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  • U.S. rabbi hosts interfaith effort to end ethnic fighting in Kosovo

    ROME, March 21 (JTA) — Meeting under the auspices of an interfaith group headed by an American rabbi, Islamic, Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholic religious leaders from Kosovo have signed a declaration calling for dialogue and negotiation to bring peace to Yugoslavia’s strife-torn region. Last week’s meeting in Vienna, convened by the Appeal of Conscience…

  • Poland names envoy to Diaspora

    ROME, March 10 (JTA) — The Polish government has named a former theater critic and Polish consul in Montreal as its new roving ambassador to the Diaspora. Malgorzata Dzieduszycka will replace Krzystof Sliwinski, who was the first person to be appointed to the unprecedented Foreign Ministry post, created in 1995 in an attempt to improve…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Public seders, once nostalgic, propel Eastern European Jewry

    ROME, March 7 (JTA) — Amir Shaviv grew up in Israel as an only child in a small family and often celebrated Passover with a brief — and uncomfortable — evening he describes as “dinner-cum-Haggadah.” It was only when he began working for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and began traveling to needy, far-flung…

  • Milan erects monument to WWII political deportees

    ROME, Jan. 28 (JTA) — A Roman Catholic cardinal joined Milan’s chief rabbi in a ceremony unveiling the first public monument to the Jews and anti-fascists deported from the Italian city to Nazi death camps. The memorial plaque commemorates the 1,580 people, including 1,237 Jews, who were deported during World War II for political reasons….

  • Year-old magazine aims to catalyze Polish Jewry

    ROME, March 8 (JTA) — Why is Midrasz magazine different from all other Jewish publications? Because Midrasz is the only Jewish monthly published in Poland — and because this Passover it is celebrating its first birthday. This first year has seen Midrasz grow from an optimistic experiment into a respected journal that publishes provocative new…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Impending extradition forces Croatia to grapple with its past

    ROME, May 11 (JTA) — The expected extradition and war crimes trial of a Croatian World War II fascist are putting contemporary Croatia’s claim of democracy firmly on the line. Dinko Sakic, now 76, who has lived in Argentina for half a century, was arrested last month after he reminisced on Argentine television about his…

  • Italian film on Holocaust draws crowds, controversy

    ROME, Feb. 4 (JTA) — The current film hit by one of Italy’s favorite comic actors is a moving — and, at times, hilarious — fable about love, suffering and survival that is largely set in a Nazi death camp. Since opening a week before Christmas, “La Vita e’ Bella” (Life is Beautiful) has packed…

  • Anne Frank as a martyr doesn’t sit well with Jews

    ROME, June 9 (JTA) — Anne Frank as a martyr in the Catholic Church? Reports that an Italian Catholic Church official wants the Vatican to recognize Anne Frank as part of an “ecumenical commemoration of new martyrs” for the year 2000 have raised Jewish concerns that the church might attempt to appropriate the Dutch Jewish…

  • Court: Harsher sentences for convicted war criminals

    ROME, March 8 (JTA) — In a stunning revision of earlier verdicts, a military appeals court in Rome has sentenced two former Nazi SS officers to life for their part in Italy’s worst World War II massacre. Relatives of victims killed during the 1944 Ardeatine Caves massacre burst into applause Saturday as former SS Capt….

  • Convicted Nazi war criminal to meet with relative of victim

    ROME, Jan. 25 (JTA) — Convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke says he will meet with a relative of one of his victims. Priebke, a former Nazi SS captain, was convicted last year of participating in the execution of 335 Italian men and boys, 75 of them Jews, in March 1944 at the Ardeatine Caves…