Photographer Maria Austria exhibition


This March 2018 video says about itself:

Maria Austria: A life in pictures

In post-war Europe, photographer Maria Austria covered the revival of culture surrounding her. Theatre, actors, dancers, musicians. A Europe moving forward from the trauma of the previous decade. But a recently-found archive shows another side that Maria Austria had kept silent: The Jewish side. And that she was a Holocaust survivor herself. This is her story.

By Verena Nees in Germany:

Her photos shed light on history: The outstanding work of photographer Maria Austria (1915-75)

22 December 2018

Maria Austria, 1915–1975—An Amsterdam Photographer of Neorealism, October 18, 2018–March 10, 2019 at Das Verborgene Museum in Berlin

The work of Marie Oestreicher, known as Maria Austria (1915-1975), is a revelation. A Jewish photographer from Amsterdam with Austrian roots, she has been unjustly neglected and even forgotten in Germany. [The photographer was born Marie Oestreicher. Her surname means “the Austrian” in German, and she eventually adopted the professional name Maria Austria.]

Given the current political situation, it is significant that an exhibition at the Verborgene [Hidden] Museum in Berlin rescues this important artist from oblivion. Not only was she a witness to and victim of war and fascism, she also captured the social contradictions after World War II with a critical and at the same time profoundly humane outlook.

Henk Jonker, Maria Austria with camera, 1946. Courtesy of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam

Her work deserves to be presented in one of Germany’s and Austria’s major museums, not least because she is the source of the only photographic record of the hiding place of Holocaust victim Anne Frank and her family in the famous “Achterhuis” (Dutch for “back house”) or Secret Annex, located at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. Anne took refuge in this house with her family and another Jewish family until she was denounced in 1944 and deported to Auschwitz ….

Anne died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Maria Austria, The Franks' 'Achterhuis,' the attic. Maria Austria Instituut, Amsterdam

Today, the house is the site of the Anne Frank Museum. Maria Austria’s photos were invaluable during the restoration of the dilapidated rooms, which only took place after a lengthy campaign by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the sole survivor of the family. The Dutch authorities had wanted to demolish the house.

For the first time, a selection of the approximately 200 Frank-Achterhuis photos can now be seen in Germany. Maria Austria took the photos in 1954, together with her husband Henk Jonker, in preparation for the first play and film about Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, 1955, and the 1959 film of the same title directed by George Stevens).

She meticulously captured every detail, revealing in intimate fashion the traces of life in the cramped, gloomy Frank family dwelling: the concealed door behind the file cabinet, the steep wooden spiral staircase behind that and, above all, the wall which the adolescent Anne covered with postcards and newspaper clippings. Another photo shows the ever-present danger, taken from the attic of Maria Austria’s own hideout just a few houses away: German soldiers marching along the street in front of the houses.

Maria Austria, German soldiers marching in Amsterdam, 1944-45. Maria Austria Instituut, Amsterdam

“These photographs are unequivocal and document forever the circumstances of Jewish families forced to go underground and hide from the persecution of the Nazis,” writes Marion Beckers, the curator of the Verborgene Museum, in its newsletter.

In addition to the Frank-Achterhuis photos, the exhibition surprises with previously unknown photo documentation of key social episodes, including the “Hunger winter” [the Dutch famine of 1944-45, caused by a German blockade, in which tens of thousands died], the return of Jewish detainees from the Westerbork internment camp and a children’s village for Jewish Romanian orphans.

Maria Austria, After the 'Hunger winter,' May 1945. Maria Austria Instituut, Amsterdam

Other works feature equally unknown portraits of leading artists such as Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky, Mstislav Rostropovich, James Baldwin and Josephine Baker. The exhibition also includes studies of postwar reconstruction, a report on the great flood disaster in 1953 and a series of vibrant theatre, dance and circus photographs, which were among Maria Austria’s special passions, altogether yielding the image of an all-sided photographer and artist.

Maria Austria, The American writer James Baldwin, Amsterdam, 1965. Maria Austria Instituut, Amsterdam

A German-language brochure by Martien Frijns has been published to accompany the Berlin exhibition. It is based on his Dutch-language biography of Austria, which remains to be translated. Five years ago, Frijns examined the estate left behind by the photographer in the Maria Austria Institut (MAI) in Amsterdam, and discovered numerous hitherto unknown photos, including the documentation of the “Achterhuis.”

In the Netherlands, where Maria Austria is well known and popular, and where some of her work has been shown at five small exhibitions, these pictures were on display for the first time this year. A major retrospective at Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum from January to September 2018 attracted a record number of visitors.

Marie Karoline Oestreicher was born the youngest daughter of a Jewish doctor’s family in Bohemia’s Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary), which was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. She graduated as a photographer from the renowned Graphische Lehr und Versuchsanstalt [Graphics Teaching and Research Institute] in Vienna with honors, gained her first practical experience at the well-known Willinger photo studio and moved in the circles of left-wing artists and theatre people around Vienna’s Naschmarkt district.

As official anti-Semitism spread in Austria, the photographer fled in 1937 to Amsterdam, where her older sister Lisbeth—who had trained at the Bauhaus art school in Dessau—was already living and working as a textile designer. The rest of the family, her brother Felix Oestreicher, his wife Gerda Laqueur, their three daughters and Gerda’s mother, fled the Nazis in 1938 and also moved to the Netherlands. In 1943 they were deported to the Westerbork concentration camp in the northeastern part of the Netherlands and from there to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Only her brother’s daughters survived, together with Lisbeth, who remained incarcerated in Westerbork throughout the war. After the war, the two sisters cared for their three nieces.

Following the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940, Maria Austria refused to register as a Jew, went underground and joined the resistance. Together with her future husband Henk Jonker and other Jewish photographers such as Eva Besnyö from Hungary, she helped to make false passports and carried out secret courier work. Along with Jonker, she founded the agency Particam (Partizanen Camera), which went on to include other well-known photographers of the resistance such as Aart Klein.

Interview with Martien Frijns

Why were the Frank-Achterhuis photos and the postwar reportage not shown in the Netherlands before this year, although the Austria estate was open to the public at the MAI? Previous exhibitions featured only “optimistic” photos of reconstruction and cultural life after the war. What does this say about the postwar recounting of history? The WSWS asked Martien Frijns to respond.

“That’s a good question,” Frijns replied. Immediately after her death in 1975 nobody was well acquainted with Austria’s estate, but later, in 2001, with the beginning of the digitisation of the photos, “one only researched what you call optimistically composed photos, and these were the ones shown. You can interpret that as typical for the times, or as a concession to the popular mood.”

The MAI, which was set up as an archive for Maria Austria’s photos and now also contains the estates of other Amsterdam photographers, receives little financial support, Frijns said. As her biographer, he has devoted many hours of his free time to research, uncovering the unknown photo stories that have now been shown.

“Then I realized that the photographer’s complete works were very extensive and historically very important,” Frijns stresses. “I knew that the Austria photos shed light not only on Dutch, but also European postwar history.”

Maria Austria did not publicly acknowledge her Jewish roots and did not even tell her three nieces about them. Like her circle of friends, she was a non-religious, assimilated Jew who worked in the resistance with left-wingers and communists.

As was the case in Germany, the crimes of the Nazis were covered up in the Netherlands during the immediate postwar years. The occupying German army had met with fierce resistance from workers and students, but the Dutch business elite, broad sections of the military and the government administration readily cooperated with the Gestapo, SS and Wehrmacht [German military]. Some 75 percent of Dutch Jews were deported to the camps, a higher percentage than in any other Western European country.

“It is crystal clear that little was said about the war in the postwar years,” Frijns explained. “One did not talk about the horrors in Bergen-Belsen, where Austria’s mother and her brother died along with his wife, or about the Westerbork camp, where Austria’s sister Lisbeth survived the war.”

Her aunt was not religious and never spoke about Judaism, according to Helly Oestreicher, Maria Austria’s only surviving niece, writing on the online art magazine artsy.net. But with her “passionate interest in culture and books, and everything that happens in the world,” she remained true to her Jewish roots, said the niece. At the opening of the exhibition in Berlin, Helly Oestreicher related to WSWS her concern at the increasing influence of far-right tendencies in Germany and the Netherlands.

Maria Austria’s approach to photography is defined as neorealist. Unlike the Hungarian-Jewish photographer Eva Besnyö, who was influenced by avant-garde currents in Berlin in the 1930s, Maria Austria avoided any form of artistic alienation or distortion. Her photos are vivid snapshots of the social contradictions prevailing in the postwar era. The focus is repeatedly on faces that look directly into the eyes of the contemporary viewer as if they had much to tell.

As with other neorealist artists after the war, Maria Austria’s photos clearly reflect a left-wing orientation. Her work takes sides: with the workers and ordinary people who are starving and bombed out, but proudly populate the streets with bicycles a few years after the end of the war (Amsterdam, 1950)—the Nazis had confiscated all bicycles in 1944—and with the children in the slums, e.g. in Nijmegen, with sores on their feet and legs due to malnutrition, but who yearn for a happy life and avidly surround some circus clowns in the streets.

Maria Austria, Nijmegen, 1954. Maria Austria Instituut, Amsterdam

In the photo series of Jewish returnees from Westerbork (1945), Maria Austria depicts the general indifference of the people of Amsterdam for those returning from the camps with all that they possess packed in suitcases. One senses her great empathy for the Jewish orphans from Romania (1948), photographed at the Ilaniah children’s village in Apeldoorn in the centre of the Netherlands. Disabled children and adolescents were incarcerated in the camp up to 1943 before deportation to Auschwitz. The approximately 500 Romanian children who lost their parents in the Holocaust were later sent to Israel.

A photo shows a group of collaborators being led away, their expensive clothing and cold faces betraying their roots in the upper stratum of society. The next set of photos depicts the “asocial camp” Drenthe, in which the Dutch government housed socially vulnerable families until 1950. These families were forced to carry out hard labour for the purposes of “resocialisation”. Despite the objectivity of the photos, Austria’s indignation is evident.

Her other studies—portraits and theatre, music and dance photos taken by Maria Austria at the annual Holland Festival and as photographer for Amsterdam’s experimental Mickery Theater—captivate with their combination of precision and expressiveness.

One photo shows the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich during a rehearsal. Austria shows him from the perspective of his instrument, which protrudes from the bottom of the photo and merges seamlessly into the upper body and face of the musician. The vibrations of the strings and dark musical tones determine his facial features. Equally impressive is the almost black photo of the American writer and symbol of the American civil rights movement James Baldwin.

“Unlike in Vienna, I no longer try to put as much as possible into a head shot, but, on the contrary, get as much out of the face as possible,” Maria Austria wrote in a letter from Amsterdam in late 1937.

In 2003, Berlin’s small Verborgenes Museum displayed a selection of Maria Austria’s work, concentrating on her postwar reconstruction photographs of the late 1950s and 60s. The museum should be praised for its latest exhibition. Many of the photos are of burning relevance under conditions where the return of war, racism and fascist violence is once again on the agenda.

Maria Austria, 1915–1975—An Amsterdam Photographer of Neorealism, October 18, 2018–March 10, 2019

Das Verbogene Museum | Schlüterstr. 70, Berlin-Charlottenburg

Advertisements

Gena Turgel, Auschwitz survivor, Anne Frank helper, RIP


This video says about itself:

18 October 2011

Auschwitz survivor Gena Turgel, who went from concentration camp victim to a woman honored by the Queen of England, tells her amazing story on the Shalom TV original series, “Witness”.

Gena Turgel, Holocaust survivor known as Bride of Belsen, dies. Tributes paid to 95-year-old ‘shining light’ who tended to a dying Anne Frank and survived Nazi death camps: here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Woman who took care of Anne Frank in concentration camp has died

The Polish Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel has died at the age of 95. Turgel from Krakow survived the bombing of Poland, later concentration camps of the Nazis and took care of Anne Frank at the end of the war.

Turgel was in Auschwitz Birkenau and Buchenwald and was then taken to Bergen-Belsen in a cattle car. In the latter days of the war the camp was plagued by typhus. The 22-year-old Turgel arrived there in February 1945 and managed to get permission from the Germans to work as a prisoner in the camp’s hospital barracks.

There she met Anne Frank who was struck by the disease, she later told the BBC. “I washed her face, gave her water to drink, and I still see her face in front of me, her hair and what she looked like.”

Anne Frank died shortly thereafter, probably in February. Bergen-Belsen was liberated on 15 April 1945.

Wedding

Turgel survived the camp together with her mother. After the war Gena Turgel married one of the soldiers who had freed the camp and they went to live in London. Her wedding dress was made from the fabric of a British army parachute. The garment is exhibited in a museum in London.

For the rest of her life, Turgel continued to tell her life story. Her biography I light a candle came out in 1987. “A burning fire is extinguished today, and will never be replaced”, says the director of the British Holocaust Education Fund.

Anne Frank inspiration to help African refugees in Israel


This video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself:

Anne Frank takes us behind the movable bookcase

22 September 2015

In this video, we have the opportunity to walk through the secret hiding place that Anne Frank lived in for over two years. The narration is in Anne‘s own words, from her diary.

To read an article related to the video, visit here.

Thank you to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, which supplies this and other educational materials at www.AnneFrank.org.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Israeli rabbis to hide African refugees facing deportation in ‘Anne Frank-inspired’ scheme

‘People risked their lives to save Jews and we as a country are now saying we don’t want to risk the tiniest demographic shift’

Ryan Butcher

A group of Israeli rabbis have launched an “Anne Frank-inspired” activist programme to protect African asylum seekers facing forced expulsion from their homes.

The sister of comedian Sarah Silverman is among those leading the movement which hopes to help around 40,000 African asylum seekers, largely from Sudan and Eritrea.

Measures announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month, will see African asylum seekers presented with the option of either accepting $3,500 (£2,500) and a plane ticket to an undefined country or taking an indefinite jail sentence.

However, Israeli media have reported that some asylum seekers have faced torture of even human trafficking after being sent to Rwanda and Uganda by the Israeli government.

The majority of asylum seekers in Israel are from Eritrea (73 per cent) and Sudan (19 per cent) and an average of only 0.15 per cent of people filling in asylum claims are recognised as refugees, according to the Hotline for Refugees.

To counter this The Anne Frank Home Sanctuary launched by Rabbis for Human Rights aims to house asylum seekers.

“Who here would be willing to house people?” asked Rabbi Susan Silverman at a gathering of rabbis and educators in Jerusalem.

All 130 or so people in the room immediately raised her hands, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Rabbi Silverman, who immigrated from Boston to Israel in 2006, said her idea to physically hide refugees in Israeli homes was inspired by US sanctuary cities and states, which are used to fight the deportation of immigrants who entered the US illegally.

Anne Frank has also inspired the programme. The teenager became one of the most famous Jewish victims of the Holocaust after her diary of her life as a German Jew in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in World War Two was published in 1947.

She died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15-years-old.

As well sheltering asylum seekers, Rabbis for Human Rights said its members also intend to accompany asylum seekers on tours to the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem – Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial. The Righteous Among the Nations were non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The group hopes to “wake up the Jewish world” according to an internal memo.

“People risked their lives to save Jews and we as a country are now saying we don’t want to risk the tiniest demographic shift”, Rabbi Silverman told Haaretz.

“We have a prime minister who is quoting Pharaoh when he says [of the asylum seekers] that their numbers will grow.”

African asylum seekers have crossed the continent in the past decade and entered Israel at its southern border in a bid to seek better lives and in some cases seek refuge from wars. Only ten have ever been recognised by the state as refugees, according to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees – eight Eritreans and two Sudanese.

The Rabbis for Human Rights group said it is also considering protesting the offices of airlines willing to transport deportees to Africa and also launch a large-scale social media campaign labelling Israel’s leaders and ministers as racists.

See also here.

As Israel threatens to deport African migrants, some US Jews push back. Joey Low, a son of Holocaust-era refugees who has given millions to Israeli causes, insists ’you can’t do something like this in the name of Jews and Israel’: here.

Jewish Groups Denounce Israel’s Plans to Deport 40,000 African Asylum Seekers: here.

Israelis Offer Shabbat Meals And Sanctuary To African Asylum-Seekers: here.

The Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon on Saturday evening: here.

Sintayehu Shifaraw, 18, will be the first ever Ethiopian to participate in the International Bible Contest, but he’ll have to return [from Israel] to Addis Ababa after the event ends because his Falashmura community is not officially recognized as Jewish: here.

Ban Trump from Twitter, Anne Frank Center says


This video from the USA says about itself:

Anne Frank Center: Trump‘s Personal Twitter Account Amplifies Hate and Should Be Suspended

18 August 2017

President Donald Trump continues to face outrage over his response to last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where racism and anti-Semitism were on clear display. We speak with Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, which is calling on Twitter to suspend Trump’s personal account, after branding him an accomplice to domestic terrorism.

Transcript here.

Anne Frank’s stepsister’s lecture on Holocaust and xenophobia


This video from the USA says about itself:

Jewish Survivor Eva Schloss Testimony Part 1

4 April 2012

You are watching Eva Schloss, a Jewish Survivor from the Holocaust. To learn more about Eva and explore the stories of other Holocaust survivors and witnesses, visit http://vhaonline.usc.edu.

These videos are brought to you by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, which was founded by Steven Spielberg in 1994. The Institute has video testimonies of 52,000 Holocaust survivors, witnesses, liberators, and others. Each individual’s video testimony was indexed with the specific terms, names, places, and dates applied to noted in each minute of video.

This video is the sequel.

From De Balie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands:

‘I blame the world for the Holocaust. I blame the world for the refugee crisis.’

Eva Schloss

The 18th Freedom Lecture will be by the 88-year-old Eva Schloss. In 1938, Eva’s family emigrated to Amsterdam, after the annexation of Austria by the Nazis. In Amsterdam, Eva meets Anne Frank, who happens to live on the other side of the street. In 1944, before their deportation to Auschwitz, Eva and her family are imprisoned in a detention center located on the Max Euweplein. Next to the former district court, now known as De Balie. Eva Schloss survives Auschwitz, and did not speak about the horrors she experienced for forty years. After the war, Eva’s mother married Otto Frank, Anne Frank‘s father. So Anne Frank is Eva’s step sister. Eva Schloss lectures almost every day, in that she relates her own history to current events, and speaks out against racism and xenophobia in the Western world.

In June, Eva will return to De Balie, to reflect in this emotionally loaded place on her life and current events during her Freedom Lecture.

After the lecture, we will have a conversation with author, columnist and trainer Babah Tarawally and architect Arna Mackic about the ways in which their personal refugee story recurs in their work. How do they relate to the past, and in which ways do they feel a certain responsibility to speak out publicly against issues such as racism and xenophobia? And what are the differences between the situation for refugees then and now?

Actress and film maker Martha van der Bly currently works on a documentary about the impressive story of the life of Eva Schloss, Eva’s Mission, and will give an introduction.

The evening will end with the performance ‘One in a Million’ by the Syrian dancer Ahmad Joudeh, who became famous after the documentary about his life, ‘Dance or Die’. In the performance, Ahmad shows that freedom is not self-evident for so many people around the world. With ‘One in a Million, Ahmad does not only tell us his own personal story, but the story of millions of people. The performance is accompanied by music of the German composer Max Richter.

About Eva Schloss

Eva Schloss has regularly spoken about the Holocaust at educational institutions since 1985. For her dedication to this work, Northumbria University awarded her an honorary doctorate in Civil Law. Also, she has become a Trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust in the UK. The positive as well as the negative influence that the story of Anne Frank has had on Eva’s live, is described in Eva’s autobiography After Auschwitz (2014).

This programme is a cooperation between De Balie and Martha van der Bly. Please find more information on the film Eva’s Mission here.

Language: English

United States Anne Frank Center against Donald Trump


This video says about itself:

Anne Frank (The Whole Story)

26 May 2014

A German-Jewish teen hides with her family and others in the attic of an Amsterdam office building during the Holocaust.

By Jessica Schulberg in the USA:

04/16/2017 07:00 pm ET

Here’s Why A Nonprofit Named For Anne Frank Keeps Attacking Trump

How the previously obscure Anne Frank Center became one of the most scathing critics of the new administration.

WASHINGTON ― Before this year, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect rarely made headlines. On the rare occasions the group, named for the young Jewish diarist who died in the Holocaust, appeared in the news, it was never tied to controversy. “Diary of Anne Frank brought to life through music,” one story that mentioned [the] center reported last year.

But in the months since President Donald Trump took office, the New York-based nonprofit has catapulted to national prominence with a series of aggressive attacks on the new chief executive and his policies. Unlike other advocacy organizations, which take hours to craft carefully worded statements that usually land in reporters’ inboxes after their stories are already published, the Anne Frank Center’s executive director, Steven Goldstein, posts his unfiltered responses directly to Facebook.

Under Goldstein’s watch, the center has become one of the most outspoken critics of the Trump administration. His sharp-tongued approach has earned his group citations in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, The Huffington Post and others.

The group, which was founded by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, has also been the subject of several stories in Breitbart, the far-right news outlet closely aligned with the Trump administration. …

Goldstein, who took over as the center’s executive director last year, dismisses this type of criticism. He knows his style is provocative, but he says that’s intentional ― and that, in some ways, it’s similar to how Trump reaches his own audience. The president’s way of communicating “clearly touches a chord with the people of this country,” said Goldstein, who disagrees with Trump on nearly every issue.

Goldstein’s goal “is to speak with equal directness, but add compassion and justice and morality to it,” he said.

The Anne Frank Center was founded in 1959 with the goal of creating a “world based on equal rights and mutual respect.” In the decades before Goldstein took over the organization, it existed primarily as an educational exhibition, teaching visitors about Frank’s life and the dangers of discrimination.

Goldstein had never even heard of the group when its board of directors asked him last year if he was interested in taking over as executive director. That wasn’t a good sign, he thought. “I’m a social justice activist, I’m a Jewish activist, I’m a native New Yorker, so for me to not to have heard of an Anne Frank organization means the organization must have had an extraordinarily low profile,” he said.

Keeping a low profile is not Goldstein’s style. … In 2004, he founded Garden State Equality, the New Jersey-based marriage-equality group that went on to successfully sue for expanded rights for same-sex couples. His character was featured in a movie about a terminally ill police officer’s fight to secure death benefits for her same-sex partner.

“I am not your leader if you want to continue this as an obscure little museum that gets six visitors a day,” he says he told the board during the interview process.

He expected the group to move on to a different candidate, but evidently, the board was also looking for change. In June of 2016, the center hired Goldstein and renamed itself the Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect, a name that reflected its plans to broaden its focus to all forms of discrimination.

There’s no doubt that Goldstein has succeeded in raising the center’s profile. …

When Trump proclaimed in February that he was the “least-anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen,” Goldstein shot back with a rebuke almost as hyperbolic as Trump’s own statement. “Mr. President, that’s an alternative fact on a psychedelic acid trip,” he wrote on Facebook. “Have you been adding magic mushrooms to your chopped liver on matzo?”

When White House press secretary Sean Spicer erroneously claimed that Adolf Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his own people, Goldstein called on Trump to fire his spokesman. “Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death,” Goldstein wrote. (After issuing several clarifications, Spicer eventually apologized.)

Asked if he believed Spicer was a really a denier of the Holocaust or just a clumsy public speaker, Goldstein said he stood by his initial statement. Spicer’s “astonishing remarks can be attributed to either ignorance, incompetence, prejudice or some combination of the three,” Goldstein said. “In any event, he should not be press spokesperson for the President of the United States.”

… Goldstein says “nothing could be farther from the truth” in response to accusations that he’s taken the Anne Frank Center in a partisan direction. The center goes out of its way to point out that it was Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt who denied Anne Frank entry to the U.S., and has defended members of the Trump family when they were unfairly attacked, Goldstein noted.

One example: “WE CONDEMN BOTH THE EVIL POLICIES OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE SEXISM AIMED AT MELANIA TRUMP,” the Center wrote on Facebook in February.

Goldstein argues that his goal of combating all forms of hate and prejudice is very much in line with the legacy of the Frank family. Anne Frank’s diary is the “ultimate social justice manual,” he said. He wants the organization to “reclaim” those values ― and he believes that his style is more effective than other organizations that speak in what he calls “bureaucratic mumbo jumbo.”

When groups say they are “dismayed” or “concerned,” it doesn’t affect people emotionally, he argues. “Real humans don’t speak like that, so I’m not going to speak like that.”

It’s impossible to know how Anne Frank or her family would have felt about Goldstein’s strategy. But Pieter Kohnstam, whom Anne babysat when he was a child in Amsterdam before she and her family went into hiding, says he approves of what Goldstein is doing.

When Kohnstam, a Holocaust survivor, heard Spicer allege that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his people, he jumped out of his seat in horror. A half hour later, he said, he saw Goldstein on television and was relieved to see him correcting the record.

Goldstein “has brought some life into this entire organization,” said Kohnstam, who has been affiliated with the Anne Frank Center since before Goldstein took over. “As you can imagine, people are going to be for and against it. It’s like a synagogue. If you get five people to agree on something in a synagogue, that is phenomenal,” he said.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Keeps Getting Anti-Semitism Questions, Keeps Giving Horrible Answers

16 February 2017

Trump was asked about anti-semitism for the second day in a row. His answer was nonsense. Again. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“Mr. Trump’s abominable answer to the anti-Semitism question on Wednesday drew considerable criticism in the Israeli press and elsewhere, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when a different reporter reprised it at another news conference on Thursday.

Mr. Trump ordered the reporter to sit down before the question was even finished. “No. 1: I’m the least anti-Semitic person you have ever seen in your entire life,” Mr. Trump insisted and “No. 2: Racism. The least racist person.”

Mr. Trump derided the question as “very insulting.” Then he played his ace card by invoking Mr. Netanyahu, who one day earlier awarded Mr. Trump his personal imprimatur and political cover by declaring “there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state” than the new American president.”

Read more here.

Anne Frank unwelcome at Croatian far-right school


This 2015 video is called THE SHORT LIFE OF ANNE FRANK – Discovery History Biography War (full documentary).

From AFP news agency:

24 January 2017 – 17H59

Anger at Croatian school’s snub of Anne Frank exhibit

ZAGREB – A Croatian school came under fire Tuesday for refusing to display an exhibition on Jewish diarist Anne Frank because it included panels on crimes committed by the country’s World War II pro-Nazi regime.

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre called for the school’s head to be dismissed, saying otherwise it signalled that pro-Nazi nostalgia was “perfectly legitimate” in modern-day Croatia.

The exhibition, prepared by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, was due to be displayed at a high school in the coastal town of Sibenik from Tuesday last week.

But the organisers withdrew the same day after the school’s director Josip Belamaric refused to allow six panels explaining the role of Croatia’s wartime Ustasha regime, saying the pro-Nazis were presented as “criminals” while their rival communists’ crimes were ignored.

The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, based in Los Angeles, has written to Croatia’s charge d’affaires in Tel Aviv in protest at Belamaric’s behaviour and seeking his immediate dismissal.

“A failure to do so will indicate that Ustasha nostalgia is perfectly legitimate in today’s Croatian school system,” wrote the head of the centre’s Israeli office, Efraim Zuroff.

The exhibition, due to be displayed until mid-February, had previously been presented in 23 Croatian towns without any problem, the organisers said.

Frank wrote “The Diary of a Young Girl” while hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic from June 1942 to August 1944. More than 30 million copies have been sold in 67 languages.

Frank died in Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp early in 1945, aged 15, less than a year after the Nazis found her and her family members.

Croatia’s conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who came to power after a snap election in October, has pledged to move away from extremism.

The previous centre-right government was accused by critics of turning a blind eye to a far-right surge in the country, including nostalgia for a pro-Nazi past.

Croatian Jews are planning to boycott an official ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, accusing authorities of downplaying the Ustasha crimes.

After just four months in office, tensions inside the Croatian government coalition are mounting. Although the conservative Democratic Union (HDZ) and the right-wing liberal Most (Bridges) party are agreed on a right-wing programme, the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is in deep crisis: here.