Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The rescued Jewish tombstones of Thessaloniki

After the ancient Jewish graveyard in Thessaloniki was
destroyed, the gravestones were broken up and used as
building materials in the city. Credit Renee Gross
The cemetery was destroyed during the German occupation:
Fragments of these headstones can be found all over the city of Thessaloniki, embedded in churches, buildings, even sidewalks. They all come from the old Jewish cemetery that used to be in the center of town. Rena Molho, a historian who studies the Jewish history in Thessaloniki, says the old cemetery was huge. “It had 350,000 square meters, and it had close to 350,000 graves,” she says. But during World War II, the Jews of Thessaloniki were forced to give up the cemetery as part of a payment to the Nazi occupiers, and almost all of the Jewish population was later deported to death camps. The local Greek government took the opportunity to knock down the stones and loot them for building material. Germans, local churches and members of the community also took tombstones to use for construction projects. Later, Aristotle University was built on top of the old graveyard. In 2014, the university erected a memorial for the Jewish cemetery, though few students today seem to know anything about it. Jacky Benmayor was at the opening of the memorial. He’s a 69-year-old retired businessman who knows Hebrew, Ladino and Greek. When he spots one of the old headstones in the city, he calls the government archaeological service to dig it out with shovels and a pickax. (Taking the stones without permission is technically illegal because they’re considered historical property.) Benmayor helps the architectural service read the inscriptions and then brings the stones to the newer Jewish cemetery, about a 20-minute drive from downtown.
Renee Gross, 'The rescued Jewish tombstones of Thessaloniki', PRI's The World June 19, 2017

listen to the story here

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

German media refer to “Polish” death camp - again

This is really getting rather monotonous and seems deliberate provocation (perhaps in relation to Poland's embarrassing stance against allowing Middle Eastern refugees in)
Polish diplomats have said they will protest after a German newspaper described the Sobibor German Nazi WWII death camp as a “Polish” camp.  Describing an exhibition by Otto Freundlich, a painter and sculptor of Jewish origin, the German Badische Zeitung daily said that he was killed in a “Polish” camp in 1943. [...] The use of the term “Polish concentration camp” by international media outlets has sparked numerous complaints from Poland in recent years, prompting some news agencies to change their style guidelines. 
German media refers to “Polish” death camp - again 14.06.2017

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Polish President welcomes American Jewish Committee to Warsaw

President Andrzej Duda welcomed members of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) at a gala opening the organisation's Warsaw office on Monday ('Polish President welcomes American Jewish Committee to Warsaw' 28.03.2017):
In a letter which was read out during Monday’s opening of the organisation’s regional office in Warsaw, Duda referred to the event as a way of strengthening transatlantic ties, of which Poland has always been a staunch advocate. In his letter, Duda also wrote about the common history of Poles and Jews. “This unique political community … was annihilated by the aggression of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, but despite the inhumane terror, crime and mass extermination, the solidarity between our nations has survived,” Duda wrote. He added that he hoped Poles and Jews will successfully cooperate in defending the good name of Poland and historical truth. The American Jewish Committee was founded in 1906 to protect the Jewish community outside the United States. In addition to Poland, its Warsaw bureau is also in charge of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Friday, 27 January 2017

St. Louis Manifest

On Holocaust Remembrance Day we remember the victims of Naziism turned away at the doorstep of America in 1939.  Haunting Twitter Account Shares the Fates of the Refugees of the St. Louis In 1939, Cuba and the United States turned back a ship full of German Jews, 254 of whom were later killed during the Holocaust . In 1939, Cuba and the United States turned back a ship full of German Jews, 254 of whom were later killed during the Holocaust

St. Louis Manifest

St. Louis Manifest ‏@Stl_Manifest 12 godz.12 godzin temu
My name is Herbert Ascher. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered at Auschwitz
St. Louis Manifest ‏@Stl_Manifest 2 godz.2 godziny temu My name is Lutz Grünthal. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz
Where is Rabbi Friedman protesting tonight?

Dziś jesteśmy myślami z rodzinami ofiar Holokaustu. NIGDY WIĘCEJ