Hungary, Poland, Spain, Russia and Italy falling short on returning Nazi-looted art

(JTA) – Five countries have not fulfilled their commitments to return Nazi-looted art to their rightful owners, a U.S. official said.

Stuart Eizenstat, an adviser to the U.S. State Department, in 1998 negotiated the Washington Principles, a treaty calling on signers to make their best efforts to return art stolen by the Nazis during World War II. He spoke Monday in Berlin to mark the 20th anniversary of the agreement signed by 44 countries, The New York Times reported. [Read more…]

Comment

Warsaw airport requires Israeli musician to remove strings from his cello because they were ‘too dangerous’

(JTA) – An Israeli cellist had the strings of his instrument confiscated at the airport in Warsaw, after employees determined they were “too dangerous” to take on board with him.

The strings on Amit Peled’s instrument had to be removed and he had to surrender his extra set of strings early on Monday morning at Warsaw Chopin airport, he told the Classic FM digital radio station by email. [Read more…]

Comment

Polish parliament commemorates Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer at the 1988 Miami Book Fair International. (MDCarchives)
Isaac Bashevis Singer at the 1988 Miami Book Fair International. (MDCarchives)

Isaac Bashevis Singer at the 1988 Miami Book Fair International. (MDCarchives)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish parliament adopted a resolution commemorating Yiddish novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer, who 40 years ago received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In the resolution, Polish lawmakers stressed that Singer’s work – in Yiddish – is an integral part of Polish cultural heritage. [Read more…]

Comment

UN General Assembly approves Palestine as head of largest bloc of developing countries

Mahmoud Abbas addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 22, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 22, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The United Nations General Assembly voted to approve the observer state of Palestine as the head of the largest bloc of developing countries.

Some 146 countries on Tuesday voted in favor of Palestine to head the Group of 77. Three countries – Israel, the United States and Australia – voted against, and 15 countries abstained. Twenty-nine countries did not vote. [Read more…]

Comment

Recording has Polish PM slamming ‘greedy’ Jewish hedge fund owners

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Poland’s prime minister was heard making allegedly anti-Semitic remarks in secret recordings from 2013, before he rose to power.

The recordings of Mateusz Morawiecki complaining to friends about “greedy” and rich “Americans, Jews, Germans, Englishmen and Swiss” that run hedge funds were published Tuesday by the news site Onet. [Read more…]

Comment

Man arrested in Yom Kippur rock attack on Polish synagogue

Shattered glass at the New Synagogue of Gdansk, Poland, Sept. 19, 2018. (Courtesy of the World Jewish Congress)

Shattered glass at the New Synagogue of Gdansk, Poland, Sept. 19, 2018. (Courtesy of the World Jewish Congress)

(JTA) – A man accused of hurling a rock through the window of a synagogue in the Polish city of Gdansk on Yom Kippur has been arrested.

The man was detained on Friday in the nearby community of Trabki Wielkie, a day after security camera video footage of the alleged vandal attacking the synagogue was released. The video prompted several calls to police. [Read more…]

Comment

Bloody prayer shawl from Yom Kippur pogrom found in former Lodz ghetto

(JTA) – Part of a blood-stained prayer shawl from a 1940 Yom Kippur pogrom was found in the former ghetto of Lodz, Poland and brought to Israel, its finder said.

The part of the shawl, or tallit, is a decorative collar known as an atarah. It was discovered this month by a worker with the Shem Olam Holocaust museum near Hadera in Israel under the wooden floor of a structure that used to be part of the Jewish ghetto of the central Polish city, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Friday. [Read more…]

Comment