Newsletter : 7fax0826.txt
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>JN Aug. 26, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 156
Nazi-Style Sterilizations Shock Swedes
The Swedish government could face thousands of claims for
compensation because of a Nazi-style campaign of forced
sterilization of women that historians say was hushed up for years.
Swedes have been shocked over revelations from journalist Maciej
Zaremba that Swedish governments sterilized 60,000 women to rid
Swedish society of "inferior" racial types and encourage Aryan
features. "What happened was nothing but barbaric.
Israel May Join the British Commonwealth
Israel is actively considering joining the British
Commonwealth, following an "unofficial approach" to its ambassador
in the UK from the secretary-general of the 53-member group of
states at one time ruled by Britain. The approach was made earlier
this month in a meeting between ambassador Moshe Raviv and the
Commonwealth's secretary-general, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Jewish
Chronicle reports (Aug 24).
The move comes at a time Israeli ties with the European Union and
other international bodies have become especially strained over the
stalled Oslo process. Sources in Israel said the Israeli government
"would be pleased to look into the possibility of joining the
In February, the Commonwealth rejected a Palestinian Authority
application for observer status, on the grounds it does not
represent an independent state. Anyaoku told the PLO's "ambassador"
in London, Afif Safieh, however, that future membership was
The area now occupied by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian
Authority-controlled territory was ruled by British Mandate between
1917 and 1948.
Austrian Foreign Ministry Won't Give Gold to Nazi Victims
By IINS News Service
Austria doesn't plan to give Holocaust victims 50 tons of gold
the defeated nation received from the Allied forces after World War
2 because it legitimately belongs to the government, a Foreign
Ministry spokesman said.
Spokesman Andreas Launer said in a telephone interview that the
government is willing to work with the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
which demanded in June that the gold be turned over to victims of
He said, though, that Austria's willingness to help settle
outstanding claims about Jews' seized assets before and after the
war does not extend to the gold, originally taken from and now held by
the Austrian National Bank. National Bank spokesman Gerald Husa
said Austria held 78.267 tons of gold in the National Bank on March
17, 1938, the last time the gold was valued before Austria was
taken over by Germany. According to the Foreign Ministry, the
German Reichsbank illegally stripped Austria of its official gold
Austria is willing to forego any future claims to the 28.08 tons of
gold it never got back from the Allies and therefore does not have.
It is also willing to help set up an international fund with that
amount to pay reparations to Nazi victims.
Silence About Children's Deportation Grips French Town
By Julian Nundy (VOA-Paris)
A French town kept silent for 50 years about the World War 2
deportation of Jewish children to Nazi death camps. Previously
unpublished documents show that all the children died in those
camps. The mayor of Voiron, a small town near the Alpine city of
Grenoble, calls the silence "the silence of shame."
One night in March 1944, the Gestapo raided a house in the town
where 16 Jewish children were being hidden. They were deported to
death camps and none of them survived.
Part of the mystery is how the deportations escaped attention all
these years. The regional newspaper, "Le Dauphine Libere," has
found two residents of the town who are still alive today and who
saw the children being loaded into trucks. The children were taken
to a transit camp near Paris. They were put to death in camps in
Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
Mayor Philippe Vial says the town will unveil a memorial next
month. The Voiron deportations closely resemble a notorious episode
at the nearby town of Izieu. There, in April 1944, 44 children
being hidden by an undercover rescue organization were arrested and
sent to their deaths.
The news of the Voiron deportation comes some six weeks before
Maurice Papon, a former government minister in the 1970s, goes on
trial for crimes against humanity. He is to be tried for his
alleged role in the deportation of Jews from the city of Bordeaux.
Netanyahu Visits Japan
By Thomas Caldwell (VOA-Tokyo)
In Japan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on a
four day visit to the country for talks with Japanese leaders. The
primary reason for Netanyahu's visit is to attract more Japanese
investment in his country and to further the business relationship
between Israel and Japan.
Netanyahu met with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto at his official
residence. The two discussed economic issues, but the subject of
the current state of affairs between Israel and its neighbors was
also addressed. Hashimoto said Japan would try to support the
Middle East peace process, but added that he would like to see
Israel fulfill its responsibility to advance the peace talks.
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