Monday, January 31, 2022

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Late to the Propaganda Party – Amnesty’s Derivative Echo of the NGO Apartheid Attack Against Israel
On February 1, Amnesty International will release yet another volume in the litany of copy-paste NGO reports that label Israel as an “apartheid” state. The publication breaks no new ground and is not meaningfully different from the discredited Human Rights Watch (HRW) and B’Tselem reports from 2021 – yet Amnesty says they took over four years to produce it.

Like many previous NGO publications, Amnesty’s report manipulates and distorts international law, Israeli policy, and events on the ground, as well as denies the Jewish people their right to sovereign equality and self-determination.

Thus, Amnesty’s report can be considered antisemitic according to the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which notes that: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Likewise, Amnesty’s report criminalizes Israeli laws and practices designed to safeguard Jewish identity – such as the Law of Return – which are enshrined under international law and parallel the practices of many nation-states.

In these attacks, Israeli policies are artificially framed as attempts to preserve “Jewish domination” – an antisemitic trope and refrain throughout the publication. Amnesty’s overarching argument is that everything Israel does is nefarious, whether it promotes peace or Palestinian self-detemination, improves the lives of Palestinians or minority groups in Israel, or if mandated by international law. In service of this paradigm, Amnesty – often illogically – ignores or downplays the material differences between Israeli policy toward Palestinians living in Gaza, those living in the West Bank, and the country’s own Arab citizens.


David Collier: Amnesty – Apartheid? What a pile of…..
A call for the destruction of Israel.

If you want to read any of the 211-page report – and I strongly suggest you don’t bother – then just read one paragraph from page 20. It is all you need.


It says Israel – by its very existence – is an Apartheid state – and always was. Regardless of government and with no interest in the enemies that lined up or invaded its borders. These people have no interest in what is real. Amnesty’s anti-Israel activists have an agenda – and this report is part of it.

In their report Amnesty International call for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. It is aligning Amnesty with Hamas and Hezbollah – who no doubt both received an embargoed copy in advance. The Amnesty report states in no uncertain terms – Jews defending themselves is unacceptable. Amnesty’s report is a pile of…. Amnesty’s predictable Apartheid smear
Last year B’tselem and HRW created reports suggesting Israel practices Apartheid. This year Amnesty and the UN (coming soon) are at it. Make no mistake this is a coordinated attack on Israel with the aim of delegitimising the Jewish state on the international stage.

To be honest I think both Israel and the other governments of the west are partly responsible. Amnesty is not a human rights organisation anymore – and has not been one for many years. Amnesty’s goal is the destruction of Israel. This is not about criticism of government policy – this is about a foreign politicised and hostile unit – with aims to destabilise Israel. So why do some still treat it with respect?

Yet western media and governments still continue to legitimise Amnesty – because hey – they are not the ones who really pay the price – the Jews are. If any media outlet had a real desire to expose antisemitism – they’d call in Amnesty and demand that it explains its lies and its obsessions. Amnesty spread more antisemitic hate than almost any other organisation in the west.


Amnesty is charging Israeli apartheid to erase Jewish state - NGO claims
Amnesty International’s report labeling Israel an apartheid state seeks to criminalize the existence of the Jewish state as the national homeland for the Jewish people, the Foreign Ministry stated on Monday.

“The report denies Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” the Foreign Ministry said as it called on the British-based group to rescind its 211-page report.

Amnesty’s “extreme language and distortion of the historical context were intended to demonize Israel and pour fuel into the engines of antisemitism,” the ministry said.

It obtained a copy of the report, due to be released at 11 a.m. Tuesday, titled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a video message in English, in which he charged, “If Israel wasn’t a Jewish state, no one would dare make such a claim against it.

“Amnesty doesn’t call Syria where the regime has murdered half a million of its own citizens an apartheid state, or Iran or other murderous regimes around the world – only Israel,” Lapid said.

“This country might not be perfect but we are a democracy committed to international law, open to criticism with a free press and a strong and independent judicial system.”

A number of Jewish organizations and Israeli right-wing groups obtained a copy of the report in advance, with NGO Monitor even posting a page of it on Twitter.

Amnesty maintained its embargo on the report, as well as its comments to the media despite the backlash against it by Israel and international Jewish groups.
Lapid: Amnesty Report Charging Israel With Apartheid Is ‘Divorced From Reality’
The publication, titled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity,” which is expected to be released on Tuesday, alleges that Israel since its establishment in 1948 has pursued an “explicit policy of establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony” to maximize its “control over land to benefit Jewish Israelis.”

Amnesty claims that in the 211-page report it has documented “Israel’s institutionalized and systematic discrimination against Palestinians within the framework of the definition of apartheid under international law,” according to leaked copies of the embargoed study published by the Israel-based watchdog group NGO Monitor.

It asserts that “Israel maintains Jewish domination over the Palestinian economy through the exclusion and intentional neglect of Palestinian communities inside Israel.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the content of the report for repeating the same lies, inconsistencies, and assertions made by “well-known anti-Israeli hate organizations.”

“Five minutes of serious fact-checking were enough to know that the facts that appeared in the report were a delusion, divorced from reality,” Lapid argued. “Israel is not perfect, but it is a democracy committed to international law and open to scrutiny, with a free press and strong Supreme Court.”

“Amnesty does not call Syria an ‘apartheid state’ — a country whose government murdered half a million of its own citizens — nor Iran or any other corrupt and murderous regime in Africa or Latin America,” the foreign minister said. “I hate to use the argument that if Israel were not a Jewish state, nobody in Amnesty would dare argue against it, but in this case, there is no other possibility.”


Jewish community condemns biased Amnesty “apartheid” slur against Israel
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl and Jewish Leadership Chair Keith Black have issued the following statement:

We have seen a copy of a report due to be released by Amnesty International UK (AI UK) tomorrow. We are shocked but not surprised by the content given the history of AI UK’s one-sided positioning on Israel.

The report is completely biased and applies standards to Israel that are not applied to any other country. The emotive term “apartheid” against Israel is a preposterous slur. Israel is a vibrant democracy and a state for all its citizens, as exemplified by its diverse government and robust civil society.

Despite AI UK’s claim to recognise the Jewish claim to self-determination, the report makes clear both through its lamenting of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and through its policy recommendations, that it does not support that right. The State of Israel was established with broad international support and survived early attempts at destruction. There are still many who insist on punishing Israel for its very survival. Jewish communities across the world see too clearly through these attempts and reject them.

Regrettably, inequality and discrimination exist in all democracies, and that includes in Israel. We support all sincere efforts to address such disparities. Amnesty’s heavily biased report fails to offer anything worthwhile to that cause. The lack of democracy in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the conflict between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the terrorist Hamas control in Gaza is a fundamental and not a peripheral cause of tension. This issue is not once referenced in the report. The situation for the Palestinian people is indeed distressing; this will not be alleviated by destroying Israel. The signing of the Abraham Accords shows that this is now being recognised and accepted in the wider region. The quicker serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are resumed, the sooner a lasting peace can be achieved.

If Amnesty UK were serious about improving standards, it would find ways to strengthen existing efforts on the ground. Instead, it chooses to focus on demonising the one Jewish state, holding it to clear double standards. This is a bad faith report hostile to the very concept of Israel, and we reject its very premise.


ADL, Founded To Combat Anti-Semitism, Goes Woke, Changes Definition Of Racism
The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish organization that is now headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official, has changed the definition of racism on its website to read, “The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.”

As The Blaze reported, the definition previously stated, “Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.”

“The website states the page was last updated in July 2020,” The Blaze added.

The George Floyd riots across the nation occurred after Floyd’s death in late May 2020.

In 2016, The Atlantic quoted Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, saying, “There’s no doubt that the vast majority of American Jews live with what we would call white privilege. They aren’t looked at twice when they walk into a store. They aren’t looked at twice by someone in uniform … That obviously isn’t a privilege that people of color have the luxury of enjoying.”


Knesset lobby convenes to discuss antisemitism by BDS, Palestinians
The Knesset lobby to combat antisemitism spread by the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the Palestinian Authority held a discussion on antisemitism to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday.

The Center for Near East Policy Research's Dr. Arnon Gross and CEO David Bedein were invited to take part in the discussion, initiated by lobby head MK Amichai Chikli and members, MKs Ofir Akunis, Gadi Yevarkan and Sharren Haskel.

In the Knesset discussion, Dr. Gross and Bedein showed a presentation containing research and details on a new, "modern" antisemitism "led by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)."

"Along with the classic form of antisemitism defined by the Nazi movement, the West is now defined by a well-oiled education system rife with incitement, such as UNRWA's education system which is prevalent throughout the Middle East," Bedein stated in the Knesset.

Bedein cited a number of textbooks used in Palestinian schools across Gaza and the West Bank as proof due to the hateful and sometimes antisemitic content in the books written for schoolchildren.

The PA, who initially had an agreement with the European Union to revise its academic curriculums in 2021, reneged on that agreement and has instead promoted new academic materials that feature hateful language and violent imagery, according to an IMPACT-se report.
Unpacked: The Early History of Black and Jewish Communities in America
The end of the nineteenth century found Black and Jewish communities in America living side by side, both facing discrimination from the white Protestant majority. Conflict and shifting in power structures brought on feelings of racism and antisemitism between the two groups, yet the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust would unite the communities around an unlikely cause: Zionism.

Disclaimer: While Jews are a diverse, multi-racial people, in this video when we speak about the interactions between the Black community and the Jewish community we are speaking about Jews of European descent.




Reuters Promises ‘Impartial’ Reportage After HonestReporting Expresses Concerns Over Journalist’s Israel Tweets
Just this month, the Reuters Institute, which is funded by the news agency and based at the UK’s prestigious Oxford University, announced that among its 2022 Journalist Fellow Programme cohorts is Palestinian writer Haya Abushkhaidem, who has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and of “lynching” Palestinians.

In one especially disturbing Instagram post, Abushkhaidem uploaded a picture celebrating so-called Palestinian “women for freedom” that included images of terrorists Leila Khaled and Dalal Mughrabi.

Mughrabi was one of the perpetrators in 1978 of what is known as the Coastal Road Massacre; a bus hijacking attack in which armed Palestinians slaughtered 38 Israelis, including 13 children.

For her part, Khaled, a member of the US-designated terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), has the ignominious title of being the world’s first female aircraft hijacker for her role in the Black September attacks.

It would appear, then, that glorifying terrorists does not preclude one from being chosen by the Reuters Institute for one of its competitive fellowships.

Given Reuters’ ubiquitous role in the dissemination of news around the world, HonestReporting pays close attention to both its journalistic output and its employees as they relate to Israel. Therefore, we are troubled that an agency that prides itself on a reputation of accurately reporting current affairs – including controversial and emotional issues – would choose to associate with individuals whose feelings about Israel are so fervid and transparent.
Context issues in BBC report on internal Palestinian affairs
As was the case in those and other previous reports, this latest one too lacks essential context.

“Living conditions in Gaza are dire. There is a severe lack of water, poor sewage treatment and long daily power cuts. Some 67% of the youth workforce are unemployed – with the highest figures among graduates.”

Knell and Abu Alouf fail to explain the mismanagement and inter-factional rifts which have brought about a chronic utilities crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Once again, no effort is made to inform readers that a rise in terrorism against Israeli civilians following Hamas’ coup in the Gaza Strip – including over 3,000 attacks using rockets and mortars in the first year alone – prompted counter-terrorism measures that include what Knell and Abu Alouf describe as a “tight blockade”.

“The Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, took full control of Gaza in 2007, ousting Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in days of bloody fighting, a year after Hamas won the Palestinians’ last parliamentary election.

Following its takeover, Israel and Egypt imposed a tight blockade against the militants which has squeezed the Palestinian territory. Internationally, Hamas is widely seen as a terrorist group.”
NY Times Holocaust Revisionism For Poles, Not Palestinians
To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, The New York Times posted an editorial by Jan Grabowski about “The New Wave of Holocaust Revisionism.” The essay described how Poland was setting up monuments for Polish non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust – directly in the location where hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered, often with the help of other Poles. Polish-Canadian historian Jan Grabowski predicts a bleak future for holocaust research.

Grabowski warns that this distortion of history is a new form of Holocaust denial – one that tries to whitewash Polish collaboration with the Nazis. It is taking flight since Poland passed a law in 2018 to penalize those people who attribute some of the blame of the Jewish Holocaust on Poland. The historian faces a number of lawsuits from the country for his detailed published research, including his book “Hunt for Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland” which won the Yad Vashem International Book Award in 2014. It was appropriate for the Times to publish the lengthy essay shortly after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Alas, the paper did not do the same when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) distorted the role that Palestinian Arabs played in the murder of European Jewry.

In May 2019, Tlaib said that she got a “calming feeling” thinking about ancestors who helped “create a safe haven for Jews.” Jews and many Republicans denounced the Holocaust revisionism as pure anti-Semitism, while fellow Democrats and liberal outlets rushed to her defense. The plain facts are that Palestinian Arabs pushed the British to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine during Kristallnacht, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem met with leading Nazi officials to support the annihilation of the Jews. When Jews arrived in Palestine after the war, Arab armies came to slaughter the Survivors.
Toronto Caribbean Newspaper Publishes Column Whitewashing Hamas Terrorism
A couple weeks ago, HonestReporting Canada exposed a vile antisemitic conspiracy theory which was published by the Toronto Caribbean (TC) newspaper, where columnist Steven Kaszab made the claim that “Canadian, American and British politicians continue to kowtow to their populations Jewish Lobbyists.”

HonestReporting Canada and its subscribers sent scores of complaints to the publication and its editors, but Toronto Caribbean has yet to respond to complaints, nor take any corrective action.

A deeper look into Toronto Caribbean finds that its proclivity to publish anti-Israel misinformation is not new. In a column published on June 9, 2021 on TorontoCaribbean.com, Omniya Ali used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to peddle some of the most egregious and baseless, but nevertheless widely attempted slurs against Israel.

In the last Hamas against Israel war, the terror group used a property dispute in Jerusalem to justify rocket barrages against the Jewish State. In the neighbourhood of Shimon HaTzaddik, sometimes referred to as Sheikh Jarrah, a group of Arab tenants refused to pay rent to their Jewish landlords, claiming to be the true owners. Despite copious legal evidence proving the Jewish ownership, Ali made the scurrilous claim that Israel is attempting “forced displacement” against the deadbeat Palestinian tenants.

Ali’s unfounded allegations against Israel go back much further.
Dutch Publisher Halts Anne Frank Book Amid Questions on Research
A Dutch publisher has suspended printing of a book that suggested a Jewish notary betrayed Anne Frank, saying there were questions about the research behind it, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.

“The Betrayal of Anne Frank” released on Jan. 18 caused a sensation when it said investigators had named Arnold van den Bergh as the main suspect. Other researchers later criticized the findings, saying they were “full of errors.”

The publisher of the Dutch-language edition, Ambo Anthos, said in an email to its own authors on Monday morning that it should have taken a more “critical stance” on the publication.

“We await the answers from the researchers to the questions that have emerged and are delaying the decision to print another run,” the email from the Amsterdam firm said. “We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who might feel offended by the book.”

It did not go into details on the questions and the firm declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters. There was no immediate response to requests for comment from representatives of the author, Rosemary Sullivan, or from the book’s English-language publisher, HarperCollins.

One of the investigators quoted in the book, Pieter van Twisk, told Reuters he had seen the email and the research team was “completely surprised” by its message.
Suspect arrested after Chicago synagogue vandalized, man assaulted
Chicago Police arrested a person of interest after the F.R.E.E. Chabad synagogue in Chicago and a number of other Jewish institutions were vandalized over the weekend, local community members reported on Sunday night.

The Concerned Citizens League (CCL), a group of Jewish community members in Chicago who work to train community members in first-aid and self-defense, reported that several incidents had targeted Jewish institutions along Devon Avenue in the West Ridge neighborhood of the city.

On Saturday morning, two Jewish businesses, Kol Tuv and Tel Aviv Bakery, had their windows broken. A synagogue in the area also had its windows broken.

On Sunday afternoon, the F.R.E.E. synagogue and the Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov High School were vandalized with yellow swastikas. Shortly afterward, a Yeshiva student was tackled by an assailant described as a middle eastern man, according to CCL. The victim was treated by the Hatzalah emergency medical service and was not seriously injured.

The incidents have all been reported to the Chicago Police Department who are actively investigating.


Swastikas displayed at Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests against vaccination mandates
Swastikas and other symbols of hate were on display amid a sea of Canadian flags as part of the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protests against vaccination mandates in Ottawa over the weekend.

The protests, which were organized by Canadian truckers in response to a vaccination mandate placed on truckers returning to Canada from the United States, took place Saturday and attracted thousands to Canada’s capitol city. The protests featured a range of groups comparing vaccine mandates to fascism and displaying Canadian flags, and sometimes American flags, upside down. Many protesters held signs with profanity-filled messages for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Among the symbols displayed at the protests were swastikas and, in at least one instance, the Confederate flag.

A member of parliament from the Conservative party, Michael Cooper, went out to show support to the protesters and was interviewed by a Canadian news channel as a protester with a Canadian flag covered in swastikas walked behind him.

Cooper later released a statement saying he did not know that the symbol was behind him and that if he had, he would have condemned it. “He or she does not represent the thousands of peaceful protesters who waved Canadian flags and acted responsibly. I stand with them and will continue to fight with them,” he wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
Kentucky Jews ‘Embarrassed’ by Congressman Who Mistook Neo-Nazi for Voltaire
I opted to copy the tweet below rather than provide the Twitter embedded version because these unpleasant things have a way of disappearing from people’s accounts on account of being an embarrassment. So here it is, Rep. Thomas Massie, representing Kentucky’s 4th congressional district, which includes suburban Louisville, on Sunday cautioned in a mock 1984, Big Brother sort of way: “You mustn’t question Fauci, for he is science.”

Below that statement, Massie shared a quote from Voltaire, a.k.a. François-Marie Arouet, French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

Here’s the thing, though: USA Today fact-checked the quote last year and it doesn’t belong to Voltaire. It belongs to Kevin Alfred Strom, a White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, Holocaust Denier, and White Separatist, who in 2008 pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 23 months in prison. He was eventually released from prison after serving only five months which were added to 9 months of time served while awaiting his trial.

The Kentucky Jewish Council on Monday tweeted a response, saying: “We are embarrassed to once again see a Kentucky congressman share an Ill researched hateful post. This is sadly not the first time Rep. Thomas Massie has tweeted blatant antisemitism that originated with white supremacists.”


New Israeli imaging technique gives ‘unprecedented window’ into genes deep in body
Israeli scientists have developed an early version of an imaging technique, which they say will be able to give doctors an “unprecedented window into gene activity deep in the human body.”

A part of the DNA in every living cell, genes are responsible for encoding proteins, which in turn dictate cell function. The thousands of genes expressed in a cell determine what the cell does, which is why it can be important for the medical profession to get detailed information on genes, and more detailed information is thought to hold the key to various medical advances.

Currently, if physicians want to see which genes are encoding proteins and where, they are limited to methods that make genes visible by making them glow with fluorescent substances — but this works only on tissue on or close to the surface of the body, as they need to be able to see that glow. If physicians want to get a picture of gene activity deeper inside the body, they must use MRI scans, and those currently can only track one gene type at a time.

But on Monday, a research team from the Weizmann Institute of Science published a peer-reviewed study in the journal, Nature Biotechnology, outlining a new method that can simultaneously give a picture of many different gene types deep inside the body.

The new research was defined as a proof-of-concept and succeeded in tracking two genes simultaneously. It took place in mice, with lead researcher Dr. Amnon Bar-Shir stressing that it will take years before the method is tested in humans.
Yeshiva University Unveils $50,000 Sacks Book Prize to Inspire Jewish Thought
Erica Brown, vice provost for values and leadership and inaugural director of the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership, announced the creation of Yeshiva University’s Sacks Book Prize, funded by the Rohr family.

“Rabbi Sacks believed profoundly in the power of the written word,” said Brown. “Presenting a new literary award in his honor is an important recognition of his commitment to the flourishing of the Jewish bookshelf.”

The Sacks Book Prize will be awarded to an author of a recently published or about to be published work (six months before or six months after publication) of Jewish ideas deeply sourced in Jewish texts, with broad appeal within and beyond the Jewish community.

The author of the winning work will be awarded a $50,000 prize. Additional funds will be used to help the author promote the book through events, marketing and book distribution.

The winner and two finalists will be determined by an independent committee in cooperation with the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust based in the United Kingdom. Lady Elaine Sacks will serve as one of the Prize’s five judges.

“We hope that, in reflecting Rabbi Sacks’ legacy, the prize will meaningfully deepen and broaden the impact of Jewish scholarship in the arena of contemporary Jewish thought. We’re honored to be part of its launch,” said Jewish philanthropist George Rohr.
In NYT ad, Sharansky, Henri-Levy urge Olympics boycott over China’s abuse of Uighurs
A full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Saturday urged athletes and corporate sponsors to “walk away” from the Winter Olympic Games, set to begin on Friday in Beijing, to protest China’s persecution of the Uighurs. “We urge the athletes and the sponsoring corporations to walk away from these games unless Beijing takes steps to reunite Uyghur families. And we urge the world’s citizens to embrace the cause of this persecuted population,” the ad stated.

The ad was paid for by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and was signed by the French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, the former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky, and Eli Wiesel’s son Elisha Wiesel. Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work speaking out about the lessons of the Holocaust and bringing attention to other genocides, died in 2016.

Activists have urged a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s treatment of the Uighur, a Muslim group in the northwest part of China whose members have faced forced internment in “reeducation camps” by the Chinese government. The Chinese government has said the move is meant to combat terrorism, but numerous reports say the captive Uighurs are pressured to abandon their culture. The men are also reported to have been forced into labor and the women are said to have been sterilized.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations have designated the persecution of the Uighurs a genocide. United States officials plan to boycott the Beijing Olympics in protest of the Chinese persecution of the Uighurs, though US athletes will still participate in the games. Israeli officials are not expected to follow the Americans’ lead and are expected to attend the games.
In ‘Children of Auschwitz,’ a German writer confronts history and himself
Alwin Meyer knew about the Holocaust when he made his first trip to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp, in 1971. At 21, the young German man had grown up in its shadow.

But he was still shocked by some of what he learned.

“I knew about Auschwitz, but not that there were newborns and children in the camp,” Meyer recently told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It was almost unbelievable. But it is true.”

Meyer has devoted his life since to uncovering and documenting the stories of children who were imprisoned at Auschwitz, and his book about 27 of them comes out this week in English for the first time. “Never Forget Your Name: The Children of Auschwitz” highlights stories of survival and hope, yet does not flinch from the stark reality: that such qualities were rare in this death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland – especially for children.

Translated from German by Nick Somers, the book weaves together the biographies of 27 people who were children when they arrived in Auschwitz, ranging in ages from 1 day to 15 years. Four were born there.

Pregnant women who arrived at the camp were usually murdered immediately. The few babies who were born in the camp were birthed secretly, with help from other inmates and in filthy conditions. Virtually all born in the camp were killed soon after birth.

The survival of any child represents “a type of resistance to the only fate that Germans had planned for the children — namely, extermination,” Meyer writes in his book. “Very many of the children and juveniles in this book are fully aware that their survival was a matter of pure luck.”

The people Meyer interviewed represent a tiny fraction of the children who spent time imprisoned at Auschwitz. Of about 230,000 children – most of them Jewish – who arrived in Auschwitz from the time it opened in 1940, only a few hundred survived, including 60 newborns. In 1971, just 80 of the child survivors were still alive.











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