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  • Despite unanswered questions, Berlin’s Jewish museum to open

    FRANKFURT, Jan. 21 (JTA) — After six years of construction, a prolonged debate about administrative control and numerous delays, Berlin’s Jewish museum will be officially dedicated this weekend. As of Feb. 5, visitors will be able to tour on weekends the unusual zigzag- shaped building — designed by Polish Israeli architect Daniel Libeskind — which…

  • German Holocaust memorial gets snared in new objections

    FRANKFURT, Jan. 20 (JTA) — Within days after a new design for a national Holocaust memorial was hailed as the solution to a decade-long controversy surrounding the project, German officials are now questioning whether there will be enough political consensus to move forward. Debate is also growing over just who should make the final decision…

  • Plan emerges for Berlin memorial, but Parliament must give final okay

    FRANKFURT, Jan. 19 (JTA) — German Jewish leaders are welcoming a compromise decision reached over the weekend to build a combined Holocaust monument and research center in Berlin. But the details of the plan remain sketchy, and the new plan still has to be approved by the German Parliament. The plan, which was negotiated by…

  • German opposition grows against Berlin Holocaust memorial design

    FRANKFURT, Jan. 13 (JTA) — The Berlin chapter of Germany’s leading conservative party has added its voice to the chorus of critics of the design for the country’s proposed national Holocaust memorial. A plan by the Christian Democratic Party’s chapter rejects the design by American architect Peter Eisenman — a stone memorial the size of…

  • Neo-Nazism rises in German army

    FRANKFURT, Jan. 10 (JTA) — Extremist incidents in the German army increased in 1998, according to Germany’s defense minister. Rudolf Scharping told a news conference in Bonn last week that the number of incidents rose sharply last summer, shortly after the army inducted a new batch of recruits. Scharping added that 301 members of the…

  • Germany begins payments to survivors in Eastern Europe

    FRANKFURT, Dec. 31 (JTA) — Fulfilling a landmark agreement reached one year ago, Germany has begun making monthly pension payments to Holocaust survivors living in Eastern Europe. About 800 survivors, mainly in the Czech Republic and Baltic countries, have already begun receiving the payments of some $150 per month, according to Karl Brozik, director of…

  • German state releases papers on Nazi-seized Jewish property

    FRANKFURT, Dec. 23 (JTA) — German officials have handed over four files from the Nazi era to the country’s Jewish community that may help survivors reclaim their property. The files were found recently in a German government office after the government of the state of Hesse launched a search for documents that provide information about…

  • German court backs pensions for veterans of Latvian SS unit

    FRANKFURT, Dec. 22 (JTA) — A German court has ruled that former non-German members of an elite Nazi unit that participated in the massacre of Eastern European Jews are entitled to pensions. The ruling by a federal court in Kassel overturns a lower court’s denial of a pension to a former Latvian member of the…

  • Germany weighs Jewish security after bomb rocks Berlin cemetery

    FRANKFURT, Dec. 21 (JTA) — The destruction of the gravestone of one of German Jewry’s most prominent postwar leaders has triggered a discussion in Germany on the security of Jewish institutions and the spread of right-wing extremism. The director of the city’s department of the interior, Eckart Werthebach, said the bomb that destroyed the tombstone…

  • New center for reflection planned for Bergen-Belsen

    FRANKFURT, Dec. 20 (JTA) — Plans are being finalized for a non-denominational sanctuary space to be built on the grounds of the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The building, called the House of Quiet, will serve as a site where visitors to the camp memorial site can retreat for private reflection, according to Rolf Wernstedt, president…