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As coal mines in West Virginia opened for thousands of immigrant laborers in the late 1800s, a stream of peddlers brought the pots, pans and cottons of the outside world to the mining hollows. The more enterprising door-to-door men opened small stores of their own. Many were practically just off the boat. They learned English buying and selling.
Hard work, long hours and customers who were grateful to be "carried" through bad times -- it was a foothold in the golden land.
"They were drawn to Appalachia by economic opportunity," historian Deborah R. Weiner said in Wheeling the other day. "If one man was responsible for this trade, I think it would be Jacob Epstein of Baltimore."
Silberman, 26, a Memphis native, said she created the book, which was released this week, “not only as a reference tool but as a love letter to the community.”
Silberman is the education and program coordinator at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore. “The Jewish Community of Baltimore” includes 200 black-and-white photographs, most of which are historic. Silberman said the majority of the photos came from the Jewish Museum collection.
"My father was a Holocaust survivor," Isenberg, a genealogy enthusiast, told The Jewish Standard last week. She formed a passion for genealogy when she was 17. "I have been studying the history of my family for over 35 years, so when I discovered this opportunity I had to seize it," she said.
There is new evidence Dr. Aribert Heim, the most wanted Nazi in the world, is living in Chile or Argentina, the chief Nazi-hunter of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center said Thursday.
The search for Heim, 94, a former Austrian physician also known as "Dr. Death" who tops the Wiesenthal Center's list of "most wanted Nazis," has spanned nearly half a century since his disappearance in Germany in 1962 ahead of planned prosecution for war crimes.
"We have received information from two sources that has strong potential to locate Heim," Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter and Israel director said in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post from Chile.
During their South American trip to locate the top Nazi, Zuroff and the center's Latin America Director Sergio Widder were separately accosted by middle aged men in Chile who told them to leave the country and to stop killing Palestinians, which they dubbed "the real genocide." The incidents ended without violence.
Attempts to broker a meeting between the Zuroff and Heim's daughter Waltraud, who lives in the southern Chilean city of Puerto Montt, and who is thought to have information about her father have not been successful, Zuroff said.
His daughter has previously said that her father died in 1993 in Argentina, but never provided a certificate of death or accepted her inheritance from his property.
A €1 million bank account in his name is active in Berlin, which Heim's children could have received if they proved he is dead.
A reward of €316,000 is being offered jointly by the center and the German and Austrian governments for information leading to Heim's arrest.
In the interview, Zuroff said he did not expect to nab Heim on his current two-week visit, which include meetings with government officials and ad campaigns in Chilean and Argentinian newspapers, but that he hopes the effort bears fruit in the near future.
"We are putting into place the tools to have him handed over in the coming weeks or months," Zuroff said.
Heim was indicted in Germany for murdering hundreds of inmates by lethal injection at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where he was camp doctor during the Holocaust.
After World War II, he was held for two and half years by the US military but was released without being tried.
Heim disappeared in 1962 after being tipped off that an indictment was imminent. (Source: JPOST)
Survivors dancing at Four Seasons Lodge.
When he learned that the colony was slated to be sold – Chassidim are the only buyers, and they offered $2 million to buy a different bungalow colony, according to Jacobs’ article – he decided to return to observe the group’s final summer. “A book, I thought, could never capture these remarkable characters and their intensely communal lives,” he said; “a longer newspaper article would not do justice to their astonishing embrace for life, and the darkness that shadowed them even when they were laughing.” So the man who had never before made a film decided he had found fodder for his first documentary.
Survivors’ minyan at Four Seasons Lodge.
But ghost towns apparently are very welcoming to people haunted by ghosts. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, firemen, or more accurately arsonists, are employed by the State to destroy books, and it takes exceptional individuals to thwart this anti-intellectual campaign. They succeed, in part, by memorizing books, and each comes to identify with the work he or she preserves. The differences between Bradbury’s fictive human books and the very real stories of the summer visitors to Four Seasons Lodge surely extend far beyond the fact that the characters commit other people’s stories to memory, while the survivors remember their own experiences. But like Bradbury’s resistance fighters, these Holocaust survivors had to not only survive, but also to rebuild their lives after the war. “No psychiatrist in the world can heal you from that,” one man says in the documentary. “It always comes back to you. You live with this.”
Survivors engage in a game of cards at Four Seasons Lodge.
Jacobs’ journalistic skills show through as well, and a lesser writer and director might not have been able to tease out such interesting – though also sad, terrifying, and depressing – conversations. One man tells of reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (in Polish translation) in the mid-1930s and crying for the injustice as he wondered how anyone could enslave other people. Little did he know what was in store for him and his family.
Old friends meeting again for the summer at Four Seasons Lodge.
As is to be expected, the survivors do not agree on everything. A theological debate breaks out while several of the men and women are cleaning fish. “I believe in food. I believe in eating,” the conversation starts, though it quickly turns to “I didn’t see the miracles.” “I look, I look for G-d ... and I can’t get ahold of Him. Maybe he is asleep,” says one man, who questions where G-d was during the Holocaust. “I do believe there is a G-d,” a woman insists. “You can’t believe in nothing,” she says of the non-believer, “You know what he is? A yeshiva bochur. He used to have payos!”
But even though some struggle with their beliefs, the camera captures the women lighting Shabbat candles, and the men reciting havdallah. This community began of necessity (several of the survivors address the difficulties of finding a community after the War), but the viewer gets the feeling that it continued to sustain itself for so long, through resilience that is about both having fun during the summer and deeper religious motivations. “This is our revenge on Hitler. To live this long, this well, is a victory,” says Fran Lask, 82, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen.
One of the most important lines in the film might be one woman’s observation, “Life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy.” Coming from a community of survivors who happily drink “l’chaim” on soda, orange juice, and their medicine, this is not to be taken lightly. It takes a special group of people to create their own afterlife and an even more special group of people that can still fight to protect that “paradise in the mountains” well into its 80s and 90s. (Source: JewishPress.com)
The first new Yiddish-Belarusian language dictionary in the last 76 years was published in Belarus.
The dictionary, researched and written by Yiddish expert Alexander Astrauh, was published using private donations.
The book contains 50,000 words. Quotes from literature of both cultures, songs, illustrations and jokes are also included. Only 1,000 volumes have been published.
Work on the dictionary took 10 years. While working on the project, Astrauh studied dictionaries that were published in different countries in the 20th and 21st centuries, according to the Belapan News Agency.
It is the second Yiddish-Belarusian dictionary in the country's history. The first, which included 8,000 words, was published in 1932.
A collection containing 100,000 Yiddish words created by the Jewish sector of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences between 1920 and 1930 was destroyed during World War II. (JTA)
The chief Nazi hunter of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center headed to South America on Sunday in a final public campaign to locate the most wanted Nazi in the world and bring him to justice.
The search for Dr. Aribert Heim, 94, the former Austrian doctor also known as "Dr. Death" who tops the Wiesenthal Center's list of "most wanted Nazis," has spanned nearly half a century since his 1962 disappearance in Germany ahead of a planned prosecution for his war crimes.
Heim was indicted in Germany on charges that he murdered hundreds of inmates by lethal injection at the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where he was the camp's doctor during the Holocaust.
"Our working assumption is that Heim is hiding somewhere in Chile or Argentina," said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter and Israel director in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post ahead of his departure.
Zuroff conceded that this would likely be the "final push" to uncover the nonagenarian, despite his status as the world's number one Nazi suspect.
"We feel we are approaching the end of the line," he said.
The Nazi hunter noted that Heim's daughter lives in the southern Chilean city of Puerto Montt, and that she is the most likely to be in contact with her father, or at least have information about his whereabouts.
His daughter had previously said that her father died in 1993 in Argentina, but she never provided a certificate of death or accepted his inheritance.
A one million Euro bank account in his name is active in Berlin, which Heim's children could have received if they had proved he was dead.
During his trip, Zuroff will be holding a press conference in Puerto Montt in a "final attempt" to reach anyone who has information about his current whereabouts.
"We are going into her backyard," he said.
The German and Austrian governments and the Wiesenthal Center are jointly offering 316,000 Euros, or about half a million US Dollars, for information that will lead to Heim's arrest and prosecution by the German Government.
In the interview, Zuroff said that he did not expect to nab Heim on his current visit, which will include meetings with government officials and ad campaigns in Chilean and Argentinean newspapers, but hopes that the effort will bear fruit in the near future.
"We are putting into place the tools to have him handed over in the coming weeks or months," Zuroff said.
Last week, he blasted a German judge for repeatedly refusing to allow investigative measures requested by the special police task force to find Heim which are routinely approved in murder cases in Germany, and said that the judge's "obstructionist" moves have contributed to the failure to capture the wanted Nazi.
"Documents which we have obtained clearly indicate that the efforts of the German police to find Dr. Heim are being consistently hampered by Judge Hans-Richard Neerforth's refusal to approve routine investigations which are allowed as a matter of course by all judges in murder cases in Germany," Zuroff said.
"We urge the German judicial authorities to find a way to circumvent these obstructive decisions to help facilitate the capture of Dr. Heim so that he can finally be brought to justice for his heinous crimes," he said. (JPOST)