Leaders from Los Angeles’ Jewish and Israel communities came together to celebrate Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers and victims of terror, on April 14 at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel Air.
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:
Spring came exceptionally late to southern Poland this year, the patches of snow along the railway track into the former Birkenau concentration camp a reminder that winter had begun to loosen its grip just two days earlier.
In what was anything but a typical Yom HaShoah assemblage, more than 300 people — including two rabbis, a Methodist preacher, a Catholic priest and a U.S. congressman — packed into Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge on April 7 for an interdenominational observance titled “Remembering the Past, Securing the Future.”
Ori Rabinovitch, a fourth-grader at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, remembers how he recently met an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who could barely hear him — and who could not afford to buy a hearing device.
As Holocaust survivor Robert Geminder led a walking tour in Pan Pacific Park on April 7, pre-arranged memory markers — labeled “ghettos,” “camps,” “resistance” and “rescue” — transformed an outdoor path into a historical timeline.
Australian-based Holocaust survivor Frank Lowy delivered the keynote address at the March of the Living ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Yom Hashoah.
Eleven mezuzahs were set afire in a residential building in Brooklyn in an incident that New York City police are treating as a hate crime.
President Obama in his Yom HaShoah message recalled his recommitment in Israel last month to combating anti-Semitism and intolerance.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel said he sees "a road ahead" on the two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ceremony at Yad Vashem
The Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, the town where the Auschwitz concentration camp was built, has launched a fundraising campaign to rescue the house of Oświęcim’s last Jewish resident.
Israel came to a standstill as a siren sounded for two minutes in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
A Nazi crimes agency in Germany will launch an investigation of 50 alleged former Auschwitz guards living in the country.
Israel closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza to the passage of goods after three rockets were fired at southern Israel from the coastal strip.
The hatred of Jews is still strong more than 70 years after the Holocaust began, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres said at the national Yom Hashoah ceremony at Yad Vashem.
When people of reason and conscience look back on the subject of Shoah (otherwise known as the Holocaust) today, it is common to hear questions like: "How could a nation of philosophers, composers of classical music, technology, poets, in this seat of the Enlightenment itself, suddenly give vent to savagery not seen since the Dark Ages? How could such dreadful, inhumane impulses seize every apparatus of a nation and cause it to commit such atrocities?"
Global anti-Semitism increased by 30 percent in 2012 over the previous year, an annual report found.
Many years ago, when I was a young, harried father, I would sit in synagogue on Shabbat mornings and try to keep my kids quiet. It was a task I consistently failed at. Their mother, the rabbi, was on the bimah, leading services. She had the easy job.
The Holocaust is really too big and too dark to fathom. It’s larger than life, larger than death, even larger than evil. The human mind can’t quite comprehend an evil that wants to destroy a whole race of humans — and succeeds in destroying about a third of it.
Sixty-eight years after being liberated from the horrors of the Holocaust, many aging survivors are living another nightmare — poverty without hope.
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.
"They’re going to come with the dogs. They’re going to start beating me.” Pola Lipnowski spoke in Yiddish, an expression of sheer terror on her face. She turned to her daughter, Hendel Schwartz, for protection.
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.”
My daughter, Ilana, then a young college student, asked if she could go with me to the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, on April 22, 1993 (the date was tied to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising’s 50th anniversary). I said: “I will be leaving very early.” She responded: “I’ll be up.”
Holocaust survivors living in Israel say the country isn't doing enough to help them, and some are resorting to skipping meals and medicine.
When children approach their parents with inevitable questions about death, divorce, homosexuality or how babies are made, adults often turn to books to find the right words to start the discussion. The same is true of another sensitive subject that defies simple explanation: the Holocaust. There are a few thousand memoirs, biographies and novels for young people on the Holocaust published around the world, and surprisingly, more than 100 picture books, too. It is clearly a popular subject.
This Arab-Jewish ensemble, composed of three members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and four musicians from Israel’s Arab community, performs a concert for peace in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s 65th birthday. Sun. 4-6 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (424) 208-8932.
When Austrian and German Jews escaped Nazism by fleeing to Britain during the 1930s, the last thing they expected was to find themselves prisoners in Canada, interred in camps with some of the same Nazis they had tried to escape back home.
President Obama marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with calls to combat Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, as well as for vigilance against current and future atrocities.
Thousands of youth from Israel, the United States and other countries marched Thursday between Auschwitz and Birkenau, the two parts of Nazi Germany's most notorious death complex, to honor the millions killed in the Holocaust.
Israel's prime minister and president invoked the Iranian threat during remarks at the annual Yom HaShoah ceremony at Yad Vashem.
Akira Kitade is a former Japanese tourism executive who still relishes the opportunity to show a newcomer the cultural sights of Tokyo. He also delights in showing off photos of his new grandchild and extended family.
In early October 1943, a day or two after Rosh Hashanah, Julia Moshe — née Conti — was walking to her bookkeeping job at the Atlas Watch Co. in Volos, Greece, when she heard footsteps behind her. “Mademoiselle, don’t turn around your head,” a male voice warned. “Yesterday SS soldiers came to city hall asking for a list of the Jewish people.” Julia started trembling. She recalled her mother’s words, “If the Germans come here, it’s OK if they take us.” Julia gave notice at work and hurried home. “Please don’t say no,” she begged her mother. “We have to go from here.”
What are the moral and artistic limits faced by a novelist, filmmaker, historian or artist in depicting the Holocaust?
This is the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, and the first one I will mark without my father. Kristallnacht is referred to as the “night of broken glass.” But it was much more. It was the beginning of the end of most of European Jewry. It was two days of Nazi government-sponsored riots on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, in Germany and Austria. Reported numbers vary, but about 270 synagogues were burned, 7,000 businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed, and 100 Jews were killed. Between 26,000 and 30,000 Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps. My father was one of them. A 16-year-old boy living in Niederstetten, Germany, he was arrested on November 10 and sent to Dachau.
An estimated 2,000 people gathered on May 1 for Los Angeles’ annual commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Pan Pacific Park. The crowd, which included octogenarians in wheelchairs, infants in strollers and people of all ages in between, listened to speeches from elected officials and community leaders who exhorted them to remember the murder of millions of innocent European Jews during World War II, which ended 66 years ago.
Dina Frydman Balbien, 81, whose experiences in the Holocaust are told in a book written by her daughter, Tema N. Merback , wasn’t expecting to find Betty Feuerstein, who is also in her 80s, at a reading of Merback’s book on April 29. The two worked together around 1950 at the Max Factor cosmetic company in Los Angeles, Feuerstein said, but had not seen each other since.
The World Memory Project, which is set to build the world’s largest online database of information on victims of the Holocaust, has been launched.
Holocaust survivors and members of the public are reading the names of Holocaust victims at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The reading at the museum's Hall of Remembrance began Sunday and will last through May 8.
Sixty-five years ago at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, 22 defendants stood in the dock. They represented a cross-section of Nazi diplomatic, economic, political and military leadership, and became the first people in history to be indicted for crimes against humanity.
"Israel is the historical commemoration to the victims of the Holocaust," President Shimon Peres said at a Yad Vashem ceremony marking Yom Hashoah.
The Israeli government is firing a new salvo in the turf war over Holocaust restitution. Following years of complaints by survivors about opacity and unjust allocation decisions by the Claims Conference, and after two decades of what critics deride as scant tangible successes by the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), a new Israeli restitution organization is amassing hundreds of thousands of new claims for survivors and their heirs.
On the occasion of Yom HaShoah, I can think of no more appropriate act of remembrance of the Holocaust than to reconsider the circumstances surrounding the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and I can think of no one better able to explain those circumstances to us than Deborah E. Lipstadt, a leading figure in Holocaust studies and author of “The Eichmann Trial” (Schocken, $23.95).
My mother saw to it that we escaped from Nazi Germany intact, while a dozen family members, those who refused to leave, perished. That fact has impacted my life in various ways, both large and small.
As I was finishing reading Andrew E. Stevens’ memoir, “Rebel With a Cause: The Amazing True Story of Urban Partisans in World War II,” in collaboration with Meir Doron (Allied Artists, $9.99), I received an e-mail from a former colleague reminding me of a promise I had made to write about Jews saving Jews during the Holocaust. She had long been contending that among the major untold stories of the Holocaust, and some of its most important unsung heroes, were those Jews who put their lives at even more acute risk to rescue other Jews.
Leave it to the artists and attorneys at Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day by introducing — or reintroducing — a man once considered to have been a Jewish antihero of World War II.
We have no way of knowing whether God spoke to the dead of the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany during the winter and early spring of 1945, but I am fairly certain that He did not speak to either the living or those who were dying. What could He possibly have said to them? What words of comfort could He have given them in a place that one of the camp’s liberators compared to Dante’s inferno?
“The Führer Gives the Jews a City” must rank as the oddest film fragment in cinematic history.
David Meyerhof makes his living as a teacher, but when he travels to Heidelberg in mid-May, it will be as a student. Meyerhof, grandson of Nobel laureate Otto Meyerhof, is eager to learn all he can about his family’s history in the German university town.
"Anything from Germany today?” That’s the question Jeffrey Kobulnick, a senior associate in the Los Angeles legal office of Foley & Lardner, asks his assistant almost every day.
This column will appear online just about when you arrive in Poland.
This year, the first day of Passover and the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising fell only one day apart. Passover teaches the story of the Jewish people’s historic, successful dash for freedom. The young Jewish men and women of the Warsaw Ghetto, who led the first mass uprising against Nazi rule in occupied Europe, were ultimately defeated, and most of the survivors were transported to the death camps. No Red Sea parted for Warsaw’s Jews during the terrible years of Nazi occupation, nor did the heavens darken; however, they were not totally abandoned to their fate. The 23,788 names on the Yad Vashem roster of Righteous Among the Nations remind us of that. One of those names, Irena Sendler, will be the focus of a new American documentary film that will premiere nationwide on PBS on May 1, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
It has been more than 65 years since the end of the Holocaust, and each year, on Yom HaShoah, Jews commemorate the loss of the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were killed.