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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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  • Jewish high school students read aloud the names of 55,696 Berlin Jews murdered by the Nazis

    BERLIN (JTA) — Dozens of students from Berlin’s Jewish high school read aloud the names of 55,696 Jews from that city murdered during the Nazi regime. The reading on Thursday was one of numerous events in the capital and across the country marking the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the anti-Jewish pogrom of Nov. 9-10, 1938. It…

  • Angela Merkel’s Jewish legacy

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli author Eldad Beck regards Angela Merkel’s engagement with Israel and Judaism as “spectacular.” Germany’s chancellor has “developed a very personal connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people, [becoming] one of the rare German politicians who – when speaking about lessons learned from the past – really knows what she is talking about, and…

  • A German Jewish community’s longtime leader may not be Jewish

    (JTA) — The man heading a small Jewish community near Hamburg, Germany, has been accused of posing as a Jew for at least two decades. An investigation by Der Spiegel magazine into the biography of Wolfgang Seibert, head of the 250-member Jewish community of Pinneberg since 2003, revealed that he may be an imposter. Seibert is…

  • Anti-Semitic protesters sidelined at Berlin demonstration against rise of far right

    (JTA) — The peaceful demonstration in Berlin against right-wing populism last weekend brought Jews, Christians and Muslims together — and a few anti-Semitic protesters, observers say. Under the motto “Indivisible,” some 200,000 people from across Germany gathered in the German capital on a sunny Saturday to show their solidarity for human rights and against the…

  • German Jewish groups condemn Jewish support for far-right AfD party

    (JTA) — Germany’s Jewish umbrella organization and a host of other Jewish groups have joined to condemn the right-wing party Alternative for Germany — and to decry a new group that purports to represent Jews in the party. The Central Council of Jews in Germany in a statement issued Sunday said the AfD, which opinion…

  • Jewish backers of Germany’s far-right AfD party launching support organization

    (JTA) — Germany’s most influential far-right political party is fast gaining in popularity, and a group of Jews wants to add its voice of support. A association of Jewish supporters of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, will announce its incorporation with an event on Oct. 7, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,…

  • German bookstore sued for window display linking abortion to Auschwitz

    (JTA) — A Cologne politician has filed a lawsuit against a local Christian bookstore over a window display that compares abortion with the Holocaust. Specifically, the shop window of the Marienbuchhandlung bookstore features a photo of a cemetery in Wiesbaden under the title “kindermord.org,” or “child-killer.org,” followed by “Abtreiben macht frei,” which translates to  “abortion…

  • Holocaust historians call shredding of death records by Hamburg archives ‘catastrophic’

    (JTA) — The Hamburg State Archive shredded millions of death records, including those dating from the Nazi era. A historian of the Holocaust called the records’ destruction “catastrophic.” According to the Hamburg Morgen Post newspaper, the state cultural ministry is defending the decision by the archive’s director, Udo Schäfer, to destroy an estimated 1 million death…

  • Jewish man allegedly assaulted outside Frankfurt nightclub

    (JTA) – Two men, one of whom reportedly self-identified as a Palestinian, are suspected of assaulting a Jewish man in Frankfurt in what police are calling an anti-Semitic incident. The incident occurred on Sept. 7, according to a Sept. 16 statement by police. State Security Police are investigating the incident, which took place after 4…

  • Jewish restaurant owner injured, restaurant vandalized during German neo-Nazi riots

    (JTA) — An attack on a Jewish restaurant and its owner during last month’s riots in an east German city went unreported by law enforcement for several days, fueling anger by Jewish groups. During anti-migrant demonstrations  in Chemnitz that turned violent on Aug. 27, about 12 masked neo-Nazis injured Uwe Dziuballa and vandalized his Schalom restaurant,…