Racism, news update


This 28 August 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Why Jacob Blake‘s Family will have to fight for justice

After his unarmed son was killed by Kenosha police, Michael Bell Sr. has fought for independent investigations of police shootings.

WISCONSIN GOV. ASKS TRUMP TO STAY AWAY FROM STATE Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers urged President Donald Trump to reconsider a planned trip to the state following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, saying such a visit may only “delay our work to overcome division and move forward.” Evers, a Democrat, sent the missive after the White House said the president would travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey the damage following demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism that came after the shooting. Days after Blake was shot, two protesters were killed. [HuffPost]

TRUMP DUCKS QUESTION ABOUT ACCUSED TEEN SHOOTER President Donald Trump on Saturday dodged a question about Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager and Trump supporter who has been charged with homicide in the shooting deaths of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, retweeted a supportive message about Rittenhouse. The teen traveled to the Kenosha protest Tuesday armed with a semi-automatic rifle, according to investigators. The fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a volunteer medic was captured in cellphone videos. [HuffPost]

THE GOP IS VERY MUCH TRUMP’S PARTY, POLL SHOWS More Trump voters said they were loyal to President Donald Trump than they were to the Republican Party, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Some 49% of Republican and Republican-leaning independents who voted for Trump in 2016 said they consider themselves more supporters of Trump than of the Republican Party. Just 19% said they were more supporters of the party, with another 28% saying they were supporters of both. The poll came on the heels of the Republican National Convention, during which the GOP declined to rally around a policy platform and instead opted to “reassert the party’s strong support” for “Trump and his administration.” [HuffPost]

Breonna Taylor’s life was changing. Then the police came to her door.

USA: ‘Jews want a race war’ website removed only to be quickly replaced.

Vatican hid Holocaust orphans from families, urged Pope not to protest deportations

Donald Trump and United States anti-Semitism


This 17 July 2020 MSNBC TV video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s Niece To Maddow: Trump Used Anti-Semitic Slurs And The N-word| MSNBC

In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, alleges she’s heard President Trump use anti-Semitic slurs and the N-word. … Reverend Al Sharpton and The Atlantic’s David Frum join The Beat on this breaking news story.

Trump is right: We Jews hate him, despite what he’s done in Israel. By Joel Swanson, August 18, 2020.

Trump: Jerusalem embassy move was for Evangelicals — Jews not excited about it.

FBI account tweets out Protocols of Learned Elders of Zion without context.

Muslims in ICE detention forced to choose between pork or rotten halal meals.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders calls former White House colleague a ‘foulmouthed Jew’.

US Trump administration enables anti-Semitism


This 6 April 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

American Anti-Semitism Lives On In The President Trump Era According To Jonathan Weisman | TIME

Jonathan Weisman, an editor at the New York Times, thought America had largely moved past anti-semitism, confining it to a more prejudiced history. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he learned that he was very mistaken.

Colleges are covering up antisemitic hate crimes – and the federal government is helping them.

These colleges claimed antisemitic incidents weren’t hate crimes.

Racism, anti-racism update worldwide


This 9 August 2020 video from California in the USA says about itself:

Free Them All NOW! Care Not Cages! SF March & Rally In Against ICE & Republicrats

A march and rally was held on 8/8.20 to the San Francisco ICE office to demand the immediate release of the thousands of children still held and to protest the missing 1,800. Also, doctors talked about how the children and their families were being contaminated with Covid-19 in these cages and this would permanently scar their lives.

Many of the speakers also attacked the Democratic Party and Democrat Gavin Newsom In California for continuing the support for the caging of children and supporting private prisons in California. Speakers criticized Obama, Pelosi in San Francisco and other Democrats for failing to act for immigrants when the Democrats controlled the majority of the Congress and the White House. The Democrats continue to fund ICE, the militarization of the police and the repressive apparatus now being used by Trump and his supporters.

Toronto Polish-language newspaper blames Jews for pandemic.

USA: Should Billy Graham — evangelist with an anti-Semitism scandal — get a statue in the Capitol?

Why is Serbia the only Terezin Treaty signer that’s doing right by Holocaust survivors?

Trump’s pick for German ambassador called Muslim refugees ‘invaders’.

USA: The shocking health care racism endangering Black mothers.

Racism and police in Trump´s USA


This 28 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Fox Host: Why Not Arrest Trump’s Opponents?

This “Conservative” wants to arrest local politicians in Portland. Emma Vigeland and Ana Kasparian discuss on The Young Turks.

Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo spoke with acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf Sunday morning about the federal officers deployed to Portland. Wolf said that they are there because things are “completely out of control” and “city leadership there fostered an environment that allows these criminals to do this throughout the night untouched.”

“We need Portland to step up to the plate, do their responsibility, and work with us to address violent criminal activity occurring every night,” he said.

Bartiromo remarked that Portland “looks like Baghdad” and asked, “These people can go all the way up to the fence and the perimeter and throw bricks at officers. What are you going to do about it?”

Read more here.

‘EXCESSIVE FORCE’ USED ON PROTESTERS A National Guard commander was “deeply disturbed” as he witnessed federal police use “excessive force” to violently clear peaceful protesters near the White House to make way for Trump to pose for photos outside a church last month, he will testify Tuesday. The account by D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco, a combat veteran who was the senior National Guard officer on the scene, contradicts Attorney General William Barr, who has insisted that anti-racism protesters were violent and deserved gassing and physical assault by law enforcement that evening. [HuffPost]

TRUMP WON’T PAY HIS RESPECTS TO JOHN LEWIS ON CAPITOL HILL Thousands of people are expected to visit Capitol Hill to pay respects to congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, but Trump won’t be one of them. “No, I won’t be going,” the president told reporters without elaborating. “No.” The president made his comment as he was leaving the White House for North Carolina just as Lewis’ American flag-draped casket was arriving at the Capitol carried by a military honor guard into the rotunda. Trump has a well-marked history as a racist. [HuffPost]

THE NYPD CAN SEE MILLIONS OF ARREST RECORDS THAT WERE MEANT TO BE SEALED For over 40 years, it has been illegal for police in New York state to access a person’s sealed arrest records. Details of arrests of people who were charged but not convicted or whose cases were dismissed ― as well as juveniles or people who completed drug treatment programs or committed noncriminal offenses ― aren’t supposed to influence law enforcement should police encounter those people again. But new court documents obtained by HuffPost show that the New York City Police Department has been breaking that law for years. [HuffPost]

VIDEO SHOWS NYPD COP PULLING PROTESTER INTO UNMARKED VAN The New York City Police Department has come under scrutiny after videos showed officers pulling a protester into an unmarked van during a demonstration Tuesday in Manhattan against racism and police brutality. Gothamist, citing the protester’s friends, identified her as an 18-year-old transgender woman. Videos shared on social media show the demonstrator being restrained by several NYPD officers before being pulled into the van. “They grabbed [her] like she was rag doll,” a witness said. “They had her arms on her neck and then they drove off.” [HuffPost]

Two months after Black Lives Matter march, police confiscate cars of peaceful protesters.

Couple wearing swastika masks at Walmart confronted by other shoppers.

LEADER OF NEO-NAZI GROUP UNDER INVESTIGATION A prominent white supremacist propagandist who once claimed to have influenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter is under investigation by authorities in California, a law enforcement official said on Monday. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department told HuffPost that Andrew Richard Casarez has been under investigation for several weeks and that his home has been searched. “Detectives obtained a Gun Violence Restraining Order against him and served a search warrant at a residence … where they seized a firearm,” the department said. [HuffPost]

Republican senator deletes ad that made Jewish opponent’s nose bigger.

Florida man to be charged with vandalism of 2 synagogues.

New York City cuts funding for hate crime prevention initiative.

Senator McCarthy, anti-communism and anti-Semitism


This 2011 video from the USA says about itself:

The Hollywood blacklist began in 1947 when the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) began to subpoena artists, producers and screenwriters to investigate communist sympathies in Hollywood. Over the next thirteen years, it came to include Charlie Chaplin, Leonard Bernstein, Dashiell Hammett, Arthur Miller, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Parker, Pete Seeger and Orson Welles.

Ten artists, known as the “Hollywood Ten”, originally refused to cooperate with HUAC and were cited for contempt of congress. They were fired and blacklisted by the Motion Picture Association of America the next day in a public announcement. All ten served up to a year in prison, were fined $1,000 and faced great difficulty working in Hollywood again.

In 1950, a pamphlet called “Red Channels” accused 151 actors, writers, directors, musicians and performers of having pre-war connections to left-wing or communist organizations. Those listed were blacklisted from working until they renounced their affiliations and testified to the HUAC. As individuals cooperated and “named names”, the list grew. Altogether some 320 people in the entertainment industry were blacklisted for suspected involvement in “subversive” activities.

“Friendly witnesses” included Gary Cooper, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney, who claimed the League of Women Voters was a Communist front. HUAC critics, on the other hand, formed the Committee for the First Amendment in support of the Hollywood Ten. It included Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Henry Fonda, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. The group flew to Washington D.C. in October 1947 to protest HUAC hearings.

In 1952, the famous director Elia Kazan named eight former friends from the Group Theater in New York as communist party members (his 1954 film “On the Waterfront” is often viewed as a defense of informers). This ended his long friendship with Arthur Miller and inspired Miller’s play “The Crucible” (1953) about the Salem witch hunt of 1692. In 1957, Miller was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name names.

The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films “Spartacus” and “Exodus.”

By Larry Tye in the USA, 7 July 2020:

McCarthy was anti-Communist. Was he also anti-Semitic?

Was the anti-Communist Senator Joe McCarthy also an anti-Semite?

That question assumes new resonance in this era of spiraling xenophobia. And there’s fresh evidence in the Wisconsin lawmaker’s personal and professional papers, which I was the first person to gain access to as part of researching my book, “Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy,” which was published on Tuesday.

Any assessment of McCarthy’s attitudes towards Jews has to begin in 1950, as he was launching the Red-baiting crusade that would turn his name into an ism.

One of his first targets, Anna Rosenberg, was such a star when she worked for the War Manpower Commission during World War II that General Eisenhower made her the first female recipient of the Medal of Freedom and President Truman bestowed a Medal for Merit. When the Korean War was gearing up, Secretary of Defense George Marshall tapped Rosenberg to find the troops needed to fight there, protect Europe, and safeguard the homefront. Never had the Defense Department offered such an influential posting to a woman — never mind a Hungarian-born, liberal-leaning Jewish woman.

Within a day, a chorus had formed to oppose her nomination, uniting critics of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, racial desegregation, Zionism, and the Nuremberg verdicts. It wasn’t just her gender and politics that enraged them, but the conviction that anyone named Rosenberg ipso facto was a Soviet spy.

McCarthy was already acquainted with this nefarious crowd, some of whom denied Jesus Christ had been Jewish. As early as 1946, the senator had heard about Gerald L.K. Smith, who would later warn his followers to “keep the Zionist Jew Anna Rosenberg from becoming the dictator of the Pentagon.” He met early on and seemed impressed with the Holocaust-denying Ku Klux Klansman Wesley Swift, who would later instruct congregants of his Church of Jesus Christ-Christian that Rosenberg was not merely a “Jewess” but “an alien from Budapest with Socialistic ideas.”

While he was an instinctual people person, McCarthy was an increasingly indiscriminate judge of character. He listened to a callow staff eager to please him and a coterie of professional anti-Communists out for scalps, rather than to the Republicans on the Armed Service Committee who joined Democrats in unanimously approving Rosenberg’s nomination. In the end, McCarthy was forced to do an about-face, joining the overwhelming majority of senators who confirmed her by a voice vote.

Was his attack on Rosenberg driven by anti-Semitism? The Senator’s own words over the years offer grist for that theory, as even his closest friends acknowledged in interviews. He’d referred to his own lawyer as “a Hebe”.

That lawyer was self-hating Jew and self-hating closet gay homophobic witch hunter Roy Cohn.

A Jewish businessman he suspected of cheating him was “a little sheeny”, another anti-Jewish slur. Years later, according to Army General Counsel John Adams, he repeatedly called a staffer he disdained “a miserable little Jew.”

Then there was the backing McCarthy got from notorious Jew-haters like Smith, founder of the America First Party, and the backing he gave William Dudley Pelley, the fascist activist and writer. McCarthy liked to shock friends by pulling out his copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, calling it inspirational or saying “that’s the way to do it.”

Religious bigotry resurfaced as an issue in 1953, when McCarthy went after what he said were spies in the U.S. Army generally, and especially at a Signal Corps facility in New Jersey. Forty-one of the 45 civilians suspended at Fort Monmouth were Jews, or 95%, whereas 25% of its overall civilian workforce was Jewish, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which urged the Army secretary to do a full-fledged study of possible prejudice. Nearly all those targeted by McCarthy would be reinstated, but not before their lives were upended and they were left to wonder why.

“There is an assumption,” said Allen Lovenstein, a Jewish engineer at the fort, “that there is an anti-Semitic movement.”

Interestingly, Senator McCarthy generally did not lash out against higher-profile Jews, such as Albert Einstein — at least not in public. Among his papers, I found a never-delivered draft of a speech about Einstein, the Nobel Laureate in Physics who was also an avowed Socialist, a pacifist and gay rights advocate, a Jewish-German refugee, and a sufficient worry to the FBI that it kept a 1,449-page file on him.

“I don’t challenge the legal right of Professor Einstein to be a Communist, a fellow traveler, or just a plain political dope,” McCarthy wrote in the draft dated October 1950. “Albert Einstein is one of the great scientific geniuses of all time. On the other hand, it is clear that Albert Einstein has grossly abused the privileges which he has been accorded by the gift of American citizenship.”

The text, which was crossed out with a dark pencil and a pink note saying “Cut from Atomic Scientists’ Speech”, claimed Einstein had “been affiliated with not less than 27 Communist-front organizations,” and ended with this line of poetic vituperation: “The clichés of the rabble-rousing soapbox Socialist pour from his pen as easily as his cosmic equations.”

Did he hold back for fear of being accused again of being anti-Jewish, or because an adviser cautioned temperance when it came to the revered genius? The Senator’s papers do not explain.

The truth is that there is evidence on both sides of the was-he-or-wasn’t-he anti-Semitic question, much the way there is today with the divide over how to balance President Donald Trump’s embrace of anti-Semites with his strong support of Israel and closeness to Orthodox Jews (including his daughter and son-in-law). McCarthy had Jewish friends as well as aides, and he boosted Israel … .

What’s clear, however, is that McCarthy’s reckless accusations and trampling of witnesses’ rights were offensive to age-old Jewish values, with or without overt anti-Semitism. That’s easy to say in hindsight, but was also the verdict of Jewish Americans at the time. They were the one religious group that consistently and overwhelmingly rejected McCarthy, with 15% viewing him favorably and 71% unfavorably.

Einstein captured that Jewish outrage better than anyone. “America”, he wrote, “is incomparably less endangered by its own Communists than by the hysterical hunt for the few Communists that are here.” And he advised colleagues called to testify before legislative panels probing communism to refuse, even if it meant “jail and economic ruin.”

Larry Tye, a longtime reporter for the Boston Globe, is the author of eight books, including the just-published “Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.”

Racism in the USA news


This 29 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

St. Louis Couple Points Guns at Peaceful Protesters | NowThis

A white couple in St. Louis is going viral for pointing guns at and threatening peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.

In US news and current events today, a couple in St. Louis has gone viral for pointing guns at protesters. The Black Lives Matter protesters were on their way to the Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, Lydia Krewson, to demand her resignation, but en route they were accosted by this white couple pointing gun at protesters.

The couple pointing guns at protesters claimed they were protecting their property, though this doesn’t include the sidewalks and streets where the Black Live Matter protest was occurring. The couple, both wealthy lawyers, have become icons as the face of those who would resist the Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd protests for reasons that merit further interrogation, but the picture is clear: This couple was willing to use violence to silence and intimidate peaceful protesters who are marching for equality and civil rights.

Amid battle over St. Louis’s name, Archdiocese defends saint who persecuted Jews, Muslims.

Michael Cohen on Trump’s ‘White Power’ retweet: I told you so.

White House staff couldn’t reach Trump on golf outing to get him to delete ‘White Power’ retweet.

More than 400 Jewish groups, synagogues sign on to letter supporting Black Lives Matter.

Althea Bernstein, 18, Black and Jewish, burned in hate crime.

Swastika spray-painted outside Maine synagogue.

2 Ohio Little Caesars employees fired for making pepperoni-swastika pizza.

Anti-Semitic police in Ukraine


This 8 May 2020 Radio Free Europe video says about itself:

Not Tested, Not Protected, Badly Paid: Ukraine’s Medics Speak Out

The Ukrainian government promised that all medical personnel would be tested for COVID-19 once every five days, but doctors have told RFE/RL that has not happened. Medics also said that there were shortages of protective gear and that government promises of increased pay have not been met.

And big health care problems are unfortunately not the only problems in Ukraine.

This 27 April 2014 video says about itself:

USA: American Jews rally against anti-Semitism in Ukraine

W/S Jews stand behind barrier while police watches

M/S Memorial outside of Ukrainian embassy

C/U Ukrainian embassy sign

SOT Dov Hikind, New York Assemblyman (English): “And one of the things when I think about the Ukraine, and I’m sure there are a lot of wonderful people there, but let me tell you what my mother used to say, that the Ukrainians who worked with the Nazis were worse than the Nazis. That’s what my mother always told us in our home, in terms of brutality and so on.”

M/S Memorial outside of Ukrainian Embassy

C/U Ukrainian Holocaust survivors light memorial candles

SOT Ukrainian holocaust survivor, Vladimir Ripa (English): “My parents, my brother, are not coming today, because they are not alive today. I tell you, no holocaust, no, never again.”

C/U Cantor sings a prayer

M/S Ukrainian Jews sing prayer …

Members of the Jewish community, including Ukrainian holocaust survivors and US state politicians, protested outside of the Ukrainian and Iranian embassies Sunday morning, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has been a leading figure in the lobby for deporting former Nazi citizens, warned attendees about “Ukrainians who worked with the Nazis“, saying they were “worse than the Nazis.”

Ukrainian holocaust survivor and president of the Holocaust Survivors Charity, Vladimir Ripa, lit candles during a solemn prayer that was accompanied by rabbinical prayers, and spoke about his brother and parents who were victims of the holocaust.

By Steve Sweeney, 13 May 2020:

Ukrainian Jewish groups warn of ‘open anti-semitism’ after police demand list of Jews in organised-crime probe

UKRAINIAN police have been accused of “open anti-semitism” after a high-ranking official demanded a list of all Jews in the western city of Kolomyya as part of investigations into organised crime.

The chilling request was made in February, according to a copy of the document posted on Twitter on Sunday by Ukrainian Jewish Committee director Eduard Dolinsky.

“Please provide us the following information regarding the Orthodox Jewish religious community of Kolomyya, namely: The organisation’s charter; list of members of the Jewish religious community, with indication of data, mobile phones and their places of residence,” the letter stated.

It was signed by Myhaylo Bank, a high-ranking official in Ukraine’s national police force with responsibility for organised crime, who did not explain why officers are interested in the city’s Jewish community.

Spokesman for the Ukrainian Jewish Committee Jacob Zalichker refused to supply the information requested by Mr Bank and said the community would only responded if presented with a court order.

“It’s a total disgrace and open anti-semitism,” Mr Dolinsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“It’s especially dangerous when it comes from a law-enforcement agency that we have to fight the very thing it is perpetrating.”

The city of Kolomyya lies around 250 miles south-west of the Ukrainian capital Kiev and has a sizeable Jewish community.

The scourge of anti-semitism is on the rise in Ukraine. Shocking incidents and attacks on Jews led by far-right nationalist groups and politicians were revealed last year in a 23-page document published by the United Jewish Community of Ukraine.

It coincides with a rehabilitation of Nazis, including legislation making it a criminal offence to criticise World War II collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Earlier this year, Kiev city council announced a programme for a year of celebrations of the birthdays of individuals the Communist Party of Ukraine has described as “Nazi killers, thugs, executioners and anti-semites.”

This includes the centenary of the birth of Nazi collaborator and war criminal Vasyl Levkovych, who, as head of the Ukrainian auxiliary police in Dubno, organised anti-semitic pogroms and the murder of 5,000 Jews and thousands of Poles.

Also included in the celebrations is the 115th birthday of notorious anti-semite Ulas Samchuk, a member of the extremist Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, who described the murder of the Jews of Kiev, including thousands of children, as “a great day.”

Bosnian Roman Catholic whitewashing of nazi criminals


This Associated Press video says about itself:

(18 May 2019) Thousands of Croatian far-right supporters gathered in a field in southern Austria on Saturday to commemorate the massacre of pro-Nazi Croats by communists at the end of World War II.

For Croatian nationalists, the controversial annual event near the village of Bleiburg symbolises their suffering under communism in the former Yugoslavia before they fought a war for independence in the 1990s.

However, Bleiburg’s mayor Stefan Visocnik has branded the event “a mask for the glorification of Nazism.”

Tens of thousands of Croatians, mostly pro-fascist soldiers and their families, fled to the region in May 1945 amid a Yugoslav army offensive, only to be turned back from Austria by the British military and into the hands of anti-fascists.

Tens of thousands [many hundreds of thousands, some estimate] of Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croats perished in [pro-Hitler Croatian party] Ustasha-run death camps during WWII and the Bleiburg massacre was seen by historians as revenge by the victorious communist partisan fighters.

Austria’s anti-fascist groups, waving the former Yugoslavia’s flags with the communist red star and signs “Death to Fascism”, held small protests during the event.

By David Ian Klein in Jewish daily the Forward in the USA, 13 May 2020:

Local Jewish community speaks out against Sarajevo Catholic Church’s nod to Nazi allies

Catholic leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina are planning to say what many observers see as a mass for the perpetrators of World War II atrocities against Jews, a decision that has outraged the Sarajevo Jewish community.

The Bishops Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna, which oversees the Catholic faithful in the eastern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stoked the controversy last week when it announced its decision to host a mass on May 16 for the victims of the Bleiburg Repatriations.

“To learn that the Catholic Church, who are our friends these days, who are always present, especially the Cardinal, at Holocaust commemorations organized by the Jewish community, has made this decision is simply astonishing. It is not just against the Jews but all people who call this country their home,” said Jacob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the allies declared victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, the political and military leadership of the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet ruled by the brutal Ustaše party, fled Zagreb to Austria, along with their families and other assorted loyalists. They were hoping to avoid capture by the Yugoslav partisans led by Josip Broz Tito and to surrender to the British.

The Ustaše, whose rule covered both modern-day Croatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, were never shy about contributing to the genocidal agenda of their German allies. It was the Ustaše and the NDH military which oversaw the Holocaust in Sarajevo, resulting in the murder of more than 7,000 of the city’s 10,000 Jews. The Ustaše then launched their own genocidal campaign against ethnic Serbs in the independent state.

“In Croatia were the only concentration camps in all of German-occupied Europe which were not established, run or even supervised by the Germans,” explained Dr. Eliezer Papo, a professor of Sephardic Studies and Balkan Jewish history at Ben Gurion University who was born and raised in Sarajevo. This included Jasenovac, the so-called Auschwitz of the Balkans, where more than 100,000 Serbs, Roma and Jews were killed.

“The Catholic Church Identified strongly with the Ustaša movement during the second world war,” said Papo. “In fact, one of the most notorious killers of the Jasenovac [camp], the Auschwitz of the Balkans, was Fra Majstorovic, a Franscsican monk.” Majstorovic was also known in Jasenovic as Fra Sotona, Brother Satan, due to his brutality.

When the Ustaše leadership arrived in Austria though, the British forces there were not as welcoming as they expected. Having made agreements with the Yugoslav partisans, they returned the NDH prisoners to them at a border town called Bleiburg. Though exact numbers vary, most experts agree that thousands were summarily executed by the partisans, while others were sent to forced labor camps in the newly founded Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Events honoring those killed at Bleiburg have in the past been held in Croatia and at Bleiburg itself in Austria, where they have often been criticized for displays of Ustaše, Fascist and ultra-nationalist symbols. However, they were canceled this year, due to the coronavirus fears and travel restrictions.

Instead the charge was given to Cardinal Vinko Puljic, the soon-to-be retired archbishop of Vrhbosna, to conduct the mass. Immediately the city erupted in controversy.

“For [the Jewish Community] this is a small disaster,” said Finci. “The Ustaše government during their rule of Sarajevo between 1941 and 1945 killed 10,000 Sarajevans including almost 8,000 Jews. Now to celebrate a holy mass for them as victims is something utterly ridiculous.”

In a strongly-worded open letter Jakob Finci, and Boris Kozemjakin, president of the Jewish community of Sarajevo condemned the church’s decision urging them to call off the mass.

“This mass is for criminals against the citizens of Sarajevo,” the letter states. “It commemorates the executioners of our mothers, fathers, grandfathers, our compatriots and all other innocent victims of the fascist parastate NDH.”

“I see no reason why the bishops of the Bishops’ Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina would discuss a possible cancellation of that holy mass. The church has always prayed for and will pray for the deceased and that should not bother anyone who has goodwill,” Ivo Tomasevic, secretary-general of the Bishops’ Conference, told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Later that week, Finci and Tomasevic held a public debate on the Bosnian show Face to Face.

The two Jewish presidents did acknowledge that, among the Ustaše, innocents did die at Bleiburg. But they still felt that positive remembrance of fascism should be unwelcome in the city.

“We pay tribute to the innocent victims, but their husbands, fathers and other family members, who committed all manner of atrocities against innocent people in the infamous camps and massacres throughout our country, do not deserve to have their name mentioned in Sarajevo,” their letter stated.

The Israeli embassy in Tirana, Albania, which also serves Bosnia and Herzegovina, also condemned any attempt to equate the killings committed at Bleiburg with those of the Ustaše regime.

“A clear distinction has to be made between the victims who without any guilt on their part were forced to concentration camps like Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška and killed there, and those who are responsible for those crimes even if they did not have the opportunity to stand a fair trial for them,” the embassy said in a statement.

In addition to the Jewish community, leaders of Sarajevo’s other major faith communities as well as its political establishment have all spoken out against the Bleiburg mass.

“Bosnia and especially Sarajevo has always been an anti-fascist town. Both between 1941 and 1945 and again between 1992 and 1995 we have always been victims of fascism, of different types of Nazis, that is why the average person is strongly opposing this”, Finci said.

David Ian Klein is a journalist based in New York and doing a fellowship in Sarajevo, where he is now sheltering in place.

See also here.

Austria officially bans memorial for executed Nazi allies.

United States nazis attack Bernie Sanders


This 7 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Protester interrupts Sanders rally with Nazi flag

A protester unfurled a Nazi flag at an Arizona campaign rally for Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish.

From the Jewish Telegraph agency in the USA:

Bernie Sanders’ Florida campaign office vandalized with swastikas

March 29, 2020

By Marcy Oster

A Florida campaign office for Bernie Sanders was vandalized with swastikas.

A tweet Saturday from the Florida for Bernie account showed two large swastikas painted in black and the words “voting didn’t stop us last time.” ….

Referring to Trump being elected in 2016.

Earlier this month a protester identified as a known white supremacist unfurled a Nazi flag at a Sanders rally in Phoenix.

Sanders has been more open about his Jewish identity during the current Democratic primary contest.