Holocaust

Frankfurt Elects First Jewish Mayor Since 1933

03/26/2012

 

The German city of Frankfurt has elected its first Jewish mayor since 1933 and only its second in history.

In elections held Sunday, Peter Feldmann, a 53-year-old economist and political scientist, won with 57 percent of the vote -- surprising even himself, according to news reports. The Social Democrat will succeed Petra Roth of the conservative Christian Democratic Union.

Feldmann, the former head of a home for seniors, takes the helm of a city with some 650,000 inhabitants and Germany's fourth-largest Jewish population.

J'Accuse! Robert Alter on Nathan Englander, a New Literary Feud

When I saw that the new issue of The New Republic had Robert Alter reviewing a new work by Nathan Englander, I instinctively thought it’d be of Englander’s new translation of the Passover Haggadah.  Given that Alter is a widely admired translator of the Hebrew Bible, it was only natural for me to assume as much. 

A Holocaust ‘Myth’ That Can’t Be Washed Away

‘The Soap Myth’ pits a survivor’s memory against the historical record.

03/20/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the most horrifying stories to come out of the Holocaust is the one about the Nazis turning Jews into bars of soap. But is it true? In Jeff Cohen’s new play, “The Soap Myth,” which is now in previews Off Broadway, a Holocaust survivor pits his eyewitness version of the truth against historians and museum curators who insist on documentary evidence. The play asks searching questions about how the Holocaust should be remembered and understood in an age in which survivors are dying out and Holocaust deniers spew their own hateful views.

Greg Mullavey plays Milton Saltzman, a Holocaust survivor on a crusade in Jeff Cohen’s “The Soap Myth.”

On Peter Novick, Albert Abramson, and the Death of Two Feuding Holocaust Figures

This week brought news of two shocking deaths: the first of Albert Abramson, 94, an important figure in building the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  And then there was Peter Novick, 77, an historian who wrote a withering attack of the Holocaust’s undue influence on American Jewish identity.  The two would probably have had little to agree

Bibi Netanyahu: On History and Its Abuse

All eyes were on Bibi Netanyahu yesterday as he delivered his AIPAC speech.  At times he was disarming, at others bellicose, both emphasizing that Obama has Israel’s back, but that if need be, Israel would go it alone.  “The purpose of the Jewish state is to secure the Jewish future,” he thundered. “That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”

Haredi Protestors' Use Of Holocaust Imagery Condemned By Israeli Leaders

01/01/2012

Israeli leaders criticized a haredi Orthodox demonstration in which protesters wore yellow stars to indicate that they are being oppressed like the Jews in Nazi Germany.

More than 1,000 haredi Orthodox protesters gathered in Jerusalem Saturday night to protest what they described as persecution against their way of life, including separation of the sexes.

Film Recalls Controversy Over U.S. Jews’ Inaction During WWII

12/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Pierre Sauvage has focused as a filmmaker on Jewish subjects.  He owes his life to the good people of Le Chambon, France, who saved him as a child, along with many others, during the Holocaust.  His 1989 film, Weapons of the Spirit, documents their story. 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Nathan Englander

In February, Nathan Englander's much awaited short story collection will be released.  But this week, The New Yorker gets privileged access, publishing a new short story titled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank."  That's also the title of the upcoming collection, and if the story is any indication of what's in store, readers are in for a major treat.  The story had me riveted, not least because of the communal Jewish d

Survivors Again Press Congress For Right To Sue Insurers

Hearing this week is latest attempt to allow survivors to press claims in state court; French rail case testimony also heard.

11/17/2011
Staff Writer

After years of getting the runaround from the German insurance giant Allianz, Herbert Karliner recently learned why he had been unable to collect on his father’s life insurance: the company claims his father cashed in the policy on Nov. 9, 1938 — the day of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom against Jews.

On that day, Karliner said, his “father’s store was burned down and he was taken from our home to Buchenwald,” a Nazi concentration camp.


Survivors demonstrated in Feb. against Allianz at a golf tournament the German insurance giant sponsored in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Jewish Questions Meets The Shostakovich Question

My colleague George Robinson wrote an insightful piece on the upcoming "Babi Yar" symphony being performed by the New York Philharmonic this weekend.  I've never heard the symphony in full, but I look forward to hearing it this Thursday night.

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