Presidential Message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On April 27, 1945, a young soldier of the 12th Armored Division of the United States Army wrote these astonishing words to his wife in the United States: “Although I may never talk about what I have witnessed today. I will never forget what I have seen.” Aaron A. Eiferman’s division was moving to a new position near Dachau when they “came across a prison camp.” His historic account, like all subsequent descriptions, lacked the words to adequately convey the horror and the suffering that occurred at Dachau and in the other concentration and death camps of the Holocaust.
The Third Reich, and its collaborators, pursued the complete elimination of the entire Jewish people. Six million Jews were systematically slaughtered in horrific ways. The Nazis also enslaved and murdered Slavs, Roma, gays, people with disabilities, religious leaders, and others who courageously opposed their cruel regime. The brutality of the Holocaust was a crime against men, women, and children. It was a crime against humanity. It was a crime against God.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hold in our hearts the memory of every man, woman, and child who was abused, tortured, or murdered during the Holocaust. To remember these men and women—those who perished and those who survived—is to strive to prevent such suffering from happening again. Any denial or indifference to the horror of this chapter in the history of humankind diminishes all men and women everywhere and invites repetition of this great evil. We remain committed to the post-Holocaust imperative, “Never Again.” “Never Again” means not only remembering—in a profound and lasting way—the evils of the Holocaust, but it also means remembering the individual men and women in this Nation, and throughout the world, who have devoted their lives to the preservation and security of the Jewish people and to the betterment of all mankind.
Rachel Riley: The Left’s Embrace of Antisemitism
Until she spoke out against the plague of Jew hatred that has infected the British Labor Party of Jeremy Corbyn, Channel 4 game show hostess Rachel Riley was known chiefly for high heels and short skirts. Now, as detailed in a recent address, she is a designated target of the Left
If you told me this time last year that, come January 2019, I’d be standing in Parliament, addressing a room full of people at a Holocaust memorial event, describing the hideous abuse I’ve been receiving daily since I started speaking about the growing problem of antisemitism in the UK, I wouldn’t know where to begin with my incredulity.
My own identity as a Jew has been a confusing one. As I often joke, my mum’s Jewish and my dad’s Man United, and we’ve worshipped far more often at the Theatre of Dreams than I’ve ever been to shul. As a child, I knew not to sing the Jesus bit in the assembly hymns but the bacon sandwiches mum would feed us meant I didn’t quite know where we fit into all of this.
But one part of my Jewish identity, that forms part of my very being, is the deep and irreparable sorrow I feel in relation to the Holocaust.
I’ve always known that having just one Jewish grandparent, in the lifetime of my own Jewish grandparents, was enough for some to feel justified in carrying out unspeakable acts of inhumanity against them, like ripping babies out of mothers’ arms and smashing them against walls.
I visited Auschwitz for the first time in November. Most memorable to me were the videos in the Shoah exhibition of normal looking people in the 1930s – Jews – having fun in swim suits on the beach, playing cricket, enjoying family together, who would soon be reduced to dust.
The enormous mountain of hair, including little girls’ plaits, some blonde, some brunette, tied neatly, presumably by their loving mothers, before they would have to say goodbye forever, with all that would be left of them, cut off to be made into fabric. I’ve never experienced the literal feeling of being emotionally punched in the stomach like I did standing by that display.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place on January 27 every year, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on this day in 1945. Remembering the Holocaust provides us with universal lessons on the depth human evil can reach, and, conversely, the love of life and the heroism of adults and even children who thwarted human barbarity with their own survival.
I think about my dear relatives who were murdered at Sobibor and Auschwitz. They included Poles and Italians, as well as my father’s little brothers who, while my father just barely escaped deportation, were killed, and my heart is filled with unbearable pain.
What hurts the most is that in Europe, the mother of genocidal anti-Semitism, its contemporary growth is all too visible. 58% of French Jews and nearly half of the Jews in Germany are worried about physical attacks. The bottom line is that we need to address the memory of the Holocaust in contemporary terms.
Most European schools and universities continue to teach Israel’s history as a continuation of European colonialism in which the Palestinians are occupied and exploited by “evil” Jews who practice apartheid or even genocide. Traditional tools against anti-Semitism do not work when the cultural platforms endorse claims that the Palestinians are victims of the Jews.
A comprehensive survey of European attitudes to antisemitism released this month by the European Union displays what its authors call a “perception gap.” In this context, the term means that Jews in Europe regard the problem of antisemitism as far more immediate, pressing, and urgent than do their non-Jewish fellow citizens.
From a Jewish perspective, the survey — carried out in all 28 EU member states, and involving more than 27,000 respondents — is a welcome clarification on where Europeans stand on the matter of resurgent Jew-hatred, a trend that nearly two-thirds of respondents say has not increased over the past five years. It can also be seen as disturbing confirmation that opinion in Europe about “the Jews” and their troubles is much more divided than one might have hoped, despite all the memorials to the Holocaust, the Jewish museums, the restored synagogues, the Jewish film and food festivals, and the other historical and cultural markers that help to immunize the continent from a revival of Nazi barbarism.
Because of the vast scope of the survey, I want to focus here on what it reveals about the three EU countries with the largest Jewish communities in order of size: France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Even when combined, the overall size of these Jewish communities is about half of the 1.5 million Jews in New York alone, but their modest presence in numbers is offset by the enormous contributions they have made to their respective countries, as well as the knowledge that the roots of modern Jewish political emancipation can be found in all three Western European nations.
What impression has this history, on top of the turbulent present, made on how the non-Jewish population views the antisemitism now manifesting in their societies? Here are some key indicators from the EU survey, which was conducted just last month.
- In France, 71 percent of survey respondents agreed that antisemitism was a problem on a scale from “fairly” to “very” serious. The equivalent figures for Germany and the UK were 66 percent and 62 percent, respectively. Those who thought the problem was “fairly serious” outweighed those who considered it “very serious.”
- In France, which has a Jewish community of 460,000 out of a total population of 67 million, 36 percent of respondents said that they had Jewish friends or acquaintances. In the UK (with 270,000 Jews out of a total population of 66 million), that number was 32 percent, while in Germany (with 117,000 Jews out of a total population of 83 million) it was 11 percent.
- Despite the consistent presence of the word “antisemitism” in the news cycles of all three countries, there was notable dissonance between them on whether antisemitism had increased over the past five years. Some 61 percent of Germans agreed that it had risen, compared to 51 percent of the French and 44 percent of the British respondents.
Former Rush frontman Geddy Lee explained how his grandmother kept her family alive during their internment in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust of the Second World War.
His parents, Morris and Mary Weinrib, were among those sent to Dachau after surviving Nazi anti-Jewish policies in their native Poland. They were later transferred to Bergen-Belsen and then Auschwitz, where, around the age of 13, they endured constant the constant threat of the gas chambers.
“My mum and dad were in Auschwitz for, I think, a couple of years, and how they survived in there I don’t know,” Lee told Q104.3 New York in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “My dad was transferred out of Auschwitz before my mother was. My mother and her sister and her mother survived together.”
He recalled the story his grandmother used to tell: “[Nazi guards] would line them up every day. They would go ‘left, right, left, right.’ If you went to one direction, you went to the gas chambers. If you went to the other direction, you went to work.
“So my grandmother would rearrange them in the lineup so they all went to the same direction,” he continued. “She believed that if they were all going to perish, they would perish together, and if they were all going to survive, they would survive together. My grandmother was an amazing person; she kept them alive throughout their time in the camps.”
Jewish children singing “Hatikva” in a Hebrew school in Munkács 1930.
— Israel & USA forever (@IsraelUSAforevr) January 27, 2019
Raoul Wallenberg – Righteous Among the Nations
#WeRemember the millions who perished & the brave individuals who risked their own lives to rescue Jewish lives. Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest on July 9th, 1942 with a list of Jews whom he was to help. Wallenberg ended up issuing thousands of protective letters, handing them out to Jews who were marched to the Austrian border, claiming that they were under Swedish protection.
Sweden: Raoul Wallenberg “I’ve taken on this assignment, and I will never be able to return to Stockholm without knowing that I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible.” Raoul Wallenberg On March 19, 1944, Germany occupied Hungary. Within 56 days – from May to July – the German and Hungarian regimes had deported 437,000 Jews from the Hungarian provinces to Auschwitz. By the end of July 1944, the only Jewish community left in Hungary was that of its capital city, Budapest. Soon the Swedish legation in Budapest reported that they were under enormous pressure by Jews seeking protection, and requested a special envoy whose principal task would be to deal with passports and visas. The Swedish government decided to work with the newly created American War Refugee Board, and appointed Raoul Wallenberg as secretary in the Swedish Embassy in Budapest with full diplomatic privileges. Wallenberg arrived in Budapest on July 9, 1944 with a list of Jews whom he was to help, and 650 protective passports for Jews who had some connection with Sweden. However, he soon widened the scope of his work and began to issue thousands of protective letters and to place buildings housing Jews under the Swedish flag. Jewish youngsters joined these rescue efforts and distributed the protective papers. When the fascist Arrow Cross movement seized power in October 1944 and instilled a reign of terror in Budapest, Wallenberg and some of his colleagues abandoned all diplomatic routine and set out to save Jews from executions and death marches. They followed the columns of Jews who were marched to the Austrian border, and freed them by claiming they were under Swedish protection. When the Soviets entered the city, Wallenberg was taken away by Russian soldiers, never to be seen again. His fate in Soviet captivity is still shrouded in mystery. Raoul Wallenberg was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1963.
Aristides De Sousa Mendes – Righteous Among the Nations
As we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, #WeRemember the millions who perished, but also the brave individuals who risked their lives to rescue hundreds of Jews, among them 36 diplomats who couldn’t turn a blind eye to the most horific injustices. Portugal: Aristides De Sousa Mendes “I would rather stand with God against man than with man against God.”- Aristides de Sousa Mendes With the occupation of Western Europe by Nazi Germany in the spring and summer of 1940, thousands of refugees tried to flee to the Iberian Peninsula in an attempt to find refuge. The Portuguese dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, permitted holders of visas for overseas to transit through Portugal, but closed the borders to those without visas. Some 15,000-20,000 Jewish refugees were able to enter Portugal, and Jewish organizations working in Lisbon, such as the Joint, HIAS-HICEM, and the Jewish Agency, facilitated the refugees’ departure. In 1943-1944, Portugal rescued several hundred Portuguese Jews from Greece and France, but did not help 4,303 Dutch Jews of Portuguese origin, who were consequently deported to the extermination camps. Following the German invasion of France in May 1940, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Portugal’s consul general in Bordeaux, France, was faced with thousands of refugees congregating around his consulate. Seeing their terrible plight, Sousa Mendes decided to disobey his government’s explicit instructions, and issued transit visas to everyone in need, waiving the visa fees for those who could not pay. Setting up an “assembly line process,” Sousa Mendes issued visas to several thousand refugees. When Lisbon learned of Sousa Mendes’ actions, he was summarily ordered to return home. He was brought before a disciplinary panel and dismissed from the Foreign Office, leaving him destitute and unable to support his large family. Sousa Mendes died penniless in 1954. Only in 1988 did Portugal’s government grant him total rehabilitation. Aristides de Sousa Mendes was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1966.
Chiune Sugihara – Righteous Among the Nations
As we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, #WeRemember the millions who perished, but also the brave individuals who risked their lives to rescue hundreds of Jews, among them 36 diplomats who couldn’t turn a blind eye to the most horific injustices. Japan: Chiune Sugihara “I may have to disobey the government, but if I don’t, I would be disobeying God.”- Chiune Sugihara Following the German attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, some 15,000 Jews fled Poland to Lithuania. Caught between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, they desperately sought ways to emigrate. Travelling westwards was no longer possible, and crossing the Soviet Union required proof that they had entry visas for their final destinations. Jan Zwartendijk, the Acting Dutch Consul, provided them with statements that Curacao – a Dutch colony – required no entry visas: now all they required in order to leave Lithuania were transit visas through Japan. Chiune Sugihara, served as Japan’s consul in Kovno, Lithuania. In 1940, the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania, and all foreign diplomats were ordered to leave. As Sugihara was packing his belongings, a Jewish delegation arrived, and begged him to issue them transit visas to Japan, which would enable them to cross the Soviet Union. Sugihara cabled the foreign ministry in Tokyo for permission to deviate from the standing orders; however, troubled by the refugees’ plight, he began issuing visas at his own initiative. Nine days later, the Japanese Foreign Ministry rejected any change in the conditions for issuing transit visas. Although many of the Jews did not fall within the required criteria, Sugihara went on, and issued visas to over 2,000 Jews. When Nazi Germany invaded Lithuania in June 1941, this small window of escape slammed shut, and almost all the Jews remaining in Lithuania were murdered. Chiune Sugihara was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1984.
Frank Foley – Righteous Among the Nations
In this work, Foley was co-opted by Hubert Pollack, a Jewish community worker who brought to Foley’s attention persons in desperate need of help to leave the country. In the case of Gunter Powitzer, jailed in Sachsenhausen for violation of the Nuremberg laws and having intimate relations with a non-Jewish girl, which produced a child, Foley personally went to Sachsenhausen to hand him an exit visa for Palestine, which included Gunter’s semi-Jewish son, and both left Germany in February 1939. In the matter of a 20-year-old woman imprisoned because of her membership in the outlawed Community Party, Foley ruled that since she was 18 years old at the time of her arrest, her membership in the Party was to be viewed simply as “youthful fervor” and he granted her a visa.
Ultimately, Foley is credited with issuing 10,000 visas to Jews seeking to escape Nazi Germany. Yad Vashem cites the case of Miriam Posner, who was 16 when she sought a visa to Palestine. “Foley saved my life. We heard that there was this man Foley who was kind to the Jews. My mother begged him. He just paced up and down a little and then asked for my passport and put the visa stamp on it. He did not ask any questions.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, Foley lacked diplomatic immunity; nevertheless, he “risked arrest and even his life by entering concentration camps, including Sachsenhausen, to present camp authorities with visas issued for Jewish prisoners, enabling them to escape. Foley also hid Jewish families fleeing from persecution in his home.”
I follow Auschwitz on Facebook. That’s a strange concept. If Facebook had existed when Auschwitz was operational, perhaps history would have been different.
Today, the Auschwitz Memorial page has more than 250,000 followers on Facebook.
Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Last week, the Auschwitz Memorial published a sobering reminder. Last Sunday was the 77th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, which took place on January 20, 1942, and brought together 15 high-ranking Nazi civil servants and SS officers to discuss the technical, logistical, and legal implementation of the “Final Solution” — the planned mass extermination of the Jewish people.
The Facebook post included a link to the minutes of the conference. I found one fact presented in the document to be particularly striking. In preparation for the Wannsee Conference, Adolf Eichmann compiled a list of all European Jews. He didn’t just count the Jews of Germany; he counted the Jews of Poland (2.2 million), the Jews of the Ukraine (2.9 million), the Jews of Spain (6,000), the Jews of Turkey (55,500), and more. In total, there were 11 million Jews in the countries occupied by the Nazis and in European countries opposed to the Axis.
Eichmann told the conference participants that, based on Hitler’s prior authorization, they should immediately begin “evacuating” the Jews to the East, where they would perform forced labor, during which it was hoped that most of them would die. He also hinted that those Jews who did not die “by natural reduction” should not be left alive — because these more physically resilient Jews had the potential to become a “germ cell of a new Jewish revival.” The Nazi extermination machine began to work.
The number that caught my attention in Eichmann’s inventory was the smallest number: the Jews of Albania. There were only 200 Jews there. Why was Eichmann disturbed by the existence of such a tiny Jewish community far off in Albania? Why did the fact of their existence not give him rest?
For a long time, the events of the murder of Jews during the Second World War have been questioned in some circles. This paper should help refute these denials.
It is not aimed at inveterate Nazis, neo-Nazis, fanatical Islamists or other conspiratorialists or anti-Semites, but at those who are open to discerning the facts and, if they have doubts, consulting historical sources for an honest picture of the terrible crimes of the German Nazi regime and its many collaborators.
Many researchers have analyzed and described the events leading up to the Holocaust, including Saul Friedländer, Raul Hilberg, Izchak Arad, Wolfgang Benz, Walter Laqueur, and Martin Gilbert. These scholars searched for sources and archives from the Nazi authorities and found that the perpetrators themselves had left records of their crimes.
For example, we have the testimony of SS Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Hoettl of the Security Service (SD), given on 25 November 1945 before the Nuremberg trials. He described a meeting that he had had with Adolf Eichmann at Hoettl’s office in Budapest in August 1944. Hoettl said :
(Eichmann) expressed his conviction that Germany had lost the war and that personally, he had no chance anymore to survive, he knew that he would be considered as one of the main war criminals by the Allied Forces because he has the lives of millions of Jews on his conscience. I asked him how many millions are you talking about? To which he replied that, although the number was a great secret, he would tell me, because as a historian I would be interested in that as well. He had recently submitted a report to his superior Himmler, who wanted to know the exact number of Jews who had been killed. Some 4 million Jews had been murdered in various concentration camps, while another 2 million had died in different ways. They were largely killed by shooting by the “Einsatzgruppen” of the Security Police during the campaign against the USSR.
This statement, directly from the perpetrators, confirms the number of Jews killed.
This is a short piece on Holocaust Memorial Day, and what it means to be descended from Holocaust survivors. Many, many people could write a story like this, but this one is mine.
All parts of my family lost people in the war. My grandfather, though, lost pretty much his whole family. They were in Krakow, in Poland, and only he and one brother survived. His first wife, his baby daughter, his parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews all died.
To understand the immediacy, that’s my mum’s half-sister, grandparents, her whole extended family. All gone before she was even born.
Recently, I’ve been trying to find out about them. It’s really hard. My grandpa died when I was three, and I gather he didn’t like to talk about the past much. So, now, there are only really two sources.
One is a record of births, marriages and deaths from Krakow, but it’s pretty muddy. The other is the testimonies of the dead left to the Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem by my great uncle, my grandpa’s brother, who fled to Brazil after the war.
As a light rain fell on a frigid winter morning, a few dozen people gathered at Oranienplatz near the Berlin city center, cleaning supplies in hand. At this grassroots meet-up on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a mix of English, Hebrew and German could be heard as newcomers gradually joined the group, making introductions and hugging old friends.
After briefly studying some maps of the area, organizers Ben Fisher and Anne Aulinger broke up the collective into several smaller crews, each assigned a patch of territory in the surrounding neighborhood. Their mission: to clean stolpersteine, or “stumbling stones,” commemorative brass cobblestones dedicated to Holocaust victims embedded in the city’s sidewalks.
The community project is now in its second year and relies on social media and word of mouth to bring a diverse group. Participants included Jews, interfaith couples, non-Jewish Germans, and others from around the world, including a doctor from Italy and a Turkish film director.
As volunteers got down on their hands and knees to carefully clean and polish the faded brass plaques, the image of Jews forced by the Nazis to scrub the streets – a common humiliation meted out during the Holocaust – came to this reporter’s mind.
The neighborhood commemoration bore distinct differences from more traditional ceremonies held around Germany – something Fisher and Aulinger, both grassroots activists, said was by design.
“We had the idea of why not do a cleaning in the area where we live, to commemorate, and not to make it a big event with politicians speaking, and all that – just a community thing,” said Aulinger, a German-born political educator who, while not Jewish, has worked to combat racism and anti-Semitism over the last years, including in her work as a fellow at the human rights nonprofit Humanity in Action.
In an unexpected display of solidarity with the Jewish community, young Iranians are taking to social media to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Joining a popular global social media initiative, the young people photograph themselves holding signs with the hashtag #WeRemember in English and Hebrew. Some are also pictured wearing symbols of the Holocaust such as yellow stars and armbands. All of them hide their faces.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, the phenomenon first appeared last week when Sharona Avginsaz, director of digital media for the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Farsi-language service, received a message from an Iranian who had urged his friends to take part in the #WeRemember campaign.
“January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” the Iranian wrote. “People from all over the world take part in it, and also we Iranian citizens want to express our solidarity and friendship with Israel’s citizens and Jews all over the world, and share our pictures with this hashtag.”
Avginsaz said the youth who wrote the message gathered several of his friends who photographed themselves with the #WeRemember hashtag. The youth even wore an Iranian naval uniform in his picture. He remains in touch with the Foreign Ministry and is studying Hebrew.
The Foreign Ministry has republished the pictures on its Farsi-language Facebook page and said it has received encouraging responses. One user wrote, “Long live the Iranian people and Israel, until now Israel has done us nothing wrong, and when the Islamic regime falls, my first trip after visiting the tomb of the Persian Shah in Egypt will definitely be the beautiful State of Israel.”
On Sunday, as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Planned Parenthood, the single largest murderer of children in the womb in modern history, tweeted out its thoughts:
Planned Parenthood is responsible for the killing of some 300,000 American unborn children per year; those children are disproportionately minority and from poorer families.
But this is typical of the intersectional Left, which has subsumed anti-Semitism under the broader rubric of Leftist politics. The issue when it comes to the Holocaust isn’t the dehumanization and slaughter of innocents anymore – now it’s “bigotry” writ large, so that the Holocaust can be used as just another club against conservatives on a range of issues from immigration to biological sex. This is how the Women’s March can proclaim that it opposes bigotry even while its leaders call for anti-Semitic boycotts against Israel from the podium. For too many on the Left, getting into the specifics of the Holocaust makes it impossible for the Holocaust to be used as a political tool. Better to be vague about the Holocaust, to broaden it to a miasmatic evil, so that the Holocaust can be linked with whatever trendy cause Leftists wish to promote that day.
That’s how open anti-Semities like Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn can, with a straight face, tweet nonsense like this:
Corbyn has backed Hamas and Hezbollah, and is an ardent Israel-hater who has associated with blood libel purveyors and Holocaust deniers. Yet he apparently has no qualms about blathering about the Holocaust, even though he’d undoubtedly side with its modern-day advocates in the radical Islamist world.
Dozens of Polish far-right nationalists gathered at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on Sunday to protest at the same time as officials and survivors marked the 74th anniversary of the camp’s liberation in an annual ceremony.
The two parties gathered in different parts of the camp, now an open-air museum, and did not encounter each other. It was the first time the far right has held a protest at Auschwitz at the annual event, which is also International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day.
At the official ceremony on Sunday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and other government officials were joined in prayer by some of the last remaining survivors of the death camp.
In another location at the site, far-right protesters wrapped in Polish flags, some stamped with the words “Polish Holocaust,” laid flowers and sang the Polish national anthem.
“The Jewish nation and Israel is doing everything to change the history of the Polish nation,” said Piotr Rybak of the Polish Independence Movement, who led Sunday’s protest. “Polish patriots cannot allow this.”
While many European countries that were allied with, or occupied by, Germany during World War II have taken considerable steps to acknowledge the complicity of some of their citizens in carrying out the Final Solution, the Dutch remain almost uniquely unwilling to do so. The country has displayed a similar reluctance to confront the uglier parts of its colonial history. Manfred Gerstenfeld writes:
In May 1940, the Netherlands was occupied by the invading Germans within a matter of days. In the years to follow, more than 70 percent of its 140,000-strong Jewish population were murdered after having been sent to German camps, mainly in Poland. In the preparatory activities for what would lead to genocide, the Dutch authorities followed Nazi orders. Dutch police arrested Jews, including babies, simply for being Jews. Dutch railways transported Jews to the Dutch transit camp Westerbork, and from there to the German border. Dutch police guarded the Jews in the camp.
The Dutch government-in-exile in London gave no instructions to the bureaucracy in their occupied country. One government employee in London, Henri Dentz, wrote a report in December 1943 that stated that most Dutch Jews had already been murdered. This report was sent to all ministries and to a number of other Dutch institutions in London, including the Red Cross. After the war, Dentz testified that nobody wanted to read it.
While authorities in the occupied Netherlands assisted the Nazis, a small minority of Dutchmen helped 24,000 Jews to hide. A third of these were ultimately betrayed. . . . In spite of all this, the Dutch government remains the only one in Western Europe to refuse consistently to admit the huge failures of its wartime predecessors towards the Jews.
Kearney closed the item at that point, with the BBC’s domestic listeners having heard nothing of substance on the topic of far-Right antisemitism in the UK or what Lipstadt termed “Islamist Jihadist extremists” and the highly relevant issue of links between that brand of antisemitism and the British Left.
While it was Kearney who raised the subject of the leader of the UK Labour party, she also found it necessary to challenge her expert guest’s observations by amplifying denials of Corbyn’s role in propagating antisemitism in a country in which 5% of adults do not believe the Holocaust happened, 8% say its scale is exaggerated and 64% cannot accurately state how many Jews were murdered.
As we shall see in part two of this post, the next day’s edition of the ‘Today’ programme returned to part of this interview with Deborah Lipstadt.
As we saw in part one of this post, the January 25th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme included an interview with Deborah Lipstadt about the rise of antisemitism, during which presenter Martha Kearney found it appropriate to quote one of Jeremy Corbyn’s denials concerning the antisemitism evident in his party.
The January 26th edition of the same programme saw presenter Mishal Husain return to that interview with Lipstadt in an item featuring a member of the UK Labour party. [emphasis in italics in the original, emphasis in bold added]
Husain: “Can an outlook that focuses on race and privilege prevent people recognising antisemitism? That was the suggestion made on the programme yesterday by the historian Deborah Lipstatdt […] Here’s what she said.”
Recording Lipstadt: “…many people consider themselves progressives, their view of the world is refracted through a prism which has two facets. One factor is ethnicity and one is class. And they look at Jews and they see white people – quote unquote white people – who are privileged and therefore could not possibly be victims of prejudice.”
Husain: “Well Michael Segalov is a journalist, member of the Labour party and is himself Jewish. […] What do you think of that view?”
This is not the first time that the BBC has brought in Segalov to comment on antisemitism in the party of which he is a member but without clarifying that he is a Corbyn supporter.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Abbas OKs Teaching Holocaust If Textbooks Say Jews ‘Stormed’ Auschwitz (satire)
Palestinian education officials marked yesterday’s observance of International Holocaust Memorial Day with an announcement that they will permit Palestinian schools to inform students about Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Jews, as long as the educational materials follow the standard terminology current in official Palestinian descriptions of Jewish movement, such as referring to Jews’ arrival as “storming” the various concentration, labor, and death camps to which they were deported.
Minister of Education Hajj Husseini and Ministry Director-General Wafa Nesses told reporters at a press conference Sunday afternoon that the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, will adjust its policies to reflect a more enlightened, historically responsible policy in its schools, where until now teachers have operated under instructions to ignore, downplay, or deny the Holocaust. Henceforth, they explained, the genocide will feature in all Palestinian curricula for secondary education, but adapted for accepted Palestinian locutions that refer to Jews going anywhere as if that were a brazen, provocative act on the part of said Jews.
“We have commissioned new textbooks for the 2019-2020 academic year, and hope they will be ready in time,” pronounced Ms. Nesses. “At the very latest we anticipate bringing the new materials into circulation by the following academic year – that is, the seventeenth year of President Abbas’s four-year term. For some time we have made efforts to bring our students’ education in line with international standards, though that has long conflicted with our sensibilities dictating that nothing Jewish be given sympathy, let alone legitimacy. The ministry convened a committee to explore the ways in which those conflicting aims might be reconciled, and I am happy to say that they succeeded. Our teachers will be free to discuss the German-led extermination of Jews in Europe, provided they phrase their lessons to imply that the Nazis had no choice but to kill all the Jews threatening to overrun Birkenau, Belsen, Mauthausen, and Sobibor, for example, in huge numbers.”
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Telling the truth about Israel is a new Catch-22 situation
For example, a few months back, I was being interviewed by another feminist editor about my new book “A Politically Incorrect Feminist”. After a good conversation which lasted more than an hour, she suddenly said: “But now I must ask you to explain or justify why you are a Zionist.” Said I: “But I don’t write about that in this book.” Said she: “But it’s important, we need to know.”
No matter what else I may be talking about, this kind of Kafkaesque interrogation has become my lot. My reputation always precedes me.
So, what did I do? Of course, I pulled the piece about the Women’s March leadership away from the feminist website and sent it to Israel National News and, within hours, my editor there published it. Now, feminists could say that because I published at a conservative and pro-Israel venue, they no longer had to read my words. Indeed, someone challenged me about this on Facebook. I responded that the New York Times no longer publishes my work. People were shocked, just shocked.
Back in 2004, I wrote a piece about what I called “gender cleansing” in the Sudan. This was how I characterized the repeated public gang-rapes of girls and women by the Janjaweed. A high profile feminist said that she could not read it because I’d published it at a conservative venue: Frontpage magazine.
Here’s a new kind of Catch-22. If you tell the truth about Israel or Islam, you will be boycotted by the mainstream/left-stream media. The conservative media will welcome you but, by definition, you will either not be read by so-called “progressives” and/or will be blamed for having deserted the politically correct venues.
For love of Truth and for love of Zion, I will continue to publish here, there, anywhere, everywhere.
Recently, The New Yorker printed a hit-piece against the Jews living in the heart of Judea entitled, “A Guided Tour of Hebron, from Two Sides of the Occupation.” The unintentionally ironic title “from Two Sides” is the key to understanding the article because the two sides it shows come from the hard-Left and radical Islamism, respectively.
Indeed, the article is another example of the collaboration between the hard-Left and radical Islamism, movements that have coordinated to delegitimize Israel’s right to retain land liberated in the Six Day War as a way to delegitimize Israel as a whole. Now, they have specifically set their crosshairs on Hebron in the “West Bank” because they understand the centrality of Hebron to Jewish peoplehood, to its land and history. Additionally, they see the small and isolated Jewish community within the big Arab city of Hebron and ruled by the Palestinian Authority as an easy next target.
Two years ago it was the U.N.’s turn, a division of the hard-Left, to strike at Hebron. They got their heritage and history branch, UNESCO, to declare that the Tomb of the Forefathers and Mothers in Hebron — a 2,000-year-old Jewish structure, sitting atop the 3,800-year-old tombs of the Biblical founders of Judaism — was, in fact, a Palestinian Heritage Site in need of protection from Israel.
This shocking negation of basic Jewish history by a “legitimate” U.N. body brought out the ire of Israel and much of the rest of the Jewish world as well. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who had stated that she would not tolerate U.N. anti-Semitism, led the United States’ angry departure from UNESCO, specifically in response to the anti-Hebron resolution.
But the war on Jewish Hebron’s legitimacy continued. A few months ago, Arab and far-Left Jewish members of Israel’s parliament organized a meeting called “Hebron First,” which called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Hebron as a first step in exiling Jews from the Biblical heartland. This initiative was stopped by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. Instead, Edelstein gathered almost every minister in the sitting government for an event that heaped praise on the heroic Jewish community of Hebron and gave assurances that Israeli building in Hebron will continue.
Former Conservative Party Chair Baroness Warsi is set to speak at a ‘Palestine in Parliament’ event tomorrow, where she will “hear directly from”, among others, Interpal, an organisation that has been classified as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ entity by the USA.
According to the US Treasury Department, Interpal is one of several “charities that provide support to Hamas and form part of its funding network in Europe.” Its managing trustee, Essam Mustafa, is a former member of Hamas’s executive committee and was recently pictured clapping and singing with Hamas’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, on an official visit to Gaza. What is Baroness Warsi doing speaking alongside an organisation like that?
UPDATE: Originally set to take place tomorrow, the Chair of the Britain-Palestine APPG RIchard Burden has emailed invitees saying “regrettably we have had to postpone this reception owing to the Brexit debate and vote now scheduled for the same date in the Commons.” Perhaps this postponement may now become indefinite…
The Labour Party in England has readmitted a former member of parliament who was suspended last year for posting on Facebook that he no longer had “respect and empathy” for the Jewish community.
Jim Sheridan said he was happy with the decision and was sorry for his remarks, but lashed out at his detractors.
“Whilst I am delighted with this decision, I remain of the view that my accusers were misguided and overreacted to what was intended to highlight my personal frustration and criticism of those intent on undermining our leadership in Scotland and the UK,” Sheridan was quoted as saying by the BBC on Sunday.
“I would also like to reiterate my sincere apologies to the Jewish community whose historic struggle I have supported all my political life,” he added.
The former MP, who was the MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire North between 2005 and 2015 and served in parliament from 2001, was suspended last year from Labour, which has been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism.
“For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering,” Sheridan had posted on his Facebook page last year. “No longer due to what they and their blairite (sic) plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical labour government.”
It’s questionable, however, as to how Van Heerden’s piece ever made it past the Daily Maverick’s editor. After his own anti-Israel invective, Van Heerden writes: “let’s refer to a recent speech delivered by Marc Lamont [sic] at the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with Palestine in which he references the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
But Van Heerden doesn’t just “refer” to the speech that cost Marc Lamont Hill his CNN commentator job. Out of a near 3,000 word piece, 68 percent of Van Heerden’s text is lifted word for word from the Lamont Hill speech!
One of the definitions of plagiarism is: “copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.”
We think that Van Heerden’s piece certainly qualifies.
Did Van Heerden really understand so little about the subject matter that he had to regurgitate someone else’s hateful words?
The Daily Maverick should be ashamed and embarrassed that Oscar Van Heerden’s lazy and intellectually flawed op-ed ever saw the light of day.
Oscar van Heerden’s opinion article, “We all owe the Palestinians our support in word and deed”, (Daily Maverick, January 24, 2019). Van Heerden isn’t the first openly anti-Semitic commentator to crucify Israel unabashedly as the nation-state of the Jewish people. However, he provides an astonishing display of academic ignorance of the Middle East, and Palestinian and Israeli society, politics, and security with monstrous disfigurations of fact. By Dan Diker, Rolene Marks and David E. Kaplan.
Far from offering a professional assessment or even the ruminations of an amateur activist untrained in the complexities of the Palestinian Israeli conflict, Van Heerden issues a clarion call for the annihilation of the Jewish peoples’ “apartheid” nation-state and recommends that Iranian terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas assist in carrying out the mission.
This lethal combination of malice of forethought and deep unfamiliarity with the subject matter insults the intelligence of the many South African leaders, scholars and business people who have visited Israel as well as virtually each of the east and west African nations whose presidents and prime ministers have sought out the Jewish state to assist them in vital areas such as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, water desalination, agriculture, food and waste technology, for starters.
Perhaps of greatest concern, Van Heerden’s J’accuse of Israel-apartheid disfigures former South African apartheid beyond recognition while delegitimising and dishonouring those heroic South Africans who suffered under the former malevolent regime.
One does not need to be a scholar of international relations of the Near East and North Africa to see Van Heerden’s blindness. One only needs to open one’s eyes to witness the destruction of the Middle East’s Arab states at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its IRGC and Quds force operatives, and particularly its Hezbollah terror proxy which Van Heerden invokes to destroy Israel in order to “make it a fairer contest”.
The Iranian regime has imposed military control and terror group subversion of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, having flooded these countries with tens of thousands of IRGC and other terror operatives and billions of dollars to achieve their Islamist imperialist goal of “exporting the Shi’ite Islamic revolution to achieve hegemony over the Middle East”. This does not seem to interest this “scholar of international relations”: However, it does deeply concern the region’s Arab, Kurdish, Druze, Christian, Circassian and Turkoman leaders who seek Israel’s military assistance.
A school teacher and union leader in Colorado has been put on leave for calling a Covington Catholic student a member of the Hitler Youth, and a resident who criticized the teacher was escorted from a school board meeting following a heated assembly.
Shortly after the Covington Catholic episode on the National Mall went viral, Douglas County teacher Michelle Grissom tweeted about one of the Covington students.
“His name is [redacted]. His twitter account is closed to non followers so we won’t interfere with his training in the #HitlerYouth,” Michelle Grissom’s tweet read.
While the student does attend Covington Catholic, he was not in attendance with the group that day, according to his father, who tweeted that information back to Grissom.
“I assure you this is not [redacted] … he played in a Varsity basketball game last night in Park Hills Kentucky and another game today in Middletown Ohio,” the father tweeted back in reply.
He later tweeted directly to the Douglas County School District, noting that even though he felt he had proven his son was not the person identified, Grissom had left her original tweet standing, with no clarification or correction.
Since then, Grissom’s entire Twitter account has been deleted, and she has resigned her position with the teacher’s union board, according to KUSA television.
Tuesday, the principal of the middle school where Grissom teaches sent out a notice that she had been placed on leave.
Kollab’s Twitter feed was a cesspool of hatred for those she called “Jewish dogs.” In another tweet, she said: “walking through the streets of palestine is funny- every person who gets mad says something along the lines of ‘Allah yo5odhom el yahood’ [Allah will take them, the Jews].” She reveled in her own hatred: “so basically every mseba [insult] I say is directed at the yahood [Jews] haha. even if I do something really stupid I say ‘hebel yihbilhom el yahood’ [stupid stupid Jews] hehe.”
It isn’t surprising that a devout and observant Muslim would have a seething hatred of Jews. The Qur’an tells Muslims that the Jews are the strongest of all people in enmity toward them (5:82), are accursed by Allah (9:30), and are always scheming against the Muslims (2:79; 3:75-3:78, 3:181, etc.). There is a great deal more anti-Semitic material in the Qur’an and Sunnah. These and other Qur’anic passages likely provide some insight into Kollab’s mindset.
But in the Hippocratic Oath, doctors pledge that they will “do no harm or injustice” to their patients. Kollab not only repeatedly expressed her vehement hatred for Jews, but actually stated explicitly that she would give them the wrong medicine in order to do them harm.
So why did this complaint need to be filed? Why hasn’t her medical license been revoked already?
Because she apologized.
In that promoted clip from the interview BBC audiences saw how Shaun Ley twice allowed Syed Saddiq to dodge the issue of the Malaysian prime minister’s use of Nazi analogy and antisemitic stereotypes and not only failed to challenge his guest’s distorted and context-free portrayals of Israeli actions but actually endorsed them.
Saddiq: “During [operations] Cast Lead, Protective Edge, Pillar of Defence tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians had their lives murdered, families taken away and continuing sanctions.”
Ley: “And plenty of countries condemn that and take action against it but they don’t stand against the opportunity for people of all communities, countries, to come together.”
Moreover, at the end of that interview, BBC audiences heard that Malaysia – a country which reelected a prime minister infamous for his antisemitism and which bans Israelis for no other reason that their nationality – is “progressive”.
Whatever. Say what you will, but AJ+ has NEVER stopped passionately advocating for Syrian refugee and how they have been treated by racist Europeans! I mean, Qatar was so busy advocating for Syrian refugees at the height of the crisis that they didn’t have time to actually, like, take in any Syrian refugees. But that’s a small price to pay for finely honed advocacy. I mean, AJ+ and its pointed critiques of American immigration issues are really shaking things up! Especially when you consider that only 12% of the people who live in Qatar have citizenship. Oh and that, uh, in Qatar, if your dad wasn’t a citizen, you’ll never be a citizen! But come on! They’re hosting the World Cup in 2022! And besides, AJ+ keeps shining the light of truth on how the West treats its marginalized communities. Which is kinda impressive when you think of it, since being gay in Qatar is a criminal offense.
Oh that’s funny, I just read that Qatar also funds the Brookings Institution! Pretty neat, huh?
He was a pastor, theologian, and anti-Hitler plotter — and he’s now a graphic-novel hero for teens and tweens.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s role in multiple assassination attempts against Hitler ultimately cost him his life. He is the subject of a recently released work aimed at young readers, “The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler,” by St. Louis-based author and illustrator John Hendrix.
The book combines words and images to address the moral dilemma Bonhoeffer faced when the Nazis came to power. Concerned over the increasing persecution of the Jews, Bonhoeffer decided that the commandment against murder was subordinate to the need to assassinate Hitler.
“The Faithful Spy” chronicles his subsequent path toward that goal, joining a conspiracy deep within the Nazi ranks that culminated with the failed Valkyrie attempt in 1944 and Bonhoeffer’s imprisonment and death at the Flossenburg concentration camp in 1945.
Although this may seem like somber material for the intended age range of 10 to 14-year-olds, Hendrix believes they will be up to the task.
“Young people love stories about when moral stakes collide,” he said. “To feel true to someone, have them work together — kids are starting to do that, come out of the black-and-white period and see that there are grays in the world.”
Israeli political and religious leaders are constantly seeking the support of their counterparts in other countries in the fight against the resurgence of antisemitism. Over the past week or two in the period leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, such appeals intensified both in one-on-one meetings and at memorial ceremonies at which Israeli officials addressed foreign dignitaries.
The increase in antisemitic incidents around the globe is not only cause for concern, but have aroused the ire of both President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Rivlin was particularly incensed over the desecration last Friday of the monument to the decimated Jewish community of Thessaloniki in the city’s Aristotle University. This was the second time that this particular monument had been vandalized, and it was the 16th such incident against a Jewish memorial site in Greece since the beginning of 2018.
Rivlin had mentioned it to a group of young German volunteers in the presence of the German Ambassador on Sunday, but he was seething on Monday, primarily because the church in Greece has remained remarkably silent on the subject of antisemitism and what it can lead to.
In fact, he was so angry that he decided to call Prokopis Pavlopoulos to urge him to use his influence in persuading Ieronymos II, the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece to speak out against antisemitism.
President Reuven and Nechama Rivlin on Sunday hosted family members of the seven astronauts who died in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle crash, one of whom was Israel’s first astronaut, mission specialist Ilan Ramon.
The next of kin to the other six astronauts were invited to Israel by Ramon’s widow, Rona, who wanted them to participate in Israeli Space Week and for the first time to be at Ilan Ramon’s annual memorial ceremony, Rivlin’s office said in a statement. However, Rona Ramon died last month, before the visitors arrived in Israel.
Ilan and Rona Ramon’s children Tal, Yiftach and Noa met with Rivlin privately before the visiting US families arrived at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, where the reunion was held.
Every Israeli knows where they were 16 years ago when they heard the terrible news,” Rivlin told the families. “The stories of the brave astronauts on the space shuttle have become part of the story of the State of Israel.
“When we think of the seven crew members of the Columbia, we feel deep grief, but also boundless pride,” he said. “They flew to the heavens to push the boundaries of human knowledge.
“Only a month ago, we said goodbye to Rona Ramon,” Rivlin continued. “Rona honored the memory of her husband and her son through the Ramon Foundation, which gives young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to make their dreams come true.”
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Monday he would grant Hapoel Jerusalem basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire temporary residency in the country.
He said the ministry would in the near future consider granting Stoudemire full citizenship due to “his impressive career” and “great contribution to Israeli basketball.”
“I’ve read and heard about the player and I believe he truly and honestly wishes to settle down in Israel and make it his home, even after he ends his career [on the court],” Deri said. “The player has left his mark on Israel and Israeli sports and so I’ve decided to give him [residency] status.”
The 36-year-old Stoudemire, a former NBA player for the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, has been with Hapoel since 2016. With his help, Hapoel won the Israeli championship and reached the semifinals of the EuroCup tournament.
Stoudemire identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African-Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites, and observes Jewish holidays. For years he has claimed to have Hebrew roots, studied Judaism and practiced its cultural customs.
Israel’s great leap forward: Monumental changes over the last 30 years.
Data sources: OECD, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Bank of Israel, Israel Electric Company, Israel Water Authority, Financial Immunities economists.) pic.twitter.com/Z3lbnL3s5Q
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) January 28, 2019
An Israeli Defense Force search-and-rescue team landed in Brazil late Sunday evening to join forces with local rescue crews who are searching for hundreds of people missing in the wake of a catastrophic dam collapse.
The Civil Defense office in Minais Gerais state on Sunday raised the confirmed death toll to 58, with up to 300 people still unaccounted for following the avalanche of iron ore waste from a mine Friday.
The Israeli team of some 130 conscripted and reservist soldiers landed on a specially chartered El Al flight at Belo Horizonte International Airport in South Western Brazil late Sunday.
The team was greeted on the runway by the governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema. The heads of the delegation immediately began talks with local officials in charge of the rescue to coordinate efforts, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The delegation is mostly made up of military search-and-rescue specialists and medical officers and also includes members of the Israeli Navy’s Yaltam scuba unit, as the military expected a significant amount of underwater missions in the flooded region.
They are expected to begin work on Monday morning.
Jpost Editorial: Rescue Nation
Israel punches above its weight in many areas including intelligence, technology, agriculture, scientific research and culture. Of these, one category which Israelis are especially proud is the country’s global role in disaster relief.
Thus after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil on Friday, killing several dozen and leaving at least 200 missing, Israel sent a search and rescue team to locate survivors and the dead. The 200-member IDF Home Front Command delegation, comprised of 130 soldiers and officers and 70 reservists, flew half way across the world on Sunday to help. Among them are engineering experts, doctors, firefighters and search-and-rescue personnel. They are equipped to locate cellular signals, and have brought drones to create aerial pictures of the disaster zone.
As well, the team includes ZAKA experts equipped with sonar devices who specialize in recovering bodies. The organization’s chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said, “It is a moral obligation to offer help and assistance to those in need, regardless of religion.”
The Interior Ministry also provided emergency supplies, including tents, generators, and sleeping bags, as well as 1,000 nonperishable meals and heating packs for the IDF team.
This is the IDF Home Front Command’s Search and Rescue Brigade’s first mission as a member of the United Nations’ International Search and Rescue Advisory Group. But for nearly three decades, the IDF has been involved in many search and rescue missions, and has provided medical aid in far-flung disaster sites in Mexico, Haiti, the Philippines, Japan, Turkey and Nepal.
The IDF has provided medical care to more than 2,300 people, and saved 220 from certain death.
THEY LANDED! 🛬 130 of our soldiers are now in Brazil. Their search & rescue efforts will soon begin. #IDFinBrazil 🇮🇱 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/410ckonvsy
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) January 28, 2019
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