Budapest — Rahel Raj calls herself a 21st-century Yiddishe mama.
The daughter of a rabbi and mother of a toddler, she and her family run a pair of popular bake shops here that specialize in Jewish pastries such as flodni, a calorific confection of layered nuts, apple and poppy seeds that is one of the symbols of local Jewish cuisine.
Tirana, Albania — Barely six weeks ago, the recreational facility and park grounds known as Piscina, in the nation’s capital, was one of the few places where Albanian families could go for a swim, hike through the forest, or ride in bumper cars.
That was before local authorities turned Piscina into a refugee camp.
Since early April, it has served as a tent city for 2,500 ethnic Albanian refugees forced out of Yugoslavia by the Serbs.
Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian Jew who is this year’s Nobel laureate in literature, often says that he’s a medium of the Holocaust. “Auschwitz speaks through his stories,” a friend of his, the Israeli literary critic and author Shmuel Thomas Huppert, tells The Jewish Week. “His main theme is Auschwitz. He stresses the fact that first of all he’s a writer. He didn’t become a writer because he was in Auschwitz but, by being in Auschwitz, he found his major theme.”
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Despite all the apologists, anyone in the United States during the 1940s, particularly a Jew, who said that he or she had no idea about the Holocaust was either an idiot or illiterate. Despite all the attacks on the media for not telling everything, and for not telling it on the front page, any person who read Time magazine, the number one newsweekly in 1943, was given all the information required to know that an extermination was underway that was unparalleled in history.
Normally, the image of a soldier in uniform in Germany is frightening to Jews.
These pictures are comforting.
The uniforms, and the soldiers, are Israeli.
Each year Israel sends several hundred active-duty soldiers — most of them sergeants — and police officers to Europe to build ties with the Jewish communities in such countries as Germany, Poland and Hungary, and to give the Israelis an on-site education about the Holocaust.
In Russia, a three-day gathering of physicians and breast cancer survivors. In Hungary, a nationwide breast cancer screening program. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a breast cancer hot line.
Four years after the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee joined the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in a series of pilot advocacy and educational programs in three former Iron Curtain countries, tens of thousands of women are learning to take their health, literally, into their own hands, leaders of the initiative say.
Bengt Olander, a Swede from Gothenburg, had an early education about Raoul Wallenberg, Sweden's hero from the Holocaust.
At 7, visiting his grandmother's apartment every day, Olander met a Hungarian woman, one of several refugees from Hungary his grandmother housed after the 1956 Revolution. He noticed something unusual about the woman.
"She always looked so sad," Olander recalled.
He asked why. She told him she was a Jew who had almost died during the Holocaust.