samedi 20 décembre 2014

Histoire

La parodie qui ridiculise Hitler et a rendu Goebbels fou de rage





Danse très populaire aux Etats-Unis et au Royaume-Uni à la fin des années 1930, la «Lambeth Walk» était tirée de la comédie musicale Me and My Girl, et faisait référence à une rue située dans le quartier de Cockney à Londres. Les danseurs avançaient et reculaient en ponctuant cette «marche» de mouvements de jambes et de grands gestes des bras.
Voci à quoi ressemble la Lambeth Walk dans le film où elle apparaît pour la première fois (à partir de 2 minutes):


Et voici une version contemporaine, réalisée dans les années 1980, de la scène :


En 1940, un fonctionnaire inspiré du ministère britannique de l’Information, Charles A. Ridley, a réalisé un montage intitulé Lambeth Walk–Nazi Style. Le fonctionnaire a fait un montage de parties du film de propagande nazie réalisé par Leni Riefenstahl en 1934, Le triomphe de la volonté, et de la musique de la comédie musicale, pour que les soldats allemands et Hitler aient l’air de danser la Lambeth Walk.
La blague était d’autant plus réussie qu’un membre du parti nazi avait dénoncé en 1939 la danse qui avait alors fait fureur à Berlin, la qualifiant de «sottise juive [faite de] petits sauts bestiaux».
Mais la portée de la parodie fut reconnue par les deux camps. Le responsable de la propagande nazie Joseph Goebbels est sorti fou de rage d’une salle de projection après l’avoir vue. Et selon l’historien Erik Barnouw, la résistance danoise l’utilisait dans le Danemark occupé et forçait les projectionnistes à passer la séquence.
Le ministère de l’Information distribua le film aux agences de presse sans explication, laissant ces dernières ajouter leurs propres commentaires. Sur l’extrait ci-dessous, Universal Studios l’a reprend en 1942 avec comme titre «Le génération Adolph prend le pouvoir».


Histoire

For Older Cuban Jews, Opening To Havana Is Bad Idea

Generation Divide Splits Jewish Emigre Community





For many Cuban Jews – the majority of whom now live in the United States – it has been a bittersweet week.

Like countless Jews around the world, they cheered the release of Alan Gross, the American Jewish telecommunications contractor who had been held in a Cuban prison for the last five years.

But then there’s the matter of reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, the idea of rapprochement with a country still ruled by the Castro family (Fidel’s brother, Raul, is now president) is more cause for concern than celebration. And while there’s some acknowledgment that ending the embargo may bring some benefits for the Cuban people, it is surpassed by abiding concern that the deal President Obama announced on Wednesday will extend the life of a brutal dictatorship whose crimes can be neither forgotten nor forgiven.

“Castro is being saved today by Obama,” bemoaned Joseph Perelis, who came to the United States in 1961, two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. “In the terms I see, this will allow Castro to maintain his grip on power.”

The newly announced deal with Washington, he said, likely would enable Cuba to adopt the Chinese model: a Communist regime where the army and the party are enriched by capitalist enterprise while the cheap labor of the people is exploited for the benefit of the regime and its trading partners.

“The old 1959 political refugees want a democratic regime change: free press, free elections, free Internet, a real improvement for the Cuban people,” Perelis said.

Nancy Brook, who left Cuba in 1961 when she was 12, expressed similar concerns, even as she acknowledged the failure of America’s Cuba policy to dislodge the Cuban regime.


Mémoire

Czech Jewish Community Blasts Putin Invitation to Holocaust Events





The Czech Jewish community has said that inviting Russian President  Vladimir Putin to participate in Prague’s upcoming Holocaust commemoration events is inappropriate given the “current political situation.”

“The regime Putin established and embodies doesn’t respect international treaties, is aggressive and uses its power to occupy the territory of a neighboring state,” the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic said in a statement, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Czech President Milos Zeman invited Putin to a forum on Holocaust history in Prague and Terezin on Jan. 26-27. Representatives of other Allied countries in the Second World War were also extended an invitation in an announcement made on Nov. 18.

While the Moscow government denies involvement in neighboring Ukraine and its ongoing conflict, Zeman has been criticized for his stance on Russia’s active role in Ukraine. He refused to condemn Putin for annexing Crimea in March and would not blame Russia for its role in stirring a separatist rebellion in the former Soviet republic, according to Bloomberg News.

Zelman received backlash from politicians and the media for his refusal to condemn human rights abuse in Russia as well as China. He was targeted by a barrage of eggs and booed by voters during his speech to mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which brought down communism on Nov. 17. As the president took to the stage, the crowd chanted “resign” and “shame on you,” Euronews reported.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he will come to Prague for the Holocaust events. The Czech presidential office would not comment on other participants before releasing a full guest list, according to Zeman’s spokesperson, Jiri Ovcacek.


Mémoire

L’émouvante histoire de la Hanouka qui brille face aux drapeaux nazis


Berlin 2014



L’incroyable et émouvante histoire de la Hanoukia qui brille face aux drapeaux nazis en Allemagne, qui est exposée  à Yad Vashem mais qui rentre chez elle, chaque année pour Hanouka.

C’est une tradition, chaque année, à l’approche de Hanouka,  la famille Mansbach se rend à Yad Vashem pour ramener à la maison leur hanoukia familiale.

La Hanoukia a été offerte à Yad Vashem par la famille et est exposée dans le Musée. Yehuda Mansbach, le petit-fils de Rachel et Akiva Posner, est venu récupérer son chandelier pour pouvoir l’utiliser chez lui. Cette année, le chandelier de Hanouka sera utilisé aussi pour un allumage avec les soldats de Tsahal qui font partie de l’unité du fils de Yehuda, de l’arrière petit-fils de Rachel et Akiva Posner.

Le rabbin Akiva Posner fut le dernier rabbin de la communauté de Kiel en Allemagne. La famille Posner a quitté l’Allemagne en 1933 et est arrivée en Palestine en 1934.

80 ans après, la famille allume les bougies sur la même hanoukia, chargée d’histoire.

Pour Hanouka, en 1932, juste avant l’arrivée au pouvoir d’Hitler, Rachel Posner, la femme du rabbin Akiva Posner, a pris une photo du chandelier, posé, comme c’est la coutume, sur le rebord de la fenêtre  de son appartement. En face, un bâtiment arborant les drapeaux nazis à la croix gammée.

Au dos de la photo, elle écrivit en allemand :


“Hanukkah 5692,

‘Mort au peuple juif”

dit le drapeau.

Le peuple juif vivra éternellement,

répondent les lumières”



http://kefisrael.com/2014/12/19/que-se-cache-derriere-la-photo-du-chandelier-de-hanouka-en-face-des-drapeaux-nazis/

jeudi 18 décembre 2014

Mémoire

Nazi Hunter : 'Accountant of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening must face the reckoning of history

By Dr. Efraim Zuroff



The wheels of justice for the victims of Nazi crimes move in a zig zag and at a frustratingly slow pace, even at this late date in time, when every day that passes can spell the difference between a perpetrator being convicted and punished and a case being dropped for reasons of physical or mental infirmities.
Two decisions by German courts this month reflect the status of the current efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice in the Federal Republic, one of the last countries in the world whose judicial authorities are still trying to hold perpetrators of Nazi crimes accountable.
In the first decison, taken a week and a half ago, a court in Cologne threw out a case against Werner C, who was accused of being a member of an execution squad which in 1944, shot 25 men in the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane, and helped blockade and set fire to a church in which dozens of the town's residents were burnt alive, in one of the biggest Nazi atrocities committed in France during World War II.
Although the defendant admitted that he was in Oradour on the day of the massacre, he claimed that he did not not shoot anybody, nor did he participate in any of the murders.
The court ruled in his favor and dismissed the case on the grounds that no corroborative witness testimony or documentary proof had been presented to prove Werner C's personal participation. At the moment, the prosecution is deliberating whether to appeal the decision, but the initial verdict and a decision taken a few days ago in a second Nazi war crimes case clearly delineate the current legal situation vis-a-vis the potential chances for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in Germany.
The latter decision, taken just this week, was the acceptance by a court in the northern German city of Lueneburg of an indictment against a former Auschwitz guard named Oskar Groening, who served in the largest of the Nazi death camps from September 1942 until October 1944. During most of this time he was involved in managing the money confiscated from the deportees.
The charges in his case relate to the period from 16 May until 11 July 1944, when 137 trains with approximately 437,000 Jews from Hungary aboard arrived in Auschwitz, of whom at least 300,000 were immediately murdered. Groening was on the ramp during the selection process and assisted in handling the deportees' belongings, a process through which the National Socialist regime gained economically, and which therefore supported the systematic murder of European Jewry being carried out by the Nazis.
The Groening case is very unusual in many respects. Years ago, he gave several interviews, among them for a BBC film and for the German news magazine Der Spiegel, in which he admitted his service in Auschwitz, although he did not confess to any physical crimes, claiming that "legally" he was innocent. He also spoke openly of the terrible crimes he had personally witnessed while at the campand expressed his willingness to speak out against Holocaust denial.
It was only after the conviction of Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk in Munich in 2011, however, that a dramatic change in German prosecution policy has enabled bringing Groening to trial.
Demjanjuk was the first case in Germany in almost fifty years in which a Nazi war criminal/collaborator was charged and convicted, even though no evidence of a specific crimeagainst a specific victim by the defendant (which for the previous almost five decades had been the basic requirement for filing such a case) was submitted to the court.
The verdict against Demjanjuk in effect meant that any person who had served either in one of the six Nazi deathcamps - Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor and Majdanek - or in the Einsatzgruppe A,B, C, or D (special mobile killing squads) which operated on the Eastern front, could be convicted of at least accessory to murder, the punishment for which is five years' imprisonment, based on service alone.
There no doubt will be those who wonder what use bringing middle or lower-level Nazis to justice is, when so many higher ranked Holocaust perpetrators eluded justice completely, but ignoring theircrimes because of the past failures of the German and Austrian justice systems is only adding more injustice, when the opposite is required, and is an insult to their victims. One can only wonder what a difference the Demjanjuk precedent might have have had on the record of German prosecutions of Nazi war criminals had it been applied not in 2011, but many years earlier.
In the meantime, all we can do is hope that a basis for an appeal against Werner C will be found and that Groening will indeed be prosecuted successfully, and in that respect, every moment counts.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office. His most recent book is "Operation Last Chance:One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Crimials to Justice." His websites are www.operationlastchance.org and www.wiesenthal.com He can be reached on Twitter @EZuroff as well as on Facebook.

Histoire

Prora, le colosse nazi reprend vie





L'énorme complexe de vacances créé par les nazis au bord de la mer baltique va reprendre vie. Des entrepreneurs réhabilitent le site 70 ans après sa construction.

Cela devait être la plus grande station balnéaire au monde. Planté sur les rives de la mer baltique, l'énorme complexe de Prora, long de 4.5 km végétait depuis la fin de l'Allemagne de l'Est. Ce parc hôtelier riche d'une dizaine de milliers de chambres fut construit par les nazis dans les années 30 sur l'île de Rügen. Élaboré comme un gigantesque village de vacances destiné à récompenser les citoyens modèles du IIIe Reich, l'ensemble, tout droit sorti de l'imagination de l'architecte nazi Clemens Klotz, était à l'origine composé de huit bâtiments identiques de cinq étages avec au centre une halle gigantesque. Le tout pouvant accueillir 20.000 personnes.

Lorsque la guerre éclate, la construction fut mise à l'arrêt trois ans après son lancement. La plupart des bâtiments n'avaient encore ni fenêtre, ni finitions. Le projet restera en état jusqu'en 1949, date à laquelle l'Allemagne sera séparée en deux. Les communistes est-allemands décident alors d'achever le complexe et de l'utiliser comme baraquement pour leurs troupes.

Des huit bâtiments d'origine, il n'en reste aujourd'hui plus que cinq dont la plupart étaient laissés à l'abandon. Un véritable paradis pour les amateurs de lieux désaffectés.

Mais depuis quelques années les choses changent. Une auberge de jeunesse de 400 lits, un centre documentaire et des ateliers d'artistes y ont pris place. Mais, surtout, tous les blocs ont été rachetés par des promoteurs qui souhaitent redonner au lieu sa vocation première. Celle d'une station balnéaire courue. Que ce symbole de la politique nazie soit réhabilité ne plait guère aux Allemands. Beaucoup n'y voient que la rénovation - et en quelque sorte l'aboutissement - d'un projet élaboré par Hitler et auraient préféré sa destruction à sa réhabilitation.

Un malaise qui n'a pourtant pas découragé les promoteurs qui ont désormais entrepris de relancer le projet et s'y sont attelés de bon coeur. Une bonne partie du complexe a déjà été transformé en appartements de luxe dont la moitié serait déjà vendue. Les logements les moins chers s'achèteraient aux alentours de 100.000 euros selon Les Inrocks et seraient très prisés par les pensionnés. Les premiers vacanciers devraient investir les lieux d'ici l'été prochain.








Histoire

Holocaust Researchers Use Imaging to Find Mass Graves

Archeological Digs Could Violate Jewish Religious Law






An international team of researchers launched a study of Holocaust-era killing sites in the Kremenets region in western Ukraine.

The project was initiated this year by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, whose April report on killing sites ruled out conducting archeological digs in such locales as this violates Jewish religious laws.

The study team, led by Meylakh Sheykhet, Ukraine director for the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union, earlier this month used geophysical imaging to delineate an area where in 1942 Nazi soldiers buried thousands of Jews they had shot. Ukraine has thousands of killing sites of various sizes.

“The actual place where they are buried is hard to locate because the designated place where we are searching was demarcated based on testimonies,” said Ksenya Bondar, a geologist from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, who participated in the survey. “We need to scan the area strip by strip.”

The survey in Kremenets is part of a larger project launched earlier this year by Sheykhet with funding from the German federal government, which he secured from Germany’s embassy in Ukraine. Ukrainian and British members of this team performed several scans earlier this year, he said.

“The scanning is necessary now because these are the last few years when we still have testimonies of people who can tell us where to look,” Sheykhet said in explaining why he pushed for the project.
He also cited construction across eastern Europe, which sometimes is performed in mass graves with or without contractors’ knowledge.

“Technology now allows us to set the historical record without disturbing the victims’ rights not to be disturbed in their final resting place. This is a combination of circumstances which must be acted upon,” Sheykhet added.



http://forward.com/articles/211177/holocaust-researchers-use-imaging-to-find-mass-gra/?utm_content=ThemedNewsletter_BreakingNews_Position-3_Headline&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Arts&utm_campaign=Arts%20Newsletter%202014-12-18

Histoire

The Year Hitler Broke the Internet

How Nazi Aesthetics Popped Up Everywhere





Remember the public outcry in June, when a teenager from Alabama took a selfie in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and posted it on Twitter? Or the swastika ring for sale by a third-party vendor at Sears but that was removed after multiple complaints? This year has seen its share of seemingly ridiculous headlines that might make some of us wonder whether Nazi symbols have entered mainstream culture. While there is no question that some of these incidents are seriously worrisome (such as the poster depicting the “Arbeit macht frei” [“Work makes (you) free”] sign from the Dachau concentration camp, sold at Wal-Mart’s online store, again by an independent seller), there were plenty of others in cases where the right reaction is much more difficult to figure out.

Just think of the photo from a press conference in Israel last July that shows Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. Netanyahu’s finger casts a shadow on Merkel’s upper lip, making it appear as if she had a toothbrush mustache just like, yes, you guessed it, another German leader: Adolf Hitler. Sort of funny, right? Or maybe a bit unfair to Merkel, the first German chancellor to visit Dachau? Are we allowed to laugh about Hitler memes?

There is a growing cultural desire to laugh at Nazis. According to Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, a history professor at Fairfield University and author of the forthcoming book “Hi Hitler! How the Nazi Past Is Being Normalized in Contemporary Culture,” this makes sense: On the one hand, laughing at Hitler, Nazis and perhaps even the Holocaust renders the perpetrators and the atrocities they committed more tangible and makes them appear less omnipotent; on the other hand, however, it trivializes the horrors the regime committed.

Here are some “Nazi moments” that made headlines in the past year — and some thoughts on how to treat them.

Are We Being Paranoid ?

If you thought that spotting a Hitler mustache on Merkel’s upper lip was a stretch, you might be shocked to find out where else people have seen Nazi symbolism. And this odd pastime has been around for a while: In 2013, a Michael Graves stainless steel tea kettle from J.C. Penney Co. was sold out in hours after posts pointing out a resemblance to Adolf Hitler’s mustache and side-parting hair went viral online. And more Nazi symbols were spotted this year. But were they actually there? There are people out there who are on the lookout for seeing Hitler at unexpected places, and they post their findings online. It can turn into a competition for the most creative application (consider the website dedicated to “Things That Look Like Hitler,” which has been around since March 2011) and, of course, attention and clicks.

Exactly how upset should we be about such news stories? “It’s a no-win situation,” historian Gavriel D. Rosenfeld said. It might be good to point them out so that Nazi symbols don’t slip into the mainstream — and then “before long, you’ll be in a place you don’t want to be,” said Rosenfeld. But there is the danger of crying wolf — so choose the focus of your anger wisely.








Histoire

The Conscience of Poland : A Q&A With Adam Michnik

A conversation with the former dissident and public intellectual,

about the ‘Polish mentality,’ anti-Semitism, and ‘wearing Jewish glasses’





As a freshman in high school, I had two heroes, both of whom were condemned to isolation cells for speaking out against stultifying regimes of oppression. It was absurd and woefully self-indulgent for me to draw parallels between my adolescent rebellions against private-school administrators on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Adam Michnik’s unbending confrontation with the Communist Party in Poland or Anatoli Sharansky’s refusal to be broken by eight years of imprisonment in Siberia. I even knew it was absurd. But I did it anyway, because 14 is an absurd age. I believed that the cause of human freedom anywhere was the cause of human freedom everywhere.
Of the two, Michnik’s fate was the more precious to me. I cut out a black-and-white photograph of him from the inside pages of a magazine that I found in our high-school library and taped it to the door of my locker–not on the inside, but on the outside, in open violation of school policy. Luckily, no one in my high-school administration seemed to have any idea who Michnik was, or else the message of defiance that I intended would surely have been noticed by the authorities. I read everything I could find about Michnik, which wasn’t much, and was happy when the Polish authorities released him from prison for an afternoon so he could attend his father’s funeral, where he flashed a victory sign to the assembled mourners and secret policemen that was duly reported in a single paragraph of a longer article in the New York Times.
When Michnik was released from prison for the last time, during my freshman year of college, I felt a weird sense of personal triumph. I knew that I had done nothing meaningful to help the great cause of human freedom that he championed, but I had not been wrong to believe in my hero, who had stood up to the Polish Communist party and the Soviet Union and unmasked their lies. No matter what they did to him, he refused to give up an inch of the precious real estate inside his own head. He knew what was true, and what was ugly and false, and no one could force him to say otherwise. In the end, Solidarity triumphed, and the ashes of the Communist system blew away like a bad dream.
If the historic triumph of the dissidents and refusniks can appear in retrospect like every authority-hating adolescent’s fantasy version of Disney on Ice, it is also a powerful lesson in how history works, at least sometimes. The refusal of Michnik, Sharansky, and hundreds of other brave individuals to bow to a hopeless imbalance of power became a fulcrum that encouraged a small but dedicated corps of activists and believers to keep pushing against the weight of state power and learned hopelessness until inch by inch, the prison doors swung open. Even at this distance, it’s a ridiculous story, unscientific in the extreme, a fairy tale—and, like most good fairy tales, a necessary antidote to the more common wisdom that injustice will always win in the end. Hundreds of millions of people owe their personal freedom to a handful of men and women who turned their hearts and minds into countries that the bureaucrats and secret police could never occupy.
The fact that some of the heroes of the great anti-Communist refusal turned out to be leaden ideologues or petty political schemers and scroungers is, in the greater scheme of things, a forgivable offense, or at least a predictable one. In that context, it is worth recording that the post-Soviet Michnik proved himself again to be a conscience-driven man with a historian’s understanding of the dialectics of change. He refused to toe Lech Walesa’s party line, and he refused to be part of a self-congratulatory and often self-interested campaign of personal and political vengeance against the apparatchiks who had jailed him, some of whom had talents that could be useful to Poland. Instead, he became a distinguished essayist and editor-in-chief of Poland’s second-largest newspaper, the Gazeta Wyborcza—and would now be a member of his country’s new multi-millionaire elite if he had not given up his shares in his newspaper’s parent company, Agora, in order to safeguard the paper’s editorial integrity.
I spoke to Michnik recently at his translator’s apartment on Sutton Place where, owing to the early hour, our host offered cigarettes and coffee instead of cognac. The story of how he became a high school pin-up on the Upper East Side while he was in jail in Poland made him laugh, even as he wondered at the fact that anyone in the West outside of a handful of college professors and expats had heard of him. By the end of our two and a half hours of conversation, which is excerpted here, Michnik, who has the constitution of a bull, was clearly just getting started. He was especially eager to discuss his latest project, a typically freewheeling three-volume omnibus of Polish writing pertaining to the subject of anti-Semitism, including the work of anti-Semites and philo-Semites alike, which will be published in 2015 in an English translation by the Oxford University Press.
As a child I learned that the Jews, including members of my own family, were victims of a terrible crime in Europe. So, the idea that some members of my Jewish family supported a different mass-murdering criminal named Joseph Stalin came as a shock.
My friend used to say: “In my family there was always a Hasidic tradition. Unfortunately, the Tzadik of my father, his name was Stalin.”
Yes! And it strikes me that even today there is the tendency among Jews, but also more generally on the left, to say, “Well, Stalin’s crimes were not as bad as Hitler’s.”
And of course you can add to that: Stalin defeated Hitler and he stopped the Holocaust. And the second thing: In 1948 the Soviet delegation to the United Nations voted for the recognition of the state of Israel.

mercredi 17 décembre 2014

Mémoire

Soon There Will Be No More Survivors





Watch this presentation: We say people must remember the Holocaust in the future, but we’re ignoring its victims today.

Frances Irwin is 90 years old. She was born in Poland and lives in Brooklyn. She is a Holocaust survivor.

Frances is lonely, even though her son takes care of her. She collects used aluminum foil in a kitchen piled high with paper plates. She relies on an emergency wristband to call for help. When you ask her to, she is able to vividly recall the worst of her World War II experience. She displays a mix of shame and trepidation when deciding whether to roll up her sleeve and show the world her forearm, tattooed at Auschwitz.

The truth is that Frances, like all Holocaust survivors, is old. Like many survivors, she’s dependent on Jewish and social welfare. She’s not living as well as she deserves to live. One day, not long from now, Frances and the others like her will die. Then there will be no more Holocaust survivors left.