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Holocaust Tag

Over the weekend, Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) unveiled its list of the Top 40 Global Advocates for Israel Online and it included a name familiar to Legal Insurrection readers: LI author Vijeta Uniyal. How did an Indian man, a resident of Germany (though currently in South Africa for work-related reasons), with little to no exposure to Jews and Israel become one of the internet's foremost advocates for Israel?

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned a recent survey, which found a shocking number of young people in the state of New York believe Jews caused the Holocaust. It is absolutely stunning that so many people could be so grossly misinformed about one of the most horrific and significant events of the 20th century.

Palm Beach County School District reassigned Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson after he told a parent that he cannot say for certain that the Holocaust happened. The letter caused outrage, which led the school to reassign Latson to a district position. Instead of taking responsibility, Latson placed the blame on the parent who complained about him.

For years, there has been talking and concern about the lack of factual Holocaust knowledge and education in the United States and around the world. Education systems dominated by leftist teachers often antagonistic towards Israel are sometimes loathing to bring up the subject. It's possible to also blame an easily accessible Internet that leads users down dark rabbit holes of Holocaust conspiracy theories.

Germany condemned remarks on the Holocaust made by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. In a televised speech on Monday, Abbas claimed that the Holocaust was not caused by antisemitism, but by Jews' "social role related to usury and banks." The Palestinian Authority chief said he was referring to the writings of Karl Marx and other authors.

A Polish group is suing an Argentine newspaper for violating a new law that makes it a criminal offence to suggest Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. Warsaw-based Polish League Against Defamation (RDI) filed a case against the newspaper Página 12 shortly after the law came into effect on Thursday.

On February 15 two 17-year-old central NY high school students—Jordan April and Archer Shurtliff—raised objections to a homework assignment in which they were required to either oppose or defend the extermination of Jews. Their teacher, Oswego County High School teacher Michael DeNobile, asked them to
write an internal memorandum within the highest ranking offices of the Nazi party in regards to your support or opposition to the Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”
Presumably the goal was to teach the students critical thinking, thereby promoting one of the Common Core’s desired skills.

We have documented for years how anti-Israel protests at campuses frequently cross over into antisemitism, both directly and by creating a toxic environment for Jews. Ryerson University in Toronto is a case in point. A resolution to boycott Israel passed in 2014
Another Ontario university student union has voted in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign. In a tense Annual General Meeting this week, several hundred Ryerson University students voted “overwhelmingly in favour” of supporting BDS.
Given the toxic environment, some Jewish students felt it important for the student government to support a Holocaust education week, and openly planned to present a motion at a recent student government semi-annual general meeting.

In honor of the passing of Elie Wiesel, I'd like to share a personal story about how I was affected by his work. In the early 1980's I found myself at a new school in the eighth grade. My English teacher required my class to read Wiesel's major work "Night" as an assignment. Despite years of education, I didn't know much about the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel, a beacon of light, died today at age 87 after a prolonged illness. The Times of Israel reports:
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel died on Saturday at the age of 87 after a prolonged illness. A survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald Nazi death camps, Wiesel dedicated much of his life to Holocaust education and promoting tolerance around the world. . . . .  Soon after he won the Nobel prize, Wiesel and his wife Marion founded The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity with a mission to “combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality”.

Through the course of my daily interneting, I happened across a post that discussed the babies born in Dachau. Naturally, I had to check this out further. Their stories are amazing and too good not to share. First, the story of the babies pictured in the featured image:
In this image is 5 of 7 women (shortly after their liberation in Dachau) who were pregnant and had given birth, all during the Holocaust. Each woman is a miracle. Miriam Rosenthal (not pictured) survived Auschwitz before her arrival. Eva Fleischmanova (middle) survived two inspections by Josef Mengele.

More than 16,000 items belonging to victims of Nazi death camp, Auschwitz were recently rediscovered in Poland. Their whereabouts have been known since 1967, but shortly thereafter, communist upheaval stalled the recovery of these long-lost possessions. Haaretz reports:
The items include flatware, brushes, pipes, lighters, kitchenware, penknives, buttons, jewelry, watches, keys, stamps, medical kits, shoes and documents.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we revisit the story of Anatoly Shapiro. Major Anatoly Shapiro was a Jewish officer in the Red Army who led his troupes to liberate Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945.  He enlisted in the Red Army at the onset of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, was wounded in Kursk in 1943, but it's what he saw 71 years ago at Auschwitz that left the most indelible mark. Shapiro recalled additional details of the day of the liberation in this remarkable interview given shortly before his death in 2005 at the age of 94 to an Israeli radio host Tovia Singer.  This was during the second intifada, and Shapiro spoke to that too:

Last Sunday, May 10, 2015,  I set out, together with my husband, brother and sister-in-law, on a “roots” trip to Germany. I was feeling rather ambivalent about the whole trip as I always swore to myself that I would never set foot in Germany after what happened to my family and of course to the Jewish people as a whole. To understand the background of my family history, read my family history page here.  In short, my mother had 3 older brothers who were sent on a Kindertransport to Holland for safety in 1938 after Kristallnacht, but the Nazis invaded in 1943 and shipped them to Sobibor where they were killed on the day they arrived, while my grandparents and their daughters eventually made it to safety in England. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="368"] Above: My mother’s 3 brothers who were killed in the Shoah: David, Elchanan (Herbert) and Uri HY”D Below: The 3 brothers with my mother Judith תבדל”א[/caption] The people of Michelstadt, my mother’s home town, issued a memorial book last year, and kindly invited us to come out and visit. Despite my ambivalence I felt it is important to accept their efforts to “make good” towards the Jewish community and they have been extremely gracious towards us. Following is a diary of sorts of our trip.