Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
The explosion in the railway station in Dusseldorf, Germany, near a group of Jewish immigrants from Russia, was apparently perpetrated by radical right-wingers. Assuming that those responsible for the attack are in fact from the radical right, this incident represents an exacerbation in radical right violence in Germany.
At the same time, the dissemination of anti-Semitic propaganda in many places throughout the world continues.
Anti-Semitic Attacks and Incidents
On 27 July, 2000, an explosion injuring ten passerby occurred at a station of the Dusseldorf underground near to a language school. Those injured were immigrants from the CIS who were studying German. They included six Jews of whom two were injured seriously. It is assessed that a right-wing organization interested in harming foreign immigrants was responsible for the attack. The attack might also have been perpetrated from anti-Semitic motives.
On the night between July 28-29, stones and bottles were thrown at the front of the Monte Sinai Jewish school in Mexico City smashing the school's front windows.
On 22 July, stones were thrown and windows smashed at the Spanish and Portuguese synagogues in London.
Desecration of Jewish Cemeteries, Memorials and Synagogues
On the night of 29 July, slogans and abusive phrases were drawn on the walls of the ritual purification building in the Jewish cemetery in Oslo. The phrases said: 'Holocaust, BB Oslo (Boot Boys), DOZ, No admission, Jews have no rights in the country'.
On 28 July, an anonymous announcement was received on a bomb laid in the Vinia Del Mar Jewish school. The pupils were evacuated and the place searched by the police but nothing was found.
On the night between 3-4 July, a swastika was sprayed on the ruins of the burnt synagogue in Riga. The words 'This is a ghetto' and 'Death' in Russian and the SS symbol were written on a nearby wall. The timing of the incident may not be a coincidence but possibly connected to a memorial ceremony held on 4 July, the date set by Latvian authorities as Holocaust Memorial Day.
John Gudenus, representatives to the Bundesrat of Jorg Haider's FPO party, protested the Austrian government's decision to compensate former forced laborers in Austria during the Second World War. Gudenus claimed that these payments are a kind of blackmail so that Austria can preserve good relations with the U.S. It will be recalled that the name of Gudenus made to the headlines in 1995 when he publicly expressed his doubts concerning the existence of the gas chambers.
On the night of 14 July, swastikas were drawn on the walls of the Einstein Jewish School in Quito.
In June, Neo-Nazis distributed pamphlets at the Americana University in Asuncion. The pamphlets said that all those with problems or complaints against Jews were invited to come to a meeting.
At the same university, a teacher was dismissed from his job after a Jewish woman student complained that he had told anti-Semitic jokes.
In early July, swastikas were drawn at a construction site in Santa Fe in a neighbourhood without Jewish institutions or residents.
Small statues of Hitler are being sold in several shops in Venice. They are a very popular item.
On 2 July, posters from the Neo-Nazi 'Combat-18' organization were pasted on the walls and doors of the South Hampton synagogue. An armed man and a picture of Hitler appear on the poster.
Swastikas were drawn on the walls of the Muswell Hill synagogue in London on three occasions.
On 11 July, two youths entered the yard of the South Tottenham synagogue in London shouting abusive slogans. They were arrested by the police.
On 24 July, Asian youths shouted anti-Semitic slogans and threw stones at worshippers who were entering the Cheetham Hebrew Congregation in Manchester.
The Jews of Australia criticized MP Graham Gun for using an anti-Semitic expression to defame lawyers. He said the lawyers had 'longer hands than the Jews'.
Accusing mail was sent to the 'Australian Tibetan Association' blaming it for supporting the Jews. The mail contained Holocaust denial overtones and included a list of anti-Semitic books.
Copies of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' were distributed to a Communist group in Sydney.
E-mail was received in Melbourne from Nuca Antara. Nuca Antara is the nickname of Franz T. Schineis, a sworn anti-Semite who disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the world. In the e-mail he sent, Schineis attacks the 'Jews from the suburbs' following the erection of a memorial to the victims of Munich Olympics terrorist attacks. He also wrote that 'Australia is a colony controlled de facto by Jews'.
An anti-Semitic letter was sent to a politician in Canberra criticizing the tendency of the government to appease Jewish pressure groups and the press for publicizing the activity of these groups and of Jews who want to extradite Nazis.
Two men drove past the Jewish community building in Sydney shouting 'Heil Hitler' at a person wearing a skullcap.
During a soccer game in Sydney, someone drew a swastika on the notebook belonging to the referee.
An accusing phonecall, including Holocaust denial remarks, was received at the office of the Jewish community in Sydney. Hate mail was sent to the homes of Jews in Brisbane and Sydney.
At the conference of the Australian Chinese Heritage Federation held in Melbourne, the well-known propagandist McCormack slandered a historian present at the conference for his Jewish background.
Two boys were arrested in Miami after they drew swastikas on walls.
On 16 July, Latvia and Australia signed an agreement to extradite the Nazi war criminal Konrad Kalejs suspected of murdering 30,000 Jews from Latvia during the Holocaust. The 86 year old Kalejs who lives in Melbourne will be extradited in July following the discovery of new evidence concerning his involvement in the murder of Jews when he commanded the 'Arajs' extermination squad.
On 14 July, an article appearing in the 'Dominion' daily stated that 46 year old Walter Durante was sentenced to three years in prison for being in possession of explosives, weapons, ammunition and printed matter on warfare, on how to prepare explosive devices and import ammunition. In addition to these findings, handwritten documents were found containing addresses of Jewish places of worship, residences and community centers. Durante is a racist who believes in the supremacy of the white race and is very interested in Nazism.
A French association fighting racism called for a boycott throughout the world against the Yahoo internet giant for hosting a website which auctions Nazi artifacts. The 'Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between the Nations' requested schools to boycott the portal whose center is in California.
The Attorney General demanded the court appoint independent computer experts to examine Yahoo's claim that it is possible to technically block the access of surfers from France to Internet websites auctioning Nazi artifacts.
82 year old Julius Viel, a former SS officer, was accused of murdering seven Jewish prisoners in 1945 while they were digging a trench near the Czech town of Leitmeritz.
A court in Philadelphia revoked the citizenship of Theodor Szehinskyj, a 76 year old mechanic and pensioner, for serving as an SS guard in a concentration camp during the Second World War.
Various authorities in charge of the administration of Paris and the Paris municipality decided to enlarge the building that houses the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr ('Memorial Du Martyr Juif de France) to enable the construction of a Holocaust museum and a memorial plaque. On the plaque will be engraved the names of the 76,000 Jews of France who perished in concentration camps. After the museum is enlarged, it will become a large center (the third largest and most important in the world), for research on the heritage and study of the Holocaust and will play a central role in the struggle against racism.
France held a memorial day for tens of thousands of Jews who were victims of the Vichy government which collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War. This memorial day was also intended to praise the brave actions of the French Righteous Gentiles who were responsible for saving the lives of many Jews.
A French prosecutor requested the reopening of the investigation against Michel Junot who was the deputy police chief of Pithiviers, a city near Paris, during the Vichy regime. Junot accused of participating in crimes against humanity. For many years Junot held a senior position in the administration of the Paris municipality during Jacques Chirac's term of office as mayor.
On 4 July, national Holocaust Memorial Day, the Latvian government decided to grant the Museum of Jewish History in Riga, the status of a national museum. The museum will consequently receive government support of some 20,000 dollars earmarked for the joint Latvian-Jewish promotion of Holocaust and Jewish tradition studies. This decision by the Latvian government is one of many steps taken recently to develop the heritage of the Holocaust. They include setting up a historical committee and opening an investigation against the Nazi war criminals Kalejs and Karlis Ozols.
The Lithuanian parliament's press office announced that Parliament had formulated a draft bill to return to the Jewish community torah scrolls currently under safe keeping in the national library. The attachment to the draft bill states that 'according to Jewish religious law, torah scrolls should be used for religious purposes or be buried. By returning the torah scrolls to the Jewish community, Lithuania will make a gesture of good will thus easing unnecessary tensions'.
The Lithuanian Neo-Nazi 'National Socialist Party of Lithuania' intends to run in the elections this coming fall, despite the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to register the party as a candidate.
Against the background of increasing manifestations of anti-Semitism in the CIS, a memorial was inaugurated to Holocaust victims in Belarus. Over 5000 persons participated in the inauguration ceremony of the memorial, including the President of Belarus, the Prime Minister, ambassadors, heads of Jewish organizations in the CIS, Russia's Chief Rabbi, and the president of the Union of Jewish Communities in the CIS.
An agreement was recently reached in secret discussions between the U.S. administration and the Polish government, regarding the return to Jews of property confiscated from them during the Nazi period. A draft bill to that effect will be formulated and apparently passed in the near future in the Polish parliament. This means that many assets will be returned to the Jews who have remained in Poland and those who have left, most of whom are currently living in the U.S. and Israel.
The European Jewish Congress welcomed the statements of Jozef Glemp, the leader of the Catholic Church in Poland, who expressed his sorrow that several Polish priests exhibit tolerance for anti-Semitic manifestations.
Fourteen models of synagogues destroyed by the Germans on Kristallnacht in November 1938 are on display at an art exhibition in Germany.
In a historical ceremony, Germany signed an agreement to establish a 5.2 billion dollar fund to compensate forced laborers. Germany thus joins a list of countries who have taken a similar step. Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher considers the establishment of this fund a kind of expression of moral responsibility to the victims of Nazism.
Paul Spiegel, president of the umbrella organization of the Jewish communities in Germany, expressed 'deep concern' over the growing support for the radical right-wing and Neo-Nazism, especially among young people. Speigel stressed that in contending with this phenomenon, society must be enlisted. This not only concerns the Jews. Violence is currently directed towards foreigners; tomorrow it will be directed towards the handicapped, and in the end the phenomenon will grow to include the free and democratic society'.
The Dutch government, banks, insurance companies and the stock market signed an agreement to pay 325 million dollars compensation for assets and property stolen from the Jews during the Second World War. Rob Wurms, president of the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands, hopes this agreement will compensate for the crimes of the past.
The British organization 'To Remember for the Future' began a series of events in London and Oxford, at the center of which is an academic conference, a film festival and a conference of some thousand Holocaust survivors and their families. The series of events is entitled 'The Holocaust in an Era of Genocide'. It is intended to increase awareness and international understanding of the Holocaust following the sharp increase in the number of ethnic purges in Africa, Central Europe and other places. Among those participating in the conference were Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel and the American historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt who won the libel suit filed against her by the British Holocaust denier David Irving.
Israelis and senior officials of the Jewish community in Britain flooded the editorial office of the Guardian with protest letters on the newspaper's decision to publish chapters from a book entitled 'The Holocaust Industry' written by the American Jewish historian Norman Finkelstein from New York University. In his book, Finkelstein writes that commemorating the Holocaust has become an exploitive industry meant to justify Israel's policy and goals, and to strengthen it against international criticism. Finkelstein also claims that the struggle of survivors for compensation for property they lost under the Nazi rule and occupation is an example of the hypocrisy and double standard likened to the lust of a gold digger. The chairman of the Holocaust Education Foundation, Lord Janner, called Finkelstein's approach 'disgusting' and made it clear that he would not stop his activity to delve into the Holocaust heritage in order to deter recurrences of murderous acts.
A Holocaust study program was initated this month in Washington. The program is intended for teachers in Catholic schools. Forty-five teachers from all over the U.S. will participate in a conference to be held in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Russian Jewish Congress began a campaign to repossess Jewish public property seized by the Soviet regime. This property includes hundreds of buildings used as synagogues, theatres and schools throughout Russia.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry