Petition to The Nobel Peace Committee
Nobel Peace Prize for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for Protecting the Jewish Minority
During World War II, the Bulgarian Independent Orthodox Church, The Holy Synod, voted unanimously condeming the anti-semitic racist laws. Sign the petition (below) urging the Nobel Peace Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Bulgarian Church for their bravery. This is an initiative by the Israeli Committee on friendly relations with Bulgaria, headed by Advocate Moshe Aloni, born in Bulgaria and himself saved during the war. The Bulgarian government was an ally of Nazi Germany. On March 2, 1943, following a raft of anti-semitic laws, Bulgaria’s council of ministers approved a plan for the deportation of the country's Jews to the death camps. In the face of this plan, the Bulgarian Independent Orthodox Church showed bravery and leadership by fighting against and condemning the anti-Semitic laws. This effort was headed, among many others, by two heroic clergymen: Metropolitan (Bishop) Stephan, the head of the Sofian Church, and the highest ranking Bulgarian Church official during the Holocaust, and Metropolitan Kiril, the head of the Church in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. These two bishops were prominent in responding when the heinous decision was brought to their attention. They have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad V'Shem in Jerusalem. Some of the brave actions they took include: In early March 1943, as preparations were being made by the Bulgarian Governement to hand over the first group of 800 Jews from Sofia to the Germans, Metropolitan Stephan immediately traveled to the King’s Palace, asking the postponement of the anti-Jewish decisions. Metropolitan (Bishop) Stephan continued to speak out publicly against the persecution of the Jews, putting his life at risk as the Bulgarian Fascist Party called for his death in 1943. As the deportation of 1,500 Jews of the city of Plovdiv began in March 1943, local Bishop Metropolitan Kiril succeeded in halting it. Kiril threatened to lie across the railway tracks in order to stop the deportation. Meanwhile he took the arrested Jews to the Church to protect. In April 1943 Metropolitan Stephan convened a special Holy Synod plenary session to discuss the persecution of the country’s converted Jews, as well as all other Jews. It was decided that the Bulgarian Church could not accept this racist law and that the Church could not deny help and protection to the persecuted and oppressed Jews. Due to the heroic acts of these two prominent leaders and their willingness to speak up and take action, the deportation of the Jews of Bulgaria was postponed again and again until it was finally cancelled with the end of the war. More about these two outstanding individuals at the Yad Vashem website: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/pressroom/pressreleases/pr_details.asp?cid=334#!prettyPhoto
Petition to Julius Berman, Greg Schneider, Gideon Taylor
Holocaust Victims for Compensation from Germany
During the period 1933 to 1945 Germany forcefully confiscated, induced sales of and destroyed an estimated $350bn worth of economic value (movable and immovable property) excluding personal injury or loss of life. Since 1945 until today, Germany has made various payments to Holocaust survivors to the value of approximately $70bn in 2007 value or only 20% of the total value excluding loss of life and personal injury. The main organization negotiating on behalf of the survivors with Germany is the Claims Conference despite it being controlled by a small group of people who were never elected or officially appointed by the survivors or decendents of survivors and; These people have remained in office at the CC sometimes for decades without any democratic process or performance evaluation. Many scholars, survivors and family members have voiced their disapproval of the current Claims conference structures and processes including Sam Dubbin, Daniel Kadden, Michael Bazyler, Leo Rechter, Joe Sachs, Previous Editor of Jerusalem Post David Horovitz, Jack Rubin, Klara Firestone, Barbara Paris, Eugenie Lieberman, David Schaechter, David Mermelstein, Mordechai Hareli. And Recently a large case of fraud to the value of over $70million was discovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and as a result officials of the Claims Conference were sentenced to jail. And; The Claims Conference is one of the largest Jewish philanthropic bodies in the world, with total annual revenues in 2004 exceeding $1 billion. The group administers global compensation programs, holds billions in property assets and reserves, and boasts an influential direct grant program that has dispensed over $800 million since 1996 and now exceeds $100 million in annual outlays. Scores of community-based agencies serving survivors in the U.S., Israel and Europe are heavily dependent on annual Claims Conference grants. Controversy has particularly surrounded the Claims Conference’s policy, adopted in 1994, that 20 percent of its discretionary grant money — a total of over $150 million since 1996, derived from recent restitution settlements and the proceeds of sales of German property — be directed to Holocaust remembrance and education projects rather than to emergency or essential social services for survivors. Despite bitter complaints by survivors and pleas from leading Jewish Federations (including a formal resolution by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, representing hundreds of Federation community relations councils), the 20 percent policy has remained in effect. The Claims Conference has also been buffeted by complaints about a perceived lack of accountability and responsiveness in its management of resources. Jewish Federations in North America, Israeli officials, European Jewish leaders, social service professionals and, most pointedly, survivors, have charged that while the Conference exercises exclusive control over hundreds of millions of dollars secured in the name of Holocaust survivors, they maintain a remarkably closed decision-making process with no formal mechanisms for input from the wider Jewish community opinion, particularly from rank-and-file survivors. Planning and allocation decisions, these critics charge, take place behind opaque curtains. There are no published guidelines setting out the criteria used in approving grant applications. Published financial and statistical data are heavily abridged in comparison with data from other large Jewish agencies. Full inventories of German properties and other assets held by the “Successor Organization” are not publicly available, and neither are reliable estimates of the value of the property portfolio. Policy regarding the purposes and use of an enormous reserve fund for “future needs” — now approaching $300 million — is unspecified. Only four of the Claims Conference's forty-eight voting board seats are apportioned to survivor organizations, and these were added only in 1989. The governance structure hews closely to the original form created in 1951, with twenty-four constituent organizations, including some small and marginal ones from among the founders, each having two voting seats on the board, which generally meets only once or twice a year. And; The United States of America's House of Congress has been trying to deal with this issue for many years with little success. Therefore we the survivors and direct descendants of victims and survivors of the Holocaust wish to propose the following: 1. The Claims Conference (CC) transforms itself into a membership organization that invites all survivors and descendants of survivors and victims to become members. The one requirement is that they declare their support for Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish people. The verification process of members shall be based on the Yad Vashem and or the USHMM databases. 2. The current board of directors of the CC resigns and elections are held within a short space of time for new board members via an electronic internet based voting system. 3. The new board members shall immediately initiate a full review of all policies and programs and make their findings public within no longer than 6 months from being elected. 4. Fundamental principle that the new board will abide by includes full transparency of all financial matters to the minimum level and standards currently practiced by publicly traded companies and regulated by the SEC's full disclosure rules. 5. Report on the top 20% of paid executive packages. Provide quarterly updates and allow input from all members regards points for negotiation with the German government. Post transcripts of conversations between the CC and the German government onto the CC website as they occur. 6. Establish as a founding principle and communicate that the CC will demand full compensation to a minimum total value of $350bn minus all payments already made including payments made to the State of Israel. Full payment shall be made within a reasonable time frame but no longer than 30 years i.e. By no later than 2050 7. All businesses that in anyway supported, aided or abetted the Nazis shall be required to immediately disclose all archived material and shall establish full compensation programs. 8. The CC overhead budget will be cut dramatically and a call will be made to invite volunteers or pro bono service providers to provide any necessary services required. 9. All payments not being made directly to survivors (currently about 50% of the funds) shall cease and shall instead be made directly to the survivors with the discretion of how to spend those funds to remain the sole right of the survivors and their descendants 10. All funds currently earmarked for educational programs or research shall require a review and super majority approval by a "members only" voting process.
Petition to United States Congress
Don’t take away funding to teach school kids about the Holocaust
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate crimes have spiked across our country since last November. Now, more than ever, our public school students need access to programming that encourages tolerance and understanding for all people. When students take a field trip to Holocaust museums and Holocaust resource centers to meet Holocaust survivors, a powerful connection is made and never forgotten. There is no better way to fight anti-Semitism and racism than to learn the lessons of the past -- and see first-hand -- where racism and religious intolerance ultimately leads. This kind of public school programming is now under attack. Through House Bill 610, Congress and the Trump Administration wants to allow the Department of Education to turn essential federal funds into so-called “block grants” that can be used for whatever a particular state wants to do. If we are serious about educating our young people, the future citizens of our nation, about tolerance and acceptance of all Americans -- we need to prioritize and protect funding for programs like these. Our children and country need these educational experiences more than ever -- Jews and other minorities are under threat in our country -- with attacks, vandalism, or phoned bomb threats reported almost on a daily basis. If you believe tolerance and understanding is stronger than hate, sign and share this petition today. Tell Congress and Secretary DeVos to protect the Holocaust education funding that our public school students is needed now, more than ever.
Petition to Hollands Kroon, Provincie Noord Holland, De Nederlandse staat
Save the Jewish Work Village Slootdorp- Netherlands
On February 23 rd. , 1934, the “Foundation Jewish labor” was established in Amsterdam. It was set up for young German and Austrian Jewish refugees to learn a trade before emigration. The Work Camp Slootdorp- Nieuwe Sluis was officially opened on October 3, 1934. The “Werkdorp” ( Work Camp ) was a training facility " Hachshara" for Young Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria were they learnt craftmanships and agriculture before emigrating to " Palestine". After finishing the 2 year study most of the young people went abroad, but not necessarily to Palestine. Until May 1940 about half of the inhabitants went to Palestine, the other half to other countries.On March 20 rd. ,1941, the Nazis raided the Werkdorp and took 210 of the 300 students to Amsterdam. About 60 students were allowed to stay behind in Wieringen to close the village. 191 of the young men and women of that group never returned and were murdered mainly in Mauthausen. A group of 56 young men and women was taken from mauthausen to the Castle of Hartheim in Austria were some of the first experiments were carried out with gas for mass annihilation.names The site has had several new users and purposes after the war, with amongst them a training center for Dutch farmers, a university branch of the University of Wageningen, a boarding school, and art exhibition. The building was declared a monument ( A Dutch Heritage Site ) several years ago. In 2009 it was purchased by a Dutch real Estate developer that intends to place 300 work migrants in and around the monumental building. Just imagine the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam being used in the evenings and weekends by 300 young people that have no place for entertainment and recreation other than the House itself. The foundation's vision and plans are to turn the monument into a museum, an exhibition location, a cultural centre with art from WW2 artists, a seminar centre for education about the holocaust, a centre for seminars and training on tolerance, and a laboratory for dynamic biological agriculture. Also it will serve as a centre for culture and education for the local community with facilities for presentations, workshops, trainings, movie screening, and art exhibitions. The site will be included in tours of the area by bus tour operators that originate from Amsterdam and other major cities. Jewish and Non-Jewish tourists can visit the site as part of a joint program with the Jewish Museum of Amsterdam. The foundation was set up by members of the Jewish community from Alkmaar and local neighbours. Your signature or contribution will help us to acquire the monumental building or rent the building from the owner until sufficient funds will be available to purchase the monument. Now an official Dutch " ANBI' Culture foundation Donations are Tax deductible
Petition to Deutsche Bahn AG
HALT! Stop Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) from naming a train after Anne Frank.
A train took Anne Frank (and nameless thousands) to death and concentration camps across Europe: Anne to Auschwitz, and then again to her eventual death in Bergen-Belsen in 1945. Whilst mindful that the actions of those who voted on names for the new ICE trains, and the intentions of Deutsche Bahn AG may have been benevolent(...), the juxtaposition of Anne Frank and a train is simply inappropriate and insensitive on every level. Holocaust remembrance and the memorials we have built, can offer us individually an opportunity to stop, slow, and reflect on what great tragedy occurred. An opportunity to get in touch with our own humanity. And in doing so, we remember. Dignity. Respect. Calm. Reflection. Nothing about a train, a powerful machine of death and war in Europe of yesteryear, represents any of these sombre human reactions. Holocaust is not to be celebrated, neither owned nor used by PR/marketing arms of a business conglomerate. The potential naming of the train in this way only conjures up mental images of helplessness, death and loss, and so perpetuates the raw pain for some of us. The purpose of this petition, therefore, is to create another: stop. calm. reflect. moment, and (...) realise that, with respect, Anne Frank and German Rail simply do not belong together. Not now. Not ever.
Petition to Don Bacon, Mike McDonnell, Nebraska State Senate, Deb Fischer, Pete Ricketts, Joni Ernst, Terry Branstad, Ako Abdul-Samad
Required Education on the Holocaust and Genocide (NE and IA)
To require the educational institutions in Nebraska and Iowa to make it mandatory to teach, acts of genocide across the globe in history and social science curriculum frameworks for United States and world history to address the notion that national, ethic, racial, or religious hatred can overtake any nation or society, leading to calamitous consequences. To reinforce that lesson, such curriculum unit shall include, but not be limited to, the Nazi atrocities of 1933 to 1945 known as the Holocaust, the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine known as Holodomor, the Armenian Genocide, the Pontian Greek Genocide, and more recent atrocities in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. The studying of this material is a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples from all nations to never again permit the occurrence of another genocide and a recognition that crimes of genocide continue to be perpetrated across the globe as they have been in the past, and to deter indifference to crimes against humanity and human suffering wherever they may occur.