The plaintiff is British, a historian of World War II who has asserted that Jewish claims of genocide by the Nazis are exaggerated, that the Auschwitz gas chambers were built after the war by the Polish government as a tourist attraction, that Adolf Hitler did not become aware of the full extent of the Final Solution until 1943.
The defendant is American, a scholar and leading authority on Holocaust denial.
In one of his first acts after being sworn in as chancellor of the controversial new government in Austria, Wolfgang Schuessel faxed a letter to the World Jewish Congress in New York promising to move ahead immediately to resolve all outstanding Holocaust-era claims, The Jewish Week has learned.
Jewish leaders were split this week on how to react to an Austria governed in part by a rightist party whose leader, Joerg Haider, has made and apologized for comments praising some of Hitler’s policies but has been adamant in his refusal to open Austria’s borders to more immigrants.
David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said Austria must be made to “understand the international consequences [of such a government]. It will pay a very heavy price for going down this road.”
Alice Fischer, her two younger brothers and her parents lived the good life in the 1930s. A grand piano sat in the living room of their mansion in Munkatch, Czechoslovakia, a valuable art collection adorned the walls, the table was set with sterling silver, and the family wore gold jewelry while servants attended to their every need.
by Julie Wiener |
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
A leading Jewish organization is urging the U.S. government to immediately pressure Russia to help resolve the longtime mystery of Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance.
Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat employed by the U.S. War Refugee Board, saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis during World War II and was last seen being taken into custody by the Soviet Union on Jan. 17, 1945.
Jewish groups and survivors are taking off the gloves as they vie for a share of the Swiss banks’ $1.25 billion Holocaust-era settlement.
Even the friction between Reform and Orthodox Judaism is coming to the surface, as Reform Jews argue that their institutions in Europe deserve a special share of the money because the Orthodox deny them funding in Germany and Israel.