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Himmler’s Healer – the Story of Felix Kersten

Oscar Schindler used his enamelware factory as a cover in order to save Jews; Jan and Antonina Żabiński used the zoo they were running for this very same purpose; and Jaap Penraat from Holland used to smuggle Jews dressed as construction workers. All of them justly received the Righteous Among the Nations honorific from the state […]

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Once They Were Synagogues – Now This

The Jewish population of Europe has declined from about 10-million at the eve of World War II to about Two million today. The primary reason being the Holocaust, but immigration and assimilation in the years following the War reduced the Jewish population even further. One sign of this phenomena present itself in many former synagogues […]

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Maimonides and the Jews of Yemen – Hand in Hand for Eight Centuries

The middle of the 12th century was quite a dramatic era for the Jews of Yemen. The Fatimid Caliphate who ruled over Yemen for long time were losing territories to a religious charismatic preacher called Ali Ibn Mahdi, whose name means in Islam the Messiah, redeemer, savior. Indeed Ali referred to himself as the savior […]

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Forgotten Torch: The Untold Story of the Jewish Resistance in Algeria

26,000 Jews were living in Algeria in 1830, when France invaded Algeria and made it a French colony for 130 years. The Jews of Algeria enjoyed freedom and equality thanks to Adolphe Crémieux, who was minister of justice in the second French republic and gave the Jews full equal rights in 1870. The Crémieux decree […]

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Nazi Germany and the Farhud in Iraq

The most traumatic event in the collective memory of Iraqi Jews — the Farhud — took place during Shavuot 1941. During these violent riots in Baghdad thousands were raped and/or wounded, Jewish shops and synagogues were plundered and destroyed, and a staggering 180 people were brutally murdered. This unprecedented attack on the theretofore flourishing, peaceful […]

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The Story of Bertha Pappenheim – Anna O

It is well known that Sigmund Freud was Jewish, as were many of his successors. But the first psychoanalysis patient ever was also Jewish – she was a Viennese young woman called Bertha Pappenheim, referred to as Anna O in the book about her case. Who was Anna/Bertha, and what was so special about her life […]