German Holocaust denier who fled jail term arrested in Hungary

(JTA) – German right-wing extremist Horst Mahler has been arrested in Hungary, where he had gone into hiding to avoid serving out the rest of a sentence in Germany for Holocaust denial and incitement to anti-Semitism.

Mahler, 81, reportedly asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for political asylum in a letter he published May 12 on the internet. It was widely circulated in the German media as well. [Read more…]

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German president takes swipe at Netanyahu during Hebrew U lecture

JERUSALEM (JTA) – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told an audience at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem that diverse voices are the “oxygen of democracy.”

Steinmeier, who met earlier in the day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was criticizing the prime minister for cancelling a meeting last month with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel after he refused to cancel a meeting with representatives of B’Tselem, a human rights watchdog, and Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ group that alleges the Israeli army abuses Palestinians. There was no media coverage of Gabriel’s meeting with the left-wing NGOs and he did not comment on the meetings after they took place. [Read more…]

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German foreign minister equates Jewish victims of Nazis with Social Democrats

(JTA) – Germany’s foreign minister said Social Democrats in his country were victimized by the Nazis alongside their Jewish victims.

Sigmar Gabriel, in a recent op-ed in the German-language Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper headlined “Together against nationalism,” wrote that “Social Democrats, like Jews, were the first victims of the Holocaust. One was the victim of political persecution, the other of racial delusion.” The article was changed later to “the National Socialists” from the Holocaust.  [Read more…]

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German foreign minister holds meeting with left-wing Israeli NGOs, despite Netanyahu’s request

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Germany’s foreign minister met with representatives of left-wing Israeli organizations, despite being asked by Israel’s prime minister to cancel such a meeting.

Sigmar Gabriel reportedly met with representatives of B’Tselem, a human rights watchdog, and Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ group that alleges the Israeli army abuses Palestinians, late Tuesday. There was no media coverage of the meeting. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu follows through on threat to cancel meeting with German foreign minister

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a meeting with Germany’s foreign minister after demanding he scrap a scheduled meeting with representatives of a left-wing Israeli organization.

Netanyahu said he would cancel his meeting scheduled for Tuesday with Sigmar Gabriel, who arrived in Israel on Monday, if he went ahead with his meeting that day with Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ group that alleges the Israeli army abuses Palestinians. Later Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office followed through on the threat. [Read more…]

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German government pays $1.28 US million to heir of Nazi-looted painting

'The Judgement of Paris' by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1913. Wikimedia Commons)
'The Judgement of Paris' by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1913. Wikimedia Commons)

‘The Judgement of Paris’ by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1913. Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) – A painting looted by the Nazis from a Jewish collector will continue to hang in a German museum after the German government and a private foundation paid the heirs of the former Jewish owner.

The German government announced Friday that $1.28 million US had been transferred to an heir of Hans Hess in compensation for the painting, “The Judgment of Paris,” a 1913 work by the expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchener. [Read more…]

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Jewish parents pull son from Berlin school over anti-Semitic harassment

(JTA) – Allegations of anti-Semitic harassment of a Jewish student in Germany that forced him to leave his school has spurred demands for a federal investigation by Germany’s top Jewish leader.

The student’s parents said they pulled their 14-year-old son from the Friedenauer Community School in March after four months of verbal and physical harassment, culminating in a brutal attack. The parents had chosen the school because of its multicultural student body, and the harassment came from students of Arab and Turkish background, they reported. [Read more…]

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Jewish descendants can sue Germany for return of Nazi-looted collection, U.S. court rules

(JTA) – A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era.

In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March 31 that claims regarding a collection known as the Guelph Treasure can be filed in a U.S. court. [Read more…]

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