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>Israel Faxx
>PD Dec. 3, 1996, Vol. 4, No. 218

Eva Braun play panned by critics in Berlin

A play dramatizing the life of Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler's lover of 16 years, was panned Sunday by critics who found the "girlfriend of a mass murderer" more banal than intriguing. "Eva, Hitler's Geliebte" opened in Berlin to a sell-out audience. It presents a controversial sympathetic portrait of Braun during the Nazi Third Reich. The monologue, starring Corinna Harfouch, condenses the time between Hitler and Braun's wedding and their suicide together in his bunker two days later, into a 90-minute one-woman show.

UK Press: Thousands of Jews Served in Nazi Army

The London Daily Telegraph reported Monday that thousands of soldiers served in the German army during World War II, and participated in the extermination of other Jews.

The newspaper said Hitler knew at least 24 of his senior officers were born Jewish and that they had signed documents declaring themselves Aryan.

Am American history student at Oxford University, Bryan Rigg, said his research has verified that Field Marshal Erhard Milch, deputy to Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering, was half Jewish, and that Goering, Hitler's chosen successor, knew Milch's background and falsified documents to cover up his Jewish heritage.

Rigg spoke with hundreds of former soldiers and their families and examined personnel files that were located in the German federal government archives.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue

By Julio Alejo (VOA-New York)

Four generations of New Yorkers celebrated the recent designation of a century-old synagogue in the city as a historic landmark.

One hundred ten years after its construction as the first great house of worship built by east European Jewish immigrants in New York City, the Eldridge Street Synagogue has been designated a national historic landmark.

The synagogue lost much of its congregation in recent years as the Jewish population of its Lower East Side neighborhood moved elsewhere. But the synagogue never closed completely. While its main sanctuary was not used for more than 40 years, its lower level was open for a small group of worshippers. Ten years ago, some New Yorkers decided to renovate the historic building.

Roberta Gratz is president of the group in charge of renovating the synagogue, the Eldridge Street Project. She says the synagogue was built by some of the first Jewish immigrants who came to New York from countries in east Europe where they never had the chance to worship.

"When they realized that they were in this country, and in a country where freedom to worship was part of the fabric of the country, they were able to build their own synagogue, and gloriously and extravagantly built a building that says 'I am Jewish. I am proud I am in America.'"

To celebrate the official designation of the Eldridge Street Synagogue as a historic landmark, descendants of the original congregation were invited to return to the place where their parents and grandparents once worshipped. There they met Max Smith, an 82 year-old former member of the congregation.

"I can go back from memory about 70 or some-odd years ago. The building itself is beautiful in my eyes as it was 70 years or more ago because I visualize what exactly was here and is here at the present time. I am happy, what is being done is needless to say, I am very happy that people came forward and are doing what they are doing to accomplish this great thing, and that it will be a living monument for generations to come."

Hadassah Musher's father and grandfather were also members of the congregation. "My grandfather used to attend services here, and he brought my father here when he was a child. My father was bar mitzvahed here. My father was Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement. He wrote in his journal that he remembered coming to this synagogue and sitting here with his father and studying with his father."

Among the speakers at the ceremony marking the synagogue's new landmark status was Judge Paul Bookson, president of the congregation. He said the history of the synagogue reflects the experience of many Jewish people who came to the United States in search of religious freedom.

"The story of this synagogue parallels the most significant period in the history of our people. The bricks of this building, the mortar and the stones contain the tears, the hopes, the prayers and the aspirations of all those who have been connected with this synagogue over the period of 110 years."

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