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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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  • Kazimierz Piechowski, leader of daring escape from Auschwitz, dies at 98

    BERLIN (JTA) — Kazimierz Piechowski, a non-Jewish political prisoner who led a daring escape from the Auschwitz death camp using the stolen car of a Nazi official, has died at 98. Piechowski died Saturday in Gdansk, Poland. He was one of four men in the escape plan involving stolen SS uniforms and weapons, and, according to…

  • Holocaust survivors light Hanukkah candles in inaugural global ceremony

    BERLIN (JTA) — Hundreds of Holocaust survivors around the world participated in an an inaugural global Hanukkah ceremony meant especially for them. In Jerusalem, New York, Berlin and other German cities, the survivors lit candles on Thursday night, the third evening of the eight-day holiday. International Holocaust Survivors’ Night was sponsored by the Conference on…

  • Anti-Semitism rampant among Muslim refugees in Germany, study finds

    BERLIN (JTA) — Anti-Semitism among Muslim refugees is rampant and requires urgent attention, a new study suggests. But the study commissioned by the American Jewish Committee’s Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations in Berlin also suggests that refugees from persecuted minority communities are more likely to take a stand against anti-Semitism and for Israel. Titled “Attitudes…

  • Israel pulls out of Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Germany over political conflict

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israel has pulled out of a planned exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Frankfurt because the German government would not guarantee their return if claimed by Palestinians. The Frankfurt Bible Museum announced that it has canceled the exhibit scheduled for a September 2019 opening. Its director, Jürgen Schefzyk, said he regretted…

  • Roger Waters had a gig in Germany. A Jewish woman’s protest led the sponsor to drop out.

    (JTA) — A German broadcaster has pulled its sponsorship for a Cologne concert by Roger Waters following protests led by a Jewish resident of the city. Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who reportedly collected about 1,500 signatures on a petition, had accused WDR — a radio and TV broadcaster under the ARD Consortium of public broadcasters in Germany…

  • Kuwait Airways can ban Israeli passengers, German court rules

    (JTA)  — Kuwait Airways may bar Israeli citizens from boarding its planes in Germany, a Frankfurt court ruled. Jewish and political leaders in Germany criticized the ruling handed down Thursday by the district court. The plaintiff, an Israeli student living in Frankfurt, will appeal, his lawyer said. “This is a shameful ruling for democracy and…

  • Germany charges ex-Nazi guards as accomplices to murder

    (JTA) — State prosecutors in the German city of Dortmund have filed charges against two former SS guards at the Stutthof concentration camp as accomplices to murder. The defendants, who are in their early 90s, were charged last week with involvement in the murders of hundreds of inmates at the camp near Gdansk, Poland, where…

  • Germany’s central bank will examine its history, focusing on the Nazi years

    (JTA) — The Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s post-war central bank, has announced plans to research the history of the national banking system, including its predecessor institutions, from 1923 to 1969, with a special focus on the Nazi years. Historians Albrecht Ritschi of the London School of Economics and Magnus Brechtken of the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary…

  • This German teen stood up to neo-Nazis at her school. The Berlin Jewish community noticed.

    (JTA) — A non-Jewish German teenager from Dresden has been honored by the Jewish community for standing up to neo-Nazis at her school. The 15-year-old, known as Emilia S., received the Prize for Civic Courage against Right-wing Radicalism, Anti-Semitism and Racism on Tuesday from the Jewish community of Berlin and the Association for the Memorial…

  • A girl’s pendant found at Sobibor reunites a Jewish family spread across the globe

    BERLIN (JTA) – In late 1943, the Germans were desperate to cover all traces of their death camp in Sobibor, Poland. They demolished buildings, bulldozed the evidence, planted trees. More than 70 years later, archaeologists led by Yoram Haimi of the Israel Antiquities Authority set about excavating the site, uncovering gas chambers, mass graves  —…