Editor's Note: Below is a very strange and disturbing article that seems to suggest that Frazier Glenn Miller shot "the wrong people" in Kansas. If these victims had been Jewish, as intended, and not Christians, by mistake, would the NYT have listed their synagogue memberships, special talents, and selfless volunteerism?
Apparent Hate Crime Aimed at Jews Instead Strikes Christians Who Gave to Others, By Ian Lovett, New York Times, April 14, 2014
William L. Corporon was a longtime family doctor, but to his family, he was Popeye, a nickname bestowed by a grandson, Reat Underwood.
On Sunday, it was Popeye who was drafted to take Reat to audition for KC SuperStar, a singing competition for high school students in the Kansas City area. A member of church and school choirs and an actor in summer theater productions in the park, Reat had wanted to try out for years. Now, as a 14-year-old high school freshman, he was finally old enough.
Dressed in a coat and tie, he had prepared a song called “You’re Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone,” which he sang for his mother on Sunday. She kissed him goodbye. Then he jumped into his grandfather’s truck.
But in early afternoon, the authorities say, Reat and his grandfather were both fatally shot in the parking lot outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., where the audition was being held.
Dr. Corporon, 69, was pronounced dead at the scene, Reat a short while later at a hospital.
Although the shooting suspect, Frazier Glenn Miller, was a known racist and anti-Semite with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, the victims who were gunned down on Sunday were all Christians, devoted to their families, to their churches and to serving their Kansas City communities.
Ms. LaManno worked as an occupational therapist for children with visual impairments. She sat with them one on one for hours — from their infancy until age 10 — teaching them fine-motor skills.
And always, her co-workers said, she expressed gratitude for what she had in her life, particularly for children. She had two daughters: one grown, the other set to graduate from college this year. Her son, a sophomore at Kansas State University, also volunteered at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, where Ms. LaManno worked.
“She was this beautiful, caring, gracious spirit,” said Nicola Heskett, executive director of the center. “That spirit of giving back, she was instilling in her children.”
Co-workers and friends described Ms. LaManno as a consummate nurturer, someone who would shuttle her father-in-law to his doctor’s appointments, and happily take on whatever was asked of her at work.
“Of course she was there seeing her mom because that’s Terri,” Ms. Heskett said. “That’s what Terri did. She took care of everyone.”
Dr. Corporon, too, had made a career out of helping children, often starting at their very first breath. As a family doctor for 30 years in Oklahoma, he was the first to touch scores of newborn babies, his son Will Corporon said Monday.
Dr. Corporon’s own family came first, however. And in 2003, he and his wife left Oklahoma, moving north to be closer to their grandchildren in Johnson County, Kan. (though the family remained devoted fans of the Oklahoma Sooners).
“They were together all the time, my father and Reat, and the other grandkids,” Will Corporon said.
There were 10 grandchildren, and “my father always had one of them with him, or more,” Mr. Corporon said. “He died doing exactly what he wanted.”
Reat had big plans this year.
There was the long-awaited audition for KC SuperStar. But he also had theater productions, in school and out. He was working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and was looking forward to debate camp in the summer.
Somehow, amid all of this, he volunteered at his Methodist church, where he would watch the young children, playing with them or reading Bible stories, while their parents were in services.
“He had a really full life for a 14-year-old, and we were very blessed,” his mother, Mindy Corporon, said. “He loved his school, and he loved his friends.”
She said Reat had already signed up to be an organ donor when he got his learner’s permit.
“This isn’t easy,” Ms. Corporon said. But she added that she took great solace in her faith, and in the moments before he left for the audition.
“I got to kiss him and tell him I loved him,” she said.
JTA, April 11, 2014
A Spanish village is considering removing the phrase "kill Jews" from its name. The village of Castrillo Matajudios near Leon in northern Spain will convene its 60 resident families at a town hall meeting next week to discuss and vote on the first formal proposal to change the village's name, the regional daily Diario de Burgos reported Friday.
Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, who submitted the proposal, suggested changing the village's name to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means "Castrillo Jews' Hill." He said this was the village's original name, but it was changed during the Spanish Inquisition.
In parts of Spain, and especially in the north, locals use the term "killing Jews" (matar Judios) to describe the traditional drinking of lemonade spiked with alcohol at festivals held in city squares at Easter, or drinking in general.
Leon will hold its "matar Judios" fiesta on Good Friday, April 18, where organizers estimate 40,000 gallons of lemonade will be sold.
The name originates from medieval times, when converted Jews would sometimes be publicly executed in show trials at around Easter, Maria Royo, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain told JTA.
"Regrettably, this type of expression exists in Spain in ceremonies and parties," she said, but added that "the people saying it are mostly unaware of the history. It is a complicated issue that is ingrained in local culture."
The federation is in contact on this issue with authorities, but given the popularity of the expression, "it is impossible to forbid this language" in that context, she added.
Last month, Ramon Benavides, the president of a local associations of hoteliers, told the news agency EFE: "When 'killing Jews,' it's best to take it slow and keep track of how much you drink to avoid excesses and its consequences the next day."
The Forward, February 25, 2014
A caricature of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a German newspaper has drawn charges of anti-Semitism against the artist and newspaper.
As a comment on Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, announced last week, artist Burkhard Mohr depicted the 29-year-old Jewish entrepreneur as an octopus reaching with its tentacles to control social media in the daily German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. With its exaggerated features, including a long nose and thick lips, the cartoon octopus resembles in more ways than one the cartoons published by the rabidly anti-Semitic Julius Streicher in his Nazi-era ”Der Stuermer” magazine.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has protested the depiction, The center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, told the Algemeiner newspaper that the cartoon was “an outrage” that proves the artist is anti-Semitic.
But Mohr denied harboring any such sentiments: He told the Jerusalem Post he was shocked by the interpretation of his drawing, and apologized. Mohr has replaced the caricature of Zuckerberg’s face with a gaping maw.
By Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, January 21, 2014
Professor Robert Wistrich had bought a ticket to Paris to attend the opening of an exhibition he wrote about the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel, which was supposed to take place Monday at the headquarters of UNESCO. But after the exhibition was indefinitely postponed, without prior warning, due to Arab pressure, he canceled and decided to stay in Jerusalem.
Speaking to The Times of Israel, Wistrich – the exhibition’s sole author – said it would be a “euphemism” to say he was unhappy about the sudden death of an exhibition that took him nearly two years of hard work to complete. It showed UNESCO’s “contempt for the Jewish people and its history,” he said.
“This is such a betrayal. To do it in this way is so disgraceful,” fumed Wistrich, who directs the Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism and is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field. An “appalling act,” the cancellation “completely destroyed any claim that UNESCO could possibly have to be representing the universal values of toleration, mutual understanding, respect for the other and narratives that are different, engaging with civil society organizations and the importance of education. Because there’s one standard for Jews, and there’s another standard for non-Jews, especially if they’re Arabs, but not only.”
UNESCO’s decision to cancel the exhibit allows just one conclusion, Wistrich added: “That at the end of the day, their mandate, which is to be the United Nations’ organization for the promotion of education, culture and science, is in fact subjected, entirely, to political considerations.”
Wistrich also claimed that UNESCO only agreed to host the exhibition to improve its image in the United States, hoping to get the administration to start funding the organization again, after it stopped paying when UNESCO admitted “Palestine” as a member. The historian also took aim at the Obama administration, suggesting the State Department was schizophrenic because it had refused to cosponsor the exhibition — invoking the same reasons that Arab member states used when working successfully to torpedo it — yet later condemned the fact that it was canceled.
By Robert Zaretsky, The Forward, February 14, 2014
On this side of the Atlantic, the imminent publication in Germany of Martin Heidegger’s “Black Notebooks” (“Schwarzen Hefte”) has caused few if any ripples. For better or worse, the philosopher who theorized about “absence from the world” has been largely absent from our world.
Yet in Europe, a surf-like pounding in newspapers and magazines has accompanied the debate over the book’s significance. Several phrases leaked from the book have reintroduced some of the great questions about Heidegger: Namely, was he anti-Semitic and, if so, was his existential philosophy fatally compromised?
Oddly, the waves of controversy have crashed with greater fury in France than Heidegger’s native Germany, not to mention the Anglo-American world. Of course, this in part reflects the waning, but still important role intellectuals play in French cultural and political life. This interest in turn inevitably spills into the national press, whose front pages have carried numerous interviews and columns on the controversy, leading one literary critic, Eric Aeschimann, to announce the arrival of the “new Heidegger Affair.”
By Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, February 7, 2014
Does art stolen by Nazi soldiers from European galleries and private owners grace the walls of the Winnipeg Art Gallery?
A federally funded pilot project co-ordinated by the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO) aims to find out.
Stephen Borys, the WAG's director and CEO and also CAMDO president, said the $200,000 provided by the federal government, along with another $200,000 privately raised by the six galleries involved, will allow them to do "provenance research" -- determine the documented history of each painting's ownership through the years.
Borys said the two starting points for the project are works created in 1945 and earlier for which the provenance is not known between the years 1933 and 1945. "This is something we have been doing for years -- we do provenance research all the time -- so it's nothing new," he said.
"But this program allows us to bring in two internationally renowned researchers to work with our team. We can start looking in a much broader way." The issue is topical -- this weekend, the movie The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, opens in theatres.
It's based on the true story of a platoon ordered by then-U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt to recover and return to the owners artworks the Nazis stole and took to Germany before and during the Second World War.
"There's a heightened presence," Borys said. "And now, 70 years after the Second World War, the people who would know the pieces are theirs are gone." But he said artworks can be returned to their rightful owners by something as simple as a note in a diary describing a piece.
Catherine Chatterley, an adjunct professor of history at the University of Manitoba, said it's believed the Nazis stole hundreds of thousands of art pieces -- as much as 20 per cent of the artworks in Europe.
"When the Germans invaded the countries of Europe, they raided museums, art galleries, libraries and research institutes, stealing works of art, books, religious objects, coins, medal collections -- anything of value," she said.
"France and Italy were particularly affected by the greatest theft in European history, but so was the Soviet Union, with over 173 museums raided...
"The collections were first picked over by (Nazi leaders) Hermann Gring and Adolf Hitler for their own private use, then the remainder was transported back to Germany. The most valuable items, mostly paintings and sculptures, were held in salt mines and caves so as to be protected from aerial bombardment."
Chatterley said the haul included works by Matisse, Dégas, Picasso, Botticelli and Raphael and marble sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo. She said stolen artworks are still being found, citing a case about two years ago where more than 1,400 pieces were discovered in a Munich apartment. "The apartment owner's father had worked for the Nazis, trading in their stolen artwork."
Chatterley said it's not unusual for major art galleries to have art with provenance voids during the war years. That includes the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., with more than 400 works, the Art Institute of Chicago, with more than 500, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, with 393.
Pointing at a large painting entitled Madonna, painted in 1662 by Juan Carreno de Miranda, Borys said: "We're looking at 300 years of provenance.
"One of the first things to be destroyed or moved during war is culture."
Borys said gallery acquisitions have changed in the last few decades. "If we want to buy an 18th-century painting today, we want to know where it was. We would never buy a piece of art now that has large gaps in its provenance. "The biggest challenge is to get private collectors to co-operate. You can't force a private collector to say, 'I will co-operate.' "
By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2014
On the surface, it is very moving to see half of the members of Knesset at Auschwitz marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
But in a larger sense, it is not at all clear why this is necessary.
The Jewish people have Yom HaShoah V’Hagevura, our own national day of mourning for the genocide of our people in Europe. More importantly, we carry the legacy of the Holocaust inside of us.
Every day, at some level, we experience the ulcerative loss of a third of the Jewish people in the hell of Europe, because we feel the hollow absence of the victims.
The six million murdered have become 10 million descendants who were never born. And we miss them. We remember them too, every day, when we look at our children and thank God we can protect them.
Israel does not need this extra Holocaust memorial day. And before we send another delegation of elected officials to Auschwitz next January 27, we need to ask whether this extra day serves any positive purpose.
By Don Snyder, The Forward, January 18, 2014
A majority of respondents in a recent Polish national survey believe that there’s a Jewish conspiracy to control international banking and the media. And 90% of these Poles say they’ve never met a Jew.
The national study, conducted by the Center for Research on Prejudice at Warsaw University, found that in Poland, the belief in a Jewish conspiracy remains high – 63% in 2013 – and relatively unchanged from 2009 when 65% of respondents held this belief.
The study also found an 8 percent increase in more traditional forms of anti-Semitism, including blaming Jews for the murder of Jesus Christ and the belief that Christian blood is used in Jewish rituals. Some 23% were found to hold such traditional, religious-based beliefs about Jews.
The study’s findings were presented to the Polish Sejm, or parliament, on January 9 by Michal Bilewicz, director of the Center for Research on Prejudice. Bilewicz, an assistant professor on the faculty of psychology at the University of Warsaw, is co-author of the report.
A family photo of Heinrich Himmler in Valepp, Bavaria in 1935. The picture shows Himmler with his wife Marga, back right, his daughter Gudrun, front center, his son Gerhard, front right, and a friend of Gudrun, front left. The photo is part of a trove of letters, notes and photos that were in possession of an Israeli family.
Die Welt, January 25, 2014
He was responsible for the death of millions, organizer of the Holocaust, head of SS and Gestapo. His letters, photos and notes had been considered lost. Now they are published here for the first time.
There was noticeable tension on that Thursday in June. Rumors went around. It had been speculated that there could be "a profound change in the relationship with the Soviet Union". That is what the messages by the leading circles of the Nazi party to the Third Reich's Ministry of Propaganda said. All leave for the members of the Wehrmacht had been cancelled. Something was going to happen on this weekend. Everyone who knew anything about how the Nazis' apparatus of power worked knew that. And it was known that Adolf Hitler had made it his habit to launch his political and military offensives on a Sunday.
Heinrich Himmler, "Reichsführer SS", Chief of the German Police and the Reich's Commissioner for the "Festigung des deutschen Volkstums" (Consolidation oft he German Race) cancelled the ban on leave for himself. For 36 hours he flew from his Berlin office to his private home at Lake Tegernsee, where his wife Marga and his daughter Gudrun were waiting for him. The small family made a trip to the idyllic Valepp valley and had their pictures taken happily frolicking in nature. It was 19 June 1941.
"There is still one can of caviar in the fridge."
Himmler didn't say a word about this to his wife Marga. For all we know the upcoming events were not mentioned during the hastily organized family holiday. Did Himmler give any hints? "Now we are at war again. I knew it. I didn't sleep well at all", Marga Himmler wrote to her husband shortly after hearing the news about the beginning of the attack on the Soviet Union in the morning of 22 June 1941. But as a caring wife she also had some good advice for her husband: "There is still one can of caviar in the fridge. Take it."
His daughter Gudrun sent a letter to her father on that historic Sunday. "It's terrible that we are going to war with Russia. They were our allies after all." And the not even twelve-year-old girl added another concern in her letter: "Russia is sooo big. The struggle will be very difficult if we want to conquer all of Russia."
Gudrun's father had to learn the hard way how true that prediction turned out to be. Two days after the attack he made his way to Hitler's East Prussian headquarters "Wolfsschanze" in his personal train "Heinrich". Although he tried to call his home in Gmund almost every day he still forgot a very important date. "I felt so sorry that I forgot our wedding anniversary for the first time," Heinrich wrote to Marga on 7 July 1941, four days late. "There was quite a lot going on these days" adding that "the fighting is very hard, especially for the SS".
Very Personal Documents of a War Criminal
The letter is one of about 700 sent by Heinrich Himmler to his wife. They are the very personal documents of a war criminal that now have become available to the "Welt am Sonntag", almost 69 years after the end of the war and the suicide of the head of the SS. They are published here for the very first time. The letters, along with other private documents – many previously unknown photographs, diaries and the estate of Himmler's foster son Gerhard von der Ahé – were considered lost for decades and have been kept in a private home in Israel for some time. They are currently stored in a vault in Tel Aviv. The director Vanessa Lapa, who based her documentary about Himmler on that material, owns them now. Her documentary "The Decent" will premier on 9 February at the 2014 Berlinale film festival. "Die Welt" financially supported the production of the documentary.
Especially Himmler's early letters to his wife seem to be mundane at first glance. But they reveal a lot about the mindset of a cold-blooded, self-righteous bureaucrat, who became the mastermind and chief organizer of the Holocaust.