Iraqi Shoutout to Jews of Kurdistan

The Jewish Journal reported earlier this week that Iraq's first lady, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, wife of President Jalal Talabani, paid a visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The First Lady reminisced about her relationships with Jews of her Kurdish hometown, and, according to the Journal, toured the SWC's Museum of Tolerance. Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, the petite first lady of Iraq, briefly recalled the killings and tortures the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein had inflicted on her fellow Kurds. She added, "In every person's mind there is a small Saddam. Killing Saddam is nothing, but killing the Saddam in our minds is everything." Of course, we at Moment thought of Ariel Sabar, whose piece in the current issue of our Magazine, "Return to Jewish Kurdistan," describes his trip to the Kurdish village where his father had grown up. For a year,...

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An "Outrageous Display of Unrepentant Racism, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia"

When Dinko Sakić, the last living Holocaust concentration camp director, died last week, Jewish organizations and others hoped that his funeral would not be used as an opportunity for far-right groups to celebrate the actions of this mass murderer. Instead, The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other groups wanted Croatian leaders to take the occasion to condemn Sakić's crimes. That opportunity has since come and gone. According to the AP, Sakić's funeral was indeed used to celebrate him: Sakic was buried wearing the uniform of the Ustasha, the local pro-Nazi movement, according to the Croatian daily Vecernji. It said a priest called Sakic a "model for all Croatians." The funeral was private, attended by family and several minor right-wing politicians. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, SWC's chief Nazi-hunter, wrote an open letter to the Croatian president Stjepan Mesić blasting the funeral's organizers and...

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Unnerving News of Untried Nazi Criminals

Some recent worrying reports have reached us regarding infamous Nazi criminals who are not only escaping the public spotlight and the inevitable justice it would bring, but who are apparently living comfortably. According to a June 16 article in The Sun, Milivoj Asner, the fourth most wanted Nazi on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list, was seen mingling with soccer fans at Euro 2008—despite escaping a trial on account of being too ill. Asner is evidently confident he will evade punishment. "I have a clear conscience, I can appear in front of any court," he said. The Sun says this about Asner's suspiciously healthy activity: The Sun tracked down the 95-year-old former police chief and Gestapo agent and secretly filmed him as he strolled confidently for more than a mile, arm-in-arm with second wife Edeltraut. Walking without a stick, he even...

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