Category: Magazine

Margaret Thatcher’s Family Sheltered a Jews During The Holocaust

In 1938, after Germany crossing the border into Austria, the situation for Jews worsened sonsiderably. Mobs attacked Jews around the country, looted shops, and arrested 8,000 Jews , while 5,000 were sent to the concentration camp, Dacau.

The Mühlbauer family lived in Vienna. Edith Mühlbauer was 17 at the time, and as the plight of Jews in Austria became more hazardouss, she wrote to her English pen pal, Muriel Roberts, asking if she could come and stay. Muriel’s family didn’t have the money to host Edith, but wanted to help, so her father asked members of his Rotary club for money to bring his daughter to England.

Edith arrived at the Roberts home in Grantham, England in April 1939. She brought two gifts, one for Muriel, who was the same age as Mühlbauer, and the other for her 13-year-old sister, Margaret, the future Prime Minister of England.

Mühlbauer found it difficult to settle into the Roberts’ home. The house the family shared above their shop on North Parade was, Margaret remembered, “very small… [with] no mod cons” (modern conveniences). “We didn’t have a proper bathroom in those days,” the former prime minister wrote of Mühlbauer’s stay in her memoirs. “She was used to better things.”

Muriel said Mühlbauer was “a nice girl” with a “wonderful wardrobe” who didn’t want to go on family strolls in the countryside because Edith said, “It’ll ruin my shoes.”

Thatcher was shocked to hear Edith talk about “what it was like to live as a Jew under an antisemitic regime…. One thing stuck in my mind: The Jews, she said, were being made to scrub the streets.”

A reporter tracked Edith down in Brazil after Thatcher had left Downing Street. Edith acknowledged, “If Muriel had said, ‘I am sorry, my father says no,’ I would have stayed in Vienna and they would have killed me.”

When people ask, “What can one person do?” Thatcher responded, “That is the question that people so often ask. Never hesitate to do whatever you can, for you may save a life.”

Philpott observes, “As Prime Minister, Thatcher did not always see eye to eye with Begin or Yitzhak Shamir, but her commitment to Israel — an oasis of democracy, in her eyes — was never in doubt. It was symbolized by her visit to the Jewish state in 1986 — the first ever by a sitting prime minister.”

Source: The Times of Israel

Image: AP Photo/Gerald Penny

By: Hadassah Schwarz

Women Carrying Jewish Pride Flag Expelled from Dyke March in Chicago

On the June 24, 2017, at a rally organized to express women’s intersectional identities in Chicago, Illinois three women were expelled due to carrying a pride flag with a white Star of David, also known as the Jewish pride flag. The Dyke March takes place in various capital cities in the world, embracing women from the LGBTQ+ community.

The three women are active members of the gay and Jewish community and regular participants at the march. One of them, Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson said on an interview to the NY Times: “I was here as a proud Jew in all of my identities. The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don’t know why my identity is excluded from that. I feel that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”

Another woman alienated from the march is Laurel Grauer, a manager at a Wider Bridge, an organization built to assist the LGBTQ community in Israel in a personal, not political way.
“During the picnic in the park, organizers in their official t-shirts began whispering and pointing at me and soon, a delegation came over, announcing they’d been sent by the organizers. They told me my choices were to roll up my Jewish Pride flag or leave. The Star of David makes it look too much like the Israeli flag, they said, and it triggers people and makes them feel unsafe. This was their complaint.”

Laurel, shocked, tried to explain herself. First, she tried to untie the association between the state of Israel and the symbol of Judaism, saying it’s an “ubiquitous symbol of Judaism”. Laurel insisted she just wanted to be Jewish in public, and then explained in the communities jargon: “this is my intersection. I’m supposed to be able to celebrate it here,” but in vain. The Dyke community charged Laurel for using the acceptance Israel shows towards LGBTs in Israel to “pink wash” Israel’s image.

Yet apparently, the expulsion is not more than the tip of an iceberg. As an official comment, the Dyke March Chicago posted on their Facebook page they made clear that their problem is against Zionism, not Judaism. As a progressive left group they stress that all oppressions are linked, therefore one who fights for women’s rights can’t support the oppression of other human beings. They see zionism as the ultimate oppressor in the middle east, not concerning the facts.

The group published a Facebook update:

“Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer, and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members.(…) We want to make clear that anti-Zionist Jewish volunteers and supporters are welcome at Dyke March and were involved in conversations with the individuals who were asked to leave. We are planning to make a longer statement in the future.”

A look at their Facebook page shows the organization is clearly political, demolishes Israel and Zionism and calls for boycott, and has gone very far from only standing for LGBT equality. The page gathers tens of support calls from NYC Queers against Israeli Apartheid, Black and Brown Punk Show Collective, Jewish Voice for Peace and hashtags like #Dykes4Palestine #NoPrideInPinkwashing #NoPrideInZionism.

Source: out, NY Times, Facebook

Image: For The People Artists’ Collective

By: Roni Zedek

Polish School Honors Jewish Girls Expelled By Nazis

A polish school in Krakow revealed a panel containing the names of 87 Jewish girls, who were expelled during the Second World War in 1939 during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

The Polish city of Krakow is part of a growing interest and willingness to commemorate the Jews, who lived there prior to the Holocaust.

The event took place at Adam Mickiewicz Junior Secondary School, and commemorated the 125th anniversary of the founding of the school. Before the Nazi occupation, the school housed many Jewish students, and was an all-girls school.

Lital Beer, director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Israel found that 87 Jewish girls were expelled. She discovered that 21 were killed in the Holocaust, 24 survived; the fate of the other 42 unknown.  The difficulty trying to trace names, was especially trying since many changed their names more than once, often to Hebrew if they settled in Israel, or changed their last names through marriage.

The research project lasted two years, and began with a request from the school’s principle, Gabriela Olszowska to locate the whereabouts and fate of the former students. Beer added that Yad Vashem gets many requests to conduct private research for individuals, but is usually unable to carry out many of them. However, special attention was given to this case.

“I was very moved by the principal’s initiative to research the [fate of the] girls and commemorate them,” Beer said. “We want to embrace those initiatives as much as we can.”

Source: Israel Hayom

Image: Ynet

by: Efrat Baron

Neo-Nazi Video Games Not an Anomaly

A video game is available, which caters to Neo-Nazi fantasies. The game includes battling with Jews, who wear yellow stars on their uniforms.

According to gamers, “Zog’s Nightmare” is one of the most violent and antisemitic games that has ever been made. “Zog” is an acronym for “Zionist-occupied government,” an anti-Zionist and antisemitic conspiracy theory that believes the world is secretly run by Jews or Zionists. “Zog’s Nightmare” was released in 2006 by a former member of the American Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

Another Neo-Nazi game, which is called “Ethnic Cleansing” allows gamers to play as a member of the Klu Klux Klan. As part of the game, players can kill Jews who shout “oy vey” when killed, and African-Americans who imitate monkeys.

Source: Forward

Image: NS88 Videos

Written by: Efrat Baron

 

Nazi Enclave In New York Changes Discriminatory Policies

In the 1930’s, Nazi sympathizers lived in Camp Siegfried in eastern Long Island, New York, and supported by the German American Settlement League. The narrow and private roads were named after Adolf Hitler and Third Reich figures, lawns were carefully kept and mailboxes with German surnames written on them were placed on streets.

Records show Nazi influence at the camp during the years prior to World War II. The camp was sponsored by a German American fund who promoted Hitler and was loyal to the United States. Thousands of members celebrated what was known as “German Day,” by holding a public festival. Swastikas were common, often found on residents’ homes.

The Nazi camp changed its policies after being accused of discriminating residents, who wanted to buy land in the area and faced difficulties if they didn’t have German origins.

Fred Stern, a board member of the league lived at the camp for 40 years. Stern admitted that the community was previously inundated with German ideas, however he denies the radicalism. Kaitlyn Webber, another resident said her family has always been very open, adding: “We’ve never had any issues with anyone discriminating against anyone up here.”

The league owns the camp’s land and dictated housing rules. People who wanted to sell their homes, have been prohibited from advertising to the public, and could only announce it within a private setting with a league member. Evidence shows it was extremely difficult to sell a house in the area. Stern said that real estate advertisements were by word of mouth, adding that “everybody knew when a house would become available.”

New York’s city attorney called to end the discriminatory practices, and to replace the organization’s leadership.

Source: Fox News

Image: New York City Archives via AP

By: Yael Soffer

 

Teenage Girl Brutally Attacked By Antisemitic Gang

A 16 year old girl, the was violently assaulted by a group of teenagers. Hannah was in Stoneyfields Park in Edgware, London with two friends, when she was called derogatory names and was told “Hitler should have killed all you Jews when he had the chance… you should have all been gassed.”

When she and her friends attempted to leave the area, a basketball was thrown at her, physically assaulting her. She was then kicked in the chest and punched in the face by two gang members.

Despite the authorities being called, they did not arrive at the scene until two hours after the event.

Alexander Goldberg, the former Chief Executive of the London Jewish Forum and current Jewish chaplain at the University of Surrey, and Hanna’s father expressed concern. During a speech at the JC,  he added that Hanna had recovered from the physical injuries following the attack, however the emotional scars still remain

“We’ve had to put in a local police complaint about the emergency call. They didn’t come to the incident. They claim they sent a car, and that’s now subject to investigation, but [Hanna] claims they waited for an hour to two hours. They waited a long, long time. I’m a chaplain and the Met’s standard practice, I’ve established with them, is that when there is any sort of violence of that nature, certainly male on female, there should be an eight minute response time,” Goldberg said.

“Whatever happened, something went seriously wrong, whether it was dispatching, whether it was getting someone on the scene, or whether the officer didn’t look around or had the wrong address, we don’t know. But that is now being investigated locally by the police. Sadly, the officer involved has gone on leave for a few weeks.” Police later said.

Mr. Goldberg, who has worked for the Commission on Racial Equality also spoke of his concern of racial abuse.

“You’ve got young people in their teens using the Holocaust and Holocaust imagery to abuse young Jewish girls,” he said.

“This discourse has become more acceptable within social media, within public circles, and within mainstream society and also in the political arena. I’m concerned about the fact that my daughter was attacked, I’m concerned for other people’s children, I’m also concerned about the lack of police response. I’m always willing to believe that there’s been some sort of mess up over conspiracy – something went wrong systematically, I’m not suggesting anything else. But something went wrong.”

Source: The JC

Image: The JC/Hanna Goldberg

By: Hadassah Schwarz

 

British Jews Seek to Renew German Citizenship After Holocaust

A 48-year-old Jewish author, Thomas Harding is attempting what his ancestors might never have imagined: re-applying for German citizenship.

Harding, whose family perished in the Holocaust feels it is part necessity, part right. When the U.K. voted to leave the European Union earlier this year, Harding decided he should not be denied twice of his European citizenship as did his family previously in wake of the Holocaust.

“It’s not about something for us, or for me. It’s about something spiritual, it’s about reconciliation. It’s about acknowledging the truth of the horrors of the past but also about trying to build a better future together, and as a European, that’s what I hope to do,” Harding said.

Of the many complications arising from the U.K.’s split from the EU has sparked a wave of Britons, whose family came from other parts of Europe and pushed them to claim citizenship of the other 28 other member states so they can retain ties to the EU. Most often requested are German, Austrian and Polish citizenship.

While some apply due to convenience, for Jews the move speaks volumes. Many Jews fled Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler, seeking refuge elsewhere. For many, re-affirming ties to a country which murdered their families is a daunting task indeed.

According to Michael Newman, chief executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees, what locals are referring to as ‘Brexit,’ – the exit of Britain from the EU has inspired many to take such a step. For Jews however, the process is made easier due to recent efforts made by the government of Germany.

“There is an acceptance of guilt, and I think that makes it a different proposition,” Newman said.

Harding is not alone, as several Jews are considering this option which allows them freedom of travel within the EU.

Marc Meyer, director of the Conference of European Rabbis referred to the phenomena as ” open[ing] the floodgates of insecurity and those of opportunity” to European Jews.

But for others the journey has been long towards acceptance of the past. Harding recently documented this journey in his book, “The House by the Lake.”

Six of Harding;s family members where brutally murdered by the Nazis, who forced Harding’;s family to leave behind their property, a cottage which had been in the family for generations. The surviving members escaped to the U.K.

While Harding grew up in a traditional British family, they still refused to buy German household appliances and abstained from traveling to Germany on vacation.

Harding’s grandmother gave him an envelope of family memoirs.

“Inside was the swastika-stamped passport for her husband and father-in-law, along with a black piece of cloth on which had been sewn a yellow J…[grandmother] Elsie’s message was clear – this is my history and this is your history. Do not forget.”

In 2013, Harding returned to his family [property in Germany, and found the cottage in a dilapidated state. Having examined the house, Harding noted, “One room looked as if it had been used as a drug den, littered with broken lighters and soot-stained spoons.”

Harding claims that it’s logical for Jews to cling to the EU, which strove to prevent a Third World War.

“You could argue that the flight of the German Jews, the persecution of the German Jews, was the symbol of the breaking up of Europe, and the European Union was set up specifically to create a political, social context of peace. That’s part of it, isn’t it?”

Source: Israel Hayom; Times of Israel

By: Yafit Ovadia

Memorial Sign in New York for Israeli Girl Murdered by Palestinian Terrorist Vandalized

According to a report by Jpupdates, New York City police are actively investigating the vandalism of a memorial sign for 13-year-old terror victim Hallel Yaffa Ariel. Ariel was fatally stabbed by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist while sleeping in her home in Kiryat Arba in June.

The memorial sign, which was posted on the door of Congregation Sons of Israel in Queens had the message, “2000 Palestinians murdered by IDF. Why do you only care when Jews die?”  along with “Zionism is racism.”

The suspect approached the synagogue, located at 3321 Crescent Street in Astoria, at around 5:45 p.m. One of the synagogue’s board members approached the suspect and asked him to stop what he was doing, at which point the suspect shouted, “Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to my relatives in the Holocaust!” according to police Sunday.

“On Tuesday, August 16, at around 7 p.m., we put up a new and bigger sign to mourn the death of this young girl,” Rabbi Jay Shoulson told JP. “When we returned Wednesday morning the sign was gone. Someone who can vandalize and steal such a sign,” Shoulson concluded, “is not a human being.”

NYPD spokesman Detective Hubert Reyes said the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force Unit is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Another NYPD official said detectives have recovered surveillance video showing the suspect vandalizing and stealing the signs. Based on the surveillance footage, the suspect is described as around 5-foot-5-inches tall, with a ponytail and a red baseball cap.

The synagogue did not report the incident until after the sign was stolen, the NYPD official said.

Rabbi Shoulson said the board was considering ignoring the incident, but once the suspect returned and stole the sign, they realized they were dealing with a more serious problem, and called the police.

For further reading:

http://jpupdates.com/2016/08/22/memorial-sign-vandalized-in-queens-for-girl-murdered-in-israel-while-sleeping/

by: Chirelle Chekroune

German MP Stands Firm in Face of Anti-Semitism

German MP Michaela Engelmeier is working to fight racism and anti-Semitism in Germany and firmly opposes the BDS movement. Engelmeier, who has visited Israel says nothing will stop her from standing strong in the face of anti-Semitism, despite having received multiple death threats.

Engelmeier, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, visited Israel with a member of the German-Israel lobby, Michael Thews this past week.

In wake of the death threats, Engelmeier retorted “They don’t know who they’re dealing with. They don’t know who they’re dealing with. No anti-Semite or Nazi will silence me. The attacks against me only encourage me and prove to me how important my mission is.”

Engelmeier came under fire earlier this year since coming out strongly against a German high school teacher, Christopher Glanz who promotes the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) Movement and has called for a complete boycott of the Jewish State.

Glanz reportedly was quoted that Israel should have been created in southern Germany, among other offences.

Glanz also dictated to his students on Holocaust Remembrance Day that it was not worthy of commemorating since he noted “Israel was committing genocide against the Palestinians.” Glanz teaches 10th grade in addition to entry classes to Muslim refugees.

The National Teachers’ union in Germany at first published his pro-BDS article and added its support to the boycott of Israel. However, it later claimed to reject Glanz’s anti-Semitic views. The union held an investigation into Glanz’s authority and questioned whether as a school teacher, he was at liberty to voice his political opinions to students.

Glanz lashed out at media and was “appalled at the response of the national union, which was influenced by Jewish politicians and community leaders.”

All of this did not faze Engelmeier who claimed she will not give up in the face of anti-Semitism.

Source: Israel Hayom; Twitter

By: Yafit Ovadia

U.S. Intersection Hit with Anti-Semitic Graffiti for Fifth Time

According to a report by JTA, Anti-Semitic graffiti has appeared for the fifth time this month at one of the busiest intersections in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C.

On Monday, swastikas were discovered sprayed on a street. A swastika also was drawn on the door of a corner near Starbucks.

The graffiti was found near where vandals in August had previously painted the word “Jew” repeatedly next to images of rats on an outdoor Chinese Zodiac public art display.

Maintenance crews employed by Downtown D.C., a private nonprofit organization that encourages businesses in the city center, have reportedly removed the graffiti, including the swastikas.

D.C. Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information that may lead to arrests. The incidents are being investigated as suspected hate crimes.

For further reading:

http://www.jta.org/2016/08/23/news-opinion/united-states/anti-semitic-graffiti-painted-at-dc-intersection-for-5th-time

http://www.timesofisrael.com/dc-intersection-hit-with-anti-semitic-graffiti-for-5th-time-in-august/

by: Chirelle Chekroune