A swastika banner will fly over New York City and appear in other major cities around the world this Saturday.
In the early morning of Oct. 12, 1941, German authorities ordered the Jews of Stanislawow, Poland, to report to the town square. Six-year-old Robert (Bob) Geminder huddled there with his mother, grandmother and brother, George. The group of approximately 20,000 Jews was then marched to the nearby cemetery. Bob and his family, among the early arrivals, were shoved toward the cemetery’s back wall, where they crouched down. “If you stood up, they would shoot you,” Bob remembered. Meanwhile, people in the front were marched forward toward large pits in the ground, then shot. As they fell into the gaping earth, more Jews were ordered forward. This systematic killing continued all day, until falling snow and darkness halted the massacre of 12,000 or more.
This week, Jews around the world observed Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day ought to be universally observed, because the lessons of the Holocaust are universal. Here are some of them:
In the summer of 1993, my father and I visited the site of the extermination camp of Belzec in eastern Poland, where my grandparents were among half a million Jews murdered by the Nazis in 1942.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor those lost in the Shoah and the few who were saved through circumstance, luck or the efforts of courageous individuals. People like Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and the Bielski brothers immediately come to mind, having been the subjects of books and movies such as “Schindler’s List” and “Defiance.”
In a video, a Holocaust survivor remembers how he had to kill the family dog as he faced deportation to a wartime ghetto, where there would not be enough food for humans and none for animals.
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.
Jews who owned property seized by the Nazis in what became East Germany have a last chance to receive compensation for it.
During the course of one month in 1941, most of the thousands of Jewish residents of Utena, Lithuania, were rounded up by the Nazis, taken into the forest and murdered. Only a few dozen managed to escape. That episode nearly buried the entire history of the centuries-old town, but through the efforts of the nonprofit MACEVA and volunteers like students at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge, this history is finally being unearthed. On Jan. 23, the entire eighth-grade class at Heschel filled the gym to translate the Hebrew inscribed on recently uncovered gravestones from Utena.
It is a given among liberal and progressive Jews that gun ownership among the general population is a bad thing. The ideal is near-universal disarmament with only a handful of individual exceptions and, of course, the police.
A collection of Egyptian artifacts unearthed 96 years ago by Jewish Egyptologist Georg Steindorff and forcibly sold under the Nazis will remain at the University of Leipzig.
Roger Ailes, the Fox News Channel chief, called National Public Radio executives "Nazis" and said "left-wing rabbis" make it difficult to use the term "Holocaust" on air.
Some 43 countries have agreed on non-binding rules for the restitution of property seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has joined a lawsuit to force the Norton Simon Museum to return two 500-year-old paintings to the heir of a Dutch Jewish art dealer.
If you ask 35-year-old violinist Daniel Hope about his Jewish heritage, make sure you have time. It’s a complicated question.
“On my mother’s side was an incredibly Orthodox Jewish family that goes back to the first rabbi of Potsdam,” he said during a recent late-night cell phone call while in transit to Hamburg, Germany, for a concert the next day.
"Scream the truth at the world, so the world may know all," Dawid Gruber, 19, wrote in his final testament. The place was the Warsaw Ghetto, the time August 1942, and Gruber placed his testament with thousands of other papers and documents on daily life under Nazi rule into 10 tin boxes and buried them in the cellar of the Borochow School.
In 1979, comedian Al Franken wrote a skit for "Saturday Night Live" called "What if: Überman," featuring Dan Aykroyd as Klaus Kent, a clerk in Hitler's Ministry of Propaganda. Klaus dashes into phone booths to become Überman, uses his X-ray vision to detect bombs and to reveal Jews by looking through their pants, and ultimately leads his country to victory.
Sixty-seven years ago, on Nov. 9, 1938, Nazi-organized mobs burned and looted thousands of German synagogues and Jewish stores during Kristallnacht, the opening salvo of the coming extermination of European Jewry.
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."
The withdrawal of Israeli settlements and settlers from the Gaza Strip will dominate the Jewish summer.
The upcoming "Cinderella Man" chronicles the fall and rise of Depression-era heavyweight champion James Braddock, but the movie is as likely to revive the memory of another title holder, "Jewish" boxer Max Baer.
In the climactic scene, the movie depicts the 15-round fight in 1935 between Braddock (Russell Crowe), the victorious underdog, and a menacing, beady-eyed Baer (Craig Bierko).
Baer's greatest fight was in June 1933, when he faced the heavily favored German, Max Schmeling. Hitler had come to power a few months earlier and the Nazis were busy smearing Stars of David on Jewish-owned stores.
As 14-year-old Lisa Jura said goodbye to her mother at a Vienna train station in 1938, Jura’s mother spoke words that would inspire her for a lifetime: “Hold on to your music. It will be your best friend.”
Jura didn’t imagine that these words — and how her life came to embody them — would inspire subsequent generations of teenagers, even 70 years later.
Maria V. Altmann, a tall, animated 89-year-old, found her story splashed on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times on April 14.
In the summer of 1937, the Nazi Party opened an exhibition in Munich titled "Great German Art."
Much of the show's art was culled from Hitler's personal collection -- he had amassed a number of works with the proceeds from his autobiography, "Mein Kampf." The show consisted of pure lines and pure themes, with scenes of immaculate peasants tilling the fields, families sitting down to hearty dinners and soldiers fighting for an Aryan Germany.
More than 420,000 visitors gathered to see this show in the city that was the birthplace of the Nazi Party.
Later that week, the Nazis opened another exhibition across the street. This time the theme was "Degenerate Art."
Works confiscated from German galleries were badly hung on the walls, labeled with crude hand-scrawled captions. It was a showcase, a freak show of the works of "degenerate" artists, Bolsheviks, homosexuals and Jews, whose work and lives the Nazis hoped to extinguish in the coming years.
More than 2 million people saw that show. It was a blockbuster success.
Today, I am a nephew. Last weekend, the names of more than 3 million persons murdered in the Holocaust were posted on the Internet as part of a searchable database created by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem was established in 1950 by an act of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, as the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance authority. From its very inception, it has taken on the task of being a repository for the names and memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Frieda Moldavan had to wait 60 years, but last week she was finally "compensated" for digging German anti-tank trenches outside Budapest in the bitter winter of 1944.
When she was in her 30s, Hansi Goetter developed a mysterious illness. Although her doctors couldn't determine the cause, they told her she had only a few months to live.
Ariel Sharon denied that his office sought Israeli settlers' agreement to dismantle some illegal West Bank outposts. The denial by Israel's prime minister came after a spokesman for a settlers' group said the group had rejected the offer.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took its campaign equating factory-farm animals to Holocaust victims to the streets of Los Angeles this week with a protest in front of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Tuesday at noon (see story on page 12).
I was saddened to hear author Leon Uris died.
After the American Army liberated them, the surviving prisoners looked like walking skeletons.
When Dr. Edward Phillips set out to create the first English-language exhibit on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, opening Sunday at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, information proved elusive.
UCLA Hillel special events coordinator Guy Kochlani was born in Tel Aviv, but he was never actively involved in supporting Israel -- until the day three years ago when a group of Palestinian students interrupted the Yom HaAtzmaut celebration on campus.