Berlin

Stress On The Strasse

03/07/2003
Staff Writer
Berlin: It was a scene dripping with historical irony. On a street in this transformed former capital of Nazi Germany, a German man this week approached Philadelphia Rabbi Jacob Herber, here as part of a delegation of American spiritual leaders, and advised him to remove his kipa, fearing for his safety. "He said, 'Sir, do you have to wear that,' " Rabbi Herber related. "It's very dangerous here because of Muslims." "I was surprised," the rabbi said. "The fact that a German is protecting a Jew from a Muslim was unexpected."

Archives Release Hailed, Questioned

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
Nearly 40 years ago, Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” accused Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII of moral cowardice and indifference while millions of Europe’s Jews were being murdered. The German playwright’s work triggered a worldwide wave of anti-Pius XII criticism, prompting the Vatican — in an unprecedented move — to unlock some of its secret wartime archives in an attempt to refute the charges, arguing he worked behind the scenes to save Jews and did not speak out for fear of a backlash against Catholics and Jews.

N.Y. Philanthropist Jack Nash, 79

08/06/2008
Staff Writer
Philanthropist Michael Steinhardt was walking on a street in Berlin in the 1990s with Jack Nash, an old friend — and refugee from Nazi Germany — who was returning to his homeland for the first time in five decades. Mr. Nash related a story of the time when, as a child, he went for a walk on those Berlin streets with his family’s nanny. They inadvertently came across a Nazi parade, he told Steinhardt. “All around, people were standing, giving that one-arm salute,” he described that memory.

Holocaust Humor Losing Its Shtick

09/25/2009
Staff Writer
Hitler, suffering from laryngitis, mounts a podium in Berlin at the end of World War II to deliver a stirring oration. Out of sight from the masses, a Jewish thespian intones the words that the lip-synching dictator apparently is shouting. A concentration camp survivor, who had survived his internment by acting as a dog for a sadistic commandant, encounters a Jewish boy who fancies himself to be a dog in a psychiatric hospital after the war. The older survivor adopts canine behavior to bring the boy back to reality.

The Forgotten Olympians

08/06/2004
Staff Writer
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles. The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts. Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.

Arafat, Neville, Did More For Peace Than Obama

Friday, October 9th, 2009 I don’t get it, how did Obama get the peace prize and not Chamberlain? At least Chamberlain came home from Munich with a piece of paper. And don’t dismiss the prize because Arafat won it. Don’t compare Obama’s accomplishments to Arafat’s. That’s not fair to Arafat. At least Arafat had the Oslo Accords to show for himself.  (That’s pretty grim, when you compare Obama to Arafat and Arafat comes out more worthy of the prize.)

'Delayed Justice'

12/17/1999
Staff Writer
Under a $5.14 billion settlement reached Tuesday with Germany, Nazi slave laborers are expected to receive a one-time payment of about $10,000 in as early as six months, according to an attorney for many of the Jewish victims. The settlement was reached after yearlong talks between the German government and German industry, and Jewish groups and victims' lawyers.

For German Converts, A New Home for the Soul

04/14/2009
Staff Writer

Trekking through ice-coated fields in a brutally cold Russian October, Lt. Arthur Wollschlaeger pressed on, as he and his swastika-emblazoned companions conquered the western Russian city of Orel — another victory for the unrelenting German Werhmacht infantry. He had earlier taken part in invasions of Poland, Holland and France — a World War II military career that began when he first entered the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland, in 1938.

Bernd Wollschlaeger, carrying the Torah, broke from his parents to become a Jew.
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