Full Text JBuzz Transcripts April 27, 2014: Canadian PM Stephen Harper’s Statement on the Holocaust: Educate and remember

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Canadian PM Harper on Holocaust: Educate and remember

Source: Jerusalem Post, 4-27-14

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is urging Canadians to commemorate the victims and survivors of the Holocaust in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, and “combat anti-Semitism in all its forms.”…READ MORE

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JBuzz Musings November 10, 2013: World political and religious leaders mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht

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World political and religious leaders mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This Saturday evening, Nov. 9 overnight into Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” in 1938, which was the official start to the physical and systematic persecution of the Jews…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings August 4, 2013: Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

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Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This past week Israeli President Shimon Peres embarked on a four day trip to Latvia and Lituania from July 29 to August 1, 2013. Although it was a diplomatic mission filled with state dinners and meetings with the heads of…READ MORE

JBuzz Transcripts August 1, 2013: President Shimon Peres’s speech at the Ponar Memorial ceremony in Lithuania

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Presidential address at the Ponar Memorial ceremony in Lithuania

By SHIMON PERES

Shimon_Peres_Ponar_Ceremonyiv>

‘Painful memories are etched in our hearts’ the President said at Valley of Slaughter in Vilnius, where the Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators murdered some 70,000 Jews.

Amid the trees of Ponar, I can hear the words of Abba Kovner echoing the cries of our murdered brothers and sisters.

I quote: “We shall remember…

The city houses and the country houses.

The aged man and the features of his face.

The mother in her kerchief.

The young girl with her braids.

The child, The child, The entire assembly of Jews Brought down to slaughter on the soil of Europe By the Nazi destroyer, The man who suddenly screamed.

And while screaming died.”

Ponar, from where thousands of our fathers and mothers, our little boys and girls, were murdered.

They will never return.

They will never die in our hearts.

Seventy thousands of them were Jewish.

And thousands were others.

Why? What for? The pastoral scenery surrounding us here is misleading.

Its color remains green. But the ground is red.

The screams of the victims detonating from the damp soil will remain a disgrace to humanity.

Vilnius was considered the Jerusalem of Lithuania, where hopeful and vibrant Jewish communities built a life of their own.

And suddenly, a third of Lithuania’s Jewish people were slaughtered in these fields.

Only a mass grave remains in front of us.

Innocent men and women, babies and children were stripped and then pushed and thrown to the cold bottom of this pit.

Their bodies were tortured and burned at the sound of a short-range burst of fire.

In the massacre valley of Ponar, there were no gas chambers.

Just direct murder.

Physical.

Precise.

Just by pressing the trigger.

One after another.

Day in, day out.

Five hundred a day.

No interruptions.

No regrets.

No second thought.

No thought at all.

Killers.

Killing was their vocation.

History had known no such atrocities, ever.

Just few survived.

From the scorched bodies, only the spirit remained.

An eternal spirit. Facing evil. Our people remained humane.

The spirit of our moral call, Tikkun Olam – to better the world – was molded from the lead of the bullets.

Ponar is a warning.

For us all.

For the generations to come.

Never again.

Never, not even for a moment, may we weaken in our common mission against racism, anti-Semitism and mass destruction.

In Vilnius, there were 200 churches and 110 synagogues. Yet there is just one Lord in heaven.

So let us pray together, let us convert sword and war into brotherhood and friendship between peoples.

Let us pray for the freedom and peace of every person. For all nations. For posterity.

The State of Israel is a living triumph over the horrors of the Shoah.

A bastion of survivors.

A tribute to the hopes of six million Jews.

In spite of the Holocaust, Israel is the continuation of the interrupted dreams of one-and-a-half million children murdered at the dawn of their days.

We can never forget. And we shall always teach our children to withstand darkness.

Lithuania has undertaken this duty with responsibility and seriousness.

Madam President [Dalia Grybauskaite], we respect your efforts to memorialize and educate the youth about this shameful stain, so as never to allow it to happen again.

The newly created democracy of Lithuania is based on courage and tolerance.

On building a future for the free.

The Lithuanian people have learned that the key to raising a new, tolerant generation is in facing the horrors of history with courage.

The blood-soaking the soil of Ponar will not be atoned for until its lessons will become the legacy of humanity as a whole.

Painful memories are etched in our hearts.

Yet high hopes beat in our souls.

On our journey from the abyss of the past to the heights of the tomorrow, we remain determined as ever, to seek justice.

To offer peace.

Not to forget.

Not to forgive.

To pray for the future of our children.

To allow them to be free.

To enjoy peace.

To respect others.

Promising both to remember the shadows of the past and the light of the future.

The Lord who made peace in his Heavens will provide peace on the land.

JBuzz News June 19, 2013: Giovanni Palatucci: Italian Praised for Saving Jews Is Now Seen as Nazi Collaborator

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Italian Praised for Saving Jews Is Now Seen as Nazi Collaborator

Source: NYT, 6-19-13

Information about Giovanni Palatucci, celebrated for saving Jews, is being removed from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in light of evidence that the tales may be untrue….READ MORE

 

JBuzz News June 13, 2013: Exhibition at Auschwitz-Birkenau Honors Children of Holocaust

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Exhibition at Auschwitz-Birkenau Honors Children of Holocaust

Janek Skarzynski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel found the name of Judith, the twin sister of his father-in-law, among the Book of Names exhibit at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday.

Source: NYT, 6-13-13

A multimedia exhibition that tries to push visitors beyond their knowledge of the facts of the Nazis’ Final Solution was dedicated on Thursday….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 29, 2013: Polish history professor Krzysztof Jasiewicz fired for blaming Jews for Holocaust

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Blaming Jews for Holocaust costs Polish prof his job

Source: JTA, 5-29-13

Polish historian Krzysztof Jasiewicz was dismissed from the Polish Academy of Sciences for laying some blame on the Jews for the outbreak of the Holocaust….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 20, 2013: Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

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Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

Source: New York Times, 5-20-13

Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93….

Mr. Spiegel was on guard duty and, according to his son-in-law, Eugene Orenstein, a retired professor of Jewish history at McGill University, gave the signal to launch the uprising….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 18, 2013: Marci Shore: The Jewish Hero History Forgot — 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

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The Jewish Hero History Forgot

Source: NYT, 4-18-13

Raymond Verdaguer

SEVENTY years ago today, a group of young men and women fired the shots that began the largest single act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is rightly commemorated — through books, memoirs and movies — as an extraordinary act of courage in the face of near-certain death. Those who fought in the ghetto provide the iconic image of heroism, and an antidote to images of Jews being led to the gas chambers….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 8, 2013: Holocaust marked at Auschwitz March of Living

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Holocaust marked at Auschwitz March of Living

Source: Jerusalem Post, 4-8-13

“They (Jews persecuted in the Holocaust) live within us, we live with what happened to them,” he continued. Moving on to what Peres described as the “peak” he said, “In a short time, in three years the greatest miracle occurred….READ MORE

JBuzz News March 27, 2013: Rabbi Herschel Schacter Dead at 95; Cried to the Jews of Buchenwald: ‘You Are Free’

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Rabbi Herschel Schacter Is Dead at 95; Cried to the Jews of Buchenwald: ‘You Are Free’

Source: NYT, 3-26-13

via Yad Vashem

Rabbi Herschel Schacter leading the Shavuot prayer service for survivors in the Buchenwald camp in Germany in 1945.More Photos »

The smoke was still rising as Rabbi Herschel Schacter rode through the gates of Buchenwald.

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Buchenwald’s Liberation, as Seen by Louis Nemeth

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Rabbi Herschel Schacter in 1999.

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It was April 11, 1945, and Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army had liberated the concentration camp scarcely an hour before. Rabbi Schacter, who was attached to the Third Army’s VIII Corps, was the first Jewish chaplain to enter in its wake.

That morning, after learning that Patton’s forward tanks had arrived at the camp, Rabbi Schacter, who died in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on Thursday at 95 after a career as one of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, commandeered a jeep and driver. He left headquarters and sped toward Buchenwald….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 8, 2013: Lichtigfeld School, Jewish school in Frankfurt, Germany looks to attract non-Jews

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Jewish school looks to attract non-Jews

Source: Ynetnews, 2-8-13

VIDEO – The Lichtigfeld School opened in Frankfurt in 1966. It was the first German Jewish school to reopen its doors after the Holocaust….READ MORE

JBuzz Op-ed May 21, 2012: Dovid Katz: An Open Letter to Yale History Professor Timothy Snyder

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An Open Letter to Yale History Professor Timothy Snyder

Source: Algemeiner, 5-21-12

Professor Timothy Snyder of Yale University, the author of the famous (and controversial) book “Bloodlands” was brought to Lithuania last week for a symposium on the Holocaust attended also by the director of YIVO in New York. In the course of the same week, the Lithuanian government repatriated, reburied with full honors and held a series of events honoring the 1941 Nazi-puppet prime minister who signed off on the German order for all Jews in Kaunas (Kovno) to be forced into a ghetto.

Dear Tim,

Greetings, and sorry we missed each other in Vilnius this time. I write in the context of our ongoing and respectful conversation, which started in the Guardian (thanks to Matt Seaton, and prominently including Efraim Zuroff) back in 2010 (I, II, III, IV); continuing through our meeting at Yale, the Aftermath Conference in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011 (thanks to Mark Baker, and with participation of Jan Gross and Patrick Desbois), and more recently, via my review of your book Bloodlands (along with Alexander Prusin’s The Lands Between), in East European Jewish Affairs.

In that review, I dealt with a number of areas of disagreement that are on the table concerning the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and the efforts underway to use state funds to downgrade it in a number of countries, particularly the Baltics.

But these debates are inherently separate from the troubling issue on which I’m addressing you today: the ongoing instrumentalization and abuse of your important work by well-oiled government-financed ultra-nationalist and often antisemitic forces in Eastern Europe who have (wrongly) found in your work the ammunition for a discernible slide in the direction of the Double Genocide movement, which reached its zenith with the 2008 Prague Declaration (critiques here), and in the direction of positing the sort of “complexity” that is regularly invoked, particularly here in the Baltics, as euphemism for what is now called Holocaust Obfuscation.

There is, alas, in nationalist and antisemitic circles in some East European states a movement to sanitize or actually glorify local Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators (who were after all, usually quite reliably “anti-Soviet” and “anti-Russian”). In Lithuania alone, this effort has gone hand in hand with a tragic effort to concurrently blame the victims by trying to criminalize, in the absence of any evidence, Holocaust survivors who are alive because they joined the anti-Nazi resistance. Not one of these kangaroo cases has yet led to a public apology, not even to 90 year old Dr. Rachel Margolis in Rechovot, who still dreams of one last visit to her native Vilna.

As reported in DefendingHistory.com last September, a foreign-ministry hosted event in Vilnius in September 2011 included a speech by a leading local historian in which he claimed (wrongly) that your book offers support for the condemnation of Jewish partisans who fought against the Nazis. In May 2011, a historian speaking on Lithuanian radio boasted that “It’s not all hopeless” because of Bloodlands.

Even before that, in late 2010, a far-right film production cited you as an expert consultant in a project to glorify the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) perpetrators who unleashed murder and mutilation of Jewish civilians in dozens of Lithuanian towns before the Nazis even arrived (and who announced their intentions before the war even started). (I trust you withdrew from that project, and offer my belated congratulations for so doing).

But that episode somehow connects with this week. The same ultranationalist filmmakers recently announced their premiere on Sunday 20 May 2012 in Kaunas of a new “documentary” (promo clip here) adulating Juozas Ambrazevičius (later Brazaitis), the 1941 Nazi puppet “prime minister” in Kaunas who signed off on orders for the setting up of a concentration camp for Jews, and the requirement that “all the Jews of Kaunas” be moved within four weeks to a ghetto.

The new film premiered yesterday in Kaunas as the grand finale of four days of Lithuanian government financed events (May 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th) focused on the reburial with full honors and the elaborate honoring of the World War II Nazi puppet prime minister.

What do these events have to do with you, or with the director of Yivo from New York who joined you? Directly speaking – absolutely nothing. In fact, people in the Jewish community here in Vilnius feel certain that when you (and he) accepted the invitations for the May 2012 symposium and related events here in Lithuania that you had no idea your presence would coincide with the long-planned glorification of a major Holocaust collaborator.

But when such things happen, it becomes necessary to react, if not by postponing one’s trip then by speaking out unambiguously with moral clarity.

Events featuring a Yale historian and the head of Yivo, coming at the same time as the state-sponsored events to honor the collaborator, have been used, first:  to deflect foreign and diplomatic attention from the Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis outrage, which has drawn protests this past week from B’nai B’rith, the Wiesenthal Center, an international petition, and critically, the remnant Jewish Community of Lithuania; second: to use your appearance to legitimize those events. After all, if a Yale professor and the head of Yivo are happy to appear the same week about the Holocaust and not come out publicly and firmly against the concurrent glorification of the collaborator, well, then it can’t be such a big deal…

It was sad that neither of you publicly condemned the Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis events during your symposium on the Holocaust in Lithuania. However, it did come up in an interviewer’s question to yourself.

According to the interview published on 15min.lt on 18 May 2012 (and for the sake of the Almighty, please do tell us if they misquoted you), your answer to the question about the repatriation, honoring and reburial of the Nazi puppet prime minister underway during your visit was as follows:

“I am going to choose my words very carefully here. I think before you rebury anyone, you should think very very hard and probably wait a very very long time because once you rebury somebody once, you can’t rebury them again.”
Is that really all you have to say to Lithuanian society, during your visit here, regarding the latest in a litany of government sponsored events to honor collaborators and perpetrators of the Lithuanian Holocaust and not seldom to use your own name and book as artillery?

During this past week, very courageous Lithuanian citizens (who remain here and may even have to face this or that consequence in their careers) have raised their proud voices in dignified protest. They include the members of parliament Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas; member of the European Parliament Leonidas Donskis; political scientist  Darius Udrys; former editor of the Jewish newspaper here, Milan Chersonski; dozens of Lithuanian citizens who have signed Krystyna Anna Steiger’s petition; and, not least, the small remnant Jewish community itself, which issued a bold statement in partnership with the Jewish museum.

As a famous professor soon returning to Yale, would it be too much respectfully to ask you to reconsider your public reaction to the week’s events. You can phrase this much more eloquently and elegantly. Here is just a first thought:

“There are certainly many historical complexities, but as a true friend of Lithuania, I have to tell you frankly that state financing of the honoring of a Nazi-puppet prime minister on whose watch the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry got underway, one who actually signed orders separating out for persecution and worse those citizens who were Jewish, is the worst possible message your government could be sending. It is a tragic mistake, and if I had known it would coincide with my visit, I would have asked to come some other week out of respect for the victims of the Holocaust. As someone who passionately shares your cause of educating the West about Stalinist crimes, I have to tell you that this sort of thing undermines that noble effort through and through.”

Wishing you, as ever, the best of everything,

Dovid

Dovid Katz was visiting professor in Judaic studies at Yale in 1989-1999. From 1999 to 2010 he was professor of Yiddish language, literature and culture at Vilnius University, Lithuania. He is based in Vilnius, where he edits wwwDefendingHistory.com. His personal website is http://www.dovidkatz.net.

JBuzz News April 23, 2012: Todd Endelman: Holocaust victims remembered through music, reflection

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ANN ARBOR: Holocaust victims remembered through music, reflection

Source: Ann Arbor Journal, 4-23-12

Holocaust survivor Henry Brysk shares a photo of his family and the story of an aunt who was killed during World War II. Photo by Chris Nelson.

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Victims of the Holocaust were remembered through prayer, reflection and music on April 19 at the Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor.

The memorial service, the first of its kind in the Ann Arbor area, was created by a group of Holocaust survivors as a way to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.

University of Michigan Professor of Judaic Studies, Todd Endelman, gave a keynote address about how the Holocaust is remembered and its effects, so far, on Jewish culture.

Endelman said there are two factions of thought behind Holocaust remembrance. The first is that it is not talked about enough and the second is that it’s talked about too much and has morphed Jewish identity and definition into one of suffering.

The effect of the Holocaust, Endelman said, might be unknown still.

“We don’t know the impact of the Holocaust,” he said. “Maybe because not enough time has passed. Sometimes things are so large, are so horrific, are so transcendent of existing categories of thinking, are so out of the ordinary that it takes a long time for the whole impact to be made.”

Regardless, Endelman said, the important thing for people to do is to be aware.

“I want us to remain, particularly those of my generation and younger, attentive, listening to whatever new themes or emphasis arise,” he said. “Because we want to hear them clearly when they make their appearance and we want to absorb what they have to say to us.”…READ MORE

JBuzz News April 18, 2012: Historians race clock to collect Holocaust survivor stories

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Historians race clock to collect Holocaust survivor stories

Source: USA Today, 4-18-12

The annual remembrance was observed in Poland and other nations as well, and it took on special meaning this year to historians who are trying urgently to collect the remaining testimonies of eyewitnesses as their numbers dwindle.

One survivor dies in Israel every hour, according to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, a non-profit group based in Tel Aviv that helps care for needy survivors. Today, there are 198,000 survivors in Israel; 88% are 75 or older.

Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial contains the largest archive in the world of historic material related to the Holocaust — or Shoah, as it is known in Hebrew — and it has been intensifying its campaign to record the accounts of survivors. Teams of historians have been dispatched to interview elderly survivors in their homes and collect artifacts.

“We are really racing against the clock to find every survivor and get their stories told before they die,” said Cynthia Wroclawski, manager of the Shoah Names Recovery Project.

Since its establishment in 1953, Yad Vashem, an Israeli governmental authority, has collected 400,000 photographs, recorded roughly 110,000 victims’ video testimonies and amassed 138 million pages of documents on the Nazis’ genocide of Jews in Europe. It was after the Holocaust that the United Nations approved in 1947 what many Jews had sought for decades: a permanent homeland in what is now modern Israel….READ MORE

Dan Michman: Historians, educators forgetting about Jews in framing Holocaust, Bar-Ilan professor says

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Source: The Jewish Tribune, 8-16-11

There is “a battle for memory” taking place in the way historians and educators understand and frame the Holocaust, and a trend in which the “centrality of the Jews” is being neglected, Professor Dan Michman, Department of Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University, and head, International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem told the Jewish Tribune during a recent visit here. “The emphasis has moved in another direction: the laudable issue of preventing genocide,” Michman said.  “When you look to the future, the past – the memory – becomes less important. All that matters is what you can learn from the past to prevent genocide and, to prevent genocide from happening (in any place) on earth, the Jewish aspects of the Holocaust are perhaps not helpful…. Within these trends of (emphasizing) human rights, comparing all genocides and preventing future genocide, the special dimension of the Shoah doesn’t come forward enough, because of the (resulting) need to put the Holocaust into a certain broader framework.”

Scholarly and public discourse on the Holocaust is being over-generalized in the service of examining, for example, commonalities shared by perpetrators of genocide and mass murder or the experiences of lone individuals outside the context of  their local community or larger society.

“An understanding of what was lost in Jewish society and Jewish culture is hardly mentioned. It goes above murder and the motivations of the perpetrators and the suffering of individuals – which are both important aspects – but the special aspect of Jewish society and culture is of no importance for this method of interpretation.

“We’re not speaking about the gravity of murder as such.  It was not just Jewish individuals (targetted by the Nazis): it was the ruining, the erasure, the exorcism of any trace of Jewish existence.”

Michman quoted from the 1946 testimony of Dieter Wisliceny, a Nazi official in Adolf Eichmann’s Department of Jewish Affairs, who was hanged for his crimes in Czechoslovakia in 1948:  “Antisemitism was one of the foundations of the platforms of Nazism. It stemmed in practice from two outlooks: (1) the pseudo-scientific biological statements of Prof. Günther and (2) the mystical-religious view that the world is directed by forces of good and evil. According to this view, the principle of evil was embodied in the Jews.”

Yet today, Michman said, “they all use the term ‘holocaust’ because it has become a brand name.”

Dr. Robert Rozett, libraries director, Yad Vashem, also expressed concern about this trend. He told Canadian journalists, who were on a visit to Israel sponsored by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem and the Adelson Family Charitable Foundation, that the Holocaust is being trivialized, banalized and diminished as a result of the current politicized “tussle.”

“The Holocaust has become our main anchor, the main way we understand evil,” Rozett said.  “It’s the reference point for understanding man’s inhumanity to man.” Perhaps as a result, “people are using the Holocaust to frame their own tragedies” and are using the name “holocaust” to describe events such as the potato famines in 19th century Ireland, the persecution of Christians in 16th century Japan, the deaths of millions in the Soveit Union under Stalin’s regime, as well as to abortion statistics.

“What makes the Holocaust singular versus other genocides is the idea that Jews are evil simply because they exist and that by murdering them you are doing something good for mankind.”

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett: The Woman Behind the Polish Jewry Museum

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INTERVIEWS — MUSEUM NEWS

Source: The Forward, 8-3-11

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has many titles: award-winning author, essayist and New York University professor, among them. Most recently, she’s been tapped to lead the core exhibition development team for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is now being built on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, and which recently made headlines with the surprise departure of its longtime director.

Long associated with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett worked with Polish-born scholar Lucjan Dobroszycki on the landmark 1976 exhibition “Image Before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life Before the Holocaust,” which later was made into a book and a film. Her latest book, “They Called Me Mayer July” (University of California Press, 2007), was a collaboration with her father, Mayer Kirshenblatt, who died in 2009 at the age of 93. It combined Kirshenblatt’s paintings depicting prewar life in his hometown of Opatow, Poland, with stories gleaned from interviews that his daughter began conducting with him in the 1960s.

Forward contributor Ruth Ellen Gruber caught up with Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in Krakow during the Festival of Jewish Culture and asked her about her Yiddish roots, her most enduring project and the current morale at the museum….READ MORE

Reviews: David Shneer: Remembering Soviet Yiddish

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BOOK REVIEWS

Source: Jewish Journal, 7-26-11

Since the 1950s, the so-called Night of the Murdered Poets has become a summertime ritual for Yiddish cultural circles in the United States. The gathering commemorates Stalin’s attempted deathblow to Yiddish culture: On August 12, 1952, the major group of Yiddish writers, thinkers, and critics, who were the leading activists in the wartime fight against Nazism, were shot dead, marking a bloody full-stop to a chapter of what may have been the most intense flowering of Yiddish culture in history…..

The simultaneous covert embrace and public rejection of Yiddish Communist culture points at the difficulty in celebrating it. How can you celebrate poets who wrote enthusiastic odes to Stalin, or worse, denounced one another? How do you applaud the only state in the world that gave official, often generous, support to the flowering of Yiddish letters and also murdered its greatest writers?

This summer, two new books examining Soviet Yiddish creativity shed light on what the Cold War obscured: one of the most productive periods in Jewish cultural history. The first, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust, by historian David Shneer, looks at the way Jewish photographers invented photojournalism in the USSR. The second, A Captive of the Dawn, edited by Shneer with Gennady Estraikh, Jordan Finkin, and the late Joseph Sherman, is a scholarly examination of the foremost Soviet Yiddish poet, Peretz Markish. Both books, in their own way, look at a certain “Jewish” aesthetic.

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes focuses on the presence of Jews in Soviet photojournalism as a key to understanding a striking aspect of crafting Jewish history. Famed Jewish historian Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi once linked the entry of Jewish life into modernity with the Jewish drive to create history. In fact, the heavy Jewish presence in photojournalism was by no means limited to the Soviet Union, but was a global phenomenon throughout the twentieth century—think of the iconic images captured by Robert Capa and Joe Rosenthal.

In the United States, this “Jewish eye” in the arts in the early twentieth century may be associated with social, often leftist, critique. In the Soviet Union, writers and photographers worked, proudly and confidently (not out of fear, as some who wish to rewrite history claim), in the service of the Soviet State. Although it may be strange to admit, Russian Jewish visual and literary artists in the wake of the October Revolution became the fledgling Soviet Union’s most eloquent advocates.

Shneer’s book challenges the accepted rhetoric that came out of the Cold War’s distortions of Soviet history. In particular, Shneer examines previously neglected work to show that the often-repeated claim that the Soviet Union’s attempt to cover up Nazi atrocities is not only untrue, but completely the opposite. Jewish photojournalists in Russia were able to keep Nazi atrocities on the front page and continually emphasized the Jewish aspect of Nazi violence.

A Captive of the Dawn breaks similar new ground by presenting a complete view of this complex poet, so little known outside of Russia and academic circles. When his name is evoked at the Murdered Poets events, Markish is easily flattened as a simple martyr in the Stalinist “Great Terror.” This volume tells the full story of his creativity and, in doing so, tells the story of this incredible era in Jewish culture.

This year the commemorations of the murdered poets will continue as usual, but, perhaps, with a new focus. A new generation of Jews, both local Angelenos and Soviet Jewish émigrés, who have made LA their home, grew up in the age of bar mitzvah “twins,” perestroika, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. They appreciate art created in the USSR and, even, in service of the State. This generation that was offered only dissidents as Soviet Jewish heroes can now see a richer and far more complicated story of Jewish culture in Russia.

This year the Los Angeles August 12th Commemoration “Words Like Sparks: Celebrating Modern Yiddish Creativity in Russia,” will be held on Sunday, August 14th at 3:00 PM at Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring 1525 South Robertson Boulevard.

Dr. Robert Adler Peckerar is Professor of Jewish Literature and Culture at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is the executive director of Yiddishkayt LA.

Dvir Bar-Gal: Cultural Exchange: Preserving the relics of Shanghai’s vanished Jewish population

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Source: LAT, 7-17-11

Gravestones, many plundered or built over, are symbols of a forgotten group. Dvir Bar-Gal, an Israeli expatriate, works to preserve them.

Cultural ExchangeJewish gravestones being unearthed from Shanghai villages. (Dvir Bar-Gal)
By Dan Levin, Special to the Los Angeles TimesJuly 17, 2011

Reporting from Shanghai ——

The green fields on the western outskirts of this vast metropolis are dotted with ripening ears of corn, trash and the skeletons of half-built villas abandoned by bankrupt developers. But Dvir Bar-Gal, an Israeli expatriate and photojournalist, saw none of these as he trudged toward a putrid creek, his eyes scouring the ground. Rather, he was looking for something far older: gravestones buried in the mud — the lost relics of this city’s vanished Jews

“When I go out to these villages filled with peasants it’s almost like I’ve gone back to another era,” he said. “Sometimes I’m lucky. Suddenly I’ll see Hebrew letters or a Jewish star poking out. Then I have to dig it up.”

Since finding one for sale at a Shanghai antique shop 10 years ago, Bar-Gal, 45, has made it his mission to find the Jewish tombstones that once stood in four cemeteries belonging to the real-estate barons, bankers and penniless refugees who settled here before the Communists took power in 1949 and expelled China’s foreigners. During World War II, around 30,000 Jews fleeing Hitler found safe haven in the open port of Shanghai, where they built synagogues, Yiddish theaters and yeshivas even as the occupying Japanese forced many to live in a cramped ghetto.

If the Nazis failed to wipe out these Jewish lives, China’s Communist Party succeeded in erasing their deaths. In 1958, the government relocated all foreign graves to one international cemetery, which was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, when locals plundered the gravestones to use in construction. Although the Jewish bones are irrevocably lost, Bar-Gal, a blunt, balding man who left behind a job covering the chaos of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to devote himself to documenting Shanghai’s Jewish history, refuses to allow the elaborately carved markers to be consigned to the trash heap.

“It’s harder and harder to find them now because of all the development,” he said, pointing to new houses rising nearby.

In collaboration with the Israeli consulate, Bar-Gal has so far found 105 gravestones and has created the Shanghai Jewish Memorial Project tracking down the descendants of those who died and documenting their lives. He hopes one day the gravestones will become part of a Jewish memorial in the city’s Hongkou district, which once housed the ghetto and the Ohel Moshe synagogue, now a museum of Shanghai’s Jewish refugees. But, according to Bar-Gal, the district government has denied his request, claiming the gravestones would bring bad luck.

So they languish, cracked and broken, stored in a warehouse and piled up in a parking lot at the city’s Buddhist cemetery, which was once the international cemetery. With no one to look after his collection, the gravestones sometimes go missing. In April, Bar-Gal received word that two were on display at the Shanghai Burial Museum, which also functions as a crematorium….READ MORE

Historian Gerald Steinacher Interview: How Did So Many Nazis Escape Justice?

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Source: Jewish Free Press, 7-13-11

How did so many Nazis and Nazi collaborators manage to escape Europe after World War II? Who helped them flee and why? What routes did they take on their way to freedom?

https://i2.wp.com/www.jewishpress.com/UploadedImages%5CStdImage%5C450Gerald-Steinacher.jpgThese and other questions are answered in painstaking detail in a new book, Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice, by Gerald Steinacher, an assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The book, originally written in German, was translated into English by Oxford University Press and hit bookstores last month. The Jewish Press recently spoke with Steinacher.

The Jewish Press: According to your book, a great many Nazis escaped Europe through Italy. Why Italy?

Steinacher: Because the Allies were in Germany and Austria but had retreated from Italy. There was no Allied government there after December 1945, so once you were in Italy, you were free. This is one reason. The other reason is that for many people from Eastern and Central Europe the ports in Italy were just the closest in terms of geography.

Who gave Nazis the travel documents they needed to escape?

The International Committee of the Red Cross. They were in charge of giving documents to [the 12 million] Volksdeutsche – ethnic Germans – who were expelled from Central and Eastern Europe after 1945. But there was one condition for obtaining these documents, and this was that the person had to be stateless.

So war criminals like Eichmann, Mengele, and many others went to Italy and, once there, stated, “I’m an ethnic German from South Tyrol, Italy and I am stateless.”

Why would someone from South Tyrol, Italy be considered stateless?

That’s a good question. South Tyrol is a border region. It’s in Italy but it’s mostly German speaking. It was annexed to Italy after the first world war (it had previously been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for hundreds of years) and in 1939, as part of Hitler’s policy with Mussolini, the South Tyrol minority in Italy was given a choice: They could stay and become completely Italianized or they could become German citizens and move to the Reich or some newly annexed territory. Most of them became German citizens.

At the end of the war, this agreement between Hitler and Mussolini was not recognized by the Allies and these South Tyrolans were considered stateless like most ethnic Germans from Eastern and Central Europe.

But didn’t the Red Cross realize that some of these “South Tyrolans” applying for travel documents were in fact former Nazis?

They did. But you have to realize that the Red Cross had no, or at least not much, experience with issuing travel documents and they were completely overwhelmed. They told the Allies and the Italian authorities: “We don’t want to do this job anymore because we are not the police. We can’t screen the backgrounds of these people. We have to take for granted whatever these people tell us. If Adolf Eichmann tells us he is Richard Klement from South Tyrol and he’s stateless and he wants to go to South America to start a new life, we have to believe him.”

My interpretation is they realized there was massive abuse, but they thought, “We are still helping many, many normal refugees who need these travel documents to start a new life. There may be some black sheep with Nazi backgrounds among these refugees, but the majority are innocent people.”

How many travel documents did the Red Cross issue?

Around 120,000-140,000 between 1945 and 1950.

How many “black sheep” were among them?

It’s extremely difficult to give exact numbers. One reason is definition. Are you only looking at Austrians and Germans who were perpetrators of the Holocaust? Then you have very small numbers. If you look at Austrians and Germans who were Nazis or in the SS, but maybe not technically or legally perpetrators of the Holocaust, then of course the numbers are much higher. And if you also include collaborators and fascists from all over Europe – from the fascist regimes in Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Ukraine, or Vichy, for example – then you have tens of thousands of people. So it depends very much on definition.

What was the role of the Vatican in all this?

The Vatican relief commission for refugees worked in close cooperation with the Red Cross. A Nazi would come to the Red Cross with a reference letter from the Vatican commission, and say, “I’m stateless, this is my name, date of birth, location of birth” and so on, and the Red Cross officials wouldn’t ask questions because the recommendation came from the Vatican.

That’s how Franz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp, escaped Europe.

Why would a Vatican official give Stangl a letter of recommendation?

In this particular case the official was a bishop by the name of Alois Hudal, who was known to be very pro-Nazi. In 1937, Hudal had written a book by the title The Foundations of National Socialism, which he sent to Hitler with a dedication.

But members of the clergy helped Nazis for various reasons. Some of them did it because they were former Nazis; others because they were pro-fascist; and others out of religious motivations. They said we want to help these people come back to the herd. They got lost; we have to bring them back into the church and forgive them. Christian mercy also played a role. In fact, there were some clergy who helped Jews hide during the war and then helped Nazis escape after it – both times acting out of mercy.

What’s your take on Pope Pius XII?

Well, I don’t think he was “Hitler’s Pope,” but it’s clear that he was very anti-communist and anti-communism played a crucial role in all of this. The fear of a communist takeover in Italy was widespread after 1945. There was a strong communist party in Italy, and the possibility that Rome – the heartland of the Catholic Church – would become communist was a horror scenario for many people inside the Vatican. So there was a strong motivation to help anti-communists even if they had a Nazi background.

In 1945 the Nazis were gone, but the communist enemy was still there and more dangerous than ever before.

You write in the book that the CIA also helped former Nazis escape Europe. Why would the CIA do that?

Again, you have to keep in mind the background of the early Cold War. These Nazis were anti-communists and the new enemy was the communists. The United States thought some of these Nazis could be useful. They didn’t have experts on the east who knew the Ukrainian, Yugoslavian, Italian and French communists, for example. But there were people who knew these communists and these were former German intelligence officers.

In your book, you discuss a popular theory – which you call a myth – that former Nazis helped each other escape Europe after the war through an organization called ODESSA. What is this ODESSA myth?
ODESSA is short for Organization of Former SS Members. The ODESSA story came up in ’45, ’46 based on some reports from the CIC, the American counter intelligence corps. This was picked up by Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter, who proceeded to depict ODESSA as a worldwide organization, a kind of conspiracy of former SS members who had unlimited resources and bank accounts in Switzerland and gold and connections everywhere.

But this is a complete myth. There is no evidence of it whatsoever. Such a perfectly- and centrally-organized organization with these powerful means never existed. It’s an invention by Simon Wiesenthal and Frederick Forsyth, who wrote The ODESSA File, which was a best-selling novel – and later made into a movie – based on Wiesenthal’s reports.

Cecile Rojer Jeruchim: Recipes Recall Darker Days, the Holocaust & Culinary Memories

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A Crop of Books Link the Holocaust With Culinary Memories

Family Memories: 1940s-era photos of contributors Cecile Rojer Jeruchim with her siblings on right, and Luna Kaufman with her mother appear on the left.

Courtesy of ‘Recipes Remembered’
Family Memories: 1940s-era photos of contributors Cecile Rojer Jeruchim with her siblings on right, and Luna Kaufman with her mother appear on the left.

By Devra Ferst

Cecile Rojer Jeruchim remembers the last meal she shared with her mother. It was a typical Belgian lunch of steak, mashed potatoes and Belgian endives. “I hated Belgian endives!” she recalls. It was 1943, she was 12.

When a non-Jewish friend stopped by during the lunch and offered Cecile the opportunity to accompany her to voice lessons, Cecile jumped at the chance. “Not before you finish your endives, or I will save them for you for dinner,” her mother said. Choosing to put off the disliked dish for later, Cecile left with her friend. While she was gone, her parents were arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where they ultimately perished. Cecile and her sister, Anny, survived the war by hiding in a Catholic convent.

“Today I often eat Belgian endives, as their subtle flavor brings me closer to my mother…,” she writes in “Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival,” a new cookbook written and assembled by June Feiss Hersh in association with the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

It may seem strange or even perverse to link food and recipes with stories of the Holocaust, a time when there was such death, hunger and deprivation. But the women caught in these horrors often discussed food, reciting and recording recipes. The experience of starvation in camps and ghettos fortified these culinary memories, and the discussions took on profound meaning as psychological sustenance and as a connection to a Jewish, and even human, identity.

This book, the third published in the United States to link recipes to stories of the Holocaust, represents an important evolution in the genre. While the first two books preserve the recipes of survivors and those who perished exactly as they were written by the original cooks, “Recipes Remembered” is the first to provide readers with tested (and, if necessary, slightly altered) recipes that can easily be re-created at home, allowing the tastes of these dishes to serve as reminders of the lives of the women and men who created them.

The tome comprises a collection of about 80 survivors’ stories and their personal or family recipes. Jeruchim’s entry includes a recipe for Belgian endives along with two others. The stories, which are organized by geographical regions across Europe, are often both remarkable and heartbreaking, ranging from recollections of members of the Bielski partisans in Poland to recipes representing the refined Jewish cuisines of France and Germany. Collectively, the stories and recipes help the reader peer into the kitchen of a generation of European Jews and remember their tales through the dishes that sustained them…READ MORE

Hitler and Stalin The Q&A: Timothy Snyder, historian

Hitler and Stalin The Q&A: Timothy Snyder, historian

Source: The Economist, 6-3-11

SOME topics are so dark that even scholars feel intimidated. Yet Timothy Snyder is not so easily daunted. A professor of Eastern European history at Yale, his most recent book, “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin“, examines some of the most devastating collective memories of the modern world. With scholarly rigour and engaging prose, he seeks to explain both the causes and effects of the two most haunting mass murderers of the 20th century. The “bloodlands” of the title describes the area where the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered 14m civilians. The Economist has praised the book for being a “revisionist history of the best kind”, one that “makes the reader rethink some of the best-known episodes in Europe’s modern history.”

The book has been controversial among some Holocaust scholars, many of whom argued that Mr Snyder does a disservice by comparing the crimes of the Nazis with those of the Soviet Union (something Mr Snyder discussed in an interview with The Economist when the book first came out last year).

Mr Snyder was recently in Poland to promote a Polish-language edition of his book. This month his tour will take him to the Netherlands, England, Australia and Israel. In a conversation with More Intelligent Life, Mr Snyder talked about his approach to the book, which is meant to clarify some common misunderstandings about the second world war.

What are some of the most common misconceptions of the history of the so-called “bloodlands”?

The first is that there’s something that people think they understand and it turns out that they don’t, and that thing is the Holocaust. The reality of it is, if anything, worse than they think, much more face-to-face, much more barbaric, much more unforgettable. People think that the Holocaust is something that happened in Germany, generally to German Jews. They think it’s something that happened only in Auschwitz. They generally don’t know about any of the other death facilities besides Auschwitz; they generally don’t know that half of the Jews who were killed were shot rather than gassed.

Hitler and Stalin killed virtually in the same place, and that is Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the Baltic states, western Russia. The Holocaust happened in a place where millions and millions of people have just been killed due to the Soviet policies.

And the third thing I would point to is the habit of reduction. For example an approach saying: it must have all been the Germans, or it must have all been the Soviets. Both of these systems brought tremendous death and suffering. If you want to avoid criticism then you shouldn’t be a historian, because historians are trying to understand and explain. If you’re trying to please people then you should go into the fashion business, or the candy business.

You’ve lived in Eastern Europe for a while, and you have learned the languages spoken in the ‘bloodlands’.  Would you say it’s much harder, or even impossible, to get to certain information if you don’t speak the local language? 

The question of languages is very important. If you don’t know Russian, you don’t really know what you’re missing. Imagine that you’re in a huge country house and you have keys, but your keys only open some of the rooms. You only know the part of the house that you can wander in. And you can persuade yourself that that’s the whole house, but it’s not. We can only see as much, and we can only go as far as our languages take us. I wrote this book in English, but there are very important conversations that are happening in German, Russian, Polish and so on among those historians, and the book is addressed to all of them.

At a lecture at the Kosciuszko Foundation a few months ago, you said that your goal is not to compare the crimes of Hitler and Stalin. But how does one write about the casualties caused by both without forcing the reader to compare? How do you resist the urge to draw clear comparisons while writing such a book?

It’s not that I’m against comparisons per se. On the contrary, I think a comparison is totally natural. It’s just that if you want to compare you have to know what it is you’re comparing. People often generate these comparisons thinking: ‘I already know about the Nazis’ or ‘I already know about the Soviets. Therefore, I know that the Nazis were worse.’ Often they don’t know a lot about the other side of the conflict. I like to think that people will read this book and then be able to make better comparisons.

Westerners tend to know the history of Nazi Germany better than the history of the Soviet Union. Why is that? Is there more literature about the Nazi crimes than the Soviet ones in English?

Something interesting happened when the cold war ended: the US stopped being so concerned about the Soviet Union. Our teachers and professors strive desperately to save something from the 20th century, and that something is the Holocaust. It’s been happening since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Part of this has to do with an issue of identification. People in the West tend to identify with western victims. So even when they think about the Holocaust, they really think about the German or French victims, they’re not thinking about the Polish, Hungarian or Soviet victims. And when they think about the German crimes, they’re not thinking about the starvation of Soviet prisoners of war, which also killed 3m people; they’re not thinking about the partisan campaigns in Belarus, which no one has ever heard of, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. They’re thinking of the people they can identify with—nice, middle class, western-looking people. So it’s not that people only know about the Holocaust. It’s just that they have this very western idea of the whole tragedy. What I try to do in my book is to make the Holocaust more ‘eastern’, which it was.

How did you pick the individual, personal stories that are included in the book? They are effective in giving names and faces to the otherwise inconceivable numbers of casualties.

It was important to me that a book that was mainly about a tragedy on a tremendous scale be comprehensible. I did my best to explain the policies, but also to make sure the readers understood that the victims were human beings. That’s why I have the material about these individuals. It’s about life and death, and life is made of individual human beings. And the significance of death is that it ends a life.

Writing a book like this you don’t want to seem too mechanical, but you also don’t want to be sentimental, and say that only because they died all these people were good. That’s not the point. I was trying to make these people real. And if you make them ideal, they’re not real.

German communities that murdered Jews in the Middle Ages were more likely to support the Nazis 600 years later

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Source: Slate, 6-1-11

If a century seems like a long time for a culture of racism to persist, consider the findings of a recent study on the persistence of anti-Semitism in Germany: Communities that murdered their Jewish populations during the 14th-century Black Death pogroms were more likely to demonstrate a violent hatred of Jews nearly 600 years later. A culture of intolerance can be very persistent indeed….

The authors of the new study, Nico Voigtländer of UCLA and Joachim Voth of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, examine the historical roots of the virulent anti-Semitism that found expression in Nazi-era Germany. In a sense, their analysis can be seen as providing a foundation for the highly controversial thesis put forth by former Harvard professor Daniel Goldhagen in Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Goldhagen argued that the German people exhibited a deeply rooted “eliminationist” anti-Semitism that had developed over centuries, which made them ready accomplices in carrying out Hitler’s Final Solution….READ MORE

Obama Lays Wreath at Warsaw Memorial

Source: JTA, 5-31-11

President Obama participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Poland’s capital city.obama warsaw ghetto

Obama was joined at the May 27 wreath-laying ceremony by members of the local Jewish community and Holocaust survivors. In the 1943 uprising, lightly armed Jewish fighters battled German forces trying to liquidate the ghetto for nearly a month.

Politico reported that a woman attending the ceremony raised the issue of Israel with Obama, telling him, “It’s the only Jewish state we have, and we trust you,” to which the president responded, “I will always be there for Israel,” an exchange picked up by a microphone.

Obama visited the ghetto uprising memorial an hour after arriving in Warsaw and shortly after participating in a wreath laying at Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His two-day visit to Poland marked the final stop on his European tour.

Project Heart: Property Lost in Holocaust Is Cataloged in an Online Database

Trove of historic records of Holocaust goes online

Source: AP, 5-2-11

Project Heart

A trove of papers and photographs documenting the lives of Holocaust victims and survivors includes notable names like Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. But Benzion Baumrind’s name might have stayed forgotten to his descendants without the records kept by a humanitarian aid agency.

A genealogist discovered Baumrind, one of 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust, was in her family with one stray document buried in a database of historic papers and photos kept by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

With over 500,000 names, and more than 1,000 photographs, the searchable collection documents the relief organization’s vast efforts during World War II and the postwar era in 24 countries, from China and Japan to the Dominican Republic and Bolivia. The records, being made available online for the first time on Monday, open a singular view into the lives of survivors that the JDC aided during that cataclysmic period.

“We can get broader pictures of the actual everyday social life in the aftermath of war,” Kenneth Waltzer, director of the Jewish Studies Department at Michigan State University, said of the collection.

Until now, the organization’s archive has been largely inaccessible to the public, kept at a private storage warehouse located a short subway ride out of Manhattan.

Volunteers entered names in a database for over a year; rare, fragile documents were scanned into the computer system. Users of the site can submit names to identify people they recognize in the photographs, which may be later added to captions.

“A website like this is where history meets technology,” said Gideon Taylor, an executive with the New York-based committee. “It’s taking history out of the dusty files… And bringing it out into the community.”

The committee plans to put even more documents from its archive online later this summer.

The project is one of a growing number around the world aimed at making available on the Internet primary records about the Holocaust.

“It is a world phenomenon that’s launched by the technology,” said David M. Kleiman, president of Heritage Muse Inc., a New York-based genealogy technology firm…READ MORE

Property Lost in Holocaust Is Cataloged Online

Source: NYT, 5-2-11

As millions of Israelis paused in reflection on Monday at the sound of the siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Internet here was buzzing. The first online databaseof more than half a million pieces of property lost by Holocaust victims, many in Eastern Europe, had just been uploaded as a first step toward restitution.

After years of quiet diplomacy that accomplished little, organizers of the new project, financed by the Israeli government, said the idea was to harness technology in the struggle for restitution and to make as much noise as possible.

“This is an activist approach,” said Bobby Brown, executive director of the Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce, known by its acronym, Project Heart. “We believe there are no secrets anymore about the Holocaust.”

Pointing to the success of public drives in the past, like the campaign for Soviet Jewry and the settlement of claims of Holocaust victims by Swiss banks, Mr. Brown said the issue of property restitution had to be out there on Twitter and Facebook, although negotiations with countries where properties were located “do not have to be made public right away.”

The project, a nonprofit global campaign of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a quasi-governmental body, has set up offices in Milwaukee and Brussels. It was announced at a news conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, and another news conference is planned for Wednesday in New York City. In line with the open approach, donors are paying for advertisements for Project Heart over the next six weeks in Times Square.

This is the first worldwide list of property confiscated, looted or forcibly sold during the Holocaust era to be made available to survivors and their heirs. Compiled from hundreds of European archives, including tax records and voter registries, it includes real estate and land, movable property like art and jewelry, and intangible personal property like stocks, bonds and savings accounts…READ MORE