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Tag: World War Ii

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  • A World War II Veteran’s Story

    By Ellie Kahn, Oral Historian

    2 weeks ago

    Many of my oral history interviews are with people who served in World War II.  Their stories are always educational, moving and inspiring.  The following is from my interview with Mark Levy, who passed away in February of this year. For those who knew Mark, it would be no surprise...

  • SCI-Arc exhibit reconsiders a future for Auschwitz

    By Avishay Artsy

    3 weeks ago

    The word Auschwitz connotes more than just the concentration camp in Poland that carries the name. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust and evidence of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.

    And perhaps because the place is such a symbol, nearly 70 years after...

  • Survivor: Jack Nierob

    By Jane Ulman

    3 weeks ago

    It was a beautiful winter’s night in early 1944 when Jack (then Icek) Nierob, 19, left his night-shift job in the steam room of Skarzysko’s Camp C to use the latrine, an outdoor shack near the labor camp’s barbed-wire fence. On his way back, a Ukrainian guard shouted for him to...

  • Presidents of Israel, Poland tour new museum on Jewish history

    October 28, 2014 | 10:34 am

    The presidents of Israel and Poland together took a guided tour of a new museum of Jewish life on Tuesday that tells the story of how Poland was for centuries home to a flourishing Jewish community before becoming a graveyard for Jews in World War II.

    Polish President Bronislaw...

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  • Letter from Dijon, France

    October 14, 2014 | 3:21 pm

    On my first day traveling in Dijon this past spring, I bounded into the hotel lobby and casually reached for a newspaper lying on the reception desk. The front-page headline of Le Figaro riveted my attention. Quickly, I devoured the story. It described an unprecedented upsurge in...

  • Reflections on Sept. 1, 1939

    August 27, 2014 | 11:32 am

    Sept. 1, 2014, commemorates the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Poland. On that day in 1939, Germany launched the invasion of Poland, marking the beginning of hostilities in World War II.  Sixty million people died in the conflict over the next six years, including 6 million...

  • eBay rejects auction of Nazi chief’s car

    June 27, 2014 | 2:14 pm

    Auction website eBay has refused to list a World War II-era Mercedes Benz once owned Hermann Goering, a Nazi leader who commanded the German air force, citing a policy prohibiting the sale of offensive items.

    The 1941 Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet B, custom built by Daimler-Benz...

  • European Jewry battered by soaring anti-Semitism

    June 2, 2014 | 10:38 am

    The arrest on May 30 by French Police of Mehdi Nemmouche in connection with the murder of three people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels did not calm anyone’s fears. Far from it: Nemmouche is a French-born Islamist who fought with al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels in Syria before allegedly...

  • Concentration camp inmates were forced to work for Audi, report shows

    May 27, 2014 | 10:14 am

    Some 3,700 concentration camp inmates were forced to work in Audi factories during World War II, the German automaker revealed.

    Audi on Monday published findings of a report it commissioned on its activities under Nazi Germany.

    The car manufacturer had previously acknowledged...

  • UK’s Prince Charles likens Russia’s Putin to Hitler, Paper

    May 21, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has likened Russian President Vladimir Putin to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler over his stance on Ukraine, according to a British newspaper.

    During a royal tour of Canada, the 65-year-old prince told a Jewish woman who fled from...

  • Anti-Israel campaign at UCLA echoes of McCarthyism

    May 20, 2014 | 1:10 pm

    UCLA has some proud moments in the history of civil liberties.

    After World War II, UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, were the hotbeds of opposition to an anti-communist loyalty oath that California tried to impose on academics. Ultimately the professors won in...

  • In eye of Nazi storm, Dutch Jews found unlikely refugee

    May 19, 2014 | 3:53 pm

    In her nightmares, Tilly Walvis pictured German soldiers storming the house where she was hiding and deporting her children and the Christian couple sheltering them.

    Walvis had good reason to fear. At the time, her family was living in the home of Albert and Frederika Santing in...

  • Frank Schiller

    By Jane Ulman

    April 23, 2014 | 1:25 pm

    In October 1941, Frank Schiller, his parents, brother and grandmother were ordered to report to Prague’s Exhibition Hall. There, Frank’s parents spent their days filling out documents while Frank and his brother wandered around. At night, they slept on straw mattresses. To Frank,...

  • POW’s journey to forgiving the unforgivable in ‘The Railway Man’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 9, 2014 | 11:55 am

    Jonathan Teplitzky is the Jewish-Australian director of the new film “The Railway Man,” based on Eric Lomax’s searing, best-selling 1996 memoir of his incarceration and torture in a Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II. The movie, like the book, also details...

  • Germany’s Kiefer says Jewish collectors boosted career

    April 1, 2014 | 12:59 pm

    German artist Anselm Kiefer, many of whose huge canvases examine the legacy of the Third Reich, attributes much of his success to Jewish collectors in New York who latched onto his art early in his career when his fellow Germans were not all that interested.

    Kiefer spoke on...

  • German WW II film shows war is hell — win or lose

    By  Tom Tugend

    February 26, 2014 | 5:21 pm

    The victors in any war write its history, so the saying goes. But what about the loser’s story?

    Germany was the loser in World War II, on the fighting front and the home front. Nowhere has this aspect of the war been told as graphically, accurately and powerfully as in the film...

  • Fred Wolf

    By Jane Ulman

    February 26, 2014 | 4:41 pm

    At 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, 1938, Manfred (Fred) Wolf was awakened by loud banging on the front door of their home in Merl an der Mosel, Germany. He looked out his upstairs window to see two Brownshirts, members of a Nazi militia, standing below with bayoneted guns. “Ed Wolf, you have to...

  • Germans own up to their dark past

    February 25, 2014 | 11:27 am

    Having been a loquacious debater on multiple continents, both in structured and everyday situations, I am well aware that the first rule of debate is universal. That is, never bring up Hitler or the Holocaust. Never liken any current event, or potential future event, to either of...

  • Vandals destroy copies of Anne Frank’s diary in Japan

    February 21, 2014 | 11:27 am

    More than 100 copies of Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl” have been vandalized in public libraries in Japan’s capital Tokyo.

    Pages have been ripped from at least 265 copies of the diary and other related books, Japanese officials told the BBC on Thursday. It is not clear who...

  • Holocaust in North Korea

    By Jared Sichel

    January 23, 2014 | 10:13 am

    As Shin Dong-hyuk crawled over his friend’s lifeless body, the 23-year-old North Korean could feel the electric current shooting through him. 

    Luckily, for Shin, the two pairs of pants he was wearing, coupled with his friend’s corpse, shielded him for the most part from the...

  • Sarah Leisner

    By Jane Ulman

    January 16, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    Sarah Leisner — née Kanzer — was digging foxholes in a frozen field in northern Poland on the bitter cold and dark afternoon of Dec. 31, 1944, when she spied several small houses nearby, with smoke rising from the chimneys. “Let’s break in and steal a needle and thread,” Sarah, 19,...

  • Music makes the long journey from Israel to L.A.

    January 2, 2014 | 10:53 am

    It was late during World War II and Curt Lowens, a member of the Dutch resistance whose family had fled Berlin after Kristallnacht, saw an Allied plane in distress. He knew what he had to do. 

    Lowens followed the plane, watched as its pilots bailed out and then met them on the...

  • Survivors to mark 75th anniversary of Kindertransport

    By Tom Tugend

    November 20, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    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...

  • Israeli-Iranian DJ group spins for peace in Berlin

    November 18, 2013 | 1:11 pm

    It’s 4 a.m. at the famous Kater Holzig club and hundreds of beautiful young people are going crazy on the dance floor to the sound of heavy electronic beats.

    To the casual clubber, it’s just another ordinary night out in Europe’s hottest city. But this gathering is far from...

  • Doli Sadger Redner

    By Jane Ulman

    November 14, 2013 | 4:07 pm

    Doli Offner (now Doli Redner) and her older sister, Lea, stood single file along with a group of young women at Auschwitz as Dr. Josef Mengele walked past, dispatching each with a flick of his thumb to one side or another. Lea was sent to the labor camp line and Doli to the gas...

  • 50 years after JFK, family of Jack Ruby feels the pain

    November 13, 2013 | 5:00 pm

    We were sharing a pastrami sandwich and pickles at a Los Angeles landmark: Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. I was 24; she was nearly 50 years older, with a piercing voice as loud as her flaming red wig.

    Her name was Eva Rubenstein Grant, and she was a little-known nightclub manager the...

  • ‘Aftermath’ exposes dark secrets in Poland

    By Tom Tugend

    November 13, 2013 | 2:15 pm

    The Nazi occupation of most of Europe during World War II and the Holocaust tested the moral fiber not only of the individual citizen but also of entire nations.

    Today, 68 years after the guns fell silent in Europe and the Far East, historians and filmmakers not-yet-born in 1945...

  • The long journey from POW to veterans’ advocate

    November 11, 2013 | 11:32 am

    Harry Corre, held as a prisoner of war during World War II by Japanese military forces in the city of Omuta, was behind a brick building when he saw a “tremendous flash.” Looking around the building, he saw an enormous cloud 30 miles across the bay, above Nagasaki, and assumed...

  • Kristallnacht witness joined allied forces against Germany

    By Jared Sichel

    November 7, 2013 | 5:02 pm

    Fred Heim remembers walking on cloud nine the day he was sworn in to the United States Navy, a cold Chicago day in December 1944.

    “Joining the Navy was the most important thing in my life,” Heim, 86, told the Journal. “The day that I was sworn in, I will never forget it.”

    Born...

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