Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Religiously Restricted In Sweden

Two Jewish law students from Canada recently took the opportunity to study at Sweden's Lund University as part of their final year course at Canada's Dalhousie University. Renée Zatzman and Alexandra Schwarz were warmly welcomed by Rabbi Kesselman in Malmö and the community for the Jewish High Holidays.

In addition to noting the very strict security measures in place, the students noted:

-"The community’s generosity has helped us adjust to life away from home and has given us a greater appreciation for something that can easily be taken for granted in Canada: the ability to openly practise our faith without fear."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Heil Hitler" and Stoning by Malmö School Bullies

Reepalu's town: Bad talk, no action
15-Year-Old Jewish Boy Targeted: Maybe Police Will Do Something

Or not...Arutz 7 reports another case of in-your-face flat-out anti-Semitism in Malmö:

-"The latest incidents took place over a period of several days, with the snowball and stoning attacks following two 'Hitler salutes' earlier in the week.
-"Comments by a local Jewish leader highlight the sense of futility in the Jewish community. Fred Kahn, head of the Jewish community in Malmo told the local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet, 'Things like this happen all the time in Malmo. It's nothing new. The difference is that nowadays people report things to the police, and that's good.'
-"Radio Sweden reported that a complaint was filed with the police, but prosecutors have not yet decided whether to or not to drop the case."

 What this incident and the most recent case we reported, is that in both these cases the offenses persisted over several days. Plenty of opportunity to catch the perpetrators, but the Swedish authorities are still thinking about whether they will do anything...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Update: Gallery Backs Down, What Next?

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has reported that the Martin Bryder Gallery in Lund has ceased to display its vile "ash-painting" which used actual human remains stolen from the Majdanek Nazi death camp in Poland:

After an international outcry led by the Swedish Jewish community, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other activists, a Swedish gallery has taken down an exhibit of a painting that used ashes of Holocaust victims. The painting, by Swedish artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff, contained ashes stolen by him from the Majdanek death camp in Poland

The question now is whether the "artist", CM von Hausswolff, will restore the ashes to the memorial site and apologize for his actions. If he does not do this himself, no one in Sweden will, since the Swedish authorities have declined to pursue the matter.  Once again, the liberal-minded regime has dropped the ball. And worse, they agree with many voices in the talkbacks to press reports that these ashes are only meaningless matter.  When the Swedish authorities did this they accepted the Nazi proposition that a heap of ash is only an insignificant heap of ash, even if those ashes are the remains of human lives. Shame on all of them.

Chanah Shapira

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Protest Jewish Remains as Sick "Art"

 Here's a snippet from the Daily Telegraph piece on the stolen ashes from Maidanek now on display as "art":

Von Hausswolff: Sick photo: TopNews
-"...Salomon Schulman, a leading voice in Sweden's Jewish community who lost many relatives to the Holocaust, has condemned the painting as' revolting'.
-'Who knows,' he wrote in a letter to a local newspaper. "Maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: all my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents.
-'I will never go to this gallery and it as view the desecration of Jewish bodies,' he added. 'I am sickened by his work and obsession with necrophilia.'"

Shulman is correct in describing this as revolting. Once again, it's important to note that the artist collected these ashes himself, taking human remains as a personal souvenir of his visit to Majdanek. For many of us, the photos and memories we take away are sufficient to remind us of the Nazi horrors, but for this Swedish artist, the only thing that would do was a handful of Jew-ashes. Having been to Majdanek myself, I can only speculate as to how von Hausswolff managed to collect his souvenir. Scraping around in the crematoria? Jumping into the giant ash-pile memorial?

It's not surprising that while the remains were stolen in 1989, von Hausswolff waited until now to display this macabre insult. Lately it seems that the point of "art" seems to be to make not just plain junk, but really offensive junk with some sort of political slant. Note that while many in the art world jumped to defend Serrano's "Piss Christ", there was a either derision or stupefaction when Glenn Beck spoofed it by putting a bobblehead Obama in a jar of yellow-tinted water.

Where the climate is ripe for sacrilege, but the personality-culters are hard at work, it's time to worry.

Feel free to challenge gallery-owner Martin Bryder's assertion that you should see von Hausswolff's "art" before you judge it:

Gallery contact info: + 46 70-3805017 or

Chanah Shapira

Thursday, December 6, 2012

EJC Warns of Danger to Sweden's Jews

 Also: Swedish artist used stolen human ashes for "art"     

Continuing Attacks on Malmö Jewry

The EJC's president, Dr. Moshe Kantor has declared that the Malmö  Jewish community is "dying of 'a thousand cuts.'" The EJC (and Arutz Sheva) report on the worsening situation in Sweden for Jews and the particular danger for Malmo's Jews. In recent days, two Jewish women were robbed of Jewish items and swastikas were were painted on their doors. The harassment continued over three days--swastikas were repainted on the second day and garbage hurled at the doors on the third. Police were called several times, but in Mayor Reepalu's town there isn't much deterrence, apparently:

-"The situation is intolerable for Jews in Malmo, and every week we hear of another attack,” said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor....
-"The attacks against Jews should be seen in their entirety and there is a concerted attempt to rid certain areas in Sweden, if not the whole country, of Jews,”

The EJC report also noted:
-"The incident came on the heels of an attack on a synagogue in Malmo, a vicious attack on a rabbi in the street and several assaults carried out against the Jewish community in the last couple of months, Kantor added."

While the EJC is planning to request a meeting with the Prime Minister on the subject, we find it hard to believe that any significant action will result. As a note, The Local did not cover the attack--perhaps a sign that the official media generally prefers to sweep the items under the rug.

Note on Swedish "Kultur": Currently on display in a gallery in Lund is a picture which was created using human ashes stolen from the Majdanek Nazi death camp. (Blogpost photo shows ash mound memorial at Majdanek). Regardless of how the artist and gallery choose to spin this opus, the theft of human remains, use for a work to be sold for personal use or gain, and the public display of such on object are totally unconscionable. The artist and gallery must apologize and hand over the remains for respectful burial.

Chanah Shapira