teribloG/1 2007-09

teribloG/2 2010-12

teribloG/3 since 2013

Author: rijo

Date: November 14, 2009

Subject: rijo at rescue

 

After the first bite from an original Lebkuchen for 45 years, Mr. Gray had only one word: “Delicious!”
(Photo: private)

 

Until recently, one of the most neglected aspects of the global economic crisis has been the breakdown of America’s supply with Nuernberger Lebkuchen (for non-experts: ginger bread from Nuremberg). When rijo detected the catastrophic scenario of the U.S. running out of these sweets instant intervention was a must.

By our tricky combined sea and air maneuver we may not have saved lives but hopefully the evening of Mr. Rick Gray (see picture above), 1962 through 1965 a member of the Aviation Company, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment stationed at Nuremberg’s Merrell Barracks.

If there are more Merrell veterans out there in the west longing for the taste of the good old days in Germany they can apply for such an emergency delivery if they are willing to participate in our survey (see link below).

Links:

Rick's story in our book transit nürnberg #4: USA!

Book, city tours, posters: Our triple whopper about Americans in Nuremberg

Survey among former U.S. Servicemen in Nuremberg

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: November 14, 2009

Subject: The Stooges - Jihadist Style

 

(Graphics: rijo)

 

A brief update about the state of lethal fundamentalist standup comedy on the Arabian peninsula (from: “A bloody border. Saudis and Yemenis versus jihadists” in The Economist November 7th 2009. p. 43):

[…] Saudi police […] stopped a suspicious vehicle, sparking a gunfight that killed two suicide bombers, disguised as women. […]

Claiming to have repented of past jihadism, [an al-Qaeda terrorist] said he […] wished to meet Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, the Saudi deputy minister of interior […]. Security screening failed to detect a bomb concealed in the man’s rectum, which exploded as the prince greeted him. The prince suffered minor injuries.”

Though previous religious fanatics of all stripes already showed a lot of crazy creativity, it’s a real innovation to blow off one’s ass in the name of god trying to kill others. At least this hero left a stinking mess adequate to the content of his skull. And for good reasons men in women’s clothing always were considered to be tough guys.

No, there is no limit to imbecility.

 

Link:

Index Page Humor

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Author: rijo

Date: October 24, 2009

Subject: Pieter Kohnstam’s book “A Chance to Live. A Family’s Journey to Freedom”

 

Page from the MoKo toys catalogue

 

 

Hans Kohnstam in his studio

 

Self portrait of Hans Kohnstam

(all pictures taken from Pieter Kohnstam's website)

Pieter Kohnstam was born in Amsterdam to Ruth and Hans Kohnstam, Jewish émigrés from Fuerth, in 1936. His father Hans had strong burgher roots in Germany, dating from 1651, and was heir to the internationally operating toy company MoKo, a 50 percent shareholder of Match Box cars. After 1933 the Kohnstams had to move from Fuerth to Amsterdam. When Nazi persecution of Jews in the Netherlands became intolerable, Pieter’s parents decided to flee Amsterdam. After a year-long trek through Belgium, France and Spain, they reached safety and freedom in Argentina.

Hans Kohnstam, an artist who had studied in Munich and at the Bauhaus in Dessau where he met Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, eventually returned to Germany. In 2001, over 1,200 of his paintings and drawings have been donated to the Munich City Museum. In 2007 his son Pieter published the Kohnstams’ story in a book titled “A Chance to Live. A Family’s Journey to Freedom”.

Link:

Pieter Kohnstam's website

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Author: rijo

Date: October 24, 2009

Subject: Gorf’s Cartoon “Zayde’s Story” at the Munich Jewish Museum

 

It has been an exceptionally good idea of the Jewish Museum in Munich to ask the American cartoonist Gorf for a contribution to its permanent exhibition to cope with the difficult subject of Jewish history and presence in Germany. The result is a strip featuring characters from Gorf’s “Everything’s Relative” series visiting Munich which conveys insights into the complexities of the past loaded with the burden of the Holocaust, and the revival of Jewish life in this country as seen from the point of view of a Jewish American.

In the context of the museum Gorf’s work adds dimensions of emotion and reflection to the presentation otherwise impossible to be displayed by conventional means. Anyone interested may check the online version at the artist’s website to find out that “Zayde’s Story” simply is a well drawn and structured cartoon which says more about the topic than many elaborate textbooks.

Link:

“Zayde’s Story” at Gorf’s website

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Author: rijo

Date: Febrruary 6, 2011

Subject: Survey among former U.S. Servicemen in Nuremberg

 

Welcome back!

(Graphics: rijo)

 

Merrell Barracks, Soldiers Field, AFN Nurnberg & Christkringle Market: If those expressions ring a bell in your memory you are our man (or woman, of course). We are looking for former G.I.s who on their tour of duty were stationed in Nuremberg between 1945 and 1995 to learn about their experiences overseas. For this purpose we have prepared a questionnaire and would be most grateful for any other piece of information (written recollections, photos, military post or unit periodicals, documents) you can provide.

An important aim of our activities such as our book transit nuernberg #4: USA! (see link below), online feature stories, guided city tours in English and German to places preserving traces of the American presence or eyewitness talks is to reconnect our hometown to a group of people who conscientiously or not by merely serving here coined many aspects of postwar culture in Nuremberg. As far as we know, on the other hand the assignment in Germany played a role often remembered positively in the lives of many young Americans being their first stay abroad.

Basically we think that more should be done to preserve this common German-American history. At best our projects will contribute to renew those ties even physically because we are willing to assist veterans in organizing a trip to Nuremberg to revisit the sites of their service with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 16th Field Hospital, the 130th General Hospital or any other military unit.

We are looking forward to your feedback.

Links:

Book, city tours, posters: Our triple whopper about Americans in Nuremberg

Merrell veteran Tom Spahr writing for transit nuernberg #4 & rocking the set

Article about Merrell veteran Prof. Raymond M. Weinstein & transit nuernberg #4 in "Warner Weekly"

Former Merrell Barracks and the surrounding area today

Nuremberg & Graf - almost 40 years later

Comeback to Nuremberg: Prof. Raymond M. Weinstein 1960 / 2010

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Author: rijo

Date: August 12, 2009

Subject: Mr. Willie Glaser speaking at the D-Day Normandy landings commemoration in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, June 6, 2009

 

Mr. Glaser delivering his speech on June 6, 2009. His comment on the fact that he had to do it sitting because the organizers did not want him to stand: "ha, ha."

(Photo: private)

 

Mr. Glaser with a friend and co-veteran at the breakfast table in the mess of an Ottawa regiment strengthening himself with the dish of the champions: "Ruehreier & Bratkartoffeln" (scrambled eggs & fried potatoes)

(Photo: private)

 

The three speakers at the commemoration representing the Army (Mr. Glaser), the Air Force and the Navy. The ladies from the Department of Veteran Affairs coordinated the event.

(Photo: private)

Mr. Willie Glaser, Fuerth born WW2 veteran, frequent rijo guest author and friend of ours, was honored by addressing the some 600 people audience at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa during the commemorative event for the Allied landing in Normandy 65 years ago. Based upon his own biography he succeeded in causally linking the military action he was part of with the Holocaust in which his parents and three of his siblings perished. The Q&A period after his speech had to be extended due to the request of people seeking additional pieces of information from him. To us this shows the importance of eyewitnesses for the translation of historical facts and Mr. Glaser’s special abilities both as a youthful personality and a self-trained expert for this demanding task.

Links:

Memoirs of a young German born Jew in the Polish army 1941 - 1947

rijo’s own guest author Willie Glaser visited Fuerth

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Author: rijo

Date: July 11, 2009

Subject: Request for eyewitness accounts

 

Ad for a Zionist meeting in Nuremberg, 1937
(Photo: rijo)

 

Ms. Karin Roenspies, Doctoral Candidate in Political Science, is seeking contemporary witnesses, their offspring or other relatives who lived in the greater Nuremberg area prior to 1945. Contact is desired for research on a dissertation titled, “Political Self-understanding Discourse of the Jewish Community in Franconia between 1859 and 1945.” This dissertation is being written for the Department of Political Science, Chair II, at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The department is chaired by Professor Clemens Kauffmann.

Politically active people, people who belonged to Jewish organizations, or people with intimate knowledge of the inner-Jewish “political scene,” as well as those who were active in community work are all interesting as witnesses. The goal of the contact is to answer some questions concerning “inner-Jewish political self-understanding.” In this regard, perspectives from members of the local Zionist group, youth organizations, the “Centralverein”, Orthodox and Liberal communities, as well as people who were involved in Socialist oriented activities are all welcome to reply.

It would be of great interest to know how the relationship among and between various Jewish groups was. Was there a running dialogue on political matters? Were there arguments? Which groups had the overhand? How important was the idea of democracy? What kind of resonance did Jewish activities receive in the non-Jewish press and in public opinion generally, etc? Any accounts, including accounts from memory, that could help to provide insight into Jewish activities or individual fates of that time are welcome.

Additionally, any advice concerning other people, addresses or points of contact would be much appreciated.

If desired, the accounts will be treated anonymously. All gathered data will be used solely within the framework of the dissertation. Any further publication would only be pursued with the witness’s express permission.

If you are interested in providing information, please contact Karin Roenspies in either English or German at: Karin.Roenspies[at]t-online.de

* Please request the questionnaire to the email address provided above (approx. 2 pages, jpg, Word or in hardcopy). Handwritten accounts are also very welcome.

* If desired, a telephone interview can easily be arranged.

* Also, in some cases, a personal interview can be arranged at a location of your choice.

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Author: rijo

Date: June 10, 2009

Subject: Young Americans in Nuremberg

 

Sharpening the farsightedness of his students: Harald T. Leder pointing out Nuremberg’s sites from the imperial castle

(Photo: Gerhard Jochem)

 

A LSU student lecturing in front of his attentive fellows at the memorial for Nuremberg’s liberal synagogue

(Photo: Gerhard Jochem)


 

Harald and Susanne (the lady with the shades) listening

(Photo: Gerhard Jochem)

 

Learning about the gothic style: the group at St. Lawrence Church

(Photo: Gerhard Jochem)


On June 1, 2009, we had the pleasure to welcome to our home turf a group of American students participating in the „LSU in Germany“ program of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Our role was to assist the group’s leader, our friend Harald T. Leder, Ph. D., in passing on some basic facts about the local Jewish history. Some course members were also asked by Harald to read out their lectures on general subjects such as the renaissance and gothic style or the “Night of Broken Glass.”

What impressed us most regarding the American youngsters was their sincerity and attention during our walk through the old town of Nuremberg. Obviously they were eager to learn about things which must be as remote to them as pre-Columbian history is to us - not only because their knowledge is frequently tested during their stay in Europe which includes among others also trips to Munich, Berlin and Vienna.

It has been the fourth time that we were involved in LSU’s visiting program and we hope for meeting again, not only in a couple of days in Munich where we will join the group for another tour of the city.

 

Links:

Soldiers as Educators? The GYA: Army Assistance to German Youth Activities in Nuremberg by Harald T. Leder

"Changing People's Minds? American Reorientation in Germany After World War II" by Harald T. Leder

Jewish topography of Nuremberg

Chronology of Munich's Jewish History 1229 - 1945

LSU with transiturs in Munich (2010)

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Author: rijo

Date: June 8, 2009

Subject: rijo - the first decade

 

 

Just recently there were many more or less cheerful anniversaries to celebrate, for instance the foundation of NATO on April 4, 1949, the declaration of the German constitution on May 23, 1949, or the allied landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Though the historical consequences are not yet as clear as in the cases mentioned above, ten years ago an endeavor took off which in the meantime could be established by its die-hard initiators and the help of many friends as a source of solid information, new ideas, well founded opinion and applied satirical science (drum roll - fanfare): our own rijo website! (applause, hoorays and flying hats, answered by multiple deep bows).

Cautiously estimated rijo and its offspring - teribloG, testimon Publishers and transiturs City Tours Nuremberg - Munich - until now reached more than 100,000 people around the globe. Not bad, we say, given our starting position in a media hub such as Nuremberg and our constant lack of resources being somewhat professional but honorary pastime researchers, writers and webdesigners (please allow us this piece of ironic self-pity and incense). For those reasons our ultimate demands from the readers of these lines are:

1) Unleash your enthusiasm for our jubilee by spoiling us with your congrats, reports, stories, pics or (wo)manpower! If you have no other way to express your empathy we even accept money for our various projects.

2) Keep up your favorable view of our work!

3) But first and foremost: Don’t let the bastards grind you down - never ever!

Link:

rijo

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: 11.04.2009

Subject: Outdated Principles

 

Beware of this dangerously blindfolded anti-capitalistic green dreamer and his newfangled ideas on a fair society!
(Photo: USIS)

 

Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919, Republican U.S. President 1901 - 1909)

 

Link:

Reasons to ruminate

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: January 10, 2009

Subject: Some simple truths about Israel

 

 

1) Every state is obliged to protect its citizens against aggression.

2) In a war it is impossible to avoid civilian victims when the enemy is hiding behind his women and children.

3) Who reneges the right of other nations to exist is a potential mass murderer (see German history 1933 - 1945).

4) Who launches rockets indiscriminately into another country is a terrorist.

5) As long as terrorism is sponsored by some governments in the middle east, there will be no peace.

6) No ideology or fate justifies the loss of one single innocent human life.

Links:

Israel’s 60th Birthday by Inge Sadan

Senseless murder: In memory of Jochai Lifschitz

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: January 4, 2009

Subject: Book Recommendation: Magda Watts: Dafka. A Memoir. Arbor Books, Inc., Ramsey (NJ), 2008. X & 168 p. ISBN 978-0-9818658-2-9. USD 16.95.

 

 

This is what the dust cover has to say about the contents of the book:

When the Nazis marched into the tiny village of Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, on March 19, 1944, the day after Magda Segelbaum’s fifteenth birthday, life for her and her family was irrevocably changed.

In this extraordinary, moving account, Magda tells of an unforgettable odyssey of survival in Auschwitz and the labor camps at the Siemens factory in Nuremberg - where, from the depths of despair, her artistry was born.

Magda entered the Auschwitz death camp as the spunky daughter of an Orthodox Jewish family and emerged, on the cusp of womanhood, facing the unpredictable forces of fate. Alone in the turmoil and uncertain landscape of post-war Europe, she encountered love and sexuality, motherhood and, yet again, starvation - only surviving on her wit, courage and chance.

Her journey continued to the shores of “the land of milk and honey,” the fledgling state of Israel, which she embraced as home - but where hunger pursued her and her young family, and where the struggle for survival was not yet done.

About the author: Magda Watts is an artist and doll maker who lives in Eilat, Israel, with her husband, Benny Barnea, her children, Angelo and Hannah, and her beloved dogs and cats.

I devoured “Dafka” without an interruption from cover to cover and though I already knew certain parts of the story from the German translation of Magda Watts’ recollections in our magazine “transit nuernberg” in 2007, it made a gripping read.

Of course there are the ruthless murders of her parents and siblings by the Nazis and the unspeakable sufferings inflicted upon her as a young girl which have to be remembered forever as the worst crime in men’s history and in no more lasting way than by the accounts of survivors like Magda.

“Dafka” still goes beyond this like no other book I know does by telling - disarmingly honest, sometimes even painstakingly - also Magda’s adventurous life after liberation, her traumas and will to survive, both emerging from the experiences in Auschwitz. As a result the narrative is full of scenes of darkest sadness, sparkling joy or a tragicomic quality, almost too many lives for one woman, even if she has been an orphan, teenage gun moll, mother, cook, hotel manager and artist successively.

Knowing Magda Watts personally I have the chance to compare the picture as drawn in “Dafka” and the real person. No doubt: This is her, always head on, never compromising or lukewarm, vulnerable, romantic, funny - a unique personality.

Reading “Dafka” is contagious and inspiring.

For more information about the author and the book, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Resnick at: jenresnick[at]bellsouth.net

Links:

Arbor Books, Inc.

Magda Watts: Imagination and creativity as weapons against the terrors of the Holocaust

Magda in Nuremberg - She took the city by surprise (September 2001)

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Author: rijo

Date: January 4, 2009

Subject: 2009 Outlook

 

(collage: rijo)

 

Link:

Index Page Humor

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Author: rijo

Date: December 22, 2008

Subject: Book Recommendation: Holger Klitzing: The Nemesis of Stability. Henry A. Kissinger’s Ambivalent Relationship with Germany. WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2007. XIV & 515 S. ISBN 978-3-88476-942-3. EUR 49,50.

 

 

Although Henry Kissinger’s connections with Germany are manifold, they had so far escaped comprehensive historiographical examination. The Jewish emigrant from Nazi Germany returned to his native country as an American soldier. As a scholar of the Vienna Congress he advised Kennedy during the Berlin crisis in 1961. As the National Security Adviser to President Nixon, bound to extricate the United States from Vietnam and to enter into an “era of negotiations” with the USSR, Kissinger had to deal with the Eastern policy of the Brandt-Scheel government. And, among other things, as the first immigrant to become Secretary of State, he retained a lasting love for German soccer.

Based on extensive research on both sides of the Atlantic and newly declassified documents, this international history of Kissinger’s relationship with Germany integrates his views, contacts, and policies into the context of the larger trends in German-American and also investigates the German agency in shaping the various dimensions of this multifaceted connection. While Kissinger constantly tried to further the transatlantic dialogue during the Cold War and beyond, it was first and foremost his understanding of U.S. interests that determined his approach toward the German question. The deeply felt concern over a possible re-emergence of the unpredictable force of German nationalism had an impact upon Kissinger’s image of Germany as much as his respect for Bonn’s successful reconstruction efforts within the Western community of nations. In particular, this book sheds new light on how this inherent tension influenced the way Kissinger engineered the American response to Ostpolitik.

The author: Dr. Holger Klitzing studied History, Political Science, and Economics in Heidelberg and Chapel Hill, NC. After attaining his doctorate in History from the University of Heidelberg in 2006, he joined the German Foreign Service.

Links:

WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier

rijo's Fuerth index page

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Author: rijo

Date: December 22, 2008

Subject: Yes, we can laugh - Robin Williams on Obama, Bush and Bono

 

 

Hysterical funny!

Link:

http://politicalirony.com

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Author: rijo

Date: November 17, 2008

Subject: Book by transit nuernberg author published

 

 

Nuremberg - a city associated with Nazi excesses, party rallies and the extreme anti-Semitic propaganda published by Hitler ally Julius Streicher - has struggled since the Second World War to come to terms with the material and moral legacies of Nazism. Haunted City explores how the Nuremberg community has confronted the implications of the genocide in which it participated while also dealing with the appalling suffering of ordinary German citizens during and after the war.

Neil Gregor’s compelling account of the painful process of remembering and acknowledging the Holocaust offers new insights into post-war memory in Germany and how it has operated. Gregor takes a novel approach to the theme of memory, commemoration and remembrance, and he proposes a highly nuanced explanation for the failure of Germans to face up to the Holocaust for years after the war. His book makes a major contribution to the social and cultural history of Germany.


Bibliography

Neil Gregor: Haunted city: Nuremberg and the Nazi past. New Haven & London: Yale University Press 2008. xvi & 390 p., ISBN 978-0-300-10107-2.

Links:

Yale University Press

transit nuernberg author wins prestigious award for his latest book

When the Nazis returned to Nuremberg: The Party Rally Grounds and the NPD in the 1960s by Neil Gregor

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Authors: Willie Glaser & rijo

Date: November 1, 2008

Subject: Pictures from the “Five Generations One Community Reunion” in Ellenville (NY), June 27 - 29, 2008

 

At the VIP table (from right to left): Frank Harris, Willie Glaser and his sister Lotte

(Photo: Willie Glaser)

 

Encounter of the generations - as always in the center Frank Harris with his wife Beri (left)

(Photo: Willie Glaser)

 

From great grandparents to toddlers: the participants in the 2008 Reunion taking their farewell luncheon

(Photo: Willie Glaser)

 

Frank Harris saying goodbye to his guests on the last day of the Reunion

(Photo: Willie Glaser)

Though we were not able to attend, our own photo correspondent Willie Glaser (Canada) provided us with these nice snapshots from the 9th reunion of former Nuremberg-Fuerth families since 1978 which brought together four generations from seven countries and 18 U.S. states.

For 32 years now it has been Frank Harris’ self-chosen vocation to reunite and keep in touch people around the globe who were forced to flee from their Franconian hometowns by individual correspondence, a voluminous newsletter and get-togethers. Most astoundingly, this sense of shared roots not only extends to the immediate survivors but also to their families molding a unique community without being a formal association.

Of course in such an effort Frank Harris needed staunch supporters of his vision, in first place his wife Beri. As an encouraging sign there are also people from the second generation who engage unselfishly in the purpose such as Sue Herz and Stephen Daniel together with Bill Mohr and Michael Heiman who organized the event in the Catskills for three years and compiled a program which contained among other features panels about global human rights, Germany root trips and Holocaust literature and education.

With their very special personal approach they contribute to the aim as expressed by Prof. Elie Wiesel in his written address to the attendance of the Reunion:

“After all the survivors are gone, it is our children and our grandchildren - now even our great grandchildren - who will bear witness in our name.”

Links:

Biography of Frank Harris

Willie Glaser: Memoirs of a young German born Jew in the Polish army 1941 - 1947

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Author: rijo

Date: October 14, 2008

Subject: transit nuernberg author wins prestigious award for his latest book

 

The Nazi party rally grounds and Nuremberg’s long-serving (1957 - 1987) lord mayor Dr. Andreas Urschlechter
(collage: Gerhard Jochem)

Dr. Neil Gregor, Reader in Modern German History at the University of Southampton who contributed the article “Als die Nazis (wieder) nach Nuernberg kamen: das Reichsparteitagsgelaende und die NPD in den 1960ern“ (When the Nazis returned to Nuremberg: The Party Rally Grounds and the NPD in the 1960s) to the second edition of our magazine transit nuernberg, has been awarded the prestigious Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History by the Wiener Library in London, one of the world’s leading archives on the Holocaust and the Nazi era, for his book “Haunted city: Nuremberg and the Nazi past.”

The Fraenkel Prize, sponsored by Mr. Ernst Fraenkel OBE, joint President of the Library, is awarded for an outstanding work of twentieth century history in one of the Wiener Library’s fields of interest - the political history of Central and Eastern Europe; Jewish history; the two world wars; anti-Semitism; and the ideologies and movements of political extremism and totalitarianism. It has two categories, one for established writers and one for first-time writers. Dr. Gregor has become the first person to win both prizes, after winning the first-time writers’ award in 1996 for “Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich.”

Dr. Gregor comments: “I am honored to receive this award, and especially to gain recognition for my work from an institution that has survivors and refugees from the Holocaust at the core of what it does.”

We congratulate Dr. Gregor on this well deserved honor.

(Source: http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2008/oct/08_179.shtml)

Link:

Book by transit nuernberg author published

When the Nazis returned to Nuremberg: The Party Rally Grounds and the NPD in the 1960s by Neil Gregor

English abstracts of the articles in transit nuernberg #2

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Author: rijo

Date: September 19, 2008

Subject: Magazine transit nuernberg #2

 

transit nuernberg # 2 at the newsstand (in hot competition)


Oups, we did it again - and publicized the second edition of our magazine transit nuernberg. For most of its contents being in German that may be no major news for the English speaking world but because of our global approach we want to share the essential information (and fun parts) with all of you poor people out there who do not command the mother tongue of Goethe and Arnold Schwarzenegger. To this purpose we included English abstracts of the essays (as we already did in #1) and lots of pictures with bilingual comments showing folks from Finland to Australia posing with transit nuernberg. Wanna have a free glimpse at both? Then just click on the link below and enjoy!

Links:

Best of transit nuernberg #2

English abstracts from transit nuernberg #1

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Author: rijo

Date: August 31, 2008

Subject: The Story of Nazi Bear - a tale of power, romance and cured fish

 

Howdy!

 

Recent German history has to be rewritten (again): In The Story of Nazi Bear we give undisputable photographic evidence of the crucial role a polar bear from Nuremberg, incidentally the grandfather of our own Manny® (see links below), played in the fascists’ rise to vast popularity among the German people by spectacular public relations activities such as inventing the “Who wears the silliest uniform?” parade and introducing the “Walk like an Egyptian” salute. His breathtaking career took him to the echelons of fame and made him Hitler’s competitor, but finally he had to choose between good and evil which meant the love of an Eskimo lady and the ruthless breed of penguins who collaborated with the Nazis.

The Story of Nazi Bear - more griping than “Casablanca”, funnier than “To be or not to be”, sweeter than “Bambi”!

Links:

Manny®'s Grandpa: The Story of Nazi Bear (rijo comics)

Manny® - The one and only Nuremberg polar bear cub!

Manny® - You can steal our idea, but not his charisma!

Manny® asking stupid questions

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: August 16, 2008

Subject: “The Economist” puts Franconia on the map - literally

 

Right at the center - that's where we are!
(source: The Economist)

After the A-rating of Nuremberg’s public lavatories (see link below) the London weekly “The Economist” gave local patriotism another boost: In an article about the dire outlook of the eternally ruling conservative CSU party in Bavaria, the inset above displayed a map indicating the region of Franconia with its capital Nuremberg. Wow! Finally the worldwide readership of this most reputable newspaper knows (if it has acknowledged the text and graphics) where we live and that - still after more than 200 years since the annexation of the Franconian territories by the Bavarian crown - there are traditional differences between the parts of the country north and south of the Danube river. Thus it is significant that the current Bavarian prime minister is the first Protestant Franconian at this post since 1945.

This kind of publicity is especially important for the region because it’s no political entity but divided into the three districts of Upper, Lower and Central Franconia for which reason outside its boundaries only people with special interest have an idea of the meaning of the name.

Anyway: With this article the “Economist” people have earned themselves a free pint of real beer (cold and with foam on top) or Franconian wine and three fried sausages in a roll (a special Nuremberg dish) when they come to town again. Just write us an email and you will get your prize.

Links:

Nuremberg’s hidden global qualities

The Economist's Website

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Author: rijo

Date: August 2, 2008

Subject: Wild Canadian Humor

 

(photo: Jerry Nothman)

When our American friend Mr. Jerry Nothman sent us this picture from British Columbia we were dazzled by it for various reasons:
1) Are the Canadian wildlife authorities serious about advice such as hunters to carry bells?
2) Where are the warning signs for bears who encounter humans, describing their “fresh activity”?
3) What about the poor squirrels?
4) How to reach the eyes of a standing Grizzly with your “Pepper Spray” if there is no ladder at hand?
5) What is this stupid Smiley supposed to mean? “Don’t panic, the bear only wants to play with you.”?
Anyway: We are happy to dwell in a Central European city where the meanest wild creature one may run into is a pigeon with rabies.

Link:

Manny© Bear’s new motto: Smell my feces!

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Author: rijo

Date: June 28, 2008

Subject: Magda and the Rat Catchers by Netta Murray Goldsmith

 



We are glad to announce the upmentioned first novel by Mrs. Murray Goldsmith, author of books on the 18th century and wife of the late Ernest Goldsmith, a former Nuremberger who had to emigrate to the UK.

About the Book: Magda Senger is eleven on July 4, 1932. It is a glorious summer’s day and all her friends come to the best birthday party she has ever had in the big garden of her home in Nuremberg. By January 1933 Hitler has come to power. Everything changes. Magda and her cousin Fritz think of themselves as German but they are also Jewish. The book tells the story of what happens to them as they grow up under the Nazis who say Jews are vermin - rats to be got rid of. Finally, after “Kristallnacht” Magda and Fritz must start for a desperate and dangerous journey across Europe, looking for a country that will take them in.

In our opinion Magda and the Rat Catchers is particularly recommendable to young readers because the author succeeds splendidly in restoring the atmosphere of the time by using the recollections of friends and acquaintances who witnessed the evolving persecution of Jews in Germany. By doing so Mrs. Murray Goldsmith offers an emotional approach to the subject easier accessible than writings in the factual style of a textbook.

Bibliography:

Magda and the Rat Catchers by Netta Murray Goldsmith
260 pages; paperback (softcover); ISBN 1-4251-5854-4
US$19.14, C$22.01, EUR14.92, £9.89

Links:

Trafford Publishers' website to order the book

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Author: rijo

Date: April 12, 2008

Subject: Ibrahim Boitano is coming!

 

(photo: M. Bouréima Uro-ogon - Merci beaucoup!)

As we all know, even the last domains of the western world thought to be secure are under relentless pressure from globalization. Our West Africa correspondent Dr. Wolfgang “Stanley & Livingstone” Oppelt with the help of domestic informants now obtained the indubitable photographic evidence for this conspiracy from the ski-runs at the periphery of Mali’s capital Bamako: Not only that the local youth is preparing to take over Europe’s hegemony in six-men-bobsleighing with a steering barrel following their idols from Jamaica. In the background there are easy to see the until now secrete sites of the future ski-jump (left arrow) and the ice stadium under construction (right arrow) as part of the government’s plan to make Bamako the stage of the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 latest. For this plot the Malians count as well on the Sahara turning into a glacial region as a consequence from global climatic change, as the influence of international sports goods companies from Adidas to Nike over the IOC to open Africa as a new mass market for winter sports equipment.

One does not need to be a cultural pessimist to foresee the Babylonian confusion such developments will lead to: African coaches for clumsy German soccer players, Muslim medal winners in synchronized swimming, dromedaries with Bedouin jockeys at Ascot. Inevitably: Europe is lost.

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Author: rijo

Date: April 2, 2008

Subject: Reading by Jerry Nothman on March 20, 2008

 

testimon proudly presents: Mr. Jerry Nothman
(photo: Susanne Rieger)

 

 

After the reading: shake-hands with the author ...
(photo: Susanne Rieger)

 

... and a chat between experts on the U.S.A.
(photo: Susanne Rieger)

 

Jerry Nothman signing a copy of Lucky Me
(photo: Susanne Rieger)

Exactly one year after testimon publishers, our German printing alter ego, have launched the magazine transit nuernberg, we organized a bilingual reading by Jerry Nothman from his autobiography Lucky Me, which was hosted by Susanne Rieger in Nuremberg’s Hotel Victoria.

Although the book has not been published by us, the event matched our credo to the point: We want to give people connected to Nuremberg (Jerry Nothman is a U.S. citizen born here) who either by experience or expertise have something to say a public stage. And after 90 minutes none of the participants had any doubt that Jerry’s life between Nuremberg, Sweden, Australia and the U.S.A. could be the plot for more than just one book. For them it was a special experience to meet the man in person whom this odyssey with a happy ending shaped to be a charming and humorous storyteller and who does not hide his sentiments.

It was a pleasant evening which gave us and hopefully also our attendance an appetite for more.

Bibliography
Jerry Nothman, Lucky Me, 2007. For how to obtain a copy of the book, please see the link below.

Link:

http://www.lulu.com/content/1054462

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 21, 2008

Subject: senseless murder

 

 

Among the eight students murdered by a Palestinian terrorist at the “Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook” in western Jerusalem on March 6, 2008 was Jochai Lifschitz.
His Nuremberg-born great-grandfather Kurt Kellermann wrote in his introduction to the supplement to the Memorial Book for Nuremberg’s Victims of the Shoah (Nuremberg 2002, p. XI f.):

“Where there is altruism, hatred is neutralized. Facts prove that where hatred rules his consequence is murder.”

No aim can justify the killing of innocent people. Every ideology based on hatred is bound to fail eventually.

History will not repeat herself, but this is no consolation for the individual grief of the families.

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 14, 2008

Subject: Jewish-Islamic Association in Nuremberg

 

(collage: rijo)

As the local press reported on March 12, an association of until now seven Muslim and Jewish members was founded in Nuremberg in order to foster the dialogue between the two religions by get-togethers, concerts, mutual visits of services and lectures. The association is headed by two Muslim and two Jewish chairmen.
Nurembergers of any denomination can be proud that this bold initiative, allegedly the first of its kind in Germany, takes place in their city. Maybe sometimes a calm provincial place is a better cradle for new ideas than vibrant but irritable metropolises. If these modest beginnings turn into a broader movement which makes use of the opportunities of a free western society to talk to each other, not only the two minorities involved will gain from the results, but the country as a whole - and maybe even more.

Contact:
Juedisch-islamische Gesellschaft in Deutschland e.V.
Gugelstrasse 92
90459 Nuernberg
Germany

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Author: rijo

Date: February 8, 2008

Subject: Manny® - A star is born!

 

 

You will love him or you will hate him, but you cannot ignore him: Read all about Manny®, the only real Nuremberg polar bear cub!

Link:

Manny®'s story (with loads of exclusive photos)

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Author: rijo

Date: February 8, 2008

Subject: Nuremberg’s hidden global qualities - forget about Honolulu or Paris!

 

(photo: Susanne Rieger)

 

As fervent patriots our minds almost blew when we found in the „Pocket World in Figures 2008 Edition”, published by the British newspaper “The Economist”, that Nuremberg with 104.2 points ranks comfortably before e.g. Honolulu (103.3), Paris (102.7) and London (101.2) in the “Quality of life index” (p. 24, figures of Nov. 2006). Of course we never doubted that Nuremberg is a better place to live than, say, Yokohama (a paltry 101.7 points) or Lisbon (don’t mention their poor 101.1 quotient) but the confirmation from an independent source, “based on 39 factors from recreation to political stability”, converts our belief into scientifically proven facts.
Yet we have to confess that though Nuremberg outdoes any US city within the top 47 (greetings also to San Francisco, Boston and Chicago - just be good losers!) and New York whose value equals the 100 points meridian of the survey, it is only the fifth German city in this chart. It hurts most to see Munich way ahead with 106.9 points ranking as # 8. But after all there are also limitations to this kind of statistics - or is there really anyone who wants to seal his fate in the fascinating metropolis of Dusseldorf (107.3) or top-notch swinging Zurich (108.1)?

Nuremberg has another ace up its sleeve showing that its global appeal is neither an accident nor the result of arbitrary juggling with numbers: In the “City health and sanitation index” (p. 104, New York Nov. 2006 = 100) our hometown is the only German contestant among the top 18 cities sharing rank 10 or 123.7 points with prominent sisters like Geneva and Montreal. Well, this time Honolulu beats us (130.7), but the title of national capital of mental health and sanity, pardon, sanitation is one sure thing to be proud of. On a broader scale such honors make us think about the condition of public lavatories in the rest of Germany and the world if you can win this race with exemplary installations like the one pictured above …

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: January 6, 2008

Subject: 60th anniversary of Gandhi's death

 

(collage: Gerhard Jochem)

 

On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi, the personification of non-violence, found his violent end by the bullets of a religious fanatic: For those who think about successfully proven alternatives to the brutal mess going on maybe an occasion to reconsider his ideas and aims. It doesn’t sound stupid after all: The way to individual freedom begins with seeking the truth. By such simplicities he got millions in motion, entirely without money, arms or manipulation.
Sixty years later truth is still worth fighting for - even if one does not wear diapers instead of more decent clothes.

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Author: rijo

Date: December 17, 2007

Subject: At teribloG you read it first!

 

 

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 30, 2012

Subject: Tony Platt's blog




Tony Platt in Nuremberg
(photo: private)


After retiring from full-time teaching since 1966, Tony Platt started a new writing project, tentatively titled Life After Death. It is about aging, health, and the medical system, dealt with in the manner of creative non-fiction, based on research and investigation, and will include some of his previous snapshots as well as new materials.

He is posting the results at his blog http://GoodToGo.typepad.com

Link:

Tony Platt's book Bloodlines

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: September 24, 2007

Subject: Sad but true

“When liberals put the case for civil liberties, they sometimes claim that obnoxious measures do not help the fight against terrorism anyway. The Economist is liberal but disagrees. We accept that letting secret policemen spy on citizens, detain them without trial and use torture to extract information makes it easier to foil terrorist plots. To eschew such tools is to fight terrorism with one hand tied behind your back. But that - with one hand tied behind their back - is precisely how democracies ought to fight terrorism.”
The Economist Sept. 22, 2007, Leaders: Civil liberties under threat. The real price of freedom. It is not only on the battlefield where preserving liberty may have to cost many lives.

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Author: rijo

Date: September 11, 2007

Subject: Dr. Arthur S. Obermayer bestowed with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

On behalf of the German President the Boston Consul General bestowed the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on Dr. Arthur S. Obermayer in recognition of his merits in fostering German-Jewish-American relations on September 6, 2007 at the Temple Shalom, Newton (MA). The Order of Merit is the highest tribute Germany can pay to individuals. In addition to many other Germany related activities Dr. Arthur Obermayer, a third-generation American of German descent, established an award that honors the volunteer efforts of non-Jewish Germans, whose grassroots work ensures that the culture of German Jews will not be forgotten. The Obermayer Award, which rijo received in 2003, links the past with the future by recognizing these Germans and their endeavors. The awards are co-sponsored among others by the German Jewish Community History Council and the German Jewish Special Interest Group of JewishGen, the leading worldwide Jewish genealogy organization on the Internet. Dr. Arthur Obermayer’s activities have drawn attention to a new Germany where local initiatives want to remember and learn from their country’s long Jewish history. His efforts had a significant impact in creating a deeper understanding and fostering German-Jewish-American relations.


In his reply to the Consul General’s presentation speech, Dr. Obermayer explained his motives as follows:


“When I initiated the awards in Berlin, I had three objectives. The first was to honor Germans who had done such extraordinary work on a volunteer basis to preserve the Jewish history and heritage of their own local communities. My second objective was to have their good works recognized by their families, their communities, and their country. My third objective was to demonstrate to Jews throughout the world that Germany today is very, very different from the Germany of Hitler’s era. It is high time that we no longer hold a prejudice against the current Germans and appreciate them for the values they have today. All three of my objectives have been reached, far beyond my expectations. […]
My experience with the awards […] has had a profound effect on me. A mission of mine is to help Americans and Jews in particular understand the new Germany. To me the prejudice against Germans today is just as intolerable as the prejudice in this country against blacks, homosexuals or women. Receiving this award this evening encourages me to continue my efforts with even more vigor.”

Link:

Obermayer Award Website

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Author: rijo

Date: May 04, 2013

Subject: rijo’s own guest author Willie Glaser visited Fuerth

 

Willie Glaser with his medals of honor from World War 2
(photo: private)

 

As covered by the local newspaper “Fuerther Nachrichten” in its issue of July 6, 2007, our most faithful and productive guest author Mr. Willie Glaser from Canada participated in an oral history project of Leopold Ullstein Junior High School in his hometown Fuerth during a recent visit to Germany.

The contact for a meeting between the students and the astonishingly active 86 years old gentleman had been made by the Jewish Congregation of Fuerth, giving the participants one of the increasingly scarce chances to learn first hand about the events during the Third Reich in their hometown and the deadly danger which could emerge from racism and discrimination: Of the Glaser family only Willie and one sister survived the Holocaust. Concerning the role Mr. Glaser sees for today’s youths, the newspaper quotes him as follows: “They are the guardians of freedom. They have to watch out that what happened then will not happen again.”

In spite of his tight schedule, Mr. Glaser found also the time to meet us in Nuremberg - not at least to talk about forthcoming online projects such as the “Fuememor” list of Fuerth’s victims of the Shoah which he initiated in 2001 at rijo as the first database of its kind available on the internet. We hope that Willie will never lack new ideas nor the energy to realize them.

Links to rijo features by Willie Glaser:

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Author: rijo

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: teribloG

Since May 26, 2007 testimon publishers and rijo (from this combination the name teribloG is derived) have got a joined English blog. But as our back catalogue from the days of rijo 1.0 shows (see below), our tradition of blogging is rooted in times when at least we did not even knew the phrase.
We hope that in this place a wild mixture of interesting news and schmooze will grow and invite our international visitors to participate in the project by contributing feedback and their own texts (email: info[at]testimon.de).
BTW for those who care: teribloGs mascot is inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose Party” with which he tried to break up America’s crusted political system around 1900.

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: Tony Platt

 

 

Tony Platt (amplatt[at]earthlink.net), author with Cecilia O’Leary of BLOODLINES: RECOVERING HITLER’S NUREMBERG LAWS, FROM PATTON’S TROPHY TO PUBLIC MEMORIAL, is an accomplished and engaging speaker, with a great deal of experience talking to a wide variety of audiences.

Since the publication of Bloodlines early in 2006, Platt has spoken to university audiences, at bookstores, to community groups, and on radio. In April 2006, he spoke at the 26th annual Millersville University Conference on the Holocaust. He has been interviewed on radio, including WOR AM in New York City, KPFA in Berkeley, KUSF in San Francisco, KCRW in Los Angeles, and WYPR in Baltimore. He has spoken to Jewish audiences in Oregon, New York, and California. Platt’s op/ed “Gen. Patton’s Loot,” was published in the Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2006; his essay, “The Luck of the Historian,” was posted on the web site of the History News Network, George Mason University, in April 2006; and his op/ed, “Northern Ireland’s Past Has A Future,” appeared in the Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2007.

Platt is currently professor emeritus at California State University, Sacramento, and a book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. His commentary about an incident during the book tour – “A Manicure Leads to a Literary Friendship” – was broadcast on National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered on May 28, 2006. In April 2007, Platt spoke about the book to the California Commonwealth Club, San Francisco. And in the summer 2007, he has been invited to speak at the Topography of Terror Museum in Berlin and Documentation Centre, Nazi Party Rally Grounds, in Nuremberg.

“Bloodlines is a masterful work of non-fiction that has plots and subplots, brilliant detective work, and serious learning. Everything is examined with scholarly precision, everything is told insightfully, boldly, truthfully. The result is intellectual history at its best -- and like so many who start off on a journey of discovery, Platt learns that the external journey is also a journey within.”
Michael Berenbaum, Former Director of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Research Institute and Former President of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

“Bloodlines explodes the Patton myth.”
Joe Eskenazi, “How Gen. Patton Stole a Piece of Jewish History as his Prize,” J, the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, April 21, 2006.

“Hollywood couldn’t craft a more intriguing story, which is just as well. History is stranger than fiction.”
Matthew Craggs, review of Bloodlines, Sacramento News and Review, April 27, 2006.

“Here at the Southern Oregon University Hannon Library in January 2006, Platt's lecture covered a lot of scholarly material in an accessible and compelling narrative. Platt was an extremely engaging speaker, and he fielded the many questions and comments after his lecture with informative grace. I wholeheartedly recommend Tony Platt as a lecturer in a wide variety of settings.”
Anna Beauchamp, Southern Oregon University.

“Bloodlines is very moving, thoughtful, and well-researched, and I recommend it highly.”
Alexandra Stern, University of Michigan, author of Eugenic Nation.

“It truly is a good read and a remarkable effort. All too many historical efforts are sustained by fabricated memories. Bloodlines labors to tell the story as it actually occurred.”
Uri Herscher, President, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

“Bloodlines should be widely disseminated in Germany, if only because the meticulously researched complex connections are described in a readable and exciting fashion, qualities that are not mandatory in the generic research literature. At the same time, the book fulfills all scientific standards … It is to be hoped therefore that a German publishing house will be found that will produce this valuable work in translation.”
Gerhard Jochem, review of Bloodlines in Mitteilungen des Vereins fuer Geschichte der Stadt Nuernberg 93 December 2006 (Yearbook of the Association for the History of the City of Nuremberg)

“Tony Platt’s pursuit of the notorious Nuremberg documents of the Nazi regime is a fascinating excursion into history. It is also full of provocative insights about the culture of remembering.”
Howard Zinn

“A terrific read, part history, part detective story, part confessional. It is a tale of two cities – Los Angeles and Nuremberg – that proves once again that the most intensely local events can touch the heart of distant places. And it is a transcendent journey of personal discovery about what it means to be an immigrant and a Jew in America’s promised land.”
Richard Walker, University of California, Berkeley

“An astonishing and eye-opening historical investigation. In a wonderfully sustained narrative, several stories – apparently remote in time and place – are interwoven skillfully, in a book that gives the reader all the pleasures of following the most gripping detective story.”
Janet Wolff, Manchester University, England

“Bloodlines is a powerful story of remembrance, personal discovery, courage and publicly demanded accountability.”
Lonnie Bunch, Director, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture

“History, they say, belongs to the winners. But sometimes, a gifted historian working at the top of his game can manage to unearth the reality behind the myth –– and in the process, make some of those winners look mighty small. Tony Platt certainly did. … A fascinating myth-busting tale.”
Judy Oppenheimer, “Detective Work,” Baltimore Jewish Times, May 5, 2006.

“A fascinating account covering much unexpected ground.”
Marty Schiffenbauer, “On the Trail of Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws,” The Berkeley Daily Planet, May 30-June 1, 2006.

“Goes beyond history –– fascinating. … A memorable book, a very important piece of history for all of us to read.”
Mark Steiner, “The Mark Steiner Show,” NYPR (National Public Radio) FM 88.1, Baltimore, May 8, 2006.

“Complicated, but worth the read.”
Geoffrey Riley, Jefferson Public Radio, Ashland, Oregon, August 18, 2006

“Riveting work of investigative history.”
Jack Fischel, “Uncovering a California Library’s Affinity for Nazi Racism,” New Jersey Jewish News, July 2006.

“An intriguing examination of how an original, signed copy of Hitler’s infamous Nuremberg Laws … landed in a vault at Southern California’s Huntington Library. … The book raises important questions about the uses and abuses of history and memory.”
Choice, September 2006

"In Bloodlines, Tony Platt addresses the unpleasant connections between Nazi racial science and America's own history of racism and discrimination. But for me, the most important contribution of Bloodlines is that it continues the public dialogue started at the Nuremberg Trials against intolerance, persecution, and genocide.”
Henry T. King, Jr., Former U. S. Prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg

“Platt’s book provides a richly detailed and well-documented account not only of the Nuremberg Laws but of the Huntington itself, its founder and the trustees and officials and their politics and prejudices, and how they informed the institution. … In researching the connections between eugenics in California and racial policies in Germany … Platt reveals not so much a conspiracy as an old boys’ club of like-minded people.”
Tom Teicholz, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 18, 2007.

“Utterly fascinating. A wonderful piece of work and a remarkable investigation.”
Jonathan Kirsch, author and KCRW Santa Monica host, May 21, 2007.

Link:

Tony Platt: Racism remembered and forgotten: From Nuremberg to California

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: transit nuernberg #1

 

 

In March 2007 testimon publishers Nuremberg, the print media branch of rijo research, released the first edition of transit nuernberg, a journal for politics and contemporary history. Following are the English abstracts of the German articles.

Verena Mueller-Rohde: Julius Streicher: The Baiter from Nuremberg
Stupid, uptight and brutal: Julius Streicher, the archetypal racist. The circumstances of the times led him to a position of power from which he terrorized his regional opponents and prepared the ground for the Nazi mass murder in Europe by relentless tirades in his tabloid Der Stuermer.

Prof. Emeritus Kurt E. Shuler: The Success of the “Subhumans” as an Example of the Absurdity of Racism and Discrimination
There is no more convincing example of the absurdity of racist ideologies than the expulsion and murder of Jewish Germans between 1933 and 1945. Many of the survivors, discriminated at home as “subhuman beings” and chased out of it, became highly successful in prominent positions in the most diverse areas of public life in the countries that took them in, thus leading the prejudices against them ad absurdum. In this essay one who himself had to leave Nuremberg and Germany reflects on the reasons for success, but also the impossibility of finally eradicating racism and discrimination.

Paul Lappalainen: Institutional Racism in Sweden and Europe
Even in European democracies racism and discrimination are sustained not only by right-wing extremist groups and individual populist demagogues, who are usually ostracized by society as a whole. This article discusses the existence of racist and discriminatory structures in politics, administration and economics as found in Sweden.

Prof. Klaus J. Bade: Immigration and Migration Policies in Germany
Professor Bade, founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) at the University of Osnabrueck, outlines the interplay of the sometimes inhibiting, sometimes dynamic forces of migration and the political setting in Germany after 1945. Future policies must aim for individual legal security and diversified programs for actively integrating migrants in order to maintain social peace.

Nicole Bosch: Migration, Integration and Discrimination: The European Forum for Migration Studies at the University of Bamberg
Since the end of the Second World War a cluster of competence regarding migration and integration developed in northern Bavaria whose international significance is not yet recognized by the local public. Among others there is the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees whose roots reach back to a DP camp on the Nazi Party rally grounds. As a result of the city’s special historic responsibility the municipality of Nuremberg is engaging herself sincerely in the propagation of human rights. In 1993 the European Forum for Migration Studies (efms) was founded at the University of Bamberg, intended to be an interface between research, administration, politics and the public. This text exemplifies efms’ scope of work by outlining its activities against discrimination.

Susanne Rieger: „Nuremberg, City of Refugees“: From Camp Valka to the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)
It is not only a political slogan but a historic fact: No other comparable German community displays the continuity of problems connected to integration (and discrimination) of migrants since 1945 as plainly as Nuremberg does. Due to its geographic situation and local conditions, at first the city was confronted with the influx of people from formerly German territories and Displaced Persons as a consequence of the Second World War, soon to be followed by political refugees primarily from communist eastern Europe. A focal point of the resulting difficulties was Camp Valka, a place infamous to the indigenous population. This essay is dealing with the camp’s history and - in contrast - the activities of the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), ironically residing near the former Nazi Party rally grounds, as a starting point for an effective integration policy.

Dieter G. Maier: The Recruitment of Foreign Workers from 1955 - 1973 and its Consequences in Nuremberg
In a survey published in the late fall of 2006 over a third of the German population agreed with anti-foreigner slogans. One of the reasons for such alarming developments has been the lack of an integration policy for decades. Up until the recruitment stop in November 1973 several million foreigners were brought to Germany as laborers in the interest of the economy. Although their intention to stay here permanently was not only very quickly recognizable, and became reality, political policies never supported genuine integration, neither in a legal nor a social sense. Not until January 1, 2005 did the “Immigration Act” come into force, with the Federal Republic of Germany finally acknowledging its role as a country of immigration.

Dr. Hans Hesselmann: To Live Together in Equal Rights and Diversity - The European Coalition of Cities Against Racism
Experience of the past years has demonstrated that racism and discrimination are still virulent and that their inhumane effects can again increasingly be seen in many parts of the world. Europe is no exception: Every-day racism and racially motivated violence remain a widespread problem in most European countries. When it comes to counteract this troubling development effectively, the urban level is particularly important. Since the city has become the focus of ethnic and cultural mixing, it is therefore a prime area to lead the struggle against racism, xenophobia and discrimination. With this in mind, UNESCO, in close co-operation with the City of Nuremberg, launched an initiative at the municipal level, aiming at creating a network of cities against racism. On 10 December 2004, the “European Coalition of Cities Against Racism” was established in Nuremberg, and a comprehensive “Ten-Point-Plan of Action” was adopted which is to serve member cities as a basis for future activities. The Coalition will hold its first General Conference in Nuremberg in May 11 - 12, 2007 which is intended to intensify the struggle against racism and discrimination at a municipal level in Europe and to support the aims the European Commission pursues with the “European Year of Equal Opportunities for All”.

Dr. Hans Hesselmann: The Human Rights Activities of the City of Nuremberg
For many years, the City of Nuremberg has been making major efforts at an international level in order to live up to its historical responsibility for peace and human rights. However, Nuremberg’s international human rights activities also set standards for the city itself. Its credibility depends on how the city itself deals with human rights issues. Human rights begin “at home”. For this reason, in 2004, the City Council adopted the “European Charter for the Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City” and the “Ten-Point-Plan of Action Against Racism” as a basis for municipal human rights activities and guideline for the municipal administration. Meanwhile, the city administration has started to implement the Charter and the Plan of Action step by step. Both documents as well as the city’s integration activities are intended to promote the development of a lively culture of human rights in Nuremberg.

Dr. Christine Meyer: Integration Policy in Nuremberg’s Municipal Administration
Nuremberg is the second-largest city in the Federal State of Bavaria with approximately 500,000 inhabitants. 18 % of them are foreigners without German passport, 33 % have a migration background. 45,000 persons or 9 % of the inhabitants came to Nuremberg in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union. Most of them were naturalized because of their German parentage.
This article summarizes the guidelines to which the municipal council of Nuremberg resolved in 2004 in order to create a solid basis for the integration policy of the city’s administration, its strategies and organizational provisions.

Gerhard Jochem, Danièle List (editors): The Three Lives of Bella Uhlfelder
Bella Uhlfelder’s fate is just as typical for the daughter of a middle-class German-Jewish family in the first half of the 20th century as it is specifically dramatic, set against the background of the aborted attempt to escape with the ill-fated emigrant ship “Saint Louis”, and the persecution that followed in occupied France. Before she, together with her mother and sister, reached their new home in the USA after the end of the war, she was protected against deportation to an extermination camp only by her “half-Jewish” origin as defined by the perverse National Socialist racial concept. But her beloved father became a victim of the furious racism of the Nazis.

Magda Watts: “But if you laugh, everyone will want to be with you”. Translated by Monika Wiedemann
Magda Watts, a unique woman and artist, tells the story of her life - full of tragic as well as lucky twists and turns - unsentimentally, openly and with irrepressible humor: As a 15-year-old she is deported from Hungary to Auschwitz. Her parents are murdered, the other members of her family torn apart. After seven months in hell, Magda is transferred to Nuremberg as a slave laborer, but this helps her survive the Holocaust. As an uprooted orphan and young mother she struggles through the chaos of the post-war period in Hungary, Germany and Israel. Along the way she encounters the human flotsam and jetsam created by the catastrophe of the Shoah: thieves, impostors and cadgers.

Susanne Rieger: Women for Women: Deaconesses in the Pflegeamt (Public Care Office) of the City of Nuremberg 1909 - 1995
Owing to their direct confrontation with the consequences of the social upheavals since the beginning of the 20th century, cities as institutions of public welfare recognized the necessity for social assistance for new fringe groups arising as “collateral damage” from these processes. Uprooted by industrialization, mobility, but also the disintegration of traditional social structures, single women endangered by general neglect, drug addiction and prostitution increasingly became the focus of such endeavors. To solve this particular problem the Public Care Office was founded in Nuremberg in 1909 and staffed by diaconal sisters from Augsburg until its end in 1995.

Thi Cam Nhung and Thuy Mong Tham Bui: Two German-Vietnamese Sisters Look Back
Two young women from a Vietnamese family look back at their lives up to now and on the basis of their past experiences reflect on what will happen to them and to Germany in the future: Disappointing experiences with the world around them, in particular being stereotyped and having their physical appearance equated with language deficits have hurt them and led to mistrust. Yet, they are self-confident enough to define themselves as individuals between their origins and the country they have grown up in, an expression of the desire for freedom that motivated their parents to flee to Germany under perilous circumstances.

Susanne Rieger: Imported Women’s Power: Three Foreign Retailers in Nuremberg
Women starting up new businesses are no longer unusual in today’s commercial life. Yet the biographies of these three female migrants from India, Turkey and Ghana, who have opened up shops here, are still exceptions. For these undertakings they needed not only entrepreneurial qualities but additionally had to adapt to a foreign culture. All the more remarkable are the courage and ambition with which they have realized their plans.

Verena Mueller-Rohde: Tolerance for “Trannies”
Men who wear women’s clothing. Men who have undergone a sex change and are half way to becoming women. Transsexuals and transvestites live in Nuremberg, too. This subculture encounters the hostilities of the outside world with the motto “We are strong women”. In the meantime they have founded their own party, not a just-for-fun faction, but rather a serious attempt to make our city more tolerant.

Prof. Emeritus Anthony M. Platt: Racism Remembered and Forgotten: From Nuremberg to California
Prof. Platt’s book Bloodlines about the infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and how they happened to resurface in California in 1999 is a detective story, a cultural critique, and an exploration of the complexities of his own Jewish identity, moreover a discovery of fascist sympathies between California’s elite and her Nazi counterparts. Also the subject of remembrance and its close partner, forgetting, features prominently in Bloodlines and inspired the author to reflect in this essay on the three generations of memory: forgetting, remembering, and translation. While witnesses and survivors of human-made catastrophes generally do not give voice to their experiences in their immediate aftermath, usually it is the generations who are the indirect victims of genocides that demand memory and memorials, being hungry to vicariously experience and commemorate their ancestors’ tormented memories. In this process it is important to understand the “family resemblances” between outbursts of racist violence around the world because genocide is not only a matter to be preserved in memory. It is in the present and unfolding into the future and only can be countered by popular and broad-based resistance.

Gerhard Jochem: Racism in the Name of Germany: The Ethnic Cleansings in Slovenia between 1941 and 1943 and their Consequences
As a result of the Nazis’ regime of terror over Europe, combating racism and discrimination was anchored in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Despite this, the danger still exists when dealing with the consequences of the injustices committed that unpleasant historical facts will be repressed and past political crimes not atoned for, if influential pressure groups do not stand behind the claims. This fact is illustrated by the victims of the German occupation of Slovenia during the Second World War.

Rob Zweerman: The Long Delay of a Sign of Remembrance and Reconciliation Regarding Forced Laborers in Nuremberg
More than sixty years have passed since the end of the Hitler regime and the mass deportations of people from the occupied European nations for forced labor to the German Reich and twenty years since the resolution of the Nuremberg City Council to set up a memorial to their sufferings. During an official visit in 2002 the former Dutch forced laborer Rob Zweerman once again suggested that a memorial site be created for his fellow sufferers, of which only a handful are still alive. He describes his experiences with politics, the administration and the media since then.

Link:

testimon publishers website (German)

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: December 31, 2008

Subject: Jack Steinberger: Learning About Particles - 50 Privileged Years. With 117 Figures. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2005. X & 181 p. ISBN 3-540-21329-5.

 

 

 

Prof. Steinberger's autograph

 

Don't expect to understand everything: one of the figures in the book

 

Newspaper Clipping from “Fürther Nachrichten”, issue May 24, 2006: Prof. Steinberger meeting students of Heinrich Schliemann High School after visiting the Jewish Museum in Fürth

The publishers advertise Jack Steinberger’s recollections with the following text: “Embedded in an autobiographic framework, this book retraces vividly and in some depth the golden years of particle physics as witnessed by one of the scientists who made seminal contributions to the understanding of what is now known as the Standard Model of particle physics. Well beyond a survey of interest to historians of sciences and researchers in the field, this book is a must for all students and young researchers who have learned about the theoretical and experimental facts that make up the standard model through modern textbooks only. It will provide the interested reader with a first hand account and deeper understanding of the multilayered and sinuous development that finally led to the present architecture of this theory.”

In fact, if one does not happen to be a physicist, he should not expect to understand everything of the book’s contents. Though “Learning About Particles” still is the best way to approach the personality and thinking of the Nobel Prize Laureate of 1988 who was born in Bad Kissingen (Lower Franconia) in 1921 because his life and work are intertwined indissolubly.

I was lucky to meet Prof. Steinberger and his wife in 2006 in Nuremberg, where his mother was born, during one of their trips to Bavaria. This encounter left a deep impression upon me for the clarity of thoughts and conclusions both from his work and personal experiences. The range of his world from the smallest building parts of matter to the basic rules of the universe is as breathtaking as the conclusion that after all everything converges into a simple harmony if it is correctly understood. No wonder that Prof. Steinberger’s love also belongs to music. Sitting at a coffeehouse table with him made me feel like the smallest wheel in a gigantic and very complex machine, at the same time safe being part of it.

Link:

A photographic homage to Jack Steinberger

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Author: rijo

Date: August 16, 2007

Subject: rijo’s own Ernest Lorch's story featured by "Bildzeitung" Nuremberg (November 2005)

 

Clipping from "Bildzeitung" with Susanne's photo of Ernest Lorch and his wife Ellen

 

In its issue of November 16, 2005, the Nuremberg edition of Germany’s biggest daily, “Bildzeitung”, dedicated an entire page to the biography of rijo’s guest author and friend Ernest Lorch (USA). Under the headline “Er fuhr Nazi-Verbrecher nach Nuernberg” (He brought the Nazi criminals to Nuremberg) the newspaper, connected by us to Mr. Lorch, emphasized his crucial role as the officer in charge of most of the defendants’ transport to the war crimes tribunal in 1945.
If you want to read his lifetime story yourself in English, please use the link below.

Link:

Ernest Lorch: My Story

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Author: rijo

Date: August 11, 2007

Subject: Michael Bernet: The Time of the Burning Sun. Six Days of War, Twelve Weeks of Hope. Chester and West, Wykagyl (NY), 2004, 311 p., 18 $. ISBN 0975582518.

 

 

In 1967, journalist-psychologist Michael Bernet (born 1930 in Nuremberg) wrote The Time of the Burning Sun, an account of the fears and hopes engendered among Jews and Arabs alike by Israel’s Six Day War. This updated reissue, subtitled Six Days of War, Twelve Weeks of Hope includes maps and other material.
The Six Day War of 1967 is viewed as a pivotal event shaping the troubled world of today, but the real story is often forgotten: it was not a war of conquest, nor did Israel initiate it. Michael Bernet interviewed scores of Jews and Arabs from all walks of life to record those six days of destiny. Palestinians, almost without exception, welcomed the end of a harsh occupation by their Jordanian and Egyptian neighbors, and looked forward to an honorable peace with their Jewish cousins and neighbors. Twelve weeks later, in Khartoum, their hopes were dashed when the Arab nations vowed never to negotiate with Israel, make peace, nor recognize the Jewish state.

From the Epilogue to the second edition (June 2004), p. 310 f.:
At 7:45 A.M. (local time) on Wednesday, June 5, 2002, the 25th day of the Month of the Burning Sun in the Hebrew year 5762, a stolen Renault driven by Hamze Samudi of the Palestinian city of Jenin, raced alongside intercity bus 830, bound from Tel Aviv to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. As Samudi’s car overtook the bus in Megiddo (known as Armageddon in Revelations 16:16) the driver set off a 100-kilo bomb that turned his car into a ball of fire and blasted the bus off its wheels. The bus, its gas tank aflame, rolled over twice, its skeleton ending up against a guardrail nearly 100 yards away. Seventeen of the passengers were killed, many of them incinerated. Forty-seven others were injured.
The bus driver, Micky Harel, managed to drag some passengers to safety before the flames beat him back. He escaped with a few cuts and bruises. It was the fourth time he had escaped terrorist attack along the same route in northern Israel. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for this massacre. When the bus exploded, the Six Day War was already thirty minutes into its thirty-sixth year. With the bombing, four hundred and eighty victims on the Israeli side had lost their lives to Arab insurgency since the second intefaddah had erupted against Israel, on September 28, 2000; nearly fourteen hundred Palestinians had lost theirs.
Since then, the number of Israeli dead has risen to nearly a thousand: the number of Palestinian dead has risen much more. Is there any way out? Is there any solution? Can the carnage ever be stopped? It doesn’t look it. Terrorism and terror now grip almost every country in the world. There are no political solutions, and no military solutions.
Maybe, maybe, there is yet a solution. Maybe if we can better understand the values, the culture, and the psychology of societies in which killing and dying are the only acceptable responses to perceived humiliation … maybe if we can remove some of that felt sense without surrendering our own lives and our own values … maybe if we can help others turn killing and dying into the ultimate source of shame and humiliation, if opposing death can become the ultimate source of honor and glory … maybe we can turn the tide.
Maybe.

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Author: rijo

Date: March 31, 2012

Subject: Links to sites dealing with assets looted by the Nazis (2004)


Article from Nuernberger Nachrichten about the auction of a looted
painting by Hendrick Goltzius in New York, February 27, 2010


Only very slowly the German public, politicians and the people at museums, libraries and archives were willing to acknowledge that the topic of restitution is far from being settled by Bundesentschaedigungsgesetz. As in many other fields the carelessness of the fathers in undoing Nazi wrongs still is a boomerang for their sons and daughters: The priority of the federal compensatory law and its execution had not been to search, find and return the property stolen in Germany between 1933 and 1945, but to get rid of the skeletons in the cabinet as quickly as possible by paying money. This may sound a fair deal as long as one does not look into the details of the legal procedures in individual cases when claimants had to fight for every single silver spoon finding their claims being turned down with the argument of missing evidence.

Another sin of the past not only on the German side but also by the allied military government and international organizations involved was the lack of willingness to find former owners of pieces obviously stolen by the Nazi state. Thus a strange alliance formed exposing individuals seeking their or their family's property to multiple hindrances.

Under these circumstances only the obstinate or people who could afford to hire good lawyers and researchers succeeded in gaining back such items, often after decades of attritional quarrels with the authorities. This insistence evoked the good old schemes of awkwardness, greed and vindictiveness. To put it sarcastically, German postwar compensation for looted assets so far was a tit for tat deal: one side was compensated, the other allowed to foster its prejudice.

Maybe now it is the time to look anew into this anything but glorious chapter starting in 1933 but lingering on until today. To us it is essential that the approach must not equal a poker game, but the complete openness of all sources of information instead. With the following list we try to contribute to this aim.

Links:

Art Theft WWII / Holocaust: Collection of appropriate links, compiled by a commercial enterprise

Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park: Online list of records regarding allied efforts to recover and restore stolen property by Germany during WWII, prepared by Dr. Greg Bradsher at NARA

Holocaust-Era Assets: Records and research at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Featuring access to primary and secondary sources, art provenance and claims research and current information

Lost Art: Website sponsored by the German ministry of cultural affairs listing items of unknown origin in German collections

Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal: Searchable registry of objects in U.S. collections that were created before 1946, and changed hands in continental Europe during the Nazi era, provided by the American Association of Museums

United Kingdom National Museums spoliation report: Spoliation of works of art during the Holocaust and WWII period. Progress report on UK museums’ provenance research for the period 1933 - 1945

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 31, 2012

Subject: Central Franconia's Jews' Registry 1813 - 1861 on CD




In July 2003 the regional press reported about the edition of the Jews' Registry from today's district of Middle Franconia as an CD by Nuremberg State Archives and the Society for Family Research in Franconia. The disk contains the registry's entries from 1813 (Jews Edict) to 1861 (end of the compulsory registration) in which a total of 4,800 individuals are listed. The text and an introduction about the historical background is bilingual (German and English).

Edgar Hubrich, Wilhelm Veeh: Die Judenmatrikel 1813 - 1861 fuer Mittelfranken. With an introduction by Gerhard Rechter. Nuremberg State Archives 2003. Price: 15 EUR. To order contact either Nuremberg State Archives (postal address: Staatsarchiv Nuernberg, Archivstrasse 17, 90408 Nuernberg, Germany) or the Society for Family Research in Franconia.

Link:

Society for Family Research in Franconia

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Author: rijo

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: rijo live in Nuremberg: Our guest authors were in town (May / June 2003)

 

Our guests in front of the court building where the Nuremberg Trials took place (from left to right): Hilde Hines, Eric Yondorf, Susan Sinclair, Ernest Lorch, Lisa Yondorf (Eric's wife), Ellen Lorch (Ernest's wife), Bella Uhlfelder, Ludwig Berlin

(photo: Susanne Rieger)

For the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Nazis’ seizure of power, two main events took place in May and June 2003 to whom rijo contributed substantially by using our multiple connections: From May 27 to June 15 the exhibit "’Der Dank des Vaterlandes ist Euch gewiss’ - Dokumente zum Holocaust aus der Sammlung Herbert Kolb" had been shown at Kuenstlerhaus K 4 (Koenigstrasse 93, exhibition area; admission free). Its title is an allusion to a German patriotic slogan from WW1, its contents are documents related to the Shoah in Nuremberg and elsewhere from the collection of Herbert Kolb. One week after the opening, to be exact on Thursday, June 5, 2003 the next event followed: Nuremberg City Archives’ second contemporary witnesses panel, again at Kuenstlerhaus K 4. As last year the panel was presented by the renown historian Prof. Wolfgang Benz, head of the Center for Research on anti-Semitism of Berlin’s Technological University. Its participants who were invited to share their experiences before and after emigration from "the city of the Reich’s party rallies" with the audience, comprised:
Mrs. Susan Sinclair (UK)
Mrs. Bella Uhlfelder (USA)
Mr. Ludwig Berlin (UK)
Mr. Ernest Lorch (USA)
Mr. Eric Yondorf (USA)

Our guests were accompanied by Mrs. Hilde Hines (Australia, formerly of Nuremberg), Mrs. Ellen Lorch (USA, formerly of Duesseldorf), Mrs. Lisa Yondorf (USA) and Mr. Peter Sinclair (UK, formerly of Munich). We are deeply indebted to our friends for their participation in the project.

Links:

Recollections of my youth in Nuremberg by Ludwig Berlin, born 29.6.1921 in Nuremberg

Ernest Lorch: My Story

Recollections of my life in Nazi Germany and my emigration to England by Susan E. Sinclair

Bella's story: Fighting the windmills of continuity

Emil and Fanny Yondorf (by Eric Yondorf)

The Rosenzweig Letters: A Journey into the German-Jewish Tragedy (by Eric Yondorf)

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Author: rijo

Date: January 29, 2013

Subject: Honors (January 2003)




(graphics: rijo)

Gerhard Jochem & Susanne Rieger. Portrait in the brochure A Tribute on the occasion of the bestowing of the Obermayer German Jewish History Award in Berlin on January 27, 2003 (p. 6) by Hendrik Klein.

Awardees: Gerhard Jochem & Susanne Rieger, Nuremberg, Bavaria

Nominated by H. Peter Sinclair, Middlesex, England; Micheline Gutmann, Paris, France; Willie Glaser, Quebec, Canada; Michael Bernet, New Rochelle, NY; Gerard & Nicole Langlois-Cerf, Paris, France; and Martha Lev-Zion, Israel

More than 200 people visit Susanne Rieger and Gerhard Jochem in Nuremberg each day, but the couple never sees most of them. Still together they make plans, assemble projects and occasionally exchange jokes.

Jochem and Rieger's hospitality is extended through their bilingual rijo Web site. It is a kind of meeting place, a platform for German-Jewish interaction that includes digital memorials, resources for learning about the Nazi era, and a wealth of history. Work on the site often determines the couple's schedule in the evenings, on weekends and even during vacations. I always call it my night shift, Rieger says. (…)

In recent years, the two have steadily researched the local history of Jews and other Nazi-era victims in Munich, Fuerth, Nuremberg and elsewhere in Bavaria. They have contributed material to various databases and worked on Jewish genealogical and historical projects with people throughout the world. Based on their contacts with survivors, they promote the commemoration of the past in their hometown, lobbying for memorials, inspiring films and organizing discussions. They also fought for reparations for forced laborers by cooperating with victims' organizations and helping to put pressure on local businesses.

Many who contact Jochem and Rieger get extensive help. But they only catch a glimpse of their personalities. Michael Bernet, who was born in Nuremberg and now lives in New York, describes Jochem as a person with little tolerance for irrelevant social niceties but with a mix of dedication and irreverence. Fuerth native Willie Glaser (…) has worked extensively with the couple on histories and compilations now posted to the Web site. It is hard to single out a characteristic, says the Canadian resident. They are very devoted to the German-Jewish cause. (…)

(Starting the rijo Web site) they had no official backing, but Rieger says there are advantages to tackling such a project. We are independent, we can write what we want to and we have no deadlines, she explains. (…)

Willie Glaser, for example, writes of his family's life in Fuerth in the early 1940s. He also has detailed his experiences during World War II as a German-born soldier in the Polish army. I always longed to make a written record of my memories, he says. Gerhard Jochem gave me this chance.

In fact, the Web site - and the resources available through it - has had a profound impact on some visitors. Bernet considers it a way to experience again a place he remembers that no longer exists. I am back in my home, my school and my synagogue, he says. I have made friends with family members who died 100 years ago, I walked the old streets (many of which I still remember), I hear the old sounds and I smell the old smells.

Link:

About us


Tag: #Obermayer_Award_2003

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: Memorial plaque for Leo Katzenberger unveiled (November 2001)

 

The text of the memorial plaque reads: "In memoriam of Leo Katzenberger, head of Nuremberg’s Jewish community, November 25, 1873 - June 3, 1942, arrested and indicted because of the ‘Nuremberg racial laws’ in a propaganda trial at Nuremberg Special Court, sentenced without guilt and executed as a victim of the Nazis’ racist justice."

 

Lord mayor Ludwig Scholz unveiling the plaque. To his left municipal construction counselor Prof. Anderle.

The photos for this report were kindly provided by Mr. Joach Freimann.

On November 2, 2001 the solemn unveiling ceremony of the bronze memorial plaque for Leo Katzenberger, head of Nuremberg’s Jewish community and victim of the Nazis who killed him under the pretext of "racial disgrace".
Several members of the Katzenberger family attended lord mayor Ludwig Scholz' inauguration of the plaque at the memorial for Nuremberg’s destructed main synagogue. On behalf of the family, Katzenberger’s grandnephew Mr. David Seldner of Karlsruhe (Germany) expressed the gratitude of the descendants but also admonished the people of Nuremberg and Germany to search for the traces of the past and to keep them for future generations.
Mr. Joach Freimann of Maccabim (Israel), grandson of Leo Katzenberger, summarized his impressions of the trip to Nuremberg as follows:
"I am very satisfied with the memorial plaque. The unveiling ceremony was dignified and very moving. Many people came to pay their respects. Mayor Scholz held a speech, David Seldner spoke in the name of the Katzenberger family members, and I said ‘Kadish’.
I would really like to thank all the good people from the Office for International Relations, especially Mrs. Christina Plewinski and Mrs. Margot Lolhoeffel, for the warm welcome, love and sympathy they showed us during our whole visit, also to Christiane Kohl and Mrs. Lauterbach who initiated the street-naming in the first place, and to everyone who helped realize this project.
When I first started writing to the municipality of Nuremberg in this matter, about a year ago, I must say it was with mixed feelings. Now, after our visit and seeing the results of our cooperation, I feel that a great deal has been done by the city to rectify the veil doings of the past and to recreate a mutual relationship based on trust and hope. The young generation has a chance to learn about the injustice and cruelty of the Nazi regime, and to understand the importance of safeguarding democracy and liberalism."

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Author: rijo

Date: March 30, 2012

Subject: Magda (and George and Benny and Christine and Harald and Gabor and György) in Nuremberg - She took the city by surprise (September 2001)

 

Magda and Benny taking a break
(photo: Monika Wiedemann)

 

Magda delivering her personal remarks at the opening on Sep. 13, 2001
(photo: Monika Wiedemann)

 

George, Magda and Benny dressed up for the awarding ceremony of Nuremberg's International Human Rights Award which they attended on Sep. 16, 2001 (photo: Susanne Rieger)


 

Monsieur George Beeston, former forced laborer from Belgium and also guest of honor of the City of Nuremberg at the opening (photo: Susanne Rieger)

For the opening of the exhibition Trauma and Dreams. The Nuremberg Experience of Former Forced Laborers and Their Dealing with It the Israeli dollmaker Magda Watts revisited for the first time after 56 years the city where she, as a young Jewish girl from Hungary, had been deported to in order to work for the Siemens-Schuckert company.

In her entourage there were not only her husband Benny, friends and family, but also a bunch of her little people conquering the hearts of the visitors almost as swiftly as their mistress did with anyone she met.

Though the weather was simply fubar and the ruthless terrorist attacks in NYC and Washington DC just two days before the opening overshadowed the visit, Magda's personality and her art brought some Israeli-Hungarian warming light to a wet and cold mid-September Nuremberg.

rijo wants to thank Magda, George and all the others who made this week a special one for us.

Links:

Magda Watts: Imagination and creativity as weapons against the terrors of the Holocaust

I had never heard of Nuremberg before. Female concentration camp prisoners from Auschwitz at the Siemens-Schuckert plant

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 30, 2012

Subject: A generous gesture




In August 2001 Margaret Marketa Novak donated 34 copies of her autobiography One Left, Just One to schools and libraries in Nuremberg as her very personal contribution to Holocaust education: Mrs. Novak was a slave laborer at the local Siemens-Schuckert plant.

Upon the author's wish free copies of her touching book were handed out by the municipality to all high schools as well as to the city library and the libraries of the local universities.

Hopefully the story of Mrs. Novak's life before, during and after the Shoah will find numerous young readers.

Link:

One Left, Just One: A Child's Point of View of the Holocaust (book review)

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: March 30, 2012

Subject: Playing for Time. The state of German forced labor compensation and its consequences (December 2000)




(graphics: rijo)

Ryszard K is used to think in global dimensions. As a former CEO of an internationally operating shipping company he has a lot of experience regarding organization and efficiency, qualities almost proverbially connected to Germany and its inhabitants. For both knowing the Germans and how to run an enterprise, Ryszard K becomes ironic when he is asked to summarize his impression of what is going on since August 2000, when the German federal parliament passed the compensatory law in favor of former forced laborers during World War 2: German efficiency cannot always be described as an exemplary performance.

The former manager encountered German efficiency first in November 1939, when he and his family were deported from their hometown of Gdynia in western Poland to the central region of the country, called Generalgouvernement by the Germans. Seventeen years old Ryszard and his parents were stranded in Tarnobrzeg, where his father succeeded in starting up a new business though having lost most of his assets in Gdynia.

One and a half years later Ryszard K experienced another variety of the gigantic and murderous migration of nations triggered by the Nazis: During a trip to the district town of Rzeszów where he wanted to purchase a wristwatch, he got into a raid of the German occupants supposed to supply their domestic economy with the working force urgently needed. After being beaten up, he and hundreds of Polish men and women were shipped by train to Nuremberg, the city famous for its medieval center and infamous for being the site of the annual Nazi party rallies.

In a 20th century version of slave market Ryszard was lucky enough not to be handed over to one of the numerous armament factories running their own camps for foreign laborers with ever decreasing standards of housing and nutrition in the course of war. By chance he ended up in the lion's pit, assigned to Nuremberg police's equipment store as a transportation worker.

For those who got into the grinding mills of German forced labor, it became a cynical game of their new masters what happened to them, often making the difference between life and death. A couple of months after Ryszard K, twenty years old Feodosija R from the Ukraine arrived in Nuremberg. At first she hid when the manhunt reached her hometown in the Khmelnyk region, but finally she turned in herself as the Germans threatened to kill her parents and burn down their house.

After an endless ride frightful Dosija and her companions in misfortune arrived in Nuremberg. Right at the station the owner of an ammunition factory selected her and several other young Ukrainian women to work for him. Here Dosija, poorly trained on the job, made a mistake and was beaten up terribly by the German foreman. It was a time when potentially any German had been given the power over life and death of the workers from Poland or the Soviet Union, simply because by Nazi definition he belonged to a superior race.

For weeks the young woman suffered from her injuries. She thought that she would have to die but recovered, only to be sent to the Arbeitserziehungslager (correctional working camp) Langenzenn, a small town in the vicinity of Nuremberg.

These euphemistically named scenes of horror are less known to the public than the concentration camps. Unlike them they were not run by the SS, but by the Gestapo as penitentiaries for allegedly criminal foreign workers like Feodosija R, who never learned about the crime for which she had been incarcerated without legal procedures. Most likely the Nazis took her mistake for an act of sabotage.

Living on a cup of dirty brownish liquid called coffee and one beet a day the male and female prisoners there were exposed to hazardous heavy work and torture. In the postwar trial against the Gestapo officers of the Langenzenn camp, staff members of the Nuremberg prison hospital testified about the camp inmates delivered to their facility: I have seen women completely lice-ridden in a condition I cannot describe. A young Pole had been brought to us hardly able to walk anymore. Another young man had been beaten off half of his buttocks, others arriving at the hospital smeared with their excrements, the tampons rotten, worms creeping out of their purulent wounds.

Feodosija R unlike many others survived the camp and was freed by the US Army in April 1945. She returned to the Ukraine and today is one of the few still alive and both physically and mentally ailing from the chronic illnesses contracted in Germany. According to the German compensatory law Mrs. R is entitled to receive up to 7,500 US$ because she had to live under conditions similar to detention or comparably particular bad conditions. This amount equals almost one thousand times her monthly pension of 40 Ukrainian Griwna (7.20 US$), maybe even sufficient to purchase regularly the expensive medication she needs - if she meets the requirements of the application procedure.

Ryszard K had been spared from such atrocities as Feodosija R, though he also got acquainted with one particular brilliant representative of the German master race, the janitor of the police equipment store, a sociopath who drained his uncontrollable reservoir of aggression by violent outbursts against the foreign laborers of the installation.

The pensioner is in the favorable situation that the compensation for his 3 years of forced labor in Germany has a more symbolic than financial meaning to him, an aspect of the issue emphasized frequently by German politicians during the negotiations. Using all information available and his multiple language skills he started his quest for compensation almost five months ago when the law came into power. Ever since his reaction to the outcome of his efforts oscillates between annoyance and black humor about the incompetence and the lack of efficiency displayed by the agencies involved. Until now he wasn't even able to obtain a form for his application. He wrote many letters, among others to the heads of the German compensatory foundation in Berlin. Their reply is more of a prophecy than a fact sheet: Hopefully, presumably and it is to be expected are the most frequently used phrases in the letter.

Nevertheless Ryszard K also received mailings from Germany with very concrete contents, e.g. from an organization asking him for a contribution to increase the chances of his application. Until now I was just confused. Now I am still confused but on a much higher level, K comments sarcastically.

Though he made no effective progress, Ryszard K is in a pole position compared to many of the other participants in this humiliating virtual steeple chase for seniors, because he has got evidential documents for his stay in Germany during the war. In particular the returnees to the Soviet Union were taken away any piece of paper they brought with them from Germany by the KGB. Some of these records got into the holdings of regional archives, others disappeared without a trace. For this reason many of the applicants from Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine have to rely on the documents kept by the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen (Germany) or German municipal and state archives. Individual requests to the ITS take an incredible average of 3 years to be answered, so applicants are encouraged to leave the ordeal of finding evidence for their term of forced labor to the respective national partner organization which is in charge of dealing with the applications and disburse the money. Many experts have well-founded doubts about the results from this contradictory double competence as judge and attorney of former forced laborers at the same time. There are reports that applications were turned down by local representatives of these partner organizations with the simple remark you went to Germany voluntarily, an assertion which in most of the cases neither can be approved nor disapproved due to the lack of documents.

The situation would make an excellent plot for a novel by Franz Kafka: Elderly people, anything but law experts or in any of the respective countries an influential pressure group facing a monstrous and unfathomable German and domestic bureaucratic machinery, the latter backed up by their governments surely not willing to put at risk their hoped for membership in the European Union for a conflict with Germany over the claims of their 70+ aged citizens.

At least for those former forced workers who manage to be alive long enough in 2001 when the first rate of compensatory payments is likely to be disbursed, there is a vague chance to experience the much belated regret of the German people. But there are others whose sufferings do not match the criteria of the law, for example the victims of German occupation of Slovenia. What happened there starting in the spring of 1941 had been an attempted ethnical cleansing of those parts of the country which were incorporated immediately into the territories of the axis' powers Germany and Italy: 150,000 Slovenian nationals were driven out of their homes, deported and dislocated all over Germany or shipped to the Serb border only with what of their belongings they could carry with themselves. Not only active members of the guerilla were killed by the German army, but also according to an order by Heinrich Himmler, every adult male of a family suspicious of providing shelter or food to the freedom fighters. The children of those families had to be separated from their mothers to prevent them from becoming a new generation of enemies for the Germans and after being racially evaluated by the SS were given to German adoptive parents.

Since 1997 the Slovenian Association of the Victims of Occupation 1941 - 1945 with its headquarters in Kranj is fighting for an individual compensation. The German government is denying constantly any obligation referring to an agreement between Germany and communist Yugoslavia in the 1970s. Of course not a penny of the then paid amount made its way into the pockets of a person affected.

During the negotiations about the compensatory law the German side ignored all requests by the victims' association to include the characteristics of the regime of terror in Slovenia into the rulings. Thus most of the crimes committed there are not covered by the law. German officials did not pay any attention to the fact repeatedly invoked by the Slovenians, that since the Nuremberg Trials war crimes are considered not to be in lapse at any time.

So is the collective memory of those countries which inhabitants passed on their wartime experience to the next generations. The European house cannot be built upon denial and bitterness, in many cases literally above mass graves. It is a mandatory gesture of sincerity and respect towards the people in Central and Eastern Europe to deal with their claims honestly.


Link:

Forced labor in Nuremberg - Facts instead of denial

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Author: Gerhard Jochem

Date: May 26, 2007

Subject: Road in Wilhermsdorf named after former Jewish member of the town council Justin Neuburger

In the session of November 10, 2000 the council of Wilhermsdorf in Middle Franconia decided on the naming of roads in the development area Breiteschbach. The majority of the council's members voted for Justin Neuburger as one of the personalities who will be commemorated by a road's name.

This idea came from a letter I wrote to the mayor in August 1999 after compiling the presentation Chronologie zur Entwicklung der juedischen Gemeinde in Wilhermsdorf with the appendix Biographische Bruchstuecke on rijo website. In the course of the research for this feature I learned about the salesman Justin Neuburger, born in Wilhermsdorf August 13, 1882, who in December 1929 had been elected a member of the town council by a majority of 57 percent. On July 20, 1937 Justin and his wife Babette moved to Nuremberg, from where they were deported to Riga November 29, 1941. Most likely they where among the victims of the mass execution in the woods of Bikernieki.

No other fate seemed to me more exemplary to remind today's town folks of both the important role Jews played in the development of the community and what injustice and suffering their fellow countrymen inflicted upon them. Now, after more than 60 years, at least Justin Neuburger's name will return into the conscience of the local public becoming a part of the community's life again. The road's naming also is supposed to be a constant reminder to all the victims of the Shoah from Wilhermsdorf.

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