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>JN April 1, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 60
Arafat Visits Anne Frank's House
By Gillian Sharpe (VOA-The Hague)
Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat has paid a visit to the Anne Frank
House in Amsterdam. The museum is in the canal-side house where
the young Jewish girl hid from the Nazis, along with her family and
others during World War 2, and detailed her ordeal in what became
her widely-published diary. But the visit -- made at Arafat's
request -- has split the Dutch Jewish community.
During his 20-minute visit Tuesday, Arafat was shown around the
tiny attic where eight people hid from the Nazis for more than two
years. He also watched a video about the appalling conditions in
the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Frank died.
The visit, Arafat said, had made a deep impression on him. It
was a sad story, but he'd felt duty bound to take the opportunity
to see for himself what the people there had suffered. He said
the peace deal which he'd been working on with Israel -- what he
called the "Peace of the Brave" -- was designed to ensure that
this story would never repeat itself.
But a number of Jewish groups have reacted angrily, saying they're
shocked by the visit and they've accused Arafat of political
opportunism. Other Jewish groups, though, say they're pleased that
the Palestinian leader has learned more about the Holocaust through
the stop at the Frank house.
The "Diary of Anne Frank" has sold more than 20-million copies
worldwide and been translated into 55 languages. The story in her
diary -- and her later concentration camp death -- have made Anne
Frank both a haunting and enduring symbol of the Holocaust.
Holocaust Survivor to Testify on Video
By Permission of United Press International
Adolf Stern, of Miami, an 82-year-old survivor of the Nazi
Holocaust, is expected to videotape an emotionally charged
deposition Monday in a case charging Italian insurer
Assisicurazioni Generali with breach of contract for refusing to
let him file a claim for family members who died in the Auschwitz
In what is expected to be moving testimony, Stern is expected to
describe how in 1945 Generali staff in Prague threw him into the
street, because he did not have any death certificates, when he
tried to file an insurance claim for the deaths of his father
Moshe, his mother Regina, his wife, infant daughter and two
brothers who died in the gas chambers.
"Hitler wasn't handing out death certificates," the family's
lawyers told UPI.
Generali is one of 16 defendants in a national class action suit,
but the Sterns are the first individual family to file a lawsuit
seeking redress for unpaid insurance benefits owed to survivors of
The Sterns, unlike the surviving relatives in most other cases, say
they have written proof -- a copy of the 1929 policy they obtained
in 1996. Because of Stern's advanced age and ill health his
testimony will be videotaped for court use if necessary.
Moshe Stern, who was a wealthy wine producer from Uzshghorod in
Hungary, purchased several life insurance, annuity and dowry
policies in 1929 and paid premiums until the family were deported
in 1944, the family say.
In the lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court in
February, the Stern family ask for $125 million in punitive damages
in addition to the $10 million they estimate the unpaid life
insurance policies are now worth.
Admor's Son Sentenced to 12-Years in Rape Case
By IINS News Service
In a criminal case that has received nationwide attention, the
40-year-old son of a prominent Tel-Aviv Chassidic Rebbe (Admor) has
been found guilty and sentenced to 12-years in jail for rape and
sodomy, involving his own niece. The court, in delivering its
sentence, admonished the actions of the middle-aged Chassidic
rabbi, and stated, "the victim is one of your own blood, your own
The convicted rapist, who was accompanied by his wife and prominent
members of the community, insisted he is the target of
anti-religious actions of the system and the charges leveled
against him by his niece are all baseless. The niece told police
that since she was 8-years-old, she was sodomized by her uncle and
she made repeated attempts to report the incidents to her uncle,
mother, and other family members.
The young woman stated that when she realized she had no other
alternative, she went to police. The woman, (the rape victim), was
since ostracized from the community, and she is living in a secret
location. There is a ban prohibiting the publication of any details
that would point to her identity, including information about the
Chassidic group and the name of the Admor.
Many prominent rabbis testified on behalf of the defendant, but to
no avail. The testimony and documentation presented by the victim
appeared overwhelming and the Tel-Aviv District Court made its
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