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Toby Axelrod RSS

is JTA's correspondent for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A former assistant director of the American Jewish Committee's Berlin office, she has also worked as staff writer and editor at the New York Jewish Week. She has won numerous awards from the New York Press Association and the American Jewish Press Association. She has published books on Holocaust history for teen-agers.

Latest

  • Celebrating Berlin’s first-ever Jewish food week

    BERLIN (JTA)  — It was standing-room only at Fine Bagels, a bakery tucked inside the Shakespeare and Sons bookstore in the former East Berlin. Bookshelves lined the walls, cafe tables were arranged end to end, and, smack in the middle of the space, sat a large bowl of grated potatoes. Tonight would be all about Polish-Jewish…

  • What a ‘kippah walk’ in Berlin won’t tell you about anti-Semitism

    (JTA) — It’s literally become old hat: Sending a Jew wearing a kippah into the streets of a European city to see how non-Jews react. A so-called “anti-Semitism test,” it’s been done, ad nauseam. So I was a bit surprised last week when I saw yet another article on the topic on the website of the German…

  • Heirs of Jewish art collector join with German university to recover lost works

    BERLIN (JTA) — Heirs of legendary Jewish art collector Rudolf Mosse joined with a German university to track down works he once owned. Mosse’s heirs joined with researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin to form the Mosse Art Research Initiative, or MARI. Details of the partnership, reportedly the first in which state entities and heirs have joined together to…

  • Switzerland to launch Holocaust remembrance app

    BERLIN (JTA) — A new app to teach youth about the Holocaust will be a centerpiece of Switzerland’s chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Switzerland took over the rotating chairmanship of the 31-member inter-governmental group on March 7 from Romania. The app, called Fliehen vor dem Holocaust, or Escaping the Holocaust, allows users to learn about the fate…

  • Swiss parliament lower house votes to halt funds to groups promoting anti-Semitism

    BERLIN (JTA) — Switzerland’s lower house of parliament voted to halt public funding for organizations that promote anti-Semitism and hatred. Submitted by Christian Imark of the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party, the bill passed Wednesday by a vote of 111 to 78, with all center-right mainstream parties in support. Voting against the measure were the Social Democratic, Green and Green-Liberal…

  • A Mostel’s ‘Babar’ score thrills a young Berlin audience

    BERLIN (JTA) — A concert work for families by New York-based composer Raphael Mostel saw its European premiere in Berlin, in a performance by the Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Called “The Travels of Babar” — and based on the classic 1932 picture book by Jean de Brunhoff — Mostel’s chamber orchestral work combines music, images…

  • Anti-Semitic incidents rise 16 percent in Berlin

    BERLIN (JTA) — With a new report noting a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin, Jewish leaders in the German capital renewed their call for a federal commissioner to deal with the problem. The Berlin-based Research and Information Office on Anti-Semitism, founded in 2015, reported Monday that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the city has risen…

  • Holocaust survivor brothers removed as plaintiffs against Auschwitz medic

    BERLIN (JTA) — A judge in Germany has barred two American Jewish brothers who survived the Holocaust from being co-plaintiffs in the trial of a 96-year-old former Auschwitz SS medic charged with being an accessory to murder. Chief Judge Klaus Kabisch in the Neubrandenburg state court explained Tuesday that Walter and William Plywaski of Boulder, Colorado, — themselves Auschwitz survivors…

  • Populist party in Germany set to oust member for denigrating Berlin Holocaust memorial

    BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s rising right-wing populist party voted to begin proceedings to oust a prominent member for calling Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame.” Bjoern Hoecke, leader of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, in the former East German state of Thuringia aroused ire nationwide with remarks in January denigrating the memorial and suggesting that…

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancels joint Cabinet meeting with Israel

    BERLIN (JTA) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has canceled a planned top-level joint Cabinet meeting with Israeli leaders, reportedly out of frustration over Israel’s controversial new settlements law. The binational consultation was set for May 10 in Jerusalem. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Merkel’s office offered the  September national elections in Germany as the reason for the cancellation, but the chancellor appears…