General Interest News

The Holocaust is exaggerated in pop culture. That makes it hard for educators like me to teach the truth.

Posted on July 23, 2021

(Chalkbeat via JTA) — “Hey, I did have one question …” That was the tentative opening to an email I recently received from a high school teacher. The Ninth Candle, the Holocaust education organization I founded, had led some educational programs for her students, and the teacher and I had been trading emails for a few weeks. Even Continue Reading »

Tokyo Olympics creative director fired over 1990s comedy skit mocking the Holocaust

Posted on July 23, 2021

(JTA) — The creative director of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has been fired after a Holocaust joke he made during a 1990s comedy skit drew attention this week. Kentaro Kobayashi, a popular comedian and actor, joked during a television appearance in the 1990s, “Let’s play the genocide of the Jews,” according to a video Continue Reading »

David Mermelstein, Holocaust survivor and longtime advocate for restitution, dies at 92

Posted on July 14, 2021

(JTA) — David Mermelstein started a group for Holocaust survivors in the Miami area in the 1950s simply because it was so hard communicating with others — even fellow Jews — about the horrors they had experienced. Like so many other survivors, as he aged, Mermelstein overcame his reluctance to speak about it and made Continue Reading »

Esther Bejarano, member of Auschwitz orchestra, dies at 96

Posted on July 14, 2021

(JTA) — Esther Bejarano played music while she watched fellow Jews marched to their deaths, and then used it decades later to make sure the crimes she suffered and witnessed would never be repeated. Bejarano, a member of the so-called Auschwitz orchestra, died peacefully Saturday at the Jewish hospital in Hamburg. She was 96.   Continue Reading »

Arizona passes long-delayed Holocaust education bill after sidelining debate over antisemitism definitions

Posted on July 7, 2021

(Jewish News of Greater Phoenix via JTA) — When Michael Beller set out three years ago to get a law passed in Arizona requiring Holocaust education in public schools, the response he got was clear. “People told me this would never happen. They were like, ‘Not now, not ever. It will never happen in Arizona.’ And that Continue Reading »

Belarusian president: Whole world ‘bows’ to Jews due to Holocaust

Posted on July 6, 2021

“Jews were able to make the world remember [the Holocaust], and the whole world bows to them.” • Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the comments “unacceptable.” Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko claimed that the “whole world bows” to the Jews due to the Holocaust, during a memorial service for Soviet soldiers who fell during World War II Continue Reading »

67 headstones damaged at Jewish cemetery in Poland

Posted on June 28, 2021

(JTA) — Dozens of headstones were knocked down, with several destroyed, at a Jewish cemetery in Poland. The incident, the third of its kind since 2015, happened on Saturday and left 67 graves desecrated in Bielsko-Biała, in southern Poland, according to the Zrzutka news site. Police have been notified and are investigating the incident. There are no Continue Reading »

In Slovakia, a retired non-Jewish educator teaches Roma teens about the Holocaust at Jewish cemeteries

Posted on June 25, 2021

(JTA) — An activist attempting to preserve Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia has recruited several Roma teenagers to help with the task. Vladimir Spanik, 73, involved the teenagers in cleaning up the Jewish cemetery of Vinodol, a town located some 40 miles east of the capital Bratislava, Reuters reported last week. Spanik has been volunteering to help motivate Continue Reading »

In Poland, a bill to limit Holocaust restitution advances in parliament

Posted on June 25, 2021

(JTA) — The Polish parliament has advanced a bill that would limit the ability of claimants to seek restitution for property they owned during the Holocaust, triggering a fresh diplomatic spat involving Israel and the United States. Under the measure, which passed its first reading on Thursday, courts may consider appeals regarding administrative decisions only Continue Reading »

Obituary of Fritzie Fritzshall, President of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Posted on June 25, 2021

It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that Auschwitz Survivor and Museum President Fritzie Fritzshall passed away on the morning of June 19th. As a Survivor of the Holocaust and the President of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Fritzie Fritzshall devoted her life to combatting hatred and prejudice, inspiring people Continue Reading »

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