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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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  • Guide at Anne Frank Center in Berlin compares Jewish suffering under Nazis to Palestinians under Israel

    BERLIN (JTA) — The Anne Frank Center in Berlin has distanced itself from the statement of a freelance guide who compared the suffering of Jews under the Nazis to that of Palestinians under Israeli occupation today. At issue was a profile of Nesreen Hajjaj, a 24-year-old Berliner of Palestinian background, in the July 19 online English version of Al Arabiya,…

  • German foundation and foreign ministry announce Shimon Peres Prize

    BERLIN (JTA) — A new prize will recognize individual’s contributions to the shaping of German-Israeli relations. The German-Israeli Future Forum and Germany’s Foreign Ministry are calling for applications from young professionals ages 18-45 from both Germany and Israel for the “Shimon Peres Prize” to be given in October in Berlin. Two awards will be given – one to an…

  • Germany curbs Holocaust denial and hate speech on social networks

    BERLIN (JTA) — Germany passed a bill designed to curb Holocaust denial on social networks. Under the measure passed Friday by the parliament, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube must remove material with obviously illegal content and fake defamatory “news” within 24 hours of it having been reported. Previously, illegal material did not have to be removed after being…

  • These young Jews are optimistic about their future in Europe

    BERLIN (JTA) — It’s a drizzly Saturday morning in May. Some 160 young Jews, mostly European and ranging from Orthodox to secular, have come to the Hotel Berlin to talk about everything under the sun. Well, almost. The upbeat, weekend-long event did not focus on anti-Semitism, the Holocaust or Israel, and thus the gathering reflected a…

  • Amos Oz honored by Germany’s Reform rabbinical school

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli novelist Amos Oz was honored by Germany’s Reform rabbinical school with its annual Abraham Geiger Award. The 78-year-old writer, described as an “eloquent spokesperson of the Zionist left,” was honored Thursday as “a firm believer in human beings and their ability to change the world for the better,” Rabbi Walter Homolka, rector of the…

  • 6 charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse on Munich bus

    BERLIN (JTA) — Six people have been charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse at passengers on a Munich city bus. Only an unmarried couple from Munich attempted to intervene in the weekend incident on a bus reportedly packed with some 40 passengers. According to news reports, the alleged perpetrators are all from Munich and…

  • German Holocaust denier who fled jail term arrested in Hungary

    BERLIN (JTA) — German right-wing extremist Horst Mahler has been arrested in Hungary, where he had gone into hiding to avoid serving out the rest of a sentence in Germany for Holocaust denial and incitement to anti-Semitism. Mahler, 81, reportedly asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for political asylum in a letter he published May 12 on the internet….

  • Far-right party’s leader claims it is best hope for German Jewry

    (JTA) — A far-right populist party in Germany claimed it is the last best hope for Jewish life in the country, spurring outrage from Jewish leaders there. Frauke Petry, co-chair of the anti-immigrant Alternative Party for Germany, or AfD, told the Die Welt newspaper on Thursday that her party is “one of the few political…

  • Jewish parents pull son from Berlin school over anti-Semitic harassment

    (JTA) — Allegations of anti-Semitic harassment of a Jewish student in Germany that forced him to leave his school has spurred demands for a federal investigation by Germany’s top Jewish leader. The student’s parents said they pulled their 14-year-old son from the Friedenauer Community School in March after four months of verbal and physical harassment, culminating in a brutal attack. The…

  • Jewish descendants can sue Germany for return of Nazi-looted collection, US court rules

    (JTA) — A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era. In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March…