Rediscovered in Berlin:
Eleven modernist sculptures branded as "degenerate art"
by the Nazis and thought to have been destroyed during WWII. The sculptures include works by Otto Freundlich
, who was murdered at Majdanek; Naum Slutzky
, a craftsman of both the Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus; and Margarete Moll
, who studied with Matisse.
Dancing under the gallows (SYLT)
A trailer for an upcoming documentary traces the life of concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, the worlds oldest Holocaust survivor.
Regina Jonas was the first woman rabbi.
Ordained by the head of the German Liberal Rabbis’ Association in 1935 she continued to meet considerable resistance from many more conservative Jews; nevertheless she continued to work as a rabbi whereever she could find an audience even after being deported to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt
; she remained there, giving comfort as she could, until she was murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. Her work was, for many years, forgotten until her papers were discovered in East Germany
Ukrainian-born German Alina Treiger is to become the first woman ordained in Germany as a Rabbi
, one of the last surviving victims of violent persecution
of GLBT people by the Nazi regime, and Adam
deaf gays and lesbians relate their own kinds of It Gets Better
Poetry in Hell
contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives
. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
Lessons from a Tailor
— directed by Galen Summer
and filmed by Ed David
. The inspiration for this film came directly from the man himself. When I first met Martin Greenfield at his factory, with the intention of interviewing him for a lifetime achievement award he was receiving for his efforts as an employer and business owner in Bushwick, Brooklyn, it became clear that there was more to his story than mere success in business. Here was a man who had pulled himself up from tragedy and hardship, who had survived one of the most horrific events of the 20th century, the Nazi holocaust, and yet still possessed a lightness of spirit. [more inside]
Living with the Enemy.
"Applying the ideas of Holocaust survivor Jean Améry
to present day Rwanda, our author argues that reconciliation after genocide is just another form of torture."
"'Jewish people don't own the Holocaust."
...at least according to Yann Martel. via the Guardian.
"The inescapable fact about the book, Martel's long-awaited follow-up to Life of Pi, is that it has not been very well received. In the US the reviews were what one politely calls "mixed"; in the UK they have been uniformly hostile. The general view is that pretty well all fictional treatments of the Holocaust are doomed, and that this one – about a blocked writer who meets a taxidermist writing a play about "the horrors" who is probably a former Nazi seeking some sort of catharsis – is more doomed than most."
In honor of the museum's 50th anniversary, the Anne Frank House
has created a virtual tour
of the Secret Annex and the rest of the house
. The complete manuscript
of Anne's diary has also gone on display at the museum for the first time
From The Nation
, a 7400-word discussion
of Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews
, and Hannah Arendt, author of Eichmann in Jerusalem
, their relationships to each others' scholarship as well as to their complicated Jewish identities.
'Kafka was a slightly strange man.'
A profile of Alice Herz-Sommer, lifelong friend of Kafka.
“I am not a hero...I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”
, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100.
Poland has declared a state of emergency, after
the infamous bronze sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei"
at former Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) Auschwitz
was stolen yesterday. [more inside]
Germany is, for the first time, trying a non-citizen
for crimes committed as part of the Holocaust. John Demjanjuk, originally from Ukraine, is an 89-year-old man, retired US auto factory worker, and former US citizen who has been deported and charged with 27,900 murders
for the part he may have played in World War II. This is the second time
Demjanjuk has been tried. [more inside]
Fritz Darges died on Saturday aged 96
. Darges was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and was present for all major conferences and policy announcements for four years of the war. He reportedly left instructions that after his death his memoirs of his time with Hitler could be published
. [more inside]
Bradley R. Smith and Mark Weber are at the center of the U.S. Holocaust-revisionism movement. Now they’re feuding with each other. A sensitive and interesting investigative report
by Mark Oppenheimer. Via
the Daily Dish.
"What we are seeing in this project is that all of Europe was a camp."
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum just released
the first volume of a projected seven-volume Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945
. "They assumed the finished work would be massive, featuring a staggering 5,000 to 7,000 camps and ghettos. They underestimated by 15,000." [more inside]
Wafa Younis is an Arab Israeli musician who organised a youth orchestra in the Jenin refugee camp. She recently
brought her orchestra to play for Holocaust survivors at an Israeli old age home. The performance was strongly criticised
by Palestinians as a hostile political act. Now the orchestra has been disbanded
, its performance space sealed
, and Ms Younis has been expelled from
the West Bank. [more inside]
Do you, or an older relative of yours, recognize any of these children?
More than 70 children separated from their families during WWII, now all elderly men and women, are using the Internet to try to find some answers about their pasts, their families, and sometimes even their own names. They are soliciting help and suggestions in the comments sections on each story. [more inside]
Menorahs glowed in almost every living room window during Hanukkah. Hasidic Jews streamed down the streets on Friday night and Saturday morning, walking to and from synagogue services. "There was total freedom," marvels Magda Brown, 81, who survived Auschwitz. But inside their homes, at night, the survivors—and their families—were roiled by their pasts. The rest of Skokie did not know the troubles that stirred behind the immaculate facades of the close-packed houses. [more inside]
Imagine watching Schindler's List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father's sins, trying to come to terms with her "inheritance." She seeks out Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality.
| PBS P.O.V. - Inheritance home page.
| Interview with the filmmaker.
| Watch the full film online.
(December 11, 2008 - January 4, 2009.)
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome, which was badly damaged by Allied bombing in July 1943, again praised Pius XII
, a pope seen by Jewish leaders and other critics as having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust
, and who is nonetheless on his way towards beatification
, a step towards sainthood. The Vatican contends that Pius XII worked behind the scenes to help many escape the Holocaust
, although many Catholics question
“I have seen many Anne Franks in Cambodia.
...Under Pol Pot, many children were separated from their families. They faced starvation and were sent to the front to fight and die,” she explains. “Like Anna, they never knew peace and the warmth of a home.”
by Sayana Ser
with help from the Dutch embassy in Cambodia (Kampuchea, Khmer), The Diary of Anne Frank has now become one of the most popular and discussed books in this war-torn country.
(google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
On this day in 1941
a man named Witold Pilecki
deliberately got himself arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Pilecki was a spy sent in to investigate the camp and establish underground resistance cells. He sent reports
to Warsaw, which passed them to London. In 1942, his reports that prisoners were being gassed
were not believed. [more inside]
"We're having him do what our 13-year-olds do. But Bernie was doing things the rest of us shudder to imagine when he was 13."
Holocaust survivor Bernie Marks is preparing for his bar mitzvah, 65 years late
Women and the Holocaust
is a site about women's experiences in the Holocaust. It has poetry, testimonials, personal reflections, tributes, essays and more.
In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied its ally Hungary and immediately began preparing the extermination of Hungary's Jews
. A small band of diplomats from neutral countries and the Red Cross
put their lives at risk to try to smuggle as many Jews as possible out of Hungary from under Adolf Eichmann's
nose. While Raoul Wallenberg
remains the best known of these "Righteous among the Nations"
, there's no doubt that the most intriguing character was Giorgio "Jorge" Perlasca
. [more inside]
"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed."
A Belgian writer has admitted
that she made up her best-selling memoir and that she did not trek 1,900 miles as a child across Europe with a pack of wolves in search of her deported parents during World War II. More at Slate
. Here's an excellent portal about feral children
. [more inside]
Should you be attending this year's carnival in Rio, you probably won't be seeing a huge float rolling down the parade route depicting an enormous pile of emaciated corpses
and a samba-dancing Hitler. But that's only thanks to a Brazilian judge's decision
1945. As the new year breaks in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the months-long SS torture of four women -- Ala Gertner
, Roza Robota
, Regina Safirzstain
and Ester Wajcblum
-- draws to an end. The women were being interrogated about their role in the Sonderkommando revolt
of October, 1944. [more inside]
Upon the Nazi invasion of Poland, pediatrician Eugeniusz Łazowski and his friend Stanisław Matulewicz fabricated a fake typhus epidemic
to save Polish Jews from the Nazis
. Knowing that typhus-infected Jews would be summarily executed, non-Jews were injected with the harmless Proteus OX19
, which would generate false positives for typhus. [more inside]
You know who else enjoyed Auschwitz? No, not them
. That's right, them
. [more inside]
Darwin's Deadly Legacy
illustrates how Charles Darwin caused the Holocaust. This documentary, from the late Dr. James Kennedy
and his Coral Ridge Ministries, features not only rare, Bigfoot-esque glimpses of the notoriously camera-shy Ann Coulter
, but also Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project. Of course, Dr. Collins hates everything about the documentary and claims that his footage was simply spliced in under false pretenses
, and even Michael Behe distances himself from the entire production, disagreeing as he does with its central tenets
. Oh, and the ADL is pissed, but when aren't they? Anyway, not even arch-conservative websites with "We Need Alan Keyes For President" interstitial ads think the documentary is worth very much
. And it seems that Hitler himself had a grand old time pimping out Christianity and denying that we came from apes.
.) So watch the fucking trailer
and learn yourself some history
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
- an overview of the people and events of the Holocaust through photographs, documents, art, music, and literature. It is designed to prepare K-12 teachers to approach this sensitive topic. The content is presented from three perspectives: Timeline, People, and The Arts. Produced by the University of South Florida.
"Before you kill me, can you give me a bit of bread?" How a Jew, orphaned by Nazi atrocity,
became a mascot
-- to the Schutzstaffel.
"So much for “never again.” So the problem has obviously not disappeared."
(1926-2007, NYT obit) explains why he added a chapter on Rwanda to the last edition of The destruction of the European Jews
, a work that took him a lifetime
and 3 editions to complete
, meeting with indifference, then with criticism from those who didn't share his (at the beginning) functionalist
view of the Holocaust. Hilberg became involved in other controversies
about the Holocaust, but "The Destruction..." remains the "the closest of any work in print to being the Summa of Holocaust studies
" (Christopher Browning). Also: Hilberg intervied by Claude Lanzmann in "Shoah" (YT)
You've heard of Oskar Schindler
. You've heard of Raoul Wallenberg
. But you've probably never heard of Irena Sendler
(or Sendlerowa). Sendler, who turned 97
in February, saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. She doesn't think
she's a hero, but she's been nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize, largely due to the attention brought to her story by four girls from rural Kansas
This Sunday will be Yom HaShoah
"Holocaust Martyrs' Remembrance Day" in Israel.
A month ago Eric Muller, a law professor at UNC, went to Germany
to find what he could about his great uncle Leopold Müller. Today he got something unexpected
in the mail. (via
Elie Wiesel was attacked in a San Francisco hotel
today by a Holocaust denier, intenton forcing the Nobel Prize winner confess that his book Night
was a fictionalized account of his survival of Dachau. Incredibly, someone is taking credit for the attack
"To me, I've always looked upon the stage as a much-hallowed place, a place of worship for real artists, as I said just before. That doesn't just stem from rock n roll days; to me, Judy Garland was a real artist, Al Jolson was a real artist, people like that gave their all and everything for the stage and most of them finished up dying for it as well. In my view, nobody should be allowed to stand on a stage unless they can present the total professional thing, unless they really can sing and really can play. Punk was a total anti-attitude towards music."NWOBHM
: How a now-little-known nostalgic reaction to punk called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal changed the world.[much, much more inside]
A multimedia exhibit on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Wikipedia on gays under the Nazis
, Paragraph 175 - a documentary profiling gay survivors of Nazi era policies
, and memorials of the gay Holocaust
. A few Nazi-era gay and lesbian figures of note:
- A Berlin intellectual and pioneer in sexuality research, and an early advocate for gay rights, (controversial in part for his early support of outing
died in exile after Nazis destroyed his Institute of Sexual Science.
- The butch orchestra conductor Frieda Belinfante
and gay artist William Arondeus
were part of the same resistance group that first falsified papers for Dutch Jews, and then when Nazi's began to compare these falsified papers with city records, set fire to the Amsterdam Registry building.
- Lily Wust
, the wife of a German soldier, fell for a Jewish woman at the wrong time. Their story became the subject of a book and film