The EJA concluded the second half of our delegation to Auschwitz.

January 23, 2024

During this portion, the attention was directed towards a trip to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where a visit took place.

The event featured a memorial ceremony and the recital of the Kaddish prayer, both crucial elements underscoring the European Jewish Association’s dedication to the profound tragedy of the Holocaust.

#NeverAgainWasNow #NotOnMyWatch #EJAAuschwitz2024

Additional Articles

Antisemitic Notes in Public Transportation, Germany

The EJA is disgusted at the resurgence of the ‘blood libel’ in plain daylight in Germany, with stickers and leaflets alleging Jewish involvement in Covid. We have written to the German Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, Dr Felix Klein, to use the full weight of his office and impress upon the German transport authorities the danger of such activities, to urgently undertake a full review of CCTV footage with a view to prosecuting those responsible and to implement a zero tolerance policy of punitive fines and prosecution for the publication and distribution of antisemitic literature anywhere on their networks.
 

CZECH « PERSONALITIES OF THE THIRD REICH » CALENDAR : CONDEMNATION IS MEANINGLESS IF SUCH ITEMS ARE NOT BANNED, SAYS EUROPEAN JEWISH HEAD

«Such items have no place in civil society, especially in a country that suffered so much under the nazi jackboot » – Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
As a storm erupted in Czech Republic diplomatic circles over the publication and sale of a calendar depicting « personalities of the Third Reich, the head of the Brussels based European Jewish Association said that in a time of rising antisemitism, condemnation was not enough and Czech authorities must ban all and any items that glorify the horrendous actions of the Nazis.
In a statement Rabbi Margolin, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association said :
«I find it incredible that a country that suffered massacres under the hard jackboot of the Nazis, and whose soldiers and airmen heroically fought the third reich from exile, would even countenance having such an item to buy in their country.
« The publisher states that there is demand for such items. We heard similar words from an auction house in Munich that was selling Nazi memorabilia in 2019. This is not an excuse.
« Words of condemnation whilst welcome are meaningless. The sale of such items is not only disgusting and an affront to the millions that perished under nazi ideology, but is very, very  dangerous in times of rising antisemitism. It glorifies murder, empowers those who hate the « other », and trivialises each and every abhorrent act undertaken by Hitler and his henchmen.
« I urge the czech government, for the sake of decency, for the honour of their fallen heroes and to send a messgae to Jews in the Czech Republic and across the world, to outlaw and ban the sale of any and all nazi memorabilia. »
you can read more about the story HERE

Nonostante Le Proteste Dei Leader Ebraici Europei, L'orologio Appartenuto A Hitler È Stato Messo All'asta Negli Stati Uniti.

Gli oggetti non fanno altro che dare manforte a coloro che idealizzano ciò che il partito nazista rappresentava o offrono agli acquirenti la possibilità di stuzzicare un ospite o una persona cara con un oggetto appartenente a un assassino genocida e ai suoi sostenitori”, ha scritto il rabbino Menachem Margolin, presidente dell’Associazione ebraica europea (EJA) con sede a Bruxelles, in una lettera cofirmata da 34 leader delle comunità ebraiche in Europa – scrive Yossi Lempkowicz.

Nonostante le proteste dei leader ebraici europei, un orologio d’oro appartenuto a Hitler è stato venduto da una casa d’aste americana per oltre 1 milione di euro.

L’orologio Huber presenta il disegno di una svastica e le iniziali A H. È stato acquistato da un offerente anonimo.

L’asta si è svolta venerdì, nonostante 34 leader ebrei europei avessero chiesto alla casa d’aste Alexander Historical Auctions di Chesapeake City, nel Maryland, di annullare l’asta.

Tra gli altri oggetti nazisti messi all’asta c’erano un collare per cani appartenuto al terrier di Eva Braun, carta igienica della Wehrmacht, posate e bicchieri di champagne di alte personalità naziste.

Il presidente della casa d’aste, Bill Panagopulos, ha respinto le proteste. Ha detto: “Quello che vendiamo è una prova criminale, per quanto insignificante. È una prova tangibile e reale che Hitler e i nazisti hanno vissuto, perseguitato e ucciso decine di milioni di persone. Distruggere o impedire in qualsiasi modo l’esposizione o la protezione di questo materiale è un crimine contro la storia”.

Ma i leader ebraici, che hanno inviato una lettera alla casa d’aste per condannare la vendita, hanno respinto l’affermazione: “Gli oggetti non fanno altro che dare manforte a coloro che idealizzano ciò che il partito nazista rappresentava o offrono agli acquirenti la possibilità di stuzzicare un ospite o una persona cara con un oggetto appartenente a un assassino genocida e ai suoi sostenitori”, ha scritto il rabbino Menachem Margolin, presidente dell’Associazione ebraica europea (EJA) con sede a Bruxelles, nella lettera cofirmata da 34 leader delle comunità ebraiche europee.

Ha aggiunto: “La vendita di questi oggetti è un’abiezione. La maggior parte dei lotti esposti non ha alcun valore storico intrinseco. In effetti, ci si può solo interrogare sulle motivazioni di chi li acquista. L’Europa ha sofferto enormemente a causa dell’ideologia perversa e assassina del partito nazista. Milioni di persone sono morte per preservare i valori di libertà che oggi diamo per scontati, tra cui quasi mezzo milione di americani. Il nostro continente è disseminato di fosse comuni commemorative e di siti di campi di sterminio”.

Negli ultimi anni, l’Associazione Ebraica Europea ha protestato contro diverse aste di oggetti nazisti.

Alexander Historical Auctions aveva già affrontato un rimprovero simile per vendite precedenti, tra cui una che presentava i diari personali del noto criminale di guerra nazista Josef Mengele.

EU steps up fight against antisemitism

The European Jewish Association welcomes the European Council declaration on fighting antisemitism that reaffirms its commitment for a common security approach in Europe to protect Jewish life and make it more visible as part of Europe’s identity.
“We welcome the acknowledgement of the European Council of the Member States shared responsibility to actively protect and support Jewish life in Europe and the acknowledgement of the contribution of Judaism and Jewish life that have indeed considerably shaped European identity and enriched Europe’s cultural, intellectual and religious heritage.  We look forward to working with EU institutions and national governments across policy areas as we continue the fight against antisemitism together,” stated EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
you can read more about it here:

The European Council welcomed on Friday a declaration on mainstreaming the fight against antisemitism across policy areas.

In its conclusions, the European Council condemned “all forms of attacks on the freedoms of expression and religion or belief, including antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and underlines the importance of combating incitement to hatred and violence, as well as intolerance.”

The Declaration, which was approved last week by the Justice and Home Affairs Council, describes antisemitism as an EU-wide phenomenon and emphasises that the fight against it is a cross-cutting issue involving various levels of government and policies at local, national and European level.

The Council expressed its concern at the increase in threats to Jewish people in Europe, and the resurgence of conspiracy myths, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the increase in antisemitic incidents and hate crime.

It stresses that antisemitism has developed into various forms and must be combated with complementary public policies. Illegal hate speech and online terrorist content must be removed promptly and consistently by internet service providers. A strong and systematic judicial response to antisemitic acts is also necessary.

Education about the Holocaust, antisemitism and Jewish life remains one of the most important tools in preventing antisemitic prejudices. Sharing good practices to foster media literacy and awareness of conspiracy myths is also key.

The member states welcomed the European Commission’s decision to make the fight against antisemitism a priority, as well as the strengthening of the institutional basis for the coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.

The Declaration states that, “Judaism and Jewish life have contributed considerably to shaping European identity and enriching Europe’s cultural, intellectual and religious heritage. We are grateful that 75 years after the Holocaust, Jewish life, in all its diversity, is deeply rooted and thriving again in Europe. It is our permanent, shared responsibility to actively protect and support Jewish life.”

“As a researcher on contemporary European antisemitism, I welcome the Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism,” commented Lars Dencik, a Swedish professor in social psychology. “The appeal to fight antisemitism ‘in a holistic way’, i.e. across policy fields and member states, is highly relevant.”

“To organize systematic data collection and analysis of antisemitism across all member states would be most valuable,” he added. “To focus on the upsurge of antisemitic conspiracy myths appears also adequate and necessary. The point of actively protecting and supporting Jewish life and making it more visible as part of European identity is very well taken.”

The European Commission presented also on Wednesday a a new Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and boost the EU’s resilience to terrorist threats. Among others, the EU will step up efforts to ensure physical protection of public spaces including places of worship through security by design.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, confirmed at a press conference that special resources will be dedicated to protect churches, mosques and synagogues. “We are giving cities the means to protect open public spaces through good design and we are ensuring that we can respond quickly and more efficiently to attacks and attempted attacks.”

Preventing attacks by addressing radicalisation and countering spread of extremist ideologies online is important and the Commission proposes to adopt rules on removing terrorist content online as a matter of urgency. The same goes for antisemitic hate speech, according to the Council Declaration.

“Antisemitic hate speech, including public condoning, denying or grossly trivialising the Holocaust, is increasingly influential and is shared online often without any consequences for those who produce and/or disseminate it. Crimes committed online should be punished just as crimes offline are and must be adequately addressed by means of effective prosecution and other measures.”

The Declaration underlines that The Council Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (2008/913/JHA) must be transposed and effectively implemented by the Member States, including for crimes committed on the internet.

New forms of antisemitism

Dencik, the researcher of antisemitism, is sceptical and thinks that it borders on wishful thinking to have global internet providers monitoring and removing hate speech on their platforms. He adds that somewhat unnoticed in the Council Declaration are emerging problems of “antisemitism in disguise” and “latent antisemitism” and refers to conspiracy theories and attacks on individual Jews and Jewish institution emanating from hatred against Israel.

The Declaration does mention that recent studies, for example by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), show that antisemitism in all its forms is increasingly prevalent in Europe.

Reaffirming their commitment to a previous Council declaration in December 2018 on the fight against antisemitism, the EU member states also referred to the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“We welcome the fact that 18 Member States have already followed up on the Council declaration of 6 December 2018 by endorsing the IHRA working definition as a useful guidance tool in education and training. Member States that have not yet done so are invited to join the other Member States and endorse the IHRA working definition as soon as possible.”

The borderline between antisemitism and legitimate criticism of Israel and its government is often blurred and has become politicized, including in Israel. “Criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic,” says the definition and distinguishes between legitimate criticism and verbal attacks against Israel that might be fuelled by antisemitism and antisemitic stereotypes.

The list of such examples includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, accusing Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust, drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, and applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

The Commission has been forced to strengthen the fight against antisemitism almost every year. “The 20th century had many deseases. The only on that remained incurable is antisemitism,” Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said in 2018. He criticised some EU member states for their identity politics. “If you choose identity policy, it will sooner or later refer to minorities and the first minority to be hit is the Jews.”

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