DEMJANJUK…”WILL NOT SEE ONE DAY IN JAIL,” says lawyer.

Munich, Germany: John Demjanjuk, a guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943, was sentenced to 5 years in prison. His lawyer is appealing the verdict and expects him to do no jail time, the article explains. 

There was no direct evidence that Demjanjuk commited a crime, and yet he was convicted, the theory being that if he worked at the camp he was guilty of killing Jews. The only piece of evidence was an SS identity card, the validity of which was questioned in 1985 by the FBI. This benchmark decision by Judge Alt could open the door to many new trials of death camp personnel, where there is no hard evidence for a specific crime committed.

ANNUAL HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL HELD AT STATE CAPITOL

This article just popped up on my radar today though the observance of Holocaust Memorial Day was held on May 2, 2011 in Sacramento. Co-hosted by State Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach and San Diego-area Assemblyman Marty Block, the event attracted many who survived the Nazi scourge, their liberators and descendants, from what I understand. It is an important event that we missed. I only wish we would have known.  Perhaps, I would have met some people with whom I grew up in Long Beach, CA.

Max and I now live in Reno, NV, only 2 hours from Sacramento. If any of our readers hear of such an event nearby, please let us know.

MARIO LANZA INTRODUCES BOY WONDER, LUCIANO PAVAROTTI

Mario Lanza shares the stage with Luciano Pavarotti, a boy at the time, in this extraordinary video.

Why would I enter a post featuring Mario Lanza?

 Well, when my husband, Max Ciampoli, arrived in the United States in 1947, it was Mario Lanza who welcomed him at the dock. Max stayed with him for three weeks before Mario left New York to do a tour. During that time, they dined out almost every night. He doesn’t ever remember Mario paying for a meal because he was always asked for a song or two, and he always graciously accepted. Being rather reserved, Max was taken aback by Mario’s exhuberant  lifestyle–the drinking and the women who threw themselves at him.

2009 GOLDSTONE REPORT TO UN ADMITTEDLY WRONG

Chicago Tribune article reveals Goldstone 2009 report to United Nations about Gaza invasion was wrong. And what a furor it caused! It said: “Israeli soldiers deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians during its invasion of Gaza.” Not true. Now there is proof!

In an op-ed to the Washington Post, Richard Goldstone now explains there is proof that the opposite is true and that he “hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the UN Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

TODAY’S YOUTH REACHES OUT TO THE CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

This uplifting article really touched us. It brought to mind Max’s true-life story of a little girl named Sarah. Max was responsible for getting thousands of Jewish children false Catholic identities to save them from the death camps. Little Sarah didn’t like the name Max had chosen for her: Suzanne. She would not accept it, could not be consoled and wouldn’t stop crying. Finally, he asked her if she had a friend whose name she really liked. Ange (angel in French)–Sarah really loved her friend and her name. And so it was that Sarah became Ange, and her life was saved. Not so for over a million others.

HONORING THE PASSING OF MAJOR DICK WINTERS, HERO OF “BAND OF BROTHERS”

“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” one of his men wrote to Mr. Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”

This article highlights the story of one of the many self-effacing heroes of World War II and his company of men, The Easy Company, 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. Their stories were first told in the book “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose, and then so effectively in the HBO emmy award-winning miniseries, “Band of Brothers,” produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Before the fame that the book and television series brought him, Mr. Winters lived a quiet life on a farm. Certainly he didn’t describe himself as a hero, (his men would disagree) but Winters often quoted his friend, Mike Ranney: “…I served in a company of heroes.”

ISRAEL UNDER ATTACK

In the Associated Press article, Ian Deitch reports the heaviest mortar shelling in two years by Palestinian militants. Fifty mortars hit Israel. Beatings of the media covering a rally in Gaza City were also reported Saturday. They were, of course, condemned by the Foreign Press Association. Condemning the attack by Hamas security: “We demand that these tactics — which run counter to the rule of law and to the basic norms of legitimate government behavior — cease immediately,” the FPA said in a statement. “Journalists must be allowed to their work safely and unhindered,” the FPA said.

POLAND’S FOREIGN MINISTER RADOSLAW SIKORSKI STANDS FIRM

Interesting response by Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in this article regarding the United States’ position on Poland’s suspending the planned law on compensation or restitution of property seized between 1939-1989 to rightful owners.  Most of the member states of the European Union have passed similar laws such as that now abandoned by the Polish government.

Stuart Eizenstat who advises U.S. secretary of state on Holocaust issues strongly recommends U.S. opposition to the Polish position. Eizenstat encourages Poland to rethink their decision not only because of justice but because of practicality as well. A law such as this would certainly lower property insurance rates for houses that must include the  possibility of future claims arising because of this rightful owner issue.