Tagged Holocaust

Imagining if Anne Frank had lived to tell her story

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — At a Paris café after the war, a young publisher is quickly falling in love with an adorable Jewish author he just met as she discusses her still-unpublished book. It is an intensely private account based on a personal diary that recounts her amazing survival of… Read more »

‘Butterfly’ journeys back to its source

Members of the Philadelphia-based "Butterfly Project" perform in Terezin, the very place where the characters they portrayed had been imprisoned during the Holocaust. (Londa Salamon Photography/www.londaphotography.com)

 PRAGUE (JEWISH EXPONENT) — When the applause faded, the 32 young actors remained on stage in silence. Some of them hugged. They looked at each other, their faces filled with amazement and disbelief — the circle was complete. The Philadelphia-based troupe had brought the words of Terezín’s children back… Read more »

Yom HaShoah event will honor survivors, Mexican diplomat

Gilberto Bosques

The 2014 community Yom HaShoah Commemoration, “Diplomatic Acts of Conscience and Courage,” will honor Tucson’s Holocaust survivors and Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques. The event will take place on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, and will begin with a procession and candlelighting ceremony by local Holocaust… Read more »

In Washington, Netanyahu brings sunny peace vision, dark Iran warning

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Policy Conference March 4, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington determined to hold the line on Iran, but he also brought something new: an expansive vision of Middle East peace. The Israeli prime minister remained firm, after meeting with President Obama on Monday, in insisting that any nuclear deal must remove… Read more »

‘Monuments Men’ recalls Allied effort to save Europe’s heritage

From left to right: John Goodman, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bob Balaban and Bill Murray star in "The Monuments Men" (Claudette Barius/Columbia Pictures)

BOSTON (JTA) — There’s nothing like a star-studded Hollywood movie to shine a light on a little-known piece of history. That’s the hope of Robert Edsel, who wrote the book that inspired “The Monuments Men,” the George Clooney-Matt Damon film that opens Friday in theaters across the country. The… Read more »

Romania has come a long way on Holocaust remembrance, but denial persists

BUCHAREST, Romania (JTA) — Touring the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005, Romanian President Traian Basescu was unprepared to confront some painful truths. Facing a photograph showing pro-Nazi Romanian troops offloading their Jewish countrymen from cargo trains, Basescu was shocked and saddened. For decades, his country’s educational system had… Read more »

Behind Japanese fascination with Anne Frank, a ‘kinship of victims’

Examples of Anne Frank abound in Japanese popular culture. (Courtesy of Alan Lewkowicz)

 AMSTERDAM (JTA) — She speaks only Japanese and is not entirely sure what country she’s in, but 18-year-old Haruna Matsui is happy to stand in the rain for an hour with two friends to see the home of a person she has never met yet nonetheless considers her soul… Read more »

For lone socialist in Congress, pet issue finds the spotlight

Sen. Bernie Sanders addressing a rally on Capitol Hill in 2013. (Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont and the only self-described socialist in Congress, has long been an outspoken voice in Washington on issues of economic inequality. But with the vanishing middle class figuring prominently in the campaign for mayor of the country’s largest city, and… Read more »

In its time of need, repaying a debt to the Philippines

Alex Frieder, seated, surrounded by Jewish refugees that he and his brothers helped escape from Nazi Germany and Austria to the Philippines. (3 Roads Communications)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As the extent of the catastrophic damage and tragic death toll continues to grow in the Philippines, a particularly heroic piece of history should be recalled by the global Jewish community, which owes a debt to the island nation. Seven decades ago, a Philippine president,… Read more »

Seeking Kin: The quest to honor an Arab hero doctor

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. BALTIMORE (JTA) — For Carla Greenspan, the news was upsetting: A relative by marriage of the man who saved her mother’s life during the Holocaust was spurning an award from Yad Vashem. “It’s a sad legacy for… Read more »

Jewish groups back Obama on Syria, but downplay Israel angle

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House with members of Congress about the situation in Syria, Sept. 3, 2013. (Photo by Dennis Brack/Getty Images/JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish groups backing President Obama’s call to strike Syria militarily are citing moral outrage and U.S. national security as primary considerations, but concern for Israel — however muted — also looms large in their thinking. A lingering sensitivity over misrepresentations of the role of the pro-Israel… Read more »

Seeking Kin: Following a father’s footsteps back to Prague

Chana Staiman visiting the building in Prague where her late father, Harry, was raised. (Courtesy Chana Staiman)

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE (JTA) – As a girl in Seattle, Anne Bush evinced little interest in the Holocaust, even though her father, Harry, was a survivor whose mother, sister and brother-in-law had been murdered. But as a mother in… Read more »

Seeking Kin: Photo brings desperate hope for a Holocaust miracle

Rose Goteiner believes that her sister, Ruth Konigstein, is shown in the middle of the bottom row of this 1946 photograph taken in Amsterdam. (Courtesy American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Global Archives)

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE (JTA) – Picking up her mail about a year ago, 88-year-old Rose Goteiner stopped in her tracks upon seeing the photo on a newsletter cover. Posing shortly after the Holocaust ended, 21 people were standing before… Read more »

Near Dutch ‘Sharia triangle,’ a small Jewish enclave endures

A Star of David in the architecture of the Van Ostade Jewish Housing Project in The Hague. (The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, www.cidi.tv)

THE HAGUE, the Netherlands (JTA) — On a cold winter night in 2008, Wim Kortenoeven was startled by the crackling of a large fire raging near his home on the edge of this city’s last remaining Jewish enclave. Rushing from his apartment, Kortenoeven walked 70 yards and crossed the… Read more »

Across Warsaw, remembering Warsaw Ghetto heroes with yellow daffodils

People laying flowers at Umschlagplatz at the Warsaw Ghetto, the monument at the site from which Jews were deported to Treblinka. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — In Warsaw, sirens wailed and church bells rang to mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a valiant but failed revolt by Jewish fighters against the Nazi occupiers who already had deported hundreds of thousands of Jews to the Treblinka extermination camp. An… Read more »

At last, Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews is dedicated

Exterior of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw showing the "gap." (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Krzysztof Sliwinski, a longtime Catholic activist in Jewish-Polish relations, gazed wide-eyed at the swooping interior of this city’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Nearly two decades in the making, the more than $100 million institution officially opened to the public last month amid… Read more »

Holocaust commemoration marks shift for Greek Jews in fight against neo-Nazis

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, third from left, leading the march in his city from Liberty Square to the Old Railway Station, March 2013. (Michael Thaidigsmann/WJC)

THESSALONIKI, Greece (JTA) — Antonis Samaras stood in the pale morning light coming through the stained glass windows of the only Thessaloniki synagogue to survive World War II and vowed, “Never again.” For Greek Jews marking the 70th anniversary of the destruction of this city’s historic Jewish community, the… Read more »

Seeking Kin: A friend’s Holocaust trauma sparks a Jewish soul

The Seeking Kin column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE (JTA) – Recalling her childhood friendship with the girl across the street fills Rozanne Dittersdorf with immense sadness but also deep gratitude. More than six decades later, the pain her friend evinced still brings Dittersdorf to… Read more »