WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The director of Auschwitz –Birkenau Museum has appealed to Germans and Austrians to donate documents, photographs, personal letters, or any other materials related to the SS staff of the camp.
“Without a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the motivation and mentality of the perpetrators, our efforts to wisely counsel future generations will only remain intuitive. Today, we ask you to help,” reads the appeal.
The Schutzstaffel, or SS, was a major paramilitary organization under German fuhrer Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party.
Last week, the museum published a book containing excerpts of testimonies of SS staff of the camp given during the trial in Krakow in 1947. Accused were 40 SS members of which 23 were sentenced to death. One person was acquitted.
“The archives contain very few private materials created by members of the SS staff,” said Museum Director Piotr Cywinski in a statementt issued Wednesday.
Brooklyn activists filled a Park Slope synagogue January 16 to organize opposition to the incoming Donald Trump administration.
Organizers estimated that hundreds of activists attended the meeting, held in the sanctuary of Congregation Beth Elohim, a Reform congregation.
Called #getorganizedbk, the group was founded in November by New York City Councilman Brad Lander, who represents Park Slope and Boro Park, and by Rabbi Rachel Timoner, senior rabbi of Beth Elohim.
“It’s literally packed to the rafters,” said Jennifer Friedlin, a member of the group’s steering committee.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day meeting was the group’s fourth. Working groups tied to #getorgnaizedbk have already organized a protest outside of the Park Slope home of Senator Chuck Schumer, asking him to take a hard line against Trump appointees.
Just 4 of many working groups active at #GetOrganizedBK tonight: fighting appt’s, Islamophobia/anti-Sem, safety net. https://t.co/whLh8nADGK pic.twitter.com/vETRXoUPWo— Brad Lander (@bradlander) January 17, 2017
Lander has been a vocal supporter of the group, using his social media presence and his City Council web page to post updates.
“He reminds people this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that the work is going to get a lot harder,” Friedlin said. “He’s really given voice to people’s fear and rage.”
A Reform rabbi from Maryland rejected an invitation to address Donald Trump at a prayer service marking the presidential inauguration because he thought his participation “could appear callous to the many fears in [his] community.”
Writing Tuesday in the Washington Post, Rabbi Ari Plost of Congregation B’nai Abraham in Hagerstown, Maryland, said that he turned down an offer to speak as a Jewish representative at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday morning.
Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence are slated to attend the service, which has been held at the cathedral each inauguration since 1933.
Plost wrote that he could not, in good conscience, speak at the service.
“My pastoral experiences over the last year have left an indelible mark on me,” he wrote. “In 2016, my congregants and others in my community called upon me overwhelmed and in tears from the constant rhetoric of antagonism and derision. So I turned down the invitation for Saturday’s service because I could not still serve as an authentic pastoral presence if I were to participate in a ceremony where my presence could appear callous to the many fears in my community.”
A YouTube celebrity known as PewDiePie is being forced to apologize after posting a clip in which two Indian men are seen dancing while holding up a sign that reads to “Death to All Jews.”
“I am sorry. I didn’t think they would actually do it. I feel partially responsible,” said the Swedish PewDiePie (real name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg). Kjellberg paid the two men via the Web site Fiverr to hoist the sign, saying that he was curious to see if they’d do it.
Kjellberg, who reportedly earned $15 million last year, said that he has no animus toward Jews, and that it was mere harmless needling.
“I’m not anti-Semitic, or whatever it’s called… It was a funny meme,” he said. “I swear I love Jews. I love ‘em.”
It’s not the first time he’s gotten into trouble for being perceived as insensitive (even the first in this month). Two weeks ago, he came under fire after appearing to utter the ‘n-word’ in a separate video.
President-elect Donald Trump is so unpopular that he’s putting scalpers out of business.
“Nobody wants to buy them,” Yossi Rosenberg, 36, told The New York Daily News, grousing about his inability to sell at a profit the pair of tickets he bought for $700. “It looks like I’m stuck with them, I might even have to go.”
Rosenberg, who works in the software industry and tries to net some extra bucks by scalping, said he bought the tickets through a “Second Amendment activist” he encountered on Craigslist. He’s tried heroic (or not) measures to unload them, even posting the offer on the message boards of neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer.
But no one’s offered him a price that would allow him to recoup his investment. Perhaps that’s to do with the fact that the president-elect has a disapproval rating topping 50 percent, something almost unprecedented for incoming leaders.
Rosenberg voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, but he told the News that if he can’t sell the tickets at a reasonable price, he’ll just head down to D.C. himself.
“I never intended on going, I really thought I’d see some profit,” he said. “If I don’t sell them for what I paid within 72 hours, I’m just going to go.”
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