UAE, Bahraini FMs mark Holocaust Memorial Day, ally of Saudi monarch says ‘Never again’ (& important soccer video)

January 26, 2020

Slovak-born Jewish survivor of Auschwitz Eva Umlauf was just 2 years old when the notorious death camp was liberated 75 years ago. She shows the tattoo she was branded with to the Associated Press earlier this month. She was one of very few Jewish children who was not gassed to death or subjected to medical experiments upon arrival at the camp.

 

This dispatch is a follow-up to last week’s dispatches:

* The Last Survivors of Auschwitz (& ‘I Have a Message for You’)

* Powerful speeches at world’s biggest ever Holocaust commemoration today, as German president speaks in Hebrew

 

TOP SOCCER STARS PRODUCE VIDEO FOR FANS TELLING THEM TO REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST

[Notes below by Tom Gross]

A new poll has revealed that 2.6 million Britons are Holocaust deniers. And in separate polls many young French people, and over half of young Americans, have never heard of the Holocaust. (Time magazine reports that only 2% of French respondents said they were familiar with the Drancy internment camp, located about an hour outside Paris, where Jewish people were rounded up by the French and held before being transported to Auschwitz.)

This is one of the reasons that leading personalities in the English soccer premier league (the world’s most popular sport) have joined forces and urged fans to learn about and remember the Holocaust, in a new video released today in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow.

The two-minute video titled “We remember” is powerful. You can watch it here:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/10806269/lampard-klopp-noble-holocaust-memorial/

Close-ups of top players and managers are interspersed with images from the Holocaust as they deliver a message directed at football fans and others.

For those who don’t know, the English premier league is the world’s most popular league (together with that of Spain) and is closely followed by fans throughout the world.

The video features stars from rival clubs including Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk (who also captains the Dutch national team), Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, as well as Chelsea coach Frank Lampard and Liverpool’s German coach Jurgen Klopp, and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. West Ham star Mark Noble wipes away tear in the video.

The video was screened for the first time before Manchester City’s FA Cup clash with Fulham this afternoon. It will also be shown at other leading matches in the coming days.

The initiative was conceived by Justin Cohen, news editor and co-publisher of Jewish News who is a subscriber to this email list.

 

MURAL TO JEWISH SOCCER PLAYERS KILLED IN AUSCHWITZ

Chelsea, four of whose players appear in the video, last week unveiled a commemorative mural at their Stamford Bridge stadium of Jewish players who were murdered in Auschwitz, including Julius Hirsch, the first Jewish player to represent the German national team, and leading Hungarian player Árpád Weisz.

 

THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING A NAZI KILLER

This video is disturbing but I suggest you make time to watch at least the first two minutes of it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jUvcmGbtHWA

 

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER FINALLY APOLOGIZES FOR DUTCH ROLE IN THE HOLOCAUST

After 75 years, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte today apologized for how his country’s wartime government failed its Jews.

It is the first time a Dutch leader has apologized.

In 1995, Queen Beatrix made the first official acknowledgment of the massive wartime collaboration by the Dutch with the Nazis, noting in a speech before the Israeli Knesset that her countrymen who saved Jews during the Holocaust were only a few “exceptions.” But she refused to apologize on behalf of the Dutch state.

15 years later, Prime Minister Rutte did so today. This follows decades of the remnants of the once flourishing Dutch Jewish community seeking an official apology.

Over 75 percent of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands before the Holocaust were murdered by German Nazis and their local collaborators.

Not only the Dutch police but also the Dutch national railway company was widely complicit in hunting down Jews in the war in order to transport them to death camps.

 

UAE, BAHRAINI FOREIGN MINISTERS MARK HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain yesterday each sent out tweets to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place tomorrow.

Although neither specifically mentioned Jews by name, given the amount of antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the Arab world, particularly that by Palestinian dictator Mahmoud Abbas and by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, these statements are nevertheless an important historical milestone.

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan wrote on Twitter:

“While we remember Holocaust Memorial Day, we stand on the side of humanity against racism, hatred and extremism. And together we remember the lives taken so that such crimes against humanity will not repeat themselves.”

Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa wrote in Arabic to mark Holocaust Memorial Day: “We stand with humanity in its rejection of racism, hatred and extremism. Together, we remember the lives that were lost so that these crimes against humanity would not be repeated.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the foreign ministers for their tweets.

 

A SOFTENING (AND AN INTERVIEW WITH ME)

The tweets come as part of a softening by the Arab world in preparing their publics for relations with Israel, which could form a key component of the Trump peace plan due to be made public by President Trump tomorrow or Tuesday.

Many Arab governments are not yet willing to make public their increasingly warm ties with Israeli government officials. They are instead publicly reaching out to people such as myself.

In addition to a series of private meetings I have had with senior Arab government figures, the leading pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat (which is owned by a member of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family and edited from Beirut) last week translated into English a generally sympathetic interview with me.

It was published in 14 countries across the Arab world on Wednesday.

English version:
https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2094706/tom-gross-role-journalist-report-events-some-media-have-now-gone-beyond

Here is the Arabic version.

 

SAUDI MUSLIM LEADER SAYS ‘NEVER AGAIN’

On Thursday, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed al-Issa (who is an ally of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) led a delegation of 62 Islamic clerics from 28 countries to visit Auschwitz for what organizers called “the most senior Islamic leadership delegation” to visit a Nazi death camp.

Al-Issa is the secretary-general of the Mecca-based MWL and a former Saudi justice minister. He said at the end of the visit that “These kinds of horrible crimes must never happen again.”

Equally important is that some Arab media reported on the visit. For example, here is Al Arabiya’s report translated into English:

https://www.facebook.com/memri.org/videos/640837329991911/

 

THE GERMAN COMPANY THAT ENABLED THE HOLOCAUST

In an article, Deutsche Welle reports (extracts here only):

Topf & Sons helped make the Holocaust possible by building the ovens and incinerators, and even proudly put their logo on crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Mauthausen.

The company’s bosses, Ludwig Topf and his brother Ernst Wolfgang – both Nazi party members – boasted they could see the Buchenwald concentration camp from their office windows.

Kurt Prüfer, Topf & Sons’ chief engineer, presented his first designs for the SS for “cremation oven” designed to maximize the number of Jews that could be exterminated.

The company was so proud of its work that it applied for a patent on the design.

Ludwig Topf committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule after he was informed of his pending arrest by US military officers.

His brother Ernst Wolfgang fled to West Germany, where he rebuilt the company and made substantial profits, and investigations into his wartime activities were closed.

Kurt Prüfer died in a Soviet prison camp in 1952.

Full article here:
https://www.dw.com/en/the-german-company-that-enabled-the-holocaust/a-52128223

 

MIRACLE ON DAN BUS #4

This piece was first published on the Times of Israel blogs in 2016.

The author is a retired professor of Hebrew and Yiddish.

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/miracle-on-dan-bus-4

 

HOW THE PHILIPPINES SHELTERED 1500 JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST

Esquire Magazine (Philippines Edition) this week published an article titled “Holocaust Survivors Reveal How Filipinos Protected Them When Everyone Else Wouldn’t”.

https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/jewish-survivors-in-the-philippines-documentary-a00293-20200122

The link above includes a short preview from the new documentary, The Last Manilaners, featuring interviews with the last living Jewish survivors who fled to the Philippines and were protected by the authorities during the Holocaust. The documentary will be released tomorrow, coinciding with the International Holocaust Memorial Day.

 

(FULL ARTICLE)

FINALLY, PROOF BEYOND DOUBT THAT DEMJANJUK WAS SADISTIC NAZI

Photos surface showing convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk at Sobibor camp
By Toby Axelrod
JTA
January 19, 2020

BERLIN (JTA) – Photos have surfaced of convicted Nazi Ukrainian war criminal John Demjanuk in the Sobibor Nazi death camp, where he denied ever having been a guard.

The recently discovered images come from the estate of the deputy Nazi commandant at the camp, Johann Niemann, one of ten SS-men killed by prisoners in the famous October 1943 uprising. Parts of his collection will be made public on Jan. 28, at the (German government) Topography of Terror archive in Berlin, and in a new book to be released that day.

It reportedly is the first time that Demjanuk has been identified in photos of Sobibor.

Demjanuk, whose U.S. citizenship was revoked in 2002 for lying on his citizenship application about his Nazi service, and who was deported to Germany in 2009, was convicted in Munich in 2011 as an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews at the death camp. Sentenced to five years in prison, he died in a nursing home at the age of 91 in March 2012, while awaiting a decision on his appeal.

The Topography of Terror archive said that the photos – part of a series of more than 350 images – provide unprecedented insight into the “Action Reinhardt” phase of the mass extermination of European Jewry in the death camps Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka.

Sobibor was constructed in German-occupied Poland in 1942. By the time it was shut down in November 1943, at least 167,000 Jews had been gassed there with carbon monoxide, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Topography of Terror archive is working on the project together with the Stanislaw Hantz Educational Center and the Ludwigsburg Research Center on National Socialism at the University of Stuttgart.

 

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

See also a special Associated Press investigation about another Ukrainian Nazi who has just died aged 100 in America, and also evaded justice:

https://apnews.com/76fc8d452d0635683dffd23b82dd4e42

 

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All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.