March 30, 2019
Michel Bacos, French Hero Pilot of Jet Hijacked to Entebbe and Nazi Fighter, Dies at 94
The New York Times:
Michel Bacos, the valiant French pilot who was forced by terrorists to fly his jetliner to Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976, but refused to abandon Jewish passengers before an audacious rescue by Israeli commandos, died on Tuesday [March 26, 2019] in Nice, France. He was 94.
Bacos was born in Egypt in 1924, where his father worked at the Suez Canal. He joined the Free French Forces as a teenager during World War II and was stationed in Morocco as a naval aviation officer.
Bacos understood the dangers of fascism. He explained that he fought the Nazis and “knew precisely what fascism was all about. The genocide is a horror that none of us had forgotten.”
March 24, 2019
Israeli Spy Who Led Capture of Eichmann Dies at 92
The New York Times:
Rafi Eitan, the canny Israeli spymaster who commanded the Nazi-hunting team that captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and many years later was unmasked as the handler of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American Navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to passing on more than 1,000 secret documents to the Israelis, died on Saturday in Tel Aviv. He was 92.
The end of an era. May his soul rest in peace.
March 9, 2019
Holocaust Remembrance Project
A January 25, 2019 report rates individual European Union (EU) countries on how honest they are in facing up their Holocaust pasts. The report gives each country a rating of green, yellow or red. For example, Hungary, Poland and Croatia received red cards for revisionism. It is no coincidence that countries rated red are often have nationalist autocratic national governments. Germany, France and Romania are among the countries rated green. And Denmark and Italy are examples of countries the report rates as yellow.
Yale College and Grinnell College helped finance the report. With their support, student researchers traveled throughout Europe during the summer of 2018 preparing reports. Local representatives from the European Union of Progressive Judaism checked their work.
William Echikson of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) led the effort. CEPS is a Brussels think tank focusing on EU affairs. Echikson heads the CEPS Digital Forum. He’s worked at Google and as a foreign correspondent in Europe for a series of publications including the Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and BusinessWeek.
You can read the report online, download the report as a PDF or purchase a version for the Amazon Kindle.
On January 25 2019, the project was presented to an audience which included policymakers, members of the press, and interested colleagues.
March 7, 2019
Congressman Ted Deutch Condemns Antisemitism
Congressman Ted Deutch
The Washington Post reports that on March 9, 2019, Congressman Ted Deutch of Florida spoke out on the floor of the United States House of Representatives against antisemitism in Congress and elsewhere :
There is too much hatred, too many other people who are targeted, and we need to support all of them. But we are having this debate because of the language of one of our colleagues — language that suggests Jews like me who serve in the United States in Congress and whose father earned a Purple Heart fighting the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge, that we are not loyal Americans. Why are we unable to singularly condemn anti-Semitism? Why can’t we call out anti-Semitism and show we’ve learned the lessons of history?
The vote on House Resolution 183 “condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations” was 407-23 with one member voting present and one member not voting.
March 7, 2019
Survivor Explains Donation to Holocaust Museum
Holocaust survivor Frank Grunwald describes why he donated to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum the last letter his mother ever wrote. She wrote the letter just before she was killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Museum is a better place for such artifacts than a private home. The Museum will preserve, protect and share them as appropriate to document the Holocaust. Items in a drawer at home probably won’t last long.
See also: IndyStar
March 7, 2019
11-Year Old Swallowed Cyanide Capsule to Avoid Nazi Capture
The JC reports that a diary
written by an 11-year-old Jewish boy who swallowed a cyanide capsule to die, rather than be captured by Nazi officers he believed had come to raid the house he was hiding in, is to be donated to Yad Vashem.
Anthony Rudolf, the victim’s second cousin once removed, found the diary and is donating it to Yad Vashem. The boy’s name was Jerzyk Feliks Urman.
May he Rest In Peace.