For Aca Singer, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia, preparing for the seder this year is the least of his worries.
“Only a very few people will have seders at home this year,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital. “The seder is not our main concern. We have a bigger problem — the war.”
The fable told in the Oscar-winning Italian film “Life is Beautiful” — a Jewish boy survives the Holocaust hidden by his father in a Nazi concentration camp — actually happened.
Recently discovered archival records of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee document the story of Joseph Schleifstein, who is believed to be the only child to have survived the Holocaust in this manner.
Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, responding to a request by Anti-Defamation League leaders, promised to speak out against the rising anti-Semitism in his country.
The ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, and ADL leaders met with Primakov in Moscow to ask that he lend his voice against anti-Semitism. And Primakov did just that during the 30-minute meeting, Foxman said.
“He had been criticized as the one authority who had not spoken out since the outbreak of anti-Semitism,” the ADL head said in a phone call from the Russian capital.
The Vatican’s top liaison to Jews has strongly criticized “Jewish agencies” for damaging Catholic-Jewish relations with “aggressive attitudes” against the Church, and has declared that the premier Jewish international interfaith umbrella group is dead.
During a revealing World War II meeting between Pope Pius XII and the British ambassador to the Vatican, the pontiff said he had no complaints against the Nazis occupying Rome and expressed concern about the trouble his city would encounter when they left, according to a recently declassified U.S. memo obtained by The Jewish Week.
And when the British diplomat details for the pope German abuses, the pope does not directly respond, according to the two-page document which records the Nov. 1, 1943, meeting between Pius XII and British Ambassador Francis D’Arcy Osborne.
James D. Besser |
Washington — Even the weather suggested mourning. At the Jordanian embassy in the northwest part of the capital, a cold drizzle turned the adjacent construction sites into mud holes and a large portrait of King Hussein, who died Sunday, was streaked with rain. Still, a steady procession of mourners entered the block-like Mediterranean-style building and waited to sign a condolence book.
Limor Hasson, who works a few doors away at the Israeli embassy, was one of the first.