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Dutch archives on accused Nazi collaborators to open to the public in 2025

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(JTA) — The Dutch government is planning to throw open information about 300,000 people investigated for their collaboration with the Nazis, in a move that could accelerate a reckoning with the Netherlands’ Holocaust record.

For the past seven decades, only researchers and relatives of those accused of collaborating with the Nazis could access the information held by the Dutch archives. But a law guarding the data is set to expire in 2025.

In February, The War in Court, a Dutch consortium devoted to preserving history, announced that it would make the records available online when the privacy law expires. The effort drew additional attention this week when a New York Times article explored concerns the hopes and concerns held by people in the Netherlands who have an idea of what lies within the sweeping repository.

“It’s a sensitive archive,” Edwin Klijn, project leader of The War in Cort, told the Times.

“For years, the whole theme of collaboration has been a kind of taboo,” he added. “We don’t talk about collaboration that much but we’re now 80 years further and it’s time for us to face this dark part of the war.”

The Netherlands has world’s second-highest number of documented saviors of Jews, but it also had many collaborators who, aided by the topography and Holland’s proximity to Germany, helped the Nazis achieve the highest death rate there among Jews anywhere in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Of 140,000 Dutch Jews, more than 100,000 were murdered. As is presumed to have happened with the most famous victim of the Nazis in the Netherlands, the teenaged diarist Anne Frank, many were given up by their neighbors and acquaintances.

The Dutch government investigated 300,000 people for collaborating with the Nazis and more than 65,000 of them stood trial in a special court system in the years after World War II. But it was only in 2020 that the Dutch government apologized for failing to protect Jews during the Holocaust, long after other European leaders and after local Jews had requested an apology; a town square was named for a mayor who handed Jews to the Nazis until last year.

The archive due to open in 2025 will offer widespread access to the files from the postwar investigations, which researchers who have used the files say are detailed — and also could contain false accusations made at a tumultuous time.

The 32 million documents contained in the archive stretch to nearly two and a half miles and include witness reports, Dutch National Socialist Movement membership cards, diaries, and petitions for pardons and photos. Currently, the archive receives between 5,000 and 6,000 requests a year and cannot accommodate more.

The documents will be digitized to allow searches by key words or names. “You will be able to type in the name of a victim and discover who was accused of betraying them,” Klijn said.

The effort will be second major digitization of a Holocaust document trove in the Netherlands, where an efficient collaboration machine made for detailed records. In 2021, the Red Cross transferred ownership of its Index Card Archive, a repository of nearly 160,000 cards with personal information of Dutch Jews maintained by the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, a body set up by the Nazis to govern the community ahead of its extermination, to the National Holocaust Museum in the Netherlands. The museum will reopen to visitors next year but has made the cards accessible online already.

Paul Shapiro, director of the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., told The New York Times that the new Dutch database is unusual — and important — because of the planned ease of access.

“Genocidal crimes leave a very long legacy behind them,” Shapiro said. “For better or worse, the only way to resolve some of those issues is to have your eyes wide open and look at the past openly and accept what the history really was. One way to look at that is through the paper trail in the archives.”

In 2020, the Vatican unsealed its archives from World War II, sharing 2,700 files that revealed details about Pope Pius XII’s relationship with Nazi Germany. Those records showed that the Vatican fought efforts to reunite Jewish orphans with their relatives and also urged the Pope not to protest the deportation of Italian Jews.


The post Dutch archives on accused Nazi collaborators to open to the public in 2025 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Obituaries

PHYLLIS POLLOCK

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary

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By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre


Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station

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This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.


The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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