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March 28, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 28, 2014 DoUinger, who rescued husband from Gestapo, dies at 111 Dollinger with her husband Bernard on their 60th wed- ding anniversary. Dollinger in wheelchair surrounded by (l-r) her great- great-nephew Tal Kohn, niece Yvonne Horowitz, great- nephews Rodolfo Kohn and Raft Kohn. photos courtesy Carole Vogel Gisela Dollinger at 111 with her great-great-great- grandniece. By Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA)--Gisela Kohn Dollinger tricked death twice. Soon after Kristallnacht, when she was 36, Dollinger persuaded the Gestapo to re- lease her husband, rather than send him to a concentration camp, and the two of them fled Austria for Shanghai, where she almost died of typhus. After that, death seemed to forget all about her--until last week, when Dollinger passed away peacefully at Manhat- tan's Beth Israel Hospital. She was 111 years old. Dollinger's passing came just weeks after Alice Herz- Sommer, a pianist and the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary who was be- lieved to be the world's oldest Holocaust survivor, died at the comparatively young age of 110. Known by her friends and family as"Gisa," Dollingerwas the youngest of 15 children. She was born in Baden-be- Wien, a Vienna suburb, on Aug. 30, 1902, according to her relatives. Widowed in 1993 after more than 60 years of marriage, Dollinger never had children but leaves behind scores of nieces, nephews and their offspring in numerous coun- tries, including the United States, Israel and England. "To everyone in the family she was always Aunt Gisa or Tante Gisa," recalled Dr. Mark Horowitz, a grandnephew who lives in Manhattan. Dollinger retained her full mental faculties and was able to remain in her New York apartment until the end, al- though in her final years her vision and hearing deteriorat- ed--a source of frustration since reading, conversation and listening to music were her favorite activities. Horowitz described his great-aunt as "well educated and well cultured," a frequent theater- and operagoer who spoke several languages. Carole Vogel, a great-great- niece who is the unofficial family historian, told how in 2005, at the age of 103, Doll- inger returned to Austria for the first time since she and her husband, Bernard, had fled in December 1938. She had been invited to speak at the rededication of the synagogue her father had helped found in the 1880s and decided to use the trip as an excuse for a family reunion. At least 22 family members came along. "I don't know how many 103-year-olds go on trans- Atlantic flights, but she did," recalled Vogel, who attended the reunion. During the trip, the cente- narian guided family mem- bers around Baden-be-Wien, pointing out where family members and other Jews lived. "She also pointed out the homes of the Nazis and their names," Vogel said. "She'd say, 'I went to school with her, and she married a Nazi.' She had a phenomenal memory up until the end." Shortly after Kristallnacht, when her family-owned dry- goods store was destroyed and Bernard was arrested, Dollinger went to the Gestapo in Vienna--putting herself at risk--and asked for her husband's release. She argued successfully that since he was not an Austrian citizen (he was Polish), he should not have been included in the roundup of men scheduled to be sent to Dachau or Buchenwald. Some family members have speculated that her persua- sion included a bribe, but Dollinger never mentioned that when recounting the story, Vogel said. "She credited the release of her husband to the fact that someone had advised her to speak to a certain Gestapo Lies, damn lies, and J Street officer who was known to be more open to reason and that she showed him a valid Polish passport belonging to Ber- nard," Vogel explained, adding that "open to reason" might have meant bribes, because "with Gisa everything could be in the nuance." Upon his release, Bernard was told that if he did not leave Austria within two weeks he would be sent to a concentration camp. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation, the couple managed to obtain two first-class tickets on a boat to Japanese-occupied China, one of the few places where Jews could easily obtain visas at the time. "She described [the voy- Dollinger on page 14A By Janet Tassel A film is coming your way called "The J Street Chal- lenge." Aproduction of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, with APT's Charles Jacobs as special consultant; produced, directed and written by Avi Goldwasser and Ilya Feoktis- tov, "The J Street Challenge" lines up a phalanx of illustri- ous academics and activists to expose the deception, the lies, and the anti-Israel animus behind J Street. But the film is not a snooze- parade of talking heads; ideas--important ideas--are supplemented with illustra- tions, maps, videos, and images both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The film opens with shots of terrorism against Israel, and then, a veritable deus ex machina, breaking through the tumult, from on-high comes the voice of Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, crying, "We want this conflict to end!" Well, that certainly gets your attention. Who doesn't want the conflict to end? But Ben-Ami knows the way. Ben-Ami and others, includ- ing George Soros, founded J Street in 2008, to (according to their website) "provide a home for pro-Israel, pro- peace Americans who believe that a 'two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict is essential to Israel's survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy.'" "The majority of the people on all sides," he says in the film, "share a desire for a peaceful world for their kids and their grandchildren. They want to figure out how to compromise in order to live together in peace." He's slick, no doubt about it; but can he really be preaching to the Jewish people about peace? Harvard professor Ruth Wisse retorts, "One of the most seductive messages to the Jewish people, for the last two centuries at least, has been the message of peace." And she puts "the conflict" in perspective: Your in Orlando Real Estate!!!! Over 25+ years Residential Real Estate Sales experience Over $200 Million+ Lifetime Sales GALE MILGRIM, P.A., Realtor 407-443-9832 Visit www. OrlandoJewish Realtor. corn To read my Glorying Client Testimonials and my BIO!!!!! Member Congregation Ohev Shalom Parent of 2 Jewish Academy Alumni Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando Supporter REAl. gS'fATE SERVICES There is no such thing as anArab-Israeli conflict. There is an Arab war against Israel. There is an Arab war against the Jewish people's right to a state. It is the conflict of over 20 countries, with an enormity of land, more land than they know what to do with, that refuse to allow one people its sliver of land. Ben-Ami, however, wants a slice of that sliver. A piece for a peace. "Israel's long- term security depends on fulfilling the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a two-state solution," he says. And further: We believe that the Pal- estinians too must have a national home of their own, living side by side with Is- rael. This is in Israel's interest, in America's interest, and it is right and just. In other words, says Dan- iel Gordis, vice-president of Shalem College, "J Street advocates a complete exit from the West Bank without alerting anyone to what the real dangers are." Or as Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens says, "the mo- ment Israel withdrew from the [Gaza] Strip entirely, the rocket fire didn't abate; it expanded. The Palestinians didn't take the greenhouses so generously left by the Israeli settlers. They trashed them. The Gaza Strip did not become a showcase for Palestinian moderates to prove what they might do with a state--turn Gaza into a little Hong Kong or Singapore, or Dubai even. They turned it into a giant terrorist entrepot." And, he adds, "I'm not against a two-state solution, if the other state is Canada. Do we think Israel should be party to the birth of the 23rd Arab state, another Iran hard on its borders?" The map created by J Street's two-state solution is displayed, ironically showing just how vulnerable Israel would be, reducing the coun- try's narrowest width to nine miles, its population centers open to rockets, missiles, and worse. And even more scarily, it shows how insane it would be to surrender control of the Jordan Valley, creating essentially a land bridge from Baghdad to Tel Aviv. As Charles Jacobs comments, "This is a map that will enable the Arab world to see Israel's total vulnerability. No sane country would ever do this." Just then, as if in confirma- tion, a video of a prominent Fatah member is interposed, in which he says, "What will be with Israel? Israel will come to an end." When it comes to carving land out of Israel, Ben-Ami out-Obamas Obama. "It is up to us to get Israel back to the 1967 lines, and we must push our leaders to do what is right. We do support the president's vision for two states, but we do think he could be pushing harder. That's part of our call to action." As Ruth Wisse says, "So we can't convince the Israeli elec- torate, butwe can circumvent them to pressure the Israeli government from the United States?" Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, calls J Street's position "imperialis- tic": "They know they can't sell their ideas in Israel, so they sell them in Washington,D.C., pushing the government to pressure Israel." It is not as if they don't realize, according to Richard Landes, professor of history at Boston Univer- sity, that "this pressure on Israel amounts to, literally, a genocidal threat." It was after the Arabs lost the Six-Day War in 1967 that they began to shift their focus to an ideological war, cloaked in Marxist language about colonial rule. They also began to talk about a Palestinian identity. The conflict has now narrowed down to vilifica- tion of Israel's "occupation," adopted by the universities, the media--in short, the Left. It is a mainstay of J Street's raison d'etre. Again, Ruth Wisse: Since that so-called "occupation" was the consequence of the war against Israel, it cannot retroactively have become its cause. So anyone who claims the "occupation" of those territories is the reason for Arab aggression against Israel is simply inverting historical reality. Ben-Ami's repertoire is stocked with rusty clichgs: We raise our children to not treat other people the way we want not to be treated ourselves, but we make a real mistake if we tell those children to check their Jewish values at the door of Zionism. J Street on page 15A