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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 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…

  • Far-right political party no threat to German democracy, high court rules

    BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s highest court has found no legal grounds to ban the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany. The long-awaited decision announced Tuesday was met with disappointment from Jewish leaders in Germany and abroad. It marks the second time that the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has considered barring the NPD, which is anti-foreigner and anti-European…

  • 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…