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Hitler is alive and in hiding in final season of ‘Hunters,’ Amazon’s series about Jews killing Nazis



Spoilers for the first and second seasons of “Hunters” follow.

(JTA) – When Amazon Prime released the first season of “Hunters” in 2020, it advertised its Nazi-hunting TV show as “Inspired By True Events.”

That was true only in the loosest possible sense of the term. Starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman and produced by Jordan Peele, “Hunters” told a bloody, souped-up, almost entirely embellished story of a Jewish-led team of multiracial Nazi hunters in the 1970s trying to stop a “Fourth Reich” from rising in the United States. 

The show was immediately controversial: Series creator David Weil, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, had to defend his show from the Auschwitz Memorial, which harshly criticized “Hunters” for — among other scenes — depicting a human chess game at Auschwitz that never took place.

Despite all that, “Hunters” still had some basis in reality. There were, in fact, a handful of Jewish Nazi hunters active across the Americas at that time, most famously Simon Wiesenthal (played in the series by Judd Hirsch), who did succeed in bringing several prominent Nazis to justice. 

Three years later, “Hunters” has, similarly, used the historical record as a mere suggestion for its second and final season, which debuts Friday and tells an outrageous story about hunting Hitler himself. Here’s how viewers can separate fact from fiction in season 2.

Hitler in Argentina

The end of the first season hinted that things were about to go seriously off the rails, as the “real” Hitler and Eva Braun were revealed to be happily alive and hiding out in Argentina — seemingly validating decades’ worth of baseless conspiracy theories about the Nazi leader’s supposed escape from his Berlin bunker in 1945. (Also throwing things for a loop: the reveal that Pacino’s character, who had presented himself as the hero’s Holocaust-survivor grandfather, was secretly the Nazi “butcher” they had been hunting in disguise, and the man they killed after a season-long hunt was the real survivor.)

In the second season, the disbanded Hunters reunite in 1979 to follow Hitler’s trail to Argentina, where many real-life Nazis did hide out. Meanwhile, in flashbacks to 1975, Pacino’s Nazi “butcher” works furiously to cover his tracks as he poses as a successful Jewish businessman and philanthropist in the United States.

Hitler-survival conspiracy theories seem to, well, keep surviving. In the decades since the war’s end, many conspiracy theories regarding Hitler’s fate have proliferated, and a good number of them coalesce around the unsupported claim that he, like other top Nazi commanders, was ferreted out of Germany and into South America via a secret underground network. “Hunting Hitler,” a recent top-rated History Channel docuseries, milked three seasons out of the idea.

But of course there were Nazis who successfully escaped persecution at Nuremberg by fleeing to South America, and “Hunters” crafts its Hitler narrative on the scaffolding of their real-life stories. The most infamous case involved death camp commander Adolf Eichmann, who hid in Argentina until Mossad agents uncovered his location and kidnapped him in 1960’s Operation Finale to stand trial in Jerusalem.

The Kreisky-Peter-Wiesenthal Affair

In the universe of the show, the fake Meyer played by Pacino is friends with Wiesenthal, a seasoned Nazi hunter. When the two meet in 1975 in an early episode of the second season, Meyer congratulates Wiesenthal on his recent success in Austria.

This is a reference to a real-life 1975 political scandal, in which Wiesenthal and a team of researchers revealed the past Nazi activities of Austrian politico Friedrich Peter as the country’s Jewish chancellor, Bruno Kriesky, prepared to offer Peter’s right-wing party a role in his ruling coalition. 

Wiesenthal’s actions led to a falling-out between him and Kriesky, who variously called him a “Jewish fascist” and a member of the Gestapo. But the Nazi hunters declared victory over having rooted out the S.S. past of a prominent postwar politician. (Peter’s party never joined the coalition.)

‘Reclaiming’ Jewish-owned businesses in Europe

In an early scene of the second season, one of the disguised hunters walks into an Austrian candy shop in 1979 and innocently inquires how long the shopkeeper has owned it. The store has been in his family for generations, comes the reply.

But, the hunter muses, there is a strange indentation on the doorpost — almost like a mezuzah. Could the shop have, in fact, been Jewish-owned before the Nazis came to power?

It turns out the hunter is right, and the shopkeeper will pay dearly for his denials. Again, the general arc of this narrative starts with real history, as there are countless examples of Nazis having seized Jewish-owned properties and businesses and destroyed the records of Jewish ownership, making it nearly impossible for surviving Jews after the war to reclaim their properties.

Author Menachem Kaiser recently explored how Nazi property seizures altered his own family history in the nonfiction book “Plunder,” which won the Sami Rohr prize for Jewish literature.

Frank Sinatra’s Jewish activism

As part of Al Pacino’s character’s disguise as a Holocaust survivor in postwar America, he becomes an active philanthropist to Jewish causes. At one point, he can’t help but brag that he convinced Frank Sinatra to make a hefty donation.

In fact, the famous crooner, despite not being Jewish himself, was a vocal and documented supporter of Jewish causes. He was presented with awards from Hebrew schools; visited Israel many times and helped build a youth center in Nazareth; owned a $10,000 yarmulke; and even gave his son, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Jewish middle name of Emmanuel. After Sinatra’s death, to avoid paparazzi, his body was hidden in a Los Angeles Jewish funeral home for decades.

The post Hitler is alive and in hiding in final season of ‘Hunters,’ Amazon’s series about Jews killing Nazis appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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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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Local News

Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



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



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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