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Toby Axelrod RSS

is JTA's correspondent for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A former assistant director of the American Jewish Committee's Berlin office, she has also worked as staff writer and editor at the New York Jewish Week. She has won numerous awards from the New York Press Association and the American Jewish Press Association. She has published books on Holocaust history for teen-agers.

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  • German populist party head says country should stop feeling guilty about Nazi past

    (JTA) — The head of Germany’s right-populist Alternative for Germany party has said it is high time Germany stopped feeling guilty about its Nazi past. Alexander Gauland, speaking earlier this month with members of the party’s national-conservative branch in the former east German state of Thuringia, said Germans “don’t have to be held accountable any…

  • Attacks on German synagogue ‘may have been anti-Semitic,’ police say

    (JTA) — Weeks after two attacks on a synagogue in Germany, police in the city of Ulm say the motive may have been anti-Semitic. State security officials are investigating incidents on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 in which one or more perpetrators kicked at the facade of the New Synagogue and later rammed it with…

  • Rising anti-Semitism in Germany is work of the far right, says government tally

    (JTA) — Right-wing extremists have committed the vast majority of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel offenses in Germany, which have seen a slight rise over the corresponding period last year, according to a government report. Of the 681 incidents reported from January to August, 92 percent were committed by right-wing extremists, the Ministry of the Interior report said….

  • Berlin mayor pledges crackdown on BDS

    (JTA) — Berlin’s mayor will block the use of city venues and funds by groups or event organizers that support the boycott movement against Israel. The move, announced Wednesday, followed pressure by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which had threatened to put Berlin Mayor Michael Müller on its annual list of 10 worst anti-Semitic incidents…

  • Religious Zionist youth movement officially reopens in Germany after eight decades

    (JTA) — A religious Zionist youth movement is officially reopening in Germany 79 years after being shut down under the National Socialist regime. Bnei Akiva Deutschland is one of several Zionist organizations to return to Germany in recent years. In this case, the group’s aim is to encourage Jews to leave Germany for Israel. Its status…

  • 45 years after the Munich Massacre, murdered Israeli Olympians get a memorial

    (JTA) — Forty-five years after the murderous PLO attack on Israeli Olympic team members at the 1972 games, a memorial dedicated to the victims opened today in Munich. The memorial – largely realized through the persistent efforts of family members – features the biographies of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches and a German police officer killed…

  • Does Berlin’s mayor belong on Wiesenthal Center’s top 10 list for anti-Semitism? Local leaders say no.

    (JTA) — Berlin’s mayor, many local Jewish leaders agree, could do more to counter the city’s vocal BDS movement. But does that make him an anti-Semite? A report that the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center may include Mayor Michael Müller on its annual list of the world’s 10 worst cases of anti-Semitic activity has perplexed prominent…

  • Frankfurt City Council advances bill barring BDS from municipal venues

    BERLIN (JTA) — The Frankfurt City Council approved a bill introduced by the mayor to bar the use of city funds and venues for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Friday’s decision brings the council one step closer to outlawing BDS, which Mayor Uwe Becker has described as “deeply anti-Semitic.” The bill now needs approval…

  • Twitter failed to delete some anti-Semitic posts. So this satirist spray-painted them on its German headquarters.

    BERLIN (JTA) — The Berlin-based creator of the viral Yolocaust website spray-painted the German headquarters of Twitter with anti-Semitic posts that the social network failed to delete when he reported them. Shahak Shapira, a 28-year-old Israeli German, released his own tweet on Monday claiming responsibility after first working anonymously. “I reported about 300 hate tweets. Twitter…

  • Books stolen during the Holocaust are being returned to their rightful heirs

    BERLIN (JTA) — A new search in Germany for books stolen from Jews during the Third Reich is beginning to bear fruit. Recently, a man in California who was the only survivor of the Holocaust in his family received a book from Germany that had been dedicated to him by a teacher. The only other…