It has been 66 years, but Isabella Svetlosanova still vividly remembers the Nazi siege of her hometown of Leningrad that began in September 1941, and of fleeing at the age of 4 with her mother in a military convoy.
“We had to leave my father behind in a makeshift hospital,” the Brooklyn resident recalled in an interview conducted through a translator. “He was very sick — very weak from hunger,” surviving as they all did on a daily diet of melted snow and just four ounces of bread.
Democrats and Republicans seem to be in complete accord on a proposal to set up a special commission to look for Holocaust-era assets in this country. Last week, the Clinton administration and Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.)
Poland has introduced legislation that would cut compensation to former Jewish property owners and heirs whose homes and businesses were seized by the Nazis. The legislation would cover fewer claims than previous versions of similar bills and would also pay only 8 to 10 percent of the property's value. The Polish government had previously agreed to discuss such legislation with Jewish leaders before submitting it to parliament for approval.
The law professor last month awarded $3.1 million for his work on the Swiss Bank Holocaust settlement now wants $300,000 more.
The professor, Burt Neuborne, said in court papers that he is owed interest for the two years he waited while the court weighed survivors’ objections to his fee request.
“Shock is the only way to describe this obscene effort at enrichment at a time when Holocaust survivors are dying in poverty,” said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants.
For 50 years the image of Auschwitz burned into the world’s consciousness was the wrought-iron “Arbeit Macht Free” sign that mocked a million and a half Jews as they entered the Nazi slaughterhouse.
But in recent months, another image has been forced on the Jewish world: a profusion of crosses planted by Polish Catholic extremists eager to exploit latent anti-Semitism to boost their nationalist cause.
Leo Melamed says his life is like a movie — “Casablanca,” he suggested, with its harrowing escapes, hard-won transit permits and pervasive mood of threat. But it’s an updated “Casablanca,” filled with the high-tech tools of Melamed’s trade and the trappings of wealth he has acquired since his days on the run.
Extra Israel Aid Back On Track
After a major campaign by the pro-Israel lobby, the Bush administration has ended its opposition to an extra $200 million in military aid to help Israel with the soaring costs of its fight against terrorism.
The price: Pro-Israel forces will have to swallow an extra $50 million in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians.
Prague, Czech Republic — On a recent visit here, my wife and I toured several famous synagogues, remarkable for their long history, beautiful architecture and vast size, part of the reason why for tourists, the Jewish sites of this charming city — most notably the centuries-old cemetery in the center of town — are second only in popularity to the ancient royal castle that dominates the skyline.
Joseph Nsengimana, the Rwandan ambassador to the United Nations, was among 21 diplomats Saturday morning at Park East Synagogue’s Holocaust remembrance program. Three days later, he found himself sitting in for the president of the UN General Assembly to open the UN’s fourth annual Holocaust commemoration.
“I felt comfortable doing it because I am really committed to the commemoration of the Holocaust, because we at the UN also commemorate the genocide in Rwanda,” he said.