Category Archive: Jerusalem Post

OSCAR-WINNING DIRECTOR CREATING ANIMATED HOLOCAUST FILM

Nuremberg prosecutor’s life story to be adapted as screen feature.

BY AMY SPIRO

Michel Hazanavicius, a French-Jewish director who won an Oscar for 2011’s The Artist, has teamed up with StudioCanal for an animated feature film set during the Holocaust, according to Variety. Hazanavicius is set to adapt the novel La Plus Precieuse Des Marchandises by Jean-Claude Grumberg, which translates to “The Most Precious of Merchandise.”

According to StudioCanal, production on the animated movie will begin next year, and the film is slated for theatrical release in 2022. The tale by Grumberg weaves together the stories of a poor family living in the Polish forest who cannot have children, and a Jewish family who were arrested in Paris and deported to Auschwitz. The Jewish father, desperate to save his children, throws one of his newborn twins out of the moving train. The Polish woman, desperate for a child, suddenly discovers the one thing she’s been waiting and hoping for.

“Opposing the force of life to the industry of death, Grumberg’s tale succeeds in finding something beautiful to tell about [a period] that will forever remain a stain on the history of mankind,” said Hazanavicius, according to StudioCanal.

Separately, two filmmakers behind the recent documentary Prosecuting Evil about the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, are teaming up again to tell the story in a dramatic adaptation. Barry Avrich and Patrice Theroux, who produced this year’s Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, have purchased the film and television rights to Ferencz’s story for a scripted project, according to Deadline.
Ferencz, now 99, was the lead prosecutor at the Einsatzgruppen trial, one of the 12 Nuremberg trials. As a 27-year-old lawyer, Ferencz oversaw the conviction of 22 Nazi officials who were tried for operating mobile death squads responsible for murdering more than one million Jewish men, women and children.

“I am honored to take this journey,” said Ferencz, according to Deadline. “I never dreamed as a 27-year-old standing in a Nuremberg courtroom prosecuting Nazis that my life would be the subject of a film. I am now in my hundredth year; let’s get this done!”

Avrich told Deadline that “this is an extraordinary honor to tell the story; one of the most iconic and historic figures of our time. I feel a real responsibility to continue to bring this important story to as many people as we can, this time through a scripted project.”

GREEK MAYOR TO VISIT GHETTO FIGHTERS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Mayor Yiannis Boutaris of Thessaloniki is to pay tribute to the Greek Jews deported by the Nazis in World War II.

BY BEN BRESKY
Members of a pioneer youth movement, shown in a Ghetto Fighter's House Musem exhibition.

Members of a pioneer youth movement, shown in a Ghetto Fighter’s House Musem exhibition.. (photo credit: COURTESY GHETTO FIGHTERS’ HOUSE MUSEUM ARCHIVES)

Yiannis Boutaris, mayor of Thessaloniki, Greece is scheduled to visit the Ghetto Fighters’ House museum in kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot for Yom HaShoah.

Greek Jews who lived in Thessaloniki were deported to death camps when the Nazis invaded. Boutaris is seeking to strengthen ties with Israel and the Jewish world, and the city is in the process of building a Holocaust museum.
Read More Related Articles
The museum is to be built near the old railway station from which the Jews were deported to camps in Auschwitz and other places. Histrionically, Thessaloniki prided itself on its multiculturalism, being home to Jews, Christians and Muslims for generations. Only about 4% of the city’s Jewish community, mostly of Sephardic origin, survived World War II.
The Ghetto Fighters’ House will host closing ceremonies for the Yom HaShoah – Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day on Thursday. Both the museum and kibbutz, located in northern Israel, were founded in 1949 by Holocaust survivors, particularly those that fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Yom HaShoah’s date was chosen to commemorate the dramatic resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazi regime.

The museum, along with the Chamber of the Holocaust on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion were founded about a year after Israel became independent from the British and pre-date the Yad Vashem national Holocaust center.

Those who will be honored with lighting the six memorial torches will be Tunisian-born Shlomo Richard Almog who survived a forced labor camp when the Nazis invaded North Africa, Slovenian-born Avery Fisher and Shimon Almog Huter both of whom lived with Catholic families under assumed identities, Wolf & Shlomo Galperin, leaders of the “131 Kovno Children” group, Hungarian-born Esther Cohen who survived the Mauthausen death camp, and Prof. Yoram Harpaz, the son of Holocaust survivors and author of a book about “second generation” children.

Israeli singer Nathan Goshen will perform at the ceremony in the presence of IDF Commander of the Northern Command, Major General Amir Baram and others.

The museum will be free and open to the public throughout the day.

DUTCH HOLOCAUST MUSEUM LEAVES OUT GRAPHIC AUSCHWITZ PICTURES

The removal of the four pictures from the museum’s newly opened exhibition on the persecution of Dutch Jews gained considerable media attention in the Netherlands.

BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
The former concentration camp Auschwitz

The former concentration camp Auschwitz. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS)

The removal of the four pictures from the museum’s newly opened exhibition on the persecution of Dutch Jews gained considerable media attention in the Netherlands, prompting a discussion on how and where to display graphic images of the genocide.

In a statement, the Jewish Cultural Quarter of Amsterdam, which comprises the National Holocaust Museum, rejected claims that it had censored the pictures. They were left out due to accuracy issues as they don’t depict Dutch Jews, who are the focus of the exhibition, the text said Curators Erik Somers and René Kok included the photos of bodies being burned in the “Persecution of Jews in Pictures” to show the purpose of the Holocaust, they told the Volkskrant daily, which reported Friday on the disagreement. One curator suggested to Volkskrant that the removal was due to the gruesome nature of the photos.

“The ultimate consequence, shocking as it may be, must be displayed” also because it is relevant to Dutch Jews’ fate,” the curator of the exhibition, which opened in January, told Volkskrant.

While two pictures of Dutch Jews from concentration camps were included in the exhibition, “the pictures that are not associated with Dutch Jews in any way were not displayed,” the statement said. The excluded photos of dead Hungarian Jews were taken at great personal risk by Alberto Errera, a Greek Jew who was murdered shortly after smuggling out the negatives.

U.S. ENVOY TO GERMANY: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IS ANTISEMITIC

“To pass resolution after resolution against Israel while ignoring China, Russia or Cuba is a horrendous hypocrisy,” U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said at a protest outside the UNHRC.

BY HERB KEINON, ANNA AHRONHEIM  

Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, attends the “Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations (Protesting Anti-Israeli Bias)” aside of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 18, 2019. (photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)

To apply one standard to Israel, and another to the rest of the world – as the UN Human Rights Council does – is to be antisemitic, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said on Monday in Geneva.

Grenell spoke at a demonstration protesting UN bias against Israel outside the UNHRC as it debated alleged Israeli abuses. The rally was organized by UN Watch.

“To pass resolution after resolution against Israel while ignoring China, Russia or Cuba is a horrendous hypocrisy,” Grenell said.

“It speaks to the integrity of the Human Rights Council that we already know what the decision will be even before the vote,” he said. “It speaks to the sincerity of the Human Rights Council that its agenda is determined by those who respect its mandate the least.”

The ambassador bewailed the fact that among those deciding whether Israel is violating human rights, “are representatives from absolute monarchies, one-party states and military dictatorships.” He also took the council to task for making a debate on human rights in Israel a permanent feature at every session.

The UNHRC “not only singles out Israel, but it does so on a permanent basis,” and its belief “that a single country and a single people merits such attention on a permanent basis,” is also antisemitism, he said.

“This is not just a sign of bigotry, this is a sign of intellectual and moral decay. [It is] an institution whose entire world view is dominated by the fear and fantasy of Jewish criminality,” Grenell continued. “It has lost the ability to be rational, to understand cause and effect, and to make positive change. “

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold told the crowd that what is happening at the UNHRC is nothing new, and that he experienced the same bias against Israel from his first day as ambassador in 1997.

“How can anybody take the UN seriously when it has shown that, when it comes to Israel, its reports have been highly politicized and seriously flawed?” he asked. “Is anyone protecting the human rights of Israeli farmers whose fields are regularly set ablaze by Hamas incendiary weapons?”

Gold said that Israel will defend itself by itself, and is not seeking international forces to protect it. “But it does expect one thing from the international community,” he said: “The truth.”

Col. Richard Kemp, who also spoke at the rally, called the activities of the UN Gaza Commission of Inquiry – which claims that the IDF shot innocent Palestinian protesters during the “Great Return” marches – a distortion of truth.

“I gave evidence to your less-than-wonderful Human Rights Commission of Inquiry just inside that building there for several hours,” he said. “I told them from my own professional experience what was [really] happening on the border, but they did not listen to one word I said. And in this report that they produced, nothing I said is reflected. This report is a tissue of lies, abuse, prejudice and distortion; it is not worth the paper it is printed on.”

Speaking at a panel session held by UN Watch prior to the rally, Kemp called the UNHRC an instrument and supporter of Hamas terrorism.

“This report fails both Palestinians and Israelis. It’s full of lies and distortions. The UNHRC is an instrument and supporter of Hamas terrorism; it is playing into their hands and is encouraging them.”

The rally, which was held under cloudy skies, saw some 300 demonstrators gather with flags and placards which read, among other things: “Stop Bashing Israel,” “We Support Israel, The Only Democracy in the Middle East” and “Stop delegitimizing Israel.”

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post one demonstrator spoke about the importance of rallying in support of Israel in front of the UN, a body that continuously persecutes the Jewish state.

“We have to defend Israel. It’s terribly persecuted by the United Nations, the club of the worst criminals in the world,” said Warsaw resident Eva Korulski. “I brought many Polish flags here today so we can show our solidarity. We, as a group of Polish Jews, feel really bad regarding the situation between Poland and Israel. We can’t focus on the past but we have to [instead] focus on the present and future. We have to come together and build a good future.”

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/US-envoy-to-Germany-UN-Human-Rights-Council-is-antisemitic-583815

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