On the evening of Dec. 2, a small group of elderly men and women, some with their children and grandchildren, will gather at a Burbank mall to mark the 75th anniversary of a heartbreaking, yet uplifting, episode of the Nazi era, known as the Kindertransport (in English, Children’s Transport).
Theodore Meir Bikel and his parents peeked through the drawn curtains of their Vienna apartment watching the street below, where Adolf Hitler, standing in his limousine, slowly rolled by, cheered on by frenzied crowds.
For Jews desperate to flee the Nazi regime but barred from entry almost everywhere, Shanghai was the Last Place on Earth and a rescuing Noah’s Ark.
It’s hard to believe that Dwora Fried — a native Austrian with unruly, fiery red hair, a lesbian, world traveler, mother of four and daughter of a Holocaust survivor — is able to create artwork just as complicated, dynamic and vivacious as herself, all within a wooden box that’s only 31 centimeters wide, 21 centimeters high and 8 centimeters deep.
Arnold Schoenberg and Eric Zeisl have a lot in common. Each of the late Austrian Jewish composers is renown for their contributions to the world of liturgical music. And each is a great-grandparent of Nathan Arnold Schoenberg.
Anne Samson (née Katz) was born in 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Salzburg, Austria. Her parents, Emil and Eva Katz, were Holocaust survivors from Hungary who lost most of their family members in Auschwitz, where Eva was a slave laborer.
Austria began the withdrawal of its 380 soldiers from the United Nations peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights.
For much of the past two years, Israel has taken a singular approach to the Syrian civil war: Stay as far away as possible.
Russia is ready to replace peacekeepers from Austria in the Golan Heights, President Vladimir Putin said.
Austria withdrew its soldiers from the U.N. peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights following battles between Syrian troops and rebels.
The Archbishop of Vienna has advised Austria’s government not to add Jewish and Muslim dates to the list of national holidays.
Austria cannot draw a line under its Nazi past despite the desire of many Austrians to so do, its president said on the 75th anniversary of the country's annexation by Nazi Germany.
On the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938, brown-shirted storm troopers torched and looted hundreds of synagogues and destroyed 7,500 Jewish businesses throughout Germany and Austria in what is known as Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass.”
The train arrived at Dachau one morning in late November 1944. As the doors opened, German soldiers wielding big sticks yelled, “Raus, raus” (“Out, out”). Alex Friedman and the other Jewish prisoners exited, were marched toward the camp and, outside in the snow and cold, ordered to strip.
Prosecutors in Vienna are examining the recent posting of an allegedly anti-Semitic caricature on Austrian politician Heinz-Christian Strache's Facebook page.
The leader of an Austrian far-right political party was condemned for comparing protests by students in Vienna with the Nazi persecution of Jews during Kristallnacht.
My 97-year-old mother, Herta Greif, died last fall of aortic stenosis that led to congestive heart failure. A Holocaust survivor, she had been a fighter all her life, and with this illness she was no different. When she suffered a massive stroke in July 2005, she lapsed into a coma from which her doctors said she would not recover. But, in a matter of days, she did, at which point her doctors estimated she had, at most, a year to live. Mom hung in there for more than six years, with the only lingering signs of the stroke being having to use a walker and occasional bouts of memory loss.
Arab states and Israel plan to attend a rare round of talks next week on efforts to free the world of nuclear weapons but Iran has yet to say whether it will take part, diplomats said on Wednesday.
When he come to the 13th European Maccabi Games in Vienna, John Benfield didn't return to his native Austria for any medals.
An alleged Nazi war criminal has died in an Austrian retirement home. Milivoj Ašner, 98, died Monday in the Carinthian city of Klagenfurt, the English-language Austrian Independent reported. As the chief of police in the Croatian town of Pozega during World War II, Ašner allegedly ordered the deportation of local Jews, Serbs and Roma to concentration camps run by the Croatian fascist Ustasha regime.
A member of a southern Austrian village's municipal council has stepped down following an uproar over his Nazi-inspired tattoo. In a resignation letter dated May 30 and sent to the village's mayor, Gerry Leitmann, 31, said he was not aware of his tattoo's "historic connections" and will have it removed immediately, according to The Associated Press.
An Austrian town has revoked the honorary citizenship that it bestowed upon Adolf Hitler during the Third Reich. The Town Council of Amstetten voted Tuesday to take away the honor. Two council members from the far-right Freedom Party abstained.
It was Nov. 9 - Kristallnacht, the night of "broken glass" - when hundreds of Jewish businesses and virtually every synagogue throughout Germany and Austria were set ablaze. On that terrible night in 1938, my father, Sol, ran into a burning synagogue near his home in Vienna and rescued a Torah that would otherwise have been consumed by the flames. He and his brother, Morris Brafman, carried that Torah halfway around the world, ultimately bringing it to the United States, where it was restored and is currently in a yeshiva in Far Rockaway, Queens, N.Y., in an ark dedicated to the memory of my father and his wife of 55 years, my mother Rose.
Austria will renovate the site of the Mauthausen concentration camp in a $2.4 million restoration project. The two-year project will include creating a hall of names in memory of the camp's victims, a new display about the Holocaust and upgrading the permanent exhibition, according to reports.
If only Adolf Hitler had been accepted to art school, the old joke goes, he never would have felt the need to conquer the world. Unable to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist, Hitler rampaged through Europe looting and pillaging its great treasures. One of his trophies, Jan Vermeer’s “Artist in his Studio”, is again at the center of controversy, as Austria’s art restitution advisory board considers on March 18 whether it should be returned to the heirs of its prior owner.
Maria Altmann, whose seven-year battle to recover her family’s Nazi-looted paintings riveted the art and legal worlds, died Monday (Feb. 7) at 94 after a prolonged illness in her Los Angeles home.
On a sloping green hill tucked between small farmsteads, the mottled graves of Jews buried here since the 1600s rise up like a forgotten forest.
Lapp was 9 when his family arrived in the United States. He went on to study political science and religious education at Yeshiva University and was ordained at the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1957. He studied chaplaincy at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., and the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
In a high-profile case, Maria Altmann won her seven-year battle to recover from Austria five famous paintings looted by the Nazis and now valued at $200 million. The art works were seized in Vienna in 1938 from Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy Jewish sugar magnate and Altmann's uncle.
The best way to discover Mozart here might be a night at the Vienna Opera. I was lucky enough to attend a performance of "The Magic Flute" during my visit, which was sponsored by Austria Tourism. This was classical Mozart through and through in terms of the music, but the performance was strikingly modern.
"Mozart does not belong to any nation. It would be a total misunderstanding for anyone to lay claim to Mozart," said Peter Marboe, Vienna Mozart Year artistic director. "That makes it obscene that the Nazis should claim him as an example of a great German artist and all the while hide his Jewish collaborators."
Skiers and snowboarders who want vacations with fresh powder have an avalanche of options this winter. Jewish ski trips abound for teens to 40-somethings of all skill levels.
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Erich Lessing received his first camera when he exited the synagogue from his bar mitzvah in Vienna in 1936.
"There was no idea of taking up photography as a profession," said Lessing, 82, from his house in Austria. "In a good Jewish family in Vienna you would only be a lawyer or a doctor."
After 60 years and 10 days, Samuel Goetz finally found the GI who liberated him on May 6, 1945.
The Philadelphia-based Jewish charity Shefa Fund has started its first major West Coast philanthropic work this spring with the "Los Angeles TZEDEC Initiative," which supports low-income loans for homeowners in poor neighborhoods.
As our British Airways jet approached Vienna, we were able to make out the famous skyline of the Austrian capital.
More than 20 years ago, as I looked over family papers with my late father, I came across a letter referring to my "conversion." Curious, I asked
what that meant. With some self-consciousness, my father first shared with me the fact that I had a Catholic baptism as a 2-year-old child in Vienna, Austria.
Sitting in her seat at the Max Factor Family Foundation Recreation Center of the Jewish Home for the Aging (JHA), 103-year-old Sylvia Harmatz cannot recall the first state to give women the right to vote. But, she remembers very clearly the first day she voted, in 1936. "I wasn't a citizen until I married my husband, and so I used his papers and got a ballot so I could vote for [Franklin D.] Roosevelt," she said. "I was very active in politics from that time on."
In April of last year, I received the following letter from the city of Graz, Austria, where I was born.
"On November 9th, 2000, the newly erected synagogue in Graz will be returned to the Jewish community. The return of the synagogue is a visual appeal for forgiveness for the atrocities and unjust criminal actions that were dealt our Jewish fellow citizens in the year 1938. This new House of God for the Jewish Community in Graz, which now stands at the very same spot where the former synagogue stood, should be a symbol for new respect for human rights and human kindness here in our city."
Last January, Austria joined Germany and the Swiss banks in signing a Holocaust reparations agreement. Relatively little noticed, the Austrian settlement deserves great recognition. Among its distinctive features is that it permits the return of specific items of property, including art works.
When U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram gave the green light on Wednesday, July 25 for Austria to start paying out $450 million to World War II forced and slave laborers, she had special words of praise for Walter Zifkin.
After last-minute negotiating, Austria, the United States and Jewish groups signed an agreement two weeks ago under which Austria agreed to pay $210 million, plus about $20 million in interest, to cover victims' property claims and unpaid insurance polices. The government also will pay an estimated $100 million in social welfare benefits to Austrian Jews.
With the E.U. announcement this week that it has lifted sanctions against Austria, some wonder whether the wheels of restitution will, coincidentally, grind to a halt.
Dominik and Reinhard are interns in the Gedenkdienst (commemorative service) program, which sends young volunteers, mostly in their 20s, to Holocaust-related institutions in the United States, Canada and Europe for 14-month long assignments.
Joerg Haider, whose party is racist and harshly anti-immigrant, once praised Hitler's labor policies and referred to SS veterans as "decent people." In recent weeks, he has been trying desperately to disassociate himself from those statements.
The Anti-Defamation League is setting itself apart from Israel and most other American Jewish organizations in its refusal to boycott Austria.
The Atlantic Ocean seemed to yawn wider this week than it has in years. Europe was in turmoil, haunted by the specter of a radical-right rising to power in Austria, Hitler's birthplace. Americans watched sympathetically.
The rise of Haider and his Freedom Party have triggered deep concern among Austria's 10,000 Jews, not just as Jews per se, but within the broader context of concern for their country as a whole.
A far-right party has forged an agreement to share power in Austria's government in defiance of an unprecedented European Union threat to penalize the country.
Austria's IsraelitischeKultusgemeinde (Israelite ReligiousCommunity) today numbers 8,000 dues-paying members, with another8,000 unaffiliated Jews, Grosz estimates, living in thecountry.
With a week-long celebration to mark theopening of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna heaped honors on theseminal composer of 20th-century music, while visibly agonizing overthe sins of its Nazi past.
Yvonne Sylva Maritza Josephine Kálmán, sixtyish,blond and glamorous, is named for all her father's favorite operettaheroines. So perhaps not surprisingly, she has dedicated much of herlife to seeing that her father's operettas have been performed allover the world.
Let me be direct and come to the point right off the mark:
"Seven Years in Tibet," appropriately filmed in Argentina -- whereold Nazis go to be rehabilitated or to die, whichever comes first --is a turgid piece of filmmaking and as dishonest as, well, "TheDevil's Own," Brad Pitt's last outing on film.