Category Archive: Nazis

Leo Melamed Retraces Path of Escape From Nazis to Japanese Port

Mercantile Exchange Chief Rescued by ‘Japanese Schindler’

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To this day, Leo Melamed recalls vividly the first thing his mother did when his family walked off the boat at the small Japanese port city of Tsuruga.
“She told me that she can now let go of my hand,” Melamed recalled. “She held my hand for two years straight.”
It was the first safe land the Jewish family had stepped on since fleeing their home in Nazi-occupied Poland two years earlier.
“This is the first time I can take a deep breath without being afraid that it might be my last,” his mother told her husband and her 7-year-old son when they stepped off the boat.
Back then, the young refugee was still called Leibel Melamdovich. But it was as Leo Melamed that he would later become one of the world’s best-known financial innovators, father of the futures market and of currency trading exchanges that have revolutionized stock markets worldwide.
As he spoke with the Forward in late June, Melamed was preparing to travel back to Tsuruga, the port of his boyhood refuge, to help memorialize the experiences he and 2,000 other Jews had there. They were a fortunate cohort saved by the intervention of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara — sometimes known as the Japanese Raul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler — even as his government prepared to ally itself with Nazi Germany.

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SS war criminal lived in Britain for 66 years

Nazi hunter claims recently deceased 89-year-old was a member of unit that massacred Poles, Jews during WWII

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A Nazi soldier who helped murder Jews during the Holocaust lived undetected in London for 66 years until his recent death, a British Nazi hunter said

The man, a former SS soldier in a unit that massacred Poles and Jews during World War II, was identified as Serhij Woronyj by the Daily Mail, which reported about the case on Thursday. He worked as a printer and lived a London apartment until his death from a heart attack in March 2013 at the age of 89.

A private researcher, Stephen Ankier, told the Daily Mail that his research showed that Woronyj belonged to the 31st Punitive Brigade, also known as the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which later became part of the 14th SS-Volunteer Division “Galician.”

The SS division was involved in putting down the Warsaw Uprising, in which an estimated 200,000 civilians and rebel fighters were killed.

Woronyj was captured by British forces in 1945 after the unit surrendered itself to the British at the end of the war, calling themselves the First Division of the Ukrainian National Army. They presented themselves as nationalists dedicated to the anti-Soviet cause and were accepted to settle in Britain with minimal checks for war crimes.

Ankier traced Woronyj after making dozens of trips to scour archives in Germany and Poland as well as travelling all over Britain, the Daily Mail reported.

Soldiers from the division were also involved in the destruction of Huta Pieniacka, a village in Poland that also served as a shelter for Jews, in which 1,000 people were killed.

One of Woronyj’s neighbors, who did not want to be named, said he was “a big man who kept himself to himself.”

Ankier made international headlines last year after he discovered one of the unit’s commanders, Michael Karkoc, living in Minnesota. German authorities are now considering if there is enough hard evidence to prosecute Karkoc and have him extradited from the United States.

‘Britain’s Schindler’ to Receive Czech Honor

Sir Nicholas Winton saved more than 650 Jewish children from the Nazis

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Between March and September 1939, British stockbroker Nicholas Winton saved more than 650 children, most of them Jewish, by arranging kindertransports from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovkia to the United Kingdom. Winton, the London-born son of German Jews, was moved to action after visiting Prague in December 1938 and seeing firsthand the worsening conditions for the country’s Jews. The undertaking often required falsifying documents or bribing officials, but Winton managed to orchestrate eight transports of children to the U.K. by the time World War II broke out in September 1939.

The children spared the fates that befell their families and friends during the Holocaust didn’t know who their benefactor was, as Winton never publicized his actions. It wasn’t until a BBC television special in 1989 invited an unsuspecting Winton to the studio that the now-grown children saved on Winton’s transports were able to thank him in person. (A documentary about Winton, Nicky’s Family, was released in 2011.)

Now the 105-year-old, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, is being properly thanked by the Czech Republic. He will receive the Order of the White Lion, the country’s highest honor, at a ceremony in October, the Daily Mail reports.

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Nazis formed secret army to overthrow Allies after WWII

New documents reveal plans to recruit 40,000 soldiers, restore ‘honor’ to homeland

Nazi troops march to the rear as American forces advance in Belgium, December 1944. (photo credit: US Signal Corps/public domain)  Read more: Nazis formed secret army to overthrow Allies after WWII

Nazi officers formed a secret army after the end of World War II and had plans to overthrow the Allies who occupied Germany, according to a report published this week based on newly available documents by the German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

A group of 2,000 soldiers — veterans of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS — formed the group, and with a plan to recruit 40,000, they spied on politicians and amassed weapons to attack opposing forces, including the Soviets in East Germany, the files revealed.

Their aim was to restore “honor” and “to defend nascent West Germany against Eastern aggression in the early stages of the Cold War and, on the domestic front, to deploy against the Communists in the event of a civil war,” Der Spiegel reported.

The discovery of the documents was accidental, the German magazine revealed, detailing how a German historian working for an Independent Historical Commission hired by the BND to research its history and that of its predecessor (the Gehlen Organization), stumbled upon the files, which had been given the title “Insurances.” The historian Agilolf Kesselring published his study this week.

“The involvement of leading figures in Germany’s future armed forces, the Bundeswehr, are an indication of just how serious the undertaking was likely to have been,” Der Spiegel reported.

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New find may bring Nazi-tainted art trove to $2b

Additional 180 paintings discovered in Salzburg and at house near Austrian salt mines of the ‘Monuments Men’

The backyard of Cornelius Gurlitt's house in near the famous Austrian salt mines. (Europics/Puls 4)

The backyard of Cornelius Gurlitt’s house in near the famous Austrian salt mines. (Europics/Puls 4)

SALZBURG, Austria — The saga of the trove of artworks hoarded away under the Nazis by the son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt was given a new twist this week with the discovery of a third house in a town in the Austrian state of Styria that may well contain further pieces of art.
The location of the third house in Bad Aussee next to the salt mines where the vast majority of the art looted by the Nazis had been stored had been unknown until now, because it had been in the hands of Hildrebrand’s cousin Wolfgang, who had also gathered art for the Nazis. On the same day that its location was revealed, Austrian officials also admitted that they had apparently “missed” another 180 paintings from a previously discovered residence that had “suddenly” been discovered.

Austrian officials indicated these new works were found in the house in Salzburg of Hildebrand’s son Cornelius Gurlitt, who claimed he had inherited the collection from his father, who took orders from Hitler to buy and sell so-called “degenerate art” to fund Nazi activities during World War II.
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Dov Hikind Launches Campaign Against ‘Nazi Neighbors’

Seeks To Bring War Criminals to Justice
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A new campaign launched by New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind calls for Nazi war criminals living in the United States to be brought to justice. “Would you be a Nazi’s neighbor?”, the ad asks.
The Brooklyn assemblyman, a son of survivors, said that he is committed to pursuing Nazis living in the United States. The provocative posters are part of Hikind’s #NoNazisInUS campaign. His site alleges that some Nazis have already been identified by the U.S. Justice Department.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/193894/dov-hikind-launches-campaign-against-nazi-neighbor/#ixzz2zeQa3vrJ
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The Jewish Woman Who Was the Liaison Between the Nazis and American Rescue Groups

In 1941, Gertrude van Tijn traveled to Lisbon in a last-ditch effort to save Europe’s Jews from annihilation. She was already too late.

Gertrude van Tijn in her office at the Jewish Council, Amsterdam, 1942. (Courtesy of the Collection of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam)

Gertrude van Tijn in her office at the Jewish Council, Amsterdam, 1942. (Courtesy of the Collection of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam)

One morning in May 1941 Gertrude van Tijn—a middle-aged Jewish woman bearing a Dutch passport—arrived at Lisbon airport after an adventurous journey from Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

The Portuguese capital at that time was a place of strange incongruities and topsy-turvy values: an island of peace in a continent at war, the seat of government of an authoritarian police state that boasted of being Britain’s “oldest ally,” and a magnet for international intrigue. The city was also the main embarkation point for refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe seeking desperately to secure passages to the Western Hemisphere.
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Auschwitz metal stamps used by Nazis for tattooing discovered in Poland

Auschwitz metal stamps with embedded needles, which were used by Nazis to tattoo inmates, have been discovered in Poland in ‘one of the most important finds in years’

Discovered metal stamps, with a-few-millimetre-long needles, used for tattooing KL Auschwitz prisoners Photo: EPA

Discovered metal stamps, with a-few-millimetre-long needles, used for tattooing KL Auschwitz prisoners Photo: EPA

Metal stamps with embedded needles that the SS once used to tattoo inmates at the notorious Nazi death camp at Auschwitz have been discovered in Poland.
The find has been hailed by the Auschwitz museum, which now stands on the site of the camp, as one “of the most significant in years” as it was thought no original tattooing equipment survived the war.
SS soldiers used the small stamps, consisting of a two, two threes and a six or a nine, to tattoo inmates as they were processed on their arrival at the camp in German-occupied Poland.
Some prisoners got the tattoo on the chest but most were tattooed on their arms, and the numbers became a hallmark of Auschwitz’s inhumanity.
“This is one of the most important finds in years,” said Piotr Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz museum. “We never believed that we would get the original tools for tattooing prisoners after such a long time.
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