HAARETZ: For a handful of shattered people, little will do

For a handful of shattered people, little will do

By Eliahu Salpeter

The State of Israel was built on four foundations: the dream of the Zionist visionaries, the sweat of the pioneers, the courage of the fighters in the War of Independence and the pangs of guilt over the Holocaust felt by the world, which voted in favor of its establishment in the United Nations in 1947. However there was also another foundation that the victims provided: reparations Germany paid for murdering six million European Jews. The sum of $750 million in the 1950s would today be the equivalent of several billion dollars; this sum financed a very sizable portion of the young state’s economic infrastructure investments.

Among those who contributed to its establishment, Israel behaved most shamefully toward Holocaust survivors, the same handful of shattered people who chose to try to rebuild their lives in the Jewish state. It is perhaps possible to justify the fact that young people who had just stepped off the boat were sent directly to the front lines; it is possible, perhaps somewhat less justifiably, to argue that the Yishuv (pre-state leadership) was unable in the first few years to provide immigrants with more than a blanket, mattress, Jewish Agency standard issue bed and five liras.

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JPOST: MKs SPAR OVER FUNDS FOR SURVIVORS

Jan. 10, 2007 0:14
Claims Conference, MKs spar over funds distribution
By SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL

Knesset members clashed with representatives of the Claims Conference Tuesday as the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee debated how to best distribute funds to Holocaust survivors.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, represents world Jewry in negotiating for compensation for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. The organization, which in 1951 was given a mandate to negotiate with Germany on behalf of all survivors, holds a virtual monopoly on all funds secured from that country, said MKs, who contested the way in which the conference distributes its funds.

“This organization has billions of dollars in funds and each year they get several million more which they distribute according to their own internal system,” said MK Colette Avital, a former head of the Knesset Committee for Holocaust Reparations. “All we are asking for is greater transparency in how the decisions are made.”

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BATTLE CREEK ENQUIRER ON BAD AROLSON FILES

Need access to Nazi-era documents

For a half-century, privacy concerns of the German government have kept millions of documents from the Nazi era out of the reach of Holocaust survivors. As the number of those aging survivors dwindles, it is essential that they and their relatives have access to information that could help bring some type of justice for the horrific crimes wrought by the regime of Adolf Hitler.

That is why last spring, representatives of the 11 nations that govern the International Red Cross’ International Tracing Service, which administers the Nazi-era archive, signed an agreement expanding access to the documents. But until the ratification process for the agreement is completed, it cannot be implemented.

So we’re glad to see U.S. lawmakers encouraging all 11 nations to speed up the ratification process. Thus far, only the United States and Israel have completed it.

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Holocaust survivor recounts painful stories to help others understand

By Marylynne Pitz
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On wintry nights in a German concentration camp, a hungry teenager named Jack Sittsamer left his hard, wooden bunk, crept into the dark and risked his life just to steal a few potatoes from a warehouse in the compound.

Back in bed, the native of Poland often dreamt of sitting at a table with an entire loaf of bread and eating as many pieces as he wished.

“Before you went to sleep, they gave you a slice of bread, and you were supposed to eat it the next morning. But you were so hungry, you ate it that night,” said Mr. Sittsamer. After a terrifying odyssey through six concentration camps, he weighed 72 pounds when he was liberated in 1945.

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Holocaust survivor recounts painful stories to help others understand

By Marylynne Pitz
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On wintry nights in a German concentration camp, a hungry teenager named Jack Sittsamer left his hard, wooden bunk, crept into the dark and risked his life just to steal a few potatoes from a warehouse in the compound.

Back in bed, the native of Poland often dreamt of sitting at a table with an entire loaf of bread and eating as many pieces as he wished.

Darrell Sapp, Post-Gazette
Jack Sittsamer talks to eighth-graders at Carson Middle School about his experinces during World War II.
Click photo for larger image.
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“Before you went to sleep, they gave you a slice of bread, and you were supposed to eat it the next morning. But you were so hungry, you ate it that night,” said Mr. Sittsamer. After a terrifying odyssey through six concentration camps, he weighed 72 pounds when he was liberated in 1945.

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Maitland FL commemoration April 15, 2007

YOM HASHOAH – HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

APRIL 15, 2007 –4 pm

PRESENTING
LINDA HOOPER
Whitwell Middle School principal
who inspired the

PAPER CLIPS PROJECT

Dr. Lewis M. Duncan, President of Rollins College

Honorary Chairman

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida’s annual community wide observance of Yom HaShoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 4pm in the gymnasium of the Jewish Community Center, 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. The program is open to the entire community with no admission charge.

The Yom HaShoah commemoration honors the memory of the six million Jews who perished during the 12-year reign of German Nazi terror.

Linda Hooper will share with the audience the moving story of how the students behind The Paper Clips Project responded to what had been to them a completely unfamiliar chapter in human history – the Holocaust. In 1998 the children of Tennessee’s Whitwell Middle School took on an

extraordinary project. The Paper Clips Project grew out of a sense that the students in the homogenous community weren’t learning about the lives and experiences of other groups.

Struggling to grasp the concept of six million Jewish Holocaust victims, the students decided collect six million paper clips to better understand the extent of this crime against humanity. This amazing project would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever…and eventually, open hearts and minds around the world as this remarkable story became an award winning film entitled Paper Clips.

In Linda Hooper’s words: “The Paper Clips Project has been an affirmation of my beliefs that education is absolutely essential to change; that evil must be constantly battled by education; that everyone must study the past so that we do not forget nor repeat our mistakes; and that there is a higher power guiding our destiny.”

Dr. Lewis M. Duncan, President of Rollins College is serving as Honorary Chairman.

Chair of the Yom HaShoah committee is Valerie Kahn. Also serving on the committee are: Ina Porth, Patricia Ambinder, Paul Hansman, Mitchell Bloomer, Patty DeYoung, Randye Falk, Danielle Feldman, Lisa Ferrigno, Velma Grasseler, Helen Greenspun, Dr. Philip Kalfin, Father Larry Lossing, Dr. Laurence Ruggiero, Pamela Kancher and Eva Ritt.

On display at the Holocaust Memorial Center, 851 North Maitland Avenue will be the exhibition Reflections of a Survivor artwork by Michael Smuss. Following the Yom HaShoah commemoration the Holocaust Memorial Center will be open to view the art and to visit the museum. The book Six Million Paper Clips: The Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial by Peter W. Schroeder and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand (Kar-Ben Publishers 2004), as well as DVD copies of Paper Clips will be available for sale.

At the Yom HaShoah observance awards will be presented to the winners of the Center’s Annual Student Creative Arts Contest for students. The theme for this year’s contest is The Power of One. Last year over 900 students from the tri county area participated in the contest.

As a special incentive, copies of the book for classroom use will be distributed to teachers whose students participate in the 2007 Creative Arts contest.

The commemorative event also includes lighting of memorial candles and a musical performance. Valerie Kahn will sing the national anthems.

This program is supported through generous grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, Darden Restaurants Foundation and Dr. Mitchell Shapiro Memorial Fund. This project is also funded by the United Arts of Central Florida. Inc, State of Florida, Department of State – Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

The Holocaust Memorial Center is open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 1 pm on Friday and 1 pm to 4 pm on Sunday.

For information: 407-628-0555

3G events in New York City

We’re pleased to announce our upcoming gatherings. Save the dates and
please plan to join us for the following:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
FILM SCREENING: AMERICA AND THE HOLOCAUST
JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue
No Fee to Attend

Please join us for this documentary that addresses America’s response
to the Holocaust — from Kristallnacht to liberation. Who were the
major players? What could have been done? What were the politics
involved? Why are some of these same issues relevant 60 years later? A
brief discussion will follow.

Light refreshments will be served; RSVP to info@3gnewyork.org

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 @ 12 NOON
TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST & TELLING OUR FAMILY STORIES
Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
36 Battery Place
Admission: TBD

How can we, as non-educators, make a lasting impact on Holocaust
education? We will go on a guided tour of the museum and share family
stories along the way. Afterwards, over lunch, we’ll discuss our
impressions of the exhibit, our stories and the various forms
Holocaust education can take. Please join us as we discuss issues
vitally important to our group’s mission.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16
SHABBAT DINNER
Makor, 35 W. 67th Street

We look forward to seeing everyone at our third Shabbat dinner. The
previous Shabbat dinners were extremely successful, so don’t miss this
one. More details to follow.

SUNDAY, MAY 20
INTERGENERATIONAL BRUNCH
JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue

Our group’s first opportunity to include all generations. Come by
yourself or, if possible, invite your parents and grandparents to join
us for good food and casual conversation. Let’s hear their impressions
of our movement, and what they would like to see from us regarding
their legacy.

Please email us with any questions: info@3gnewyork.org

– 3GNY

Miami Herald. Red Cross expands tracing

Red Cross tracks loved ones lost to war, HolocaustWith access to a new source of records, the Broward Red Cross is able to offer expanded Holocaust and war victims tracing.
BY JULIE LEVIN
Special to The Miami Herald
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, there are countless people who still don’t know the fate of family members and friends killed in the Holocaust.

The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Service has been in operation since 1990, but with the recent release of thousands of documents in Germany, there is new hope in finding answers.

”They are the ones who kept most of the records. It probably doubles our capacity to search,” said Tom McFadden, spokesman for the American Red Cross Broward County Chapter, based in Plantation.

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