collector’s 1,400 paintings are likely to have been stolen from Jews.

Gurlitt’s friend, Christoph Edel, made the claim when delivering a eulogy Monday for Gurlitt, the DPA news agency reported. A German court appointed Edel as guardian of Gurlitt’s possessions before his death earlier this month. The eulogy was made public by Gurlitt’s former spokesperson, Stephan Holzinger, on Thursday.

But a spokesperson for the official government task force set up to research the provenance of all the works said 458 of them so far have been identified as having suspicious history; they could have been obtained through pressure on Jewish collectors.

Gurlitt, who died May 6 in Munich at the age of 81, was under investigation for tax evasion when the collection was seized by customs officials more than two years ago. The vast collection, which includes works by such greats as Picasso, Durer, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Beckmann and Matisse, first came to light last fall, when a Munich magazine broke the story.

Cornelius Gurlitt left his entire collection to the Kunst Museum in Bern, Switzerland.

Reportedly, the museum has not yet decided if it will accept the gift, which comes with the responsibility to restore any works that were stolen or confiscated to their rightful heirs.

Meanwhile, a distant relative has announced plans to contest the will, ORF reported.

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Imagining if Anne Frank had lived to tell her story

New play based on World War II diary goes beyond her death in Bergen-Belsen at age 15

Dutch actress Rosa da Silva portrays Anne Frank in the new play 'Anne,' which had its world premiere in Amsterdam on May 8, 2014. (photo credit: JTA/Kurt van der Elst)AMSTERDAM (JTA) — At a Paris café after the war, a young publisher is quickly falling in love with an adorable Jewish author he just met as she discusses her still-unpublished book.

It is an intensely private account based on a personal diary that recounts her amazing survival of the Holocaust in hiding with her parents and sister in Amsterdam, in a small annex on Prinsengracht 263.

Her name is Anne Frank.

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A Glimpse of Jewish Warsaw

A version of this post appeared in Yiddish here
Menachem Kipnis is known to Jewish history as a cultural figure who worked across several fields.
Born in Uzhmir, Ukraine in 1878, Kipnis distinguished himself as a singer, ethnomusicologist and journalist.
As a singer he was the first Jewish tenor in the Warsaw Opera (1902-1918) and along with his wife, Zimra Zeligfield, he was among the most important early singers of Yiddish folksongs.
As an ethnomusicologist Kipnis collected songs all over Europe and published them in two important pioneering anthologies of Yiddish folksongs. As a journalist he wrote articles about music in various Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers. He was also well-known for his reportages, which recounted the lives of ordinary Jews whom he encountered on the streets of Warsaw. For these articles, which were published in the Warsaw-based newspaper Haynt as well as in the New York-based Tog, as well as occasionally in the Forverts, Kipnis took his own photos of his interview subjects.
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Jewish heirs won’t get back art treasure, German panel rules

A collection of medieval religious art worth an estimated $275 million will not be returned to the heirs of four German-Jewish art dealers.

The descendants of another heir said, however, that they will not give up the fight for the Guelph Collection now held by the Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
In a ruling last week, the Limbach Commission — a German advisory board for Holocaust-related claims — said the collection sold in 1935 was not bought from the German-Jewish art dealers under duress and thus did not have to be returned to the heirs.

The collectors — Zacharias Max Hackenbroch, Isaac Rosenbaum, Saemy Rosenberg and Julius Falk Goldschmidt — had purchased the treasures in the 1920s.

The claimants and their attorneys, as well as other advocates, have argued since 2008 that virtually all purchases of valuable property from Jews under the Nazis were made under duress. They noted that the sale was orchestrated by Hitler’s chief deputy, Hermann Goering.

In its argument, the foundation, which oversees the museums of Berlin, pointed out that the collection was not even in Germany at the time of its sale, the Times of Israel reported.

Meanwhile, an additional claimant — the heirs of the Jewish jeweler Hermann Netter, who reportedly owned 25 percent of the treasure at the time of its sale — said they would continue their fight for restitution of the treasure. Dresden-based attorney Sabine Rudolph told the German news agency dpa that since the Netter heirs had been excluded from the previous deliberation, they would not recognize the commission’s decision.

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Paraguay Jews Open Museum and Holocaust Center

Major Milestone for S. American Community of 1,000

The Jewish community of Paraguay inaugurated a new Jewish museum that includes the country’s first Holocaust studies center.
The Walter Kochmann Jewish Museum of Paraguay, which opened to the public last week in the South American country, has been under construction for the past 11 years, according to a report by the news site The museum is located inside a three-story building donated by the Cohn family. It is divided into two main parts: A display area on Judaism and a separate part about the Holocaust. A third and smaller section is devoted to the stories of Holocaust survivors who settled in Paraguay, ABC reported.
“The Blue Room, Hope and Life, represents the bond between the Jewish people and our country, with the flags of Paraguay and Israel,” Humberto Ismajovich, director of the museum, told ABC. The items on display include valuable artifacts such as a bronze menorah, a wooden Torah ark and a miniature Torah scroll.
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139 Artworks Looted From Jews in Holocaust Found at Dutch Museums

Famed Rijksmuseum Has ‘Questionable’ Holdings


Salome With Head of John the Baptist, Jan Adam Kruseman

Dozens of Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with “problematic origins,” a special commission on stolen Holocaust-era art in the Netherlands has determined.
The list that the Committee for Museum Acquisitions from 1933 onwards published on Tuesday includes priceless items that are in the hands of 41 museums, including world-famous institutions like the Rijks Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, which have nine and 11 “problematic” items respectively.
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