Jews

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Tunnel Hand-Dug by Jews to Flee Nazis Found in Lithuania

It's been the stuff of legend for more than 70 years

(Newser) - A 100-foot escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners using only their hands and spoons has been unearthed in Lithuania, a research team announced Wednesday. From 1941 to 1944, about 100,000 people (70,000 of them Jews from nearby Vilnius) were slaughtered by the Nazis, then dumped into burial pits... More »

Family Says Museum's Priceless Passover Manuscript Is Rightfully Theirs

They claim it was stolen during Nazi rule

(Newser) - The Birds' Head Haggadah—the oldest illustrated Passover manuscript in the world and one of its most intriguing—has been a prized possessions of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for the past 70 years, the AP reports. Now the grandchildren of a Jewish lawyer killed by the Nazis say the... More »

Woman Sues Airline After Being Asked to Move Seats for Man

He said the Torah wouldn't allow him to sit next to a woman

(Newser) - An 81-year-old woman who escaped the Nazis in her youth is suing Israel's national airline after she was asked to switch seats because of her gender, the New York Times reports. "I’ve been around the world, and some guy can decide that I shouldn’t sit next... More »

Only 67 Survived Treblinka. Now None Remain

Samuel Willenberg died on Friday

(Newser) - The last survivor of the Nazi death camp Treblinka—which systematically murdered 875,000 people during World War II, a gruesome toll eclipsed only by Auschwitz—died Friday at his home in Israel at the age of 93. Samuel Willenberg, born in Poland in 1923, was a physically fit bricklayer... More »

Story of How US Soldier Saved 200 Jews Finally Told

Roddie Edmonds honored for his remarkable move in POW camp

(Newser) - Roddie Edmonds is the first US soldier to receive Israel's Righteous Among the Nations honor, 70 years after he risked his life to save 200 Jews. The native of Knoxville, Tenn., was captured in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and held at German POW camp Staleg... More »

Israeli Cafe Gives 50% Off Hummus for Jews, Arabs Who Co-Dine

Israeli eatery hopes common bond of chickpeas will ease ongoing tensions

(Newser) - In a month marred by violence between Israelis and Palestinians, one little Israeli café is trying to give chickpeas a chance. The Hummus Bar in Kfar Vitkin is offering half-off hummus to tables of Jews and Arabs dining together, the Times of Israel reports. "With us we don't... More »

Auschwitz Visitors Outraged by Heat-Wave Showers

Management says it's just trying to keep people cool

(Newser) - Some Jewish tourists are none too pleased with a new addition at the historical Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland: sprinkler showers. This at a place where more than a million Jews, Soviet war prisoners, and Gypsies were murdered, often in poison-gas chambers that they believed were shower facilities, the New ... More »

Archaeologists Find Historic Synagogue Ruined by Nazis

Remnants found beneath a school in Lithuania

(Newser) - The Great Synagogue of Vilna dated all the way back to the 1600s and was what the Jerusalem Post calls one of "the most historic and treasured landmarks of European Jewry." But that synagogue, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, was all but destroyed by the Nazis during... More »

80 Years Later, Jewish Games to Be Played in Nazi Venue

Berlin is hosting the European Maccabi Games at Olympic Park

(Newser) - Berlin is kicking off the all-Jewish European Maccabi Games tomorrow—a 10-day event where 2,300 athletes from nearly 40 countries will compete in 19 disciplines, from soccer and basketball to chess and bridge, reports the Local . If Berlin seems like an odd venue, well, "these are the games... More »

Spanish Town Decides 'Kill Jews' Isn't Great Name

The Castrillo Matajudios name dates back to the Spanish Inquisition

(Newser) - The tiny Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudios—which means "Camp Kill Jews"—officially changed its name today back to the original Castrillo Mota de Judios ("Jews' Hill Camp") following a referendum and regional government approval. The village of about 50 inhabitants voted to change the name... More »

Lithuanian Building Holds Secret of Nazi, Soviet Past

Local discovers it was made from tombstones pilfered from Jewish cemetery

(Newser) - Giedrius Sakalauskas always thought there was something strange about the graffiti-sprayed, bunker-like structure in a leafy area outside Vilnius, Lithuania. Why build an electrical substation with granite blocks instead of regular bricks? When he examined the building more carefully this month, he made a chilling discovery: Dozens of stones had... More »

Jews, Muslims Bicker Over New Carpet in Jerusalem Shrine

Archaeologists say Jordanian contractors may be damaging Dome of the Rock

(Newser) - It began as a routine remodeling project: Muslim authorities replacing an old carpet at the Dome of the Rock, the iconic, gold-topped shrine that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. But the carpet has sparked a verbal holy war over the hilltop compound, revered by Jews and Muslims whose competing... More »

'Accountant of Auschwitz,' Now 93, Heads to Trial

Oskar Groening was in charge of items stolen from Holocaust victims

(Newser) - Tomorrow, former SS guard Oskar Groening, 93, goes on trial in Germany on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in a trial that will focus on whether legally he can be found an accessory to murder for his actions. Groening is... More »

Jewish Heirs Sue Germany for Art Trove Sold to Nazis

US filing says pressure led to unfair sale of Welfenschatz in 1935

(Newser) - In 1935, not long after Adolf Hitler rose to power, Jewish art dealers sold a major collection of medieval treasure to the state of Prussia in Germany. The collection of gold and jewels known as the Welfenschatz contains pieces that date back some 800 years; it's considered Germany's... More »

Netanyahu: Israel the Only Place Jews Can Feel Safe

Israeli prime minister ruffles feathers with his 'massive immigration' call

(Newser) - The deadly Copenhagen shootings over the weekend, including an attack outside the city's main synagogue, have spurred Benjamin Netanyahu to make some drastic statements. During yesterday's Cabinet meeting—in which a $46 million plan to handle Jewish immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine was approved, Haaretz reports—the... More »

After 500 Years, Portugal Says Jews Can Return

Descendents to be offered citizenship

(Newser) - Portugal is trying to make amends with the descendants of the Jews who were ordered to convert to Christianity or get out of the country more than 500 years ago. The country's lawmakers have approved a plan to grant citizenship to Sephardic Jews who can prove a strong connection... More »

'This Is Not How We Wanted to Welcome You to Israel'

4 victims of Paris terror attack buried in Jerusalem

(Newser) - "I am Charlie, I am Jewish, I am Israeli, I am French, I'm fed up." This was just one of the signs visible at a Jerusalem cemetery this morning as Israelis gathered to mourn four French Jews killed in last week's Paris terror attacks, the New ... More »

France Deploys 10K Troops to Guard 'Sensitive Sites'

Almost 5K cops headed to nation's Jewish schools, institutions

(Newser) - A day after the biggest rally in its history , France is deploying thousands of police and troops to the nation's 717 Jewish schools and other "sensitive sites" throughout the country, the New York Times reports. Citing "the first mobilization on this scale on our territory," defense... More »

King Herod's Hallway Linked to 'Horrible' Gangrene

Reviled ancient ruler was too sick to use palace, experts say

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered a corridor into Herod the Great's ancient palace but say the infamous king never really put the hallway to use, NBC News reports. In fact he turned Herodium, roughly 7 miles south of Jerusalem, into a burial monument when he fell horribly ill. "Surprisingly, during... More »

Biden Apologizes for Use of 'Shylocks'

Vice president says Jewish groups were right to take offense

(Newser) - Joe Biden got himself in hot water over another unscripted moment—his use of the word "shylocks" to describe greedy lenders who take advantage of US troops. Jewish groups immediately took offense to the anti-Semitic connotations, and Biden today apologized for his "poor choice of words," reports... More »

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