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August 23, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 23, 2013 PAGE 5A /r By Robert Gluck Among the various events in Holocaust history marking their 70th anniversary this year--including the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the Nazis' failed assault on Stalingrad, and a Washington, DC march by 400 rabbis who urged President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rescue Europe's Jews--what stands out for author Jud Newborn is the White Rose episode. In February, July, and Octo- ber 1943, the Nazis executed the six members of the White Rose non-Jewish resistance group, which distributed leaflets opposing Hitler. The founding historian of New York's Museum of Jewish Heri- tage, Newborn travels around the country giving his presen- tation onWhite Rose. He is the author, along with Annette Dumbach, of the book"Sophie Scholl and the White Rose," an animated narrative that reads like a novel. Whether presenting at a synagogue during the year or a campus event like the 13th annual Dorothy Koppelman Memorial Holocaust Lecture at Rider University in Law- renceville, N.J., this summer, Newborn said his dramatic multi-media lecture program grabs the attention of listeners. "People are deeply inspired by this story," Newborn told "My program in- cludes a number of images that movingly put the story of the White Rose in its time and place." Newborn first went to Ger- many in 1980 to do his doctoral fieldwork on the Holocaust for the University of Chicago. "As I entered the University of Munich's vast atrium and saw a white rose carved in marble, with the names of the members who had been ex- ecuted carved above it, includ- ing Hans and Sophie Scholi and Willie Graf, I was moved to know that young people who resisted the Nazis were being honored at the very site where their most dramatic act of public protest took place," Newborn said. Five non-Jewish university students--Sophie and Hans Schoil, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmoreli, and Willie Graf--and their pro- fessor, Kurt Huber, launched the White Rose group as a clandestine campaign againSt the Third Reich. The group exhorted the German people to stand up and fight for freedom, risking their lives to reveal the persecution of the Jews months before news reached the outside world. After a film about the group was released in Germany, Newborn realized that people in the United States knew next to nothing about White Rose. "The film did not explain who they were and where they came from, and why they did what they did, it just showed the action," Newborn said. "I realized English speakers needed a full-fledged book that would tell the whole story of the White Rose. Itwas that im- portant and that inspiring and that surprising a true story." First published as "Shat- tering the German Night" in 1986, Newborn's book took on a life of its own through multiple re-printings and an international edition. Newborn is not the only one marking the White Rose anniversary this year. The University of Nevada Las Vegas's (UNLV) Lied Library hosts an exhibit, "White Rose," through Aug. 22 that focuses on those who resisted Hitler's rhle. After UNLV, the exhibit, a collection of photos and stories curated and created by the White Rose Founda- tion, travels to Michigan Tech University. Peter Michel, head of ex- hibits for the UNLV Libraries, hopes visitors to "White Rose" will begin to understand there was open opposition and resistance to the Nazi regime among the German people to the Nazi regime--even in Munich, the birthplace of the Nazi Party. "Particularly for American students to understand the history and role of student resistance in Nazi Germany, and that university students risked their lives to oppose and publicize the atrocities and genocide being commit- ted by their own government, for which they ultimately paid with their lives," Michel told Michel said he has been "surprised and impressed" with the impact the exhibit has made so far. "I have talked to students who have been deeply moved, and shocked, and who have indicated that they never knew about this, and how glad they are we were able to provide them the opportunity to experience, however briefly, this one moment in history," he said. Michel hopes the exhibit will "make people more aware of the power and necessity of resistance, by whatever groups that are suffering persecution, be they Jews, Catholics, Prot- estants or any other ethnic or In the foreword to New- ~,eligious group." born's book, author Studs Ter- "We hope that our stu- kel writes, "Whenever I see a dents who visit this exhibit whiterose, Ithinkimmediately will afterwards have a better of those two [execution vic- understanding of this his- tims, HansandSophieScholl], tory and perhaps identifywith andoftheirheroismamidstthe other young people who have horror. They let us know that suffered and are still suffering even in Nazi Germany there from oppression," he said. were some among the young, however few in number, who As part of his presentation, representedthebestthatthere Newborntalks aboutindividu- was in the world." als risking their lives today in White Rose members Hans an effort to fight for human and Sophie Scholl, as well as rights. He cited the example ChristophProbst, wereexecut- of Malala Yousafzai, the Paki- ed on Feb. 22, 1943.Alexander. stani student known for her Schrnorelland Professor Kurt educational and women's Huber were killed on July 13 rights efforts who was shot in that year, and Willie 'Graf on the head and neck in an as- Oct. 12. sassinationattemptbyTaliban Newborn told that gunmen on October 9, 2012, the Scholls, in the only public while returning home on a protest against Nazism since school bus. the Nazi Party took power, History shgws that in spite "pushed hundreds of leaflets of the executions, the White overabalustradeintheUniver- Rose leaflets made their way sity ofMunich's atrium so they throughout Germany and came floating down over the Nazi occupied Europe, were heads of astonished students smuggled into Switzerland milling about below." and Sweden, and from there "Why are members of the were sent to London. White Rose so inspiring today? "Once they reached the The injustice and oppression West," Newborn writes in his did not end when the Nazis book,"theleafletsoftheWhite were defeated. It continues Rose were reprinted--now in to appear in many forms the tens of thousands--and throughout the world includ- dropped from Allied aircraft ing right here in the United over the cities of Germany." States," Newborn said. By Daniel Elbaum Hezbollah has had a rough time recently. After years of indecision, the European Union designated its "mili- tary wing" as a terrorist or- ganization. This move, long overdue and yet incomplete, had been vigorously op- posed by Lebanon, home to Hezbollah, and by Iran, the group's chief state spon- sor. Canada and th~ United States long ago designated the entire Hezbollah a ter- rorist organization. And, after the EU vote, the Gulf Cooperation Council's six" members--Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates--agreed to impose sanctions against it. What's Hezbollah leader By Ari Soffer " Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked has released a scath- ing open letter to U.S. Secre- tary of State John Kerry, for pushing the Israeli govern- ment to release convicted terrorist murderers. In the letter, Shaked--who recently called for the death penalty to be implemented for terrorists--wrote that: "In light of the current situ- ation that you have brought about, I feel that I cannot be bound by the restraints of 'politically correct' wording, and I therefore will allow myself to convey my following message to you in the. most straightforward fashion." She continued: Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to do? For Nasrallah, the answer is simple. Making his first public speech in six years, Nasrallah beseeched Arabs and Muslims to-stay focused on what he insists is their true enemy. "Is- rael represents a permanent and grave danger to all the countries and peoples of this region," said the Hezbollah leaderwhile his organization's fighters are currently helping to massacre Syrians to prop up Bashar al-Assad's murderous regime. And what about the 100,000 dead Muslims in Syria? Why, look no further than Israel, of course. After all, the entire uprising was instigated by Israel and its Western allies. It is they who are, "trying to push the people to focus on "By forcing Israel to ca- pitulate to terrorism by re- leasing murdering terrorists with so much blood on their hands that the U.S. would never dream of releasing if it was their own citizens murdered--you are not only being extremely hypocritical, but are actually dabbling in experimentation and gam- bling, by putting me and my children's lives at risk." Shaked also attacked the U.S. administration for forc- ing Israel to release convicted murderers, whilst keeping former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard in jail. "You forcing us to release terrorists with blood on their hands is made all the more absurd, cynical and another enemy, inventing other wars," says Nasrallah. How sadly predictable! Page one of the Middle East leader playbook has histori- cally been the same. When things get uncomfortable, do not hesitate to blame Israel. "Moderate" leaders are cer- tainly notimmune. Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, two days before his inaugura- tion, weighed in on Israel as well, speaking about "the sore that has been sitting on the body of the Islamic world for many years." Some ink has been spilled about transla- tion issues as to whether he said that the sore needs to be removed, but no one questions the fact of.signs in the crowd around him stating "death to Israel." Those determined to find vicious by the fact that your country refuses to this day to release Jonathan Pollard from jail, despite the unprec- edented term he has served thus far," she wrote. "Mr. Secretary: the price of releasing over a hundred convicted murderers will be borne by my family and my people, not by you. How will you carry the burden of the terrible price toward which you are leading us?" She continued, "You forced us into peace talks during a period of time that the entire Middle East is in chaos, with- out realizing that by doing so, you have foolishly put us in an impossible situation in which we cannot and will not make any concessions." moderation at any cost ar- gue that Rouhani's rhetoric indicates a softening in the Iranian regime's tone. Should Israelis take comfort in being referred to merely as a sore? Let's be fair. This dance was, not invented by Nasrallah or Rouhani. These steps were not taken first in the Muslim world. For centuries, despots and kings fast discovered that Jews were useful scapegoats for their society's various ills. " To this day, ,unfinished ,business remains in Europe. A recent Tel Aviv University report found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe increased by 30 per- cent between 2011 and 2012. The report is consistent with other polls, which show that anti-Semitic attitudes remain By "raising expectations to a dangerous level" in this way, Kerry is threatening "to cause the whole region to spin out of control," she claimed. Shaked ended the letter with a word of "advice" for Kerry. "The past four years in Israel .have been as quiet and peaceful as ever. Therefore I suggest you perform your job in a much more effective and relevant fashion by focusing your attention on Syria and Egypt, where people are actu- ally being slaughtered." MK Ayelet Shaked was elected as member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home in the 2013 Knesset elections, and currently holds fifth place on the party's list. high in certain European countries. In organized political life there are today tw~ ag-" gressively anti-Semitic, xe- nophobic political parties represented in parliaments of EU member states--Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece. These parties openly talk, falsely, about Jewish financiers and bankers who have created their nation's economic troubles. None of this should take away from our hopes that the Israeli- Palestinian talks will prove fruitful and a just solution found to satisfy both pa~ties. Indeed, we should ap- plaud Secretary of State John Kerry for his determination in moving the peace process forward. But, as the negotiations proceed, and we begin to hear from our good friends in Eu- rope and elsewhere about the need for Israelis to "take risks for peace," there should be no question as to the realness of those risks. If history teaches one es- sential lesson it is that one should listen and pay heed to the words of men who talk about the need to eradicate the threat that you pose. Daniel Elbaum is the Amer- ican Jewish Committee's as- sistant executive director and director of regional offices. POLITICALCARTOON S.COM DRYBONES.COM