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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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  • Club supporting German right-wing party creates ad with WWII resistance fighter

    BERLIN (JTA) — A club supporting Germany’s right-wing populist Alternative for Deutschland party has raised hackles by using a World War II resistance heroine to pump up support, suggesting that Germany’s current leaders have something in common with the Nazis. “Sophie Scholl would vote for AfD” reads the advertisement posted last weekend on Facebook by a local division of AfD near…

  • German court declines to question ruling that 2014 synagogue arson wasn’t anti-Semitic

    BERLIN (JTA) — Jewish officials blasted a German appeals court for failing to question a lower court over its verdict that three Palestinian men who tried to set a synagogue on fire in 2014 were not guilty of anti-Semitism. The highest court in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia found in November there were no procedural errors…

  • German family firm to return Nazi-looted artwork to Jewish heirs

    BERLIN (JTA) — A family-run German baking goods company will return a painting to the heirs of a Jewish family that was forced to sell the artwork to escape Nazi Germany. The return of the Hans Thoma painting to the heirs of Albert and Hedwig Ullmann by Dr. Oetker follows an investigation launched by the…

  • Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate lit up in solidarity with Israeli truck-ramming victims

    BERLIN (JTA) — The famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was lit up in the colors of Israel’s flag in solidarity with the victims of Sunday’s terror attack in Jerusalem that took the lives of four Israeli soldiers. The symbolic gesture on Monday by the Berlin Senate came about in part due to efforts by Green…

  • Pakistani suspected of spying on German pro-Israel group to face Berlin trial

    BERLIN (JTA) — A Pakistani man suspected of spying on a pro-Israel group in Germany is to be tried in Berlin, federal prosecutors announced. Identified only as “Syed Mustufa H.,” the 31-year-old man was arrested last July and charged in December with spying on behalf of an Iran-linked intelligence unit. According to the BZ newspaper, his target allegedly was the…

  • Son of Israeli woman killed in Berlin terror attack lights menorah in German capital

    BERLIN (JTA) — The son of an Israeli woman killed this month in a terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin lit the fourth Hanukkah candle on a giant menorah at the nearby Brandenburg Gate. Or Elyakim performed the ritual Tuesday at the annual multifaith ceremony organized by Chabad at the city’s famous landmark….

  • Berlin attack highlights divide over refugees in fractious German Jewish community

    BERLIN (JTA) — Even before the deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Jews in Germany were divided in their approach to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries since 2014. Citing a Jewish moral duty to aid the displaced, many Jewish organizations, synagogue groups and individuals have rallied to help the…

  • Israeli tourist injured, wife missing in Berlin terror attack

    BERLIN (JTA) — An Israeli tourist was among the injured in Monday’s deadly terror attack in the center of Berlin and his wife was still missing. The husband was located in a Berlin hospital, where he is undergoing emergency surgery, Elio Adler, a family friend in the German capital, told JTA. . The couple were in the…

  • Siemens finances publication of former Jewish slave laborer’s memoir

    BERLIN (JTA) — One of Germany’s largest corporations – Siemens – has financed the German publication of the memoir of a former Jewish slave laborer who worked in a Siemens factory outside Auschwitz. Marcel Tuchman, 95, a renowned physician in New York, was in Berlin this week to mark the release of his translated autobiography, “Remember: My Stories of Survival…

  • Pre-WWII film that presaged Holocaust to be restored after crowdfunding campaign

    BERLIN (JTA) – Segments of a pre-World War II Austrian film that foresaw the expulsion of Jews will be restored thanks to a crowd-funding campaign, after missing reels were found in a Paris flea market. The 1924 film, “Die Stadt ohne Juden,” or “The City Without Jews,” was made by director Hans Karl Breslauer, based on a satirical novel…