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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

  • Netanyahu reportedly secreted Auschwitz blueprints to Israel

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought back original blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp to Israel from Germany seven years ago, likely without knowing he was doing something illegal, according to a German journalist. The blueprints were given to Netanyahu on a trip to Germany, Kai Diekmann said in an interview for…

  • 94-year-old Nazi war criminal deemed unfit to stand trial in Germany

    BERLIN (JTA) — Prosecutors in Stuttgart are shelving their war crimes investigation of a 94-year-old man who already was convicted of Nazi war crimes in Italy. Former SS soldier Wilhelm Kusterer of Engelsbrand —  who was found guilty of involvement in the massacre of 770 civilians in Marzabotto, Italy, in 1944 and sentenced to life in prison in absentia in…

  • Berlin government to ban Hezbollah flags from anti-Israel march

    BERLIN (JTA) — The Berlin State Senate has agreed to ban Hezbollah flags, with their image of an upraised assault weapon, from an anti-Israel Al Quds march, likening the symbol to a call for genocide. The announcement came following a request by the American Jewish Committee in Berlin. The march is scheduled for Saturday. Berlin state interior minister…

  • Hebrew U supporters want German museum to pick Einstein’s brain for new exhibit

    BERLIN (JTA) —  The German branch of Friends of Hebrew University is campaigning to make a walk-through model of Albert Einstein’s brain the centerpiece of a Frankfurt museum’s planned exhibit. The Senckenberg Museum for Natural Sciences is seeking public input for a modernization and expansion that will include a giant brain that visitors can walk through. Visitors…

  • Munich state museum profited from Nazi-looted art, investigation shows

    BERLIN (JTA) — A state museum in Munich profited from art looted by the Nazis at least until the 1990s, a new investigation has revealed. In a joint probe, the Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the British NGO Commission for Looted Art in Europe found that the Bavarian State Galleries and many other such institutions have been sitting on art that…

  • Jewish man wearing kippah beaten in Berlin

    BERLIN (JTA) — Unknown perpetrators kicked and beat a 21-year-old Jewish man wearing a kippah after slurring him with anti-Semitic insults. The victim, identified as Oliver Geffers of Bonn, was slightly injured in the Tuesday evening attack but did not seek medical help, according to the police report on the incident. The state criminal police agency is…

  • German lawmaker accused of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial

    BERLIN (JTA) — A right-wing lawmaker in Germany accused of anti-Semitism in his writings has avoided being expelled from his party, at least for now. Wolfgang Gedeon will remain a voting member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament with no party affiliation after temporarily waiving his rights on Tuesday to represent the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany following…

  • Ex-Auschwitz guard, 94, sentenced to 5 years by German court

    (JTA) — A former SS guard who is now 94 was sentenced to five years in prison by a German court for his role as an accessory in the murder of at least 170,000 people in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland. The verdict and sentence of Reinhold Hanning were handed down Friday afternoon from the district court in Detmold,…

  • Far-right Austrian presidential candidate’s narrow loss is wake-up call, Jewish groups say

    (JTA) – European Jewish groups reacted with relief to the victory by a left-wing politician over a far-right candidate in Austria’s presidential elections. Alexander van der Bellen, an environmentalist with a pro-refugee agenda, won with 50.3 percent of the vote on Sunday, despite early reports predicting victory for Norbert Hofer of the Austrian Freedom Party party, or…

  • Israeli officials deny increased tensions with Germany following news report

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli government officials have denied Spiegel Online magazine’s recent report of increased tensions with Germany. Ties between German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union Party and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are strong, according to Israel Hayom. A source suggested the negative reports were due to attempts by some German politicians to undermine those ties. In…