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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Germans grapple with rule of law as tools of oppression, democracy

    BERLIN, June 10 (JTA) — In 1933, David Arad’s father-in-law, Eduard Meyerstein, then 65, “received a friendly letter that in order to prevent a public outrage he should pass up on his rights as a public notary,” said Arad. “Before 1933, he and his family were seen as human beings.” Peter Galiner’s parents ended their…

  • Protests greet war crimes verdict despite conviction of Gestapo agent

    BERLIN, May 20 (JTA) — Protest — and praise — greeted this week’s verdict in what may be Germany’s last Nazi war crimes case. Alfons Goetzfrid, a 79-year-old former Gestapo agent, was found guilty of helping murder 17,000 people, most of them Jews. But a German court ruled that he should not serve the sentence…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Female rabbis, cantors meet in first European conference

    BERLIN, May 17 (JTA) — It was a rare scene: A student rabbi from Belarus and a cantor from California stood on the same bimah, both thousands of miles from home, and both women. But it happened last week in Berlin, at the first-ever European conference of female rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators. The conference,…

  • Court orders historian to return documents, tapes on Riga Ghetto

    BERLIN, April 26 (JTA) — A bitter legal battle waged by Holocaust survivors against a renowned German historian appears to be nearing a conclusion this week, but it may be harder to heal the emotional wounds. A Berlin court last Tuesday ruled that Wolfgang Scheffler must return all remaining tape recordings and documents loaned to…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Berlin’s Jews celebrate rebirth as Germany’s Reichstag reopens

    BERLIN, April 20 (JTA) — For most Germans, Monday was the day that the nation’s renovated Parliament building, the Reichstag, reopened as a gleaming, glass-domed symbol of democracy spun from the wreckage of Nazism. The Parliament held its first session Monday in the renovated Reichstag, marking the return of the nation’s capital to Berlin. But…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD German Jews link Shoah memory with concern for Kosovar refugees

    BERLIN, April 13 (JTA) — As Jewish communities across Germany observed Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, their words of mourning mingled with fears about the killings and forcible deportations of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. Concern about the fate of the Kosovar Albanians prompted the Central Council of Jews in Germany to create a fund totaling…

  • Female Lubavitch emissaries gather to share experiences

    New York Jewish Week NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (JTA) — Under a unified canopy of devotion, some 700 “shluchos” — female emissaries of the late Lubavitch Rebbe Menachem Schneerson — gathered in Crown Heights for four days of spiritual and social communing. Covering a broad range of topics, from “contemporary women’s issues” to “how to…