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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.

Latest

  • Holocaust survivor brothers removed as plaintiffs against Auschwitz medic

    BERLIN (JTA) — A judge in Germany has barred two American Jewish brothers who survived the Holocaust from being co-plaintiffs in the trial of a 96-year-old former Auschwitz SS medic charged with being an accessory to murder. Chief Judge Klaus Kabisch in the Neubrandenburg state court explained Tuesday that Walter and William Plywaski of Boulder, Colorado, — themselves Auschwitz survivors…

  • Populist party in Germany set to oust member for denigrating Berlin Holocaust memorial

    BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s rising right-wing populist party voted to begin proceedings to oust a prominent member for calling Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame.” Bjoern Hoecke, leader of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, in the former East German state of Thuringia aroused ire nationwide with remarks in January denigrating the memorial and suggesting that…

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancels joint Cabinet meeting with Israel

    BERLIN (JTA) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has canceled a planned top-level joint Cabinet meeting with Israeli leaders, reportedly out of frustration over Israel’s controversial new settlements law. The binational consultation was set for May 10 in Jerusalem. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Merkel’s office offered the  September national elections in Germany as the reason for the cancellation, but the chancellor appears…

  • German Jewish community welcomes country’s new president

    BERLIN (JTA) – The Central Council of Jews in Germany welcomed the election of Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Germany’s next president, calling him among the “most upright and staunch advocates of our democratic values and our constitution,” as well as a strong supporter of Israel. Steinmeier, a member of the Social Democratic Party who stepped down from his position…

  • Jewish teen kicked out of German school for making Hitler salute

    MUNICH (JTA) — A Jewish teenager has been kicked out of a vocational school in Germany for allegedly raising his arm in the Hitler salute in the classroom. But Maksym M., 18, insists he was just raising his hand when attendance was taken at the Blindow-Schule in Leipzig, according to the Bild newspaper, which also reported that he…

  • German firm returning looted painting by Dutch master

    BERLIN (JTA) — A German baking goods company is returning another painting to the heir of Jews who were forced to sell the artwork while fleeing Nazi Germany. Dr. Oetker will return “Portrait of Adriaen Moens,” by the Dutch master Anthonis van Dyck, to Marei von Saher, the daughter-in-law and only living heir of the renowned collector…

  • German schoolbook publisher apologizes for anti-Semitic illustration

    BERLIN (JTA) — A schoolbook publisher has apologized for using an anti-Semitic illustration in a text about the euro crisis and said it will send a substitute page to schools. On Thursday, Berlin-based Klett-Verlag also said it was halting all further deliveries of the book, calling the error “serious.” The substitute page can be pasted in. The…

  • German police raid homes of extremists allegedly planning attacks on Jews, refugees

    BERLIN (JTA) — Police raided the homes of right-wing extremists across Germany on suspicion of planning attacks on Jews, refugees and police. Police searched 12 apartments and other sites across the country early Wednesday. They arrested two men and confiscated firearms, explosives and other weapons as well as attack plans. A dozen others are suspected of involvement but were not…

  • Non-Jewish Germans honored for preserving local Jewish history

    BERLIN (JTA) – Non-Jewish Germans who have helped preserve local Jewish history were honored at the 17th annual Obermayer German Jewish History Awards. Rolf Wieland, president of the Berlin House of Representatives, presented the awards — established by the late American philanthropist Arthur Obermayer — on Monday in the Berlin Senate. The ceremonies are among many events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the…

  • If you take a selfie at a Holocaust memorial, you might be shamed on ‘Yolocaust’

    (JTA) — Pass by Germany’s vast national memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe and you will see young visitors hopping from stone to stone, playing hide and seek, stopping for a smoke, taking selfies for Tinder, catching rays. Israeli-German writer and satirist Shahak Shapira had enough of it. Shapira, 28, copied a dozen selfies…