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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

  • 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  —…

  • Germany’s railway names a train after Anne Frank and social media erupts

    (JTA) — Germany’s national railway has triggered a storm on social media for naming one of its superfast trains after the famous Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, who died in a Nazi camp. After asking customers to weigh in with suggestions, Deutsche Bahn named several of its new trains after famous Germans, among them the teen…

  • Another painting from Gurlitt collection found to have been looted by the Nazis

    (JTA) — Researchers in Germany have identified another painting in the “Gurlitt Collection” as having been stolen by the Nazis. The work by 19th-century French painter Thomas Couture had belonged to the Jewish politician Georges Mandel, and was identified due to a tiny hole in the canvas. Restitution to his heirs is in the works….

  • This Jewish soprano takes on Trump in absurdist opera piece

    BERLIN (JTA) — “Do it your way, and make it provocative.” That’s what the producers of the recent Lowlands festival in the Netherlands wanted when they asked American soprano Sara Hershkowitz to perform György Ligeti’s eight-minute absurdist work “Mysteries of the Macabre” with the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Ligeti’s work — “anti-anti-opera, a comedy about…

  • SS death squad soldiers, tracked down by Nazi hunter, face national TV audience

    BERLIN (JTA) — A German television channel broadcast interviews with two alleged members of World War II Nazi death squads located with help from a Nazi hunter based in Israel. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem went public with the names after German state investigators appeared to be dragging their feet, he…

  • What you need to know about the far-right Alternative for Germany party

    (JTA) — Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched her fourth term and her center-right Christian Democratic Union party maintained its parliamentary majority in the German national elections on Sunday. The victory, however, was hardly a landslide: With some 6 million votes, the populist, far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, finished in third place, securing 94 seats in…

  • For first time since WWII, a far-right party will be in the German parliament

    (JTA) — Jewish leaders congratulated Angela Merkel on her election to a fourth term as German chancellor while decrying the rise of Germany’s newest right-wing populist party, which for the first time will enter the national parliament. The Alternative for Germany Party, or AfD, finished third with 13.1 percent of the popular vote, according to…

  • Germany adopts international definition of anti-Semitism

    (JTA) — Germany has formally accepted an international definition of anti-Semitism in a move designed to provide clarity for the prosecution of related crimes. The German Cabinet announced Wednesday that it unanimously adopted the working definition promoted by the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance, a body with 31 member states. In addition to classic forms…

  • Jews find their voice ahead of German elections

    (JTA) — As Germany stands on the brink of its national election on Sept. 24, Jews are making themselves heard in ways they have rarely done during its postwar history as a democratic republic. The nearly 200,000 Jews in Germany are not monolithic in their views. But increasingly they are speaking up as Jews about…

  • German populist party head says country should stop feeling guilty about Nazi past

    (JTA) — The head of Germany’s right-populist Alternative for Germany party has said it is high time Germany stopped feeling guilty about its Nazi past. Alexander Gauland, speaking earlier this month with members of the party’s national-conservative branch in the former east German state of Thuringia, said Germans “don’t have to be held accountable any…