A disputed essay assignment that asked students in a California school district to argue "whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history" incorporated a source that dismissed gassings in concentration camps as a "profitable hoax."
The San Bernardino Sun first reported that the Rialto Unified School District instructed eighth-graders to "write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain."
But initial reports on the disputed essay largely overlooked one of the three sources provided to students, extensive text lifted directly from a Holocaust Denial and conspiracy website,biblebelivers.com.au, titled "Is the Holocaust a Hoax?"
"Though six million Jews supposedly died in the gas chambers, not one body has ever been autopsied and found to have died of gas poisoning," the webpage reads. "We have been shown piles of bodies from World War II, but most of these persons died of typhus or starvation or Allied bombings and a great many of those were murdered Germans, not Jews. Roughly the equivalent of ten football fields should be packed full of gassed bodies to present as evidence, yet not one body has ever been discovered."
"It is not denied concentration camps existed," it later adds. "Tragically, many died of typhus or starvation, as often happens in such situations. There is, however, no evidence that any gassings occurred for the reasons of genocide."
A spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District defended the assignment last week as an exercise in "developing critical thinking skills." The spokeswoman then told KTLA on Monday that an academic team was revising the assignment.
TPM has reached out to the school district for comment on the source.
In major business publications, Mark Fields' religion was not mentioned when it was recently announced that he would become Chief Operating Officer of Ford on Dec. 1, the number two post at the company.
But in the Jewish community, the significance of a Jew essentially running the 109-year old car company was not lost. Fields, 51, of Dearborn, is the likely replacement for CEO Alan Mulally when he steps down.
The Detroit Jewish News, in its latest edition, published a front page story entitled "Historic Promotion," noting the irony of Fields running a company founded by Henry Ford, an internationally renowned anti-semite who was admired by Adolph Hitler, and published a book "The International Jew."
In 1931, two years before becoming the German chancellor, Hitler told a Detroit News reporter: "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
The Jewish News in its current edition wrote of Fields' rise in the company:
"Veteran observers of the automotive scene thought it could never happen. But it's a new era at Ford, an era that actually started when the elder Ford's grandson Henry Ford II, took over the company in the 1940s and launched his version of affirmative action."
Today, many Jews buy Fords. But there are still some who won't because of its founder's hatred of the Jews.
The 2010 documentary film "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story " cited Ford's writing in 1920, in which he wrote: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”
The Jewish News noted that Fields declined to be interviewed after the his latest promotion was announced, but said in another interview: "I have never encountered one iota of discrimination as a Jew during my career at Ford."
The paper also quoted Mervyn Manning, who became Ford's first Jewish vice president in 1977 and retired in 1992. He applauded Field's ascension.
"When I joined Ford in 1956 at the Ford Division in Dearborn, there was one African American in the building -- and he was the shoeshine man. Not only was I the first Jewish vice president, but I was the first minority VP of any kind, including women."
GENERAL ORDERS No. 11. HDQRS. 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.
The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant: JNO. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 424.
Plea from deported Jewish citizens
PADUCAH, KY., December 29, 1862.
Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:
General Orders, No. 11, issued by General Grant at Oxford, Miss., December the 17th, commands all post commanders to expel all Jews, without distinction, within twenty-four hours, from his entire department. The undersigned, good and loyal citizens of the United States and residents of this town for many years, engaged in legitimate business as merchants, feel greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it, and would place us, besides a large number of other Jewish families of this town, as outlaws before the whole world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity, and pray for your effectual and immediate interposition. We would respectfully refer you to the post commander and post adjutant as to our loyalty, and to all respectable citizens of this community as to our standing citizens and merchants. We respectfully ask for immediate instructions to be sent to the commander of this post.
D. WOLFF & BROS. C. F. KASKELL. J. W. KASWELL.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 506.
The Order is Rescinded
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 4, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Holly Springs, Miss.:
A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.
H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
[CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. 13TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, Miss., January 7, 1863.
By direction of General-in-Chief of the Army, at Washington, the general order from these headquarters expelling Jews from the department is hereby revoked.
It was Saturday September 1, 2007 and I was in Monte Carlo for a friend’s wedding.
We prayed that morning at the local synagogue and later walked to the nearby Hotel de Paris. Entering the lobby, I was surprised at the large security presence. I soon learned that the legendary former South African president Nelson Mandela was a guest in the hotel.
As it happened, he was sitting in one of the stately public rooms on the lobby floor as I passed by.
I instinctively wanted to meet the iconic statesman. The slim chance of gaining access to meet Mandela did not stop me from asking the security guard at the door if I could please step in to bless the former president. Just then, a second member of the security detail approached and asked what I wanted. The first bodyguard explained that I was a rabbi who wanted to bless Madiba on the holy Sabbath. They agreed to let me go over to greet him.
As I approached the former president, he looked up and beamed. I was dressed in the full Chabad Shabbat attire, the flowing black frock and black fedora, and since I had just left the synagogue my white and black tallit was draped over my shoulders.
After we had been introduced, Madiba invited me to sit near him. He asked me to please bless him and mentioned how touched he was that I had blessed him on the Sabbath. President Mandela also told me how much he cherished it when ‘his rabbi,’ Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, would bless him back home.
Looking across at the great man, who had suffered for decades, fought for freedom, and pulled a splintered nation together, I felt compelled to ask one question. Had he ever compared his story to that of the biblical Joseph?
Without pause, Madiba replied that he felt a strong affinity with Joseph. Joseph had been imprisoned for life, yet he found strength in his positive outlook and had finally emerged to lead a nation. With twinkling eyes, Mandela laughed out loud: “But I spent many more years in prison then Joseph did!”
I then asked him, “Is it in honor of Joseph’s coat of many colors that you wear your trademark colorful “Madiba shirts”?
“No,” he replied, “I wear these shirts to represent my people and their struggle and to represent the beautiful diverse cultures and traditions of Africa.” He tenderly touched the African continent embroidered on his custom-made silk black shirt.
We chatted easily and he shared the story behind the Madiba shirts. On the first Shabbat after he had been elected president, back in May 1994, he visited South Africa’s largest synagogue, the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation in Cape Town. “His rabbi,” Chief Rabbi Harris had invited him to attend morning services. Mandela recounted how he had addressed the packed crowd and had “appealed to the local Jewish community to implore their South African family members who had emigrated to return home to help rebuild a new democratic South Africa.” He also reassured the local Jewish community not to be afraid of a Government of National Unity and promised that “together we will succeed.”
He then recalled, “When I returned to the motorcade, my driver handed me a gift from a women who had attended synagogue that morning. It was a beautiful black shirt, with a colorful design of golden fish across it. I chose to wear that shirt to the opening of parliament of our new democratic government.”
“After I had worn that shirt, this same woman (South African designer Desre Buirski) would continue to send me shirts. We become good friends, and she designed hundreds of shirts for me. These shirts help me carry my message all over the world.”
He smiled and added, “And all because I went to synagogue on a Saturday morning.”
I stood up and thanked him for the generosity of his time and the honor of meeting him. Before I walked off, Mr. Mandela complimented the traditional look of my Chassidic dress. “I am happy to see you dressed this way; you should always be proud to wear the clothing of the Jewish faith as a mark of honor,” he said.
As I shook his hand, he told me, “Remember young rabbi, when you dress in your royal garb, you represent what the Bible stands for: How all humans are G d’s children, created in the image of G d, regardless of ethnicity, color or faith.”
Chabad House in Colaba, one of the six targets of the bloody 26/11 terror attacks, will reinvent itself in less than six months as a restaurant, a community hall and a museum to the memory of those killed by terrorists at this Jewish outreach centre.
As the 26/11 attacks -- that left 164 people dead and over 300 injured -- complete five years today, Chabad House, where six people, including Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed, has set into motion a project to transform the building into a monument of peace and hope. "When you want to fight darkness, you cannot chase it away with a stick or an AK-47. One can chase darkness away only with light and peace," said Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky, who assumed office last year.
As part of the $900,000 (Rs 5.6 crore) revamp, the entire ground floor of the building located in the narrow Hormusji Street will be taken over by Israeli security agencies. Though entry to the building will be heavily regulated and visitors will have to pass through two layers of security, the restaurant on the first floor will be open to people of all faiths. "It will be a Jewish speciality cuisine restaurant, but everybody will be welcome," said a source.
The outer ring of security around Chabad House will be handled by the Mumbai police. The outer ring of security around the Chabad House will be handled by the Mumbai police.
The building's second floor, which was earlier a prayer room, will now also accommodate a library, a small waiting area and the new Rabbi's office. While the entire floor will be spruced up, a corner where Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife Rivka's bodies were found will be left untouched. "It will be a small memorial to the couple. The wall in this corner is riddled with bullet marks. Nobody had the heart to touch it," the source said.
The third floor, which earlier served as a guest house, will be turned into a community hall. Apart from community gatherings, the hall will also be used to host private events by local Jews.
Fourth and fifth floors will house the museum. The walls on these floors will not be repainted and the bullet marks will be retained. "These floors speak the story of the three-day siege. Press articles, videos, messages, and personal accounts of family members of the deceased will be part of the installations in this museum."
Just before 8 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Boston’s Logan Airport. Bound nonstop for Los Angeles, the flight was just one of more than 40,000 scheduled to crisscross the country that day. The plane was partially full—81 passengers, nine crewmembers, and two pilots. Many of its passengers were traveling for work on the daily scheduled flight, including 31-year-old Internet entrepreneur Danny Lewin.
The plane headed due west and held on course for 16 minutes until it passed Worcester, Mass.* Then, instead of taking a southerly turn, it swung to the north and failed to climb to its assigned cruising altitude. Around this time, a bloody hijacking began onboard. Five terrorists, all of them wielding box cutters and knives, commandeered the plane and steered it into New York airspace. At 8:46 a.m., the Boeing 767 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Flight 11 was the first of four planes to be hijacked the day of the attacks, killing everyone on board and hundreds more when it caused the collapse of the North Tower. But before any of the horror unfolded that day, a little-known act of heroism is likely to have taken place on Flight 11 when Lewin—an Israeli-American who served in one of the most elite counterterrorism units of the Israel Defense Force (IDF)—rose from his seat and engaged in a struggle with one of the terrorists to try to thwart the hijacking. During the struggle Lewin was killed, making him the very first victim of the 9/11 attacks.
Until now, Lewin’s story has remained untold—mainly out of respect for friends and family who closely guarded their memories of the brilliant commando-turned computer scientist. In addition, the official reports of what happened on Flight 11 were, for some time, conflicting and confusing. A memo mistakenly released by the Federal Aviation Administration stated that terrorist Satam al-Suqami shot and killed Lewin with a single bullet around 9:20 a.m. (obviously inaccurate, as the plane crashed at 8:46 a.m.). But almost as soon as the memo was leaked, FAA officials claimed it was written in error and that Lewin had been stabbed, not shot. The 9/11 Commission concurred in its final report, issued four years later, offering a more detailed summary: Based on dozens of interviews with those who spoke with two of the plane’s flight attendants during the hijacking, the commission determined that al-Suqami most likely killed Lewin by slashing his throat from behind as he attempted, single-handedly, to try to stop the hijacking. The time of his death was reported to be somewhere between 8:15 and 8:20 a.m.
“He was the first victim of the first war of the 21st century,” says Marco Greenberg, Lewin’s best friend.
A Kenyan lawyer has filed a petition with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, suggesting that the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was unlawful, and The State of Israel among others should be held responsible, Kenyan news outlet the Nairobian reported on Friday.
Dola Indidis, a lawyer and former spokesman of the Kenyan Judiciary is reportedly attempting to sue Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.
"Evidence today is on record in the bible, and you cannot discredit the bible," Indidis told Kenyan Citizen News.
Yes, those he suggests should have been convicted during the original trial have not been alive for more than 2000 years, however Indidis insists that the government for whom they acted can and should still be held responsible.
“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidid told the Nairobian. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”
Indidis apparently named the states of Italy and Israel in the lawsuit because upon the attainment of independence, the two states incorporated the laws of the Roman Empire, those in force at the time of the Crucifixion.
He is challenging the mode of questioning used during Jesus' trial, prosecution, hearing and sentencing; the form of punishment meted out on him while undergoing judicial proceedings and the substance of the information used to convict him.
The case was first filed in the High Court in Nairobi, but was rejected. Indidis had then applied to have it heard at the ICJ, which, the Kenyan news website Standard Media (SDE) reported constituted a pre-trial panel that would consider his case.
Indidis says he wants to establish what crime Jesus was charged with and prays that the court decides “that the proceedings before the Roman courts were a nullity in law for they did not conform to the rule of law at the material time and any time thereafter.”
“Some of those present spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him, taunted him, and pronounced him worthy of death,” Indidis also told SDE.
Jerusalem archaeologists are excited by a new find that is believed to be the earliest written text that has ever been discovered in this ancient city. The inscription is engraved on a ceramic jar called a pithos found near the holy site that Jews call the Temple Mount and Palestinians call the Haram AlSharif.
“This is thrilling and amazing– it dates to 3,000 years ago to the time of King David and King Solomon,” Eilat Mazar, the archaeologist who made the find told The Media Line. “We expected to find Hebrew and it’s not Hebrew.”
It is about 250 years older than any other inscriptions found in Jerusalem to date, she said.
Intrigued, Mazar showed the find to Professor Shmuel Ahituv of Ben Gurion University, a specialist in early languages. He said there is not a lot of material from this time period. The script is called proto-Canaanite and dates from earlier than either the Phoenicians or the Hebrew from the First Temple Period, which ended in 586 BCE (typically written as BC).
“The letters on this vessel are beautiful,” Ahituv told The Media Line. “The only problem is that we can’t read them.”
He said this script was believed to be used from the 16th Century to the 12th Century and then disappeared. This find shows it lasted later than that. Ahituv said sometimes the script is read from right to left, sometimes left to right, and sometimes vertically, which makes reading it especially challenging.
“We know there were Jebusites there so maybe that’s what this language is,” Ahituv said. “I don’t think it’s gibberish because it’s too well engraved.”
The results are due to be published in the Israel Exploration Journal and Ahituv said that perhaps someone will be able to read it.
The writing proves that there were non-Jews who were active in Jewish life in ancient times. “In the book of Samuel, King David’s scribe was named Sheesha or Shawsha, and that’s not a Hebrew name,” Ahituv said.
Mazar said that non-Jews often held important positions.
“We know from the Biblical stories about King David using the services of local scribes and ministers and high officials such as Uriah the Hittite (a soldier in King David’s army),” Mazar said. “They have foreign names but they integrated into the Israelite kingdom and they occupied important positions.”
White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-government extremists and conspiracy theorists are among speakers scheduled to appear at “Freedompalooza 2013,” organized by Paul Topete, lead singer of the band Pokerface and an anti-Semite and anti-government extremist. It is the third time Topete has organized such an event in Pennsylvania, but he allegedly has plans to organize future events in other regions of the country.
Freedompalooza will take place from July 4–6, 2013, in Bucks County in eastern Pennsylvania. Although a local restaurant is providing the property and selling food at the event, the primary sponsor (and promoter) of the event is theAmerican Free Press, the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented newspaper published by long-time white supremacist Willis Carto.
Topete has lined up a long list of bands and speakers, many of the latter coming from extremist and fringe movements and causes. One theme that unites many speakers is virulent anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment. Two of the more prominent speakers, for example, are former members of Congress: Cynthia McKinneyand James Traficant. McKinney is a long-time anti-Israel activist who has supported anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party, while Traficant, since his release from prison on federal racketeering and bribery convictions, has joined theAmerican Free Press, in whose pages he has expressed his own anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. Another scheduled speaker is Jim Condit, Jr., who several times ran for Congress in Ohio, taking advantage of his candidate status to obtain a platform for expressing his anti-Semitic views in radio advertisements.
Other speakers reportedly scheduled to attend include Merlin Miller, the 2012 presidential candidate of the white supremacist American Freedom Party, several American Free Press writers, and Cynthia Steele, the wife of white supremacist attorney Edgar Steele (currently serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to murder Cynthia, a charge she claims is false).
Freedompalooza will also host a variety of anti-government extremist speakers, including representatives from several militia groups, a representative from the anti-government and conspiratorial Oath Keepers, and the Appleseed Project, a marksmanship program that warns attendees that they may have to (literally) fight the government to maintain their liberty.
A mother in Northville, Mich., has filed a formal complaint against her daughter’s school district, stating that some passages in the definitive edition of “The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank” are too graphic for seventh graders.
As Detroit’s Fox 2 reports, parent Gail Horalek says the unedited version of the diary, published in 1996, is too graphic for her daughter’s seventh grade class at Meads Mill Middle School. In the book, Frank describes in some detail the discovery of her genitalia.
Horalek told the Northville Patch that the school should have asked for parents’ permission before assigning seventh graders a book that she describes as “pornographic.”
“The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents,” Horalek told the Patch.
Horalek said the school should have sent a letter home to parents, as it has with similarly sensitive material.
“If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip," Horalek said.
Horalek also claimed that every parent she spoke to was unaware of the passages in the unedited version. Her daughter brought them to her attention when she told Horalek that reading the book made her uncomfortable.
Given that the book is a firsthand account of Frank’s experiences during the Holocaust as a young Jewish girl, Horalek originally thought her daughter’s discomfort was due to the book’s depressing nature. It wasn’t until her daughter pointed out the book’s allegedly graphic passages that Horalek became concerned.
Now Horalek says she wants the unedited version of the diary, which became part of the school’s curriculum last year, removed from classrooms.
The paragraph in question is reprinted at Fox News Detroit. This passage did not appear in any of the previously published editions, it was edited out by Otto Frank for a reason. The unedited diary should be studied by historians and academics, but school children can read the classic.
When Roman Blum died last year at age 97, his body lingered in the Staten Island University Hospital morgue for four days, until a rabbi at the hospital was able to track down his lawyer.
Mr. Blum, a Holocaust survivor and real estate developer, left behind no heirs and no surviving family members — his former wife died in 1992 and the couple was childless. His funeral, held graveside at the New Montefiore Jewish Cemetery in West Babylon, N.Y., was attended by a small number of mourners, most of them elderly fellow survivors or children of survivors.
Much about Mr. Blum’s life was shrouded in mystery: He always claimed he was from Warsaw, although many who knew him said he actually came from Chelm, in southeast Poland. Several people close to Mr. Blum said that before World War II, in Poland, he had a wife and child who perished in the Holocaust, though Mr. Blum seems never to have talked of them, and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, has no record of them in its database. Even his birth date is in question. Records here give it as Sept. 16, 1914; identity cards from a German displaced persons camp have it as Sept. 15.
But perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding Mr. Blum is why a successful developer, who built hundreds of houses around Staten Island and left behind an estate valued at almost $40 million, would die without a will.
That is no small matter, as his is the largest unclaimed estate in New York State history, according to the state comptroller’s office.
“He was a very smart man but he died like an idiot,” said Paul Skurka, a fellow Holocaust survivor who befriended Mr. Blum after doing carpentry work for him in the 1970s.
Gary D. Gotlin, the public administrator handling the case, sold Mr. Blum’s home on Staten Island, auctioned off his jewelry and his furniture and is putting other properties that he owned on the market. Mr. Gotlin’s office, which is overseen by Surrogate’s Court in Richmond County, is also using Mr. Blum’s estate to pay his taxes, conduct an in-depth search for a will and hire a genealogist to search for relatives. If none are identified, the money will pass into the state’s coffers. That, Mr. Blum’s friends said, would be a tragedy, compounding the one that befell him as a young man in Eastern Europe.
“I spoke to Roman many times before he passed away, and he knew what to do, how to name beneficiaries,” said Mason D. Corn, his accountant and friend for 30 years. “Two weeks before he died, I had finally gotten him to sit down. He saw the end was coming. He was becoming mentally feeble. We agreed. I had to go away, and so he told me, ‘O.K., when you come back I will do it.’ But by then it was too late. We came this close, but we missed the boat.”
That’s the narrative that’s been spread about Jews for the last 70 years since the Holocaust. We’ve embraced it to our detriment. We can’t seem to address antisemitism without running to the world and screaming that we’re being persecuted, rather than standing up strongly in defiance, aware of our own inner strength.
The Holocaust has scarred us, a yetzer hara (sneaky bastard of a voice in our heads), that keeps trying to tell us how we are defined by our past, controlled by events that happened to us, instead of using those moments as points of growth.
And, in a weird way, that’s why all those images of us looking so helpless, so gaunt, in heaps of nameless bodies, have become a morbid fascination for us. We, and by extension the rest of the world, has chosen to define the Holocaust with these images.
But there are other images. Images that show a more subtle, more true, story. A story that shows our inner power, our inner turmoil in dealing with a situation we cannot comprehend, our attempts to gain justice, and our final steps into moving above and beyond our past and into a new future.
KRAKOW – Krzysztof Jasiewicz, a professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences and a well known expert on Polish-Jewish relations, has caused outrage by claiming in an interview with Polish magazine Focus last week that Jews took an active part in the murder of other Jews during WWII.
The interview appeared in a special edition of the magazine focusing on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising this week.
In the interview, titled “Are the Jews themselves guilty?” Jasiewicz shared views that sound like they were taken from a Nazi propaganda bulletin.
“This nonsense about Jews being killed mostly by Poles was created to hide the biggest Jewish secret. The scale of the German crime was only possible because the Jews themselves participated in the murder of their own people,” Jasiewicz said.
Jasiewicz also said that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves.
“For many generations, the Jews, not the Catholic Church, worked to bring the Holocaust about. It looks like the Jews haven’t learned their lesson and haven’t come to any conclusions yet,” he said.
He continued, accusing the Jewish people of harming their relations with Poles.
“The Jews have a problem because they are convinced they are the chosen people.
They feel that they are entitled to interpret everything, including Catholic doctrine. They will always criticize whatever we did or will do. It will never be enough, it will always be wrong and not generous enough. I am convinced that there is no point in a dialogue with the Jews, because it leads nowhere,” said Jasiewicz.
BERLIN -- "Are there still Jews in Germany?" ''Are the Jews a chosen people?"
Nearly 70 years after the Holocaust, there is no more sensitive an issue in German life as the role of Jews. With fewer than 200,000 Jews among Germany's 82 million people, few Germans born after World War II know any Jews or much about them.
To help educate postwar generations, an exhibit at the Jewish Museum features a Jewish man or woman seated inside a glass box for two hours a day through August to answer visitors' questions about Jews and Jewish life. The base of the box asks: "Are there still Jews in Germany?"
"A lot of our visitors don't know any Jews and have questions they want to ask," museum official Tina Luedecke said. "With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life."
But not everybody thinks putting a Jew on display is the best way to build understanding and mutual respect.
Since the exhibit - "The Whole Truth, everything you wanted to know about Jews" - opened this month, the "Jew in the Box," as it is popularly known, has drawn sharp criticism within the Jewish community - especially in the city where the Nazis orchestrated the slaughter of 6 million Jews until Adolf Hitler's defeat in 1945.
"Why don't they give him a banana and a glass of water, turn up the heat and make the Jew feel really cozy in his glass box," prominent Berlin Jewish community figure Stephan Kramer told The Associated Press. "They actually asked me if I wanted to participate. But I told them I'm not available."
The exhibit is reminiscent of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann sitting in a glass booth at the 1961 trial in Israel which led to his execution. And it's certainly more provocative than British actress Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box at a recent performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Eran Levy, an Israeli who has lived in Berlin for years, was horrified by the idea of presenting a Jew as a museum piece, even if to answer Germans' questions about Jewish life.
"It's a horrible thing to do - completely degrading and not helpful," he said. "The Jewish Museum absolutely missed the point if they wanted to do anything to improve the relations between Germans and Jews."
But several of the volunteers, including both German Jews and Israelis living in Berlin, said the experience in the box is little different from what they go through as Jews living in the country that produced the Nazis.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/29/3313042/exhibit-of-jews-in-germany-raises.html#storylink=cpy
Bogus quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, attributed here to LOLCat.
Various quotations, attributed to famous people, are frequently cited on The Internet in support of this or that popular cause. This in itself is a logical fallacy, the "Appeal to Authority." The argument is, "This famous person supports our cause! So how can you not support our cause? Do you know more than this famous person?" The argument fails if the famous person being quoted is not an acknowledged authority on the subject, or if there is disagreement among authorities, or if the famous person's quotation is taken out of context. The argument certainly fails is the famous person never even said what is attributed to him.
Here is a sample of some of the bogus quotations that are being circulated, mostly on Twitter and Facebook, attributed to various of the United States "founding fathers" on the subject of gun control.
1. "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (spoofed above in LOLCat.)
Earliest known appearance in print: No appearances in print found.
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: See above.
Other attributions: None known.
Status: We have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote, "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
The pro-gun website SAF.org sourly has this to say about the fake Jefferson quotes: "Thomas Jefferson has many confirmed quotes on our website. Why anyone felt it necessary to make up a quote is ludicrous. Maybe an anti-gunner did it to discredit all the real quotes."
2. "A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."--George Washington.
This is the Zombie Fake Quote that can't be killed! What makes it so pernicious is that Washington did say something very similar, but the Fake Quote has been manipulated in order to give it a meaning that is quite different from the original context. Here is the authentic Washington quote:
"A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies."
The original quotation shows that Washington clearly intended a country to have industrial independence. The bogus, manipulated quotation attempts to insinuate that people need to have weapons in order to resist their own government, a sentiment that Washington clearly did not share when he forcibly put down the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's Rebellion.
3. "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable." --another bogus George Washington quote.
Guncite.com, a pro-2nd Amendment website, warned its supporters to avoid using this fake quote. Of course nobody listens to them, this bogus quotation is all over the Internet.
This quotation, sometimes called the "liberty teeth" quote, appears nowhere in Washington's papers or speeches, and contains several historical anachronisms: the reference to "prairie wagon" in an America which had yet to even begin settling the Great Plains (which were owned by France at the time), the reference to "the Pilgrims" which implies a modern historical perspective, and particularly the attempt by "Washington" to defend the utility of firearms (by use of statistics!) to an audience which would have used firearms in their daily lives to obtain food, defend against hostile Indians, and which had only recently won a war for independence.
The "99 99/100 percent" is also an odd phrase for 18th century America, which tended not to use fractional percentages. It's clear that "Washington" is addressing "gun control" arguments which wouldn't exist for another couple of centuries, not to mention doing so in a style that is uncharacteristic of the period, and uncharacteristic of Washington's addresses to Congress, both of which exhibited a high degree of formality.
4. "1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!"--Attributed to Adolf Hitler IM"S.
This passage sometimes features different punctuation and slight wording changes including a beginning of, ‘For the first time in history, a....’ Various citations include: Adolf Hitler, April 15, 1935, in address to the Reichstag; Adolf Hitler 1935 'Berlin Daily' (Loose English Translation) April 15th, 1935 Page 3 Article 2 by Einleitung Von Eberhard Beckmann -"Abschied vom Hessenland!". "Adolf" is sometimes misspelled as ‘Adolph’ on the Internet.
While the above 'quote' makes a nice T-shirt, there are numerous problems with this alleged statement. (1) It violates the rule of not beginning a sentence with a number. (2) It isn’t phrased in Hitler’s style. (3) Major changes to the German gun laws occurred in 1928 and 1931 (under the Weimar Republic) and in 1938 (under the Nazi’s). No significant changes happened in the gun registration laws in 1935. Furthermore, the changes in 1928 and 1931 were designed to disarm the Nazis and Communists and therefore it is doubtful that Hitler would trumpet the success of any law aimed at his goon squads.
Until then, please click here for some proven Nazi Quotes. (Coming soon) [Link never provided!--VB]
5. "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the vote!"--attributed to Josef Stalin.
This one is obviously bogus for a number of reasons. First, Stalin did not speak English, and would not have made a pun in English, but which makes no sense in Russian. Second, votes were not counted in Stalin's Soviet Union. All votes were for the Party, Stalin always received 100% of the vote.
6. "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."--attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Frequently quoted by those who would deny government benefits such as food stamps to poor people.
These silly little aphorisms were actually composed by William John Henry Boetcker, some dude that nobody ever heard of. He seems to have been a 19th-Century Bryan J. Fischer. The first person to mistakenly attribute this collection to Lincoln was none other than everybody's affable granddaddy Ronald Reagan. Snopes has the whole story.
How can you tell if a quote attributed to a famous person is fake?
Generally speaking the rule to identifying Fake Quotes is:
1. If it's on The Internet it is probably fake. (however real quotes have occasionally, although rarely, been found on The Internet)
2. If it's in a book, it is probably authentic. However fake quotes have also appeared in print before there was The Internet.
If you come across any quotes that you think might be bogus, please share them!
Brody ghetto, one of thousands where people perished.
THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.
What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.
The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.
The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.
“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.
“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”
The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.
Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — It was the place where Jewish women did their ritual bathing. It was a tuberculosis clinic. It survived the German onslaught and became a gathering point for Holocaust survivors.
Now "the white building," the headquarters of the Jewish community and one of the few surviving remnants of the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, could be torn down to make way for a multistory tower that would fit seamlessly into a modern city skyline.
The building's fate will soon be determined by the Culture Ministry, which has been asked by advocates of historic preservation to declare it a historical monument, a classification that would ban its destruction. It's not yet clear how officials will decide, though previous rulings by other state offices had declared the building not worth saving. Now those for and against destroying the old building are anxiously awaiting a verdict.
What is perhaps unexpected in this case is who is fighting for what: Warsaw's Jewish community, which owns the dilapidated three-story building, is making the case for its destruction. The community leaders argue that a bigger building is needed to accommodate a Jewish community that is re-emerging in the young Polish democracy after the Holocaust and decades of communist repression.
The white building, in the heart of the city's business district, is the place where the Jewish community gathers for lectures, Shabbat dinners, holidays, even sports. Jewish leaders argue that it is too cramped, bleak and fungus-infested to continue serving the needs of a community that has roughly tripled in number in the past decade.
Today, it can no longer accommodate all those who want to join Shabbat dinners after Friday evening prayers. There is no room for festive celebrations on the holiday of Purim. And a new Reform congregation, which embraces a modern style of worship different from the Orthodox services held in the Nozyk synagogue, must meet across town in rented rooms.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Holocaust survivors, politicians, religious leaders and others marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday with solemn prayers and the now oft-repeated warnings to never let such horrors happen again.
Events took place at sites including Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former death camp where Hitler's Germany killed at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, in southern Poland. In Warsaw, prayers were also held at a monument to the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking from his window at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, warned that humanity must always be on guard against a repeat of murderous racism.
"The memory of this immense tragedy, which above all struck so harshly the Jewish people, must represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated, so that every form of hatred and racism is overcome, and that respect for, and dignity of, every human person is encouraged," the German-born pontiff said.
Not all words spoken by dignitaries struck the right tone, however.
On the sidelines of a ceremony in Milan, former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi sparked outrage when he praised Benito Mussolini for "having done good" despite the Fascist dictator's anti-Jewish laws. Berlusconi also defended Mussolini for allying himself with Hitler, saying he likely reasoned that it would be better to be on the winning side.
The United Nations in 2005 designated Jan. 27 as a yearly memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust — 6 million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi Germany during World War II. The day was chosen because it falls on the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz, the Nazis' most notorious death camp and a symbol of the evil inflicted across the continent.
"Those who experienced the horrors of the cattle cars, ghettos, and concentration camps have witnessed humanity at its very worst and know too well the pain of losing loved ones to senseless violence," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.
Obama went on to say that like those who resisted the Nazis, "we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms. The United States, along with the international community, resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity, and stay true to the principle of 'Never Again.'"