Menachem Z. Rosensaft: A neo-Nazi beauty pageant – nefarious glorification of anti-Semitism at its worst

Menachem Z. Rosensaft: A neo-Nazi beauty pageant – nefarious glorification of anti-Semitism at its worst


20 Oct 2014

The following article was first published by the ‘Huffington Post’.

One of the most insidious, and perhaps ultimately one of the most dangerous, manifestations of neo-Nazi resurgence may well be its steady subversive infiltration of contemporary popular and consumer culture.

Rabidly bigoted – anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, generally xenophobic – modern day neo-Nazi parties and movements such as Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece are relatively easy to identify and fight through political, judicial and legislative means. They are the violent heirs of the Nazi Brown Shirts, the SA, who terrorized non-fascist Germans throughout much of the 1920’s and early 1930’s as part of Hitler’s rise to eventual absolute power.

Then there are the more nuanced modern-day fascists such as Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France who combine reactionary views with a calculated strategic effort to make themselves appear more palatable to the political mainstream, often with frightening success. Still, these ultra-right wing extremist movements and parties are relatively easy to identify and expose for what they are – at the end of the day they leave little to the imagination. Bigotry, after all, remains bigotry regardless of any intellectual or dialectic attempts to legitimize the preying on fears and often deep-seated prejudices.

But below the radar screen, there are nefarious attempts to legitimize Nazism and all that Nazism stood for in the popular psyche under the guise of cutting edge fashion, perverse home decoration, and even crass, prurient sexual exploitation. Among some of the more egregious recent examples are:

  • The peddling of silver ‘Swastika Rings’ on Sears’ online Marketplace that “are going to make you look beautiful at your next dinner date.” Faced with consumer outrage, Sears quickly yanked this example of what had been described as “gothic jewelry” and removed the offending vendor from its site.

  • The sale on the Walmart, Sears’ and Amazon websites of a “home decoration” poster featuring the “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work makes you free”) gate of the Dachau concentration camp. All three retailers pulled this item after their attention was called to it. “We were horrified to see that this item was on our site,” declared Walmart. “We sincerely apologize, and worked quickly to remove it.”

  • The Spanish retail clothing chain Zara was forced to apologize for marketing a striped concentration-camp-like tee shirt complete with a six-pointed yellow star. For what it’s worth, Zara had previously sold handbags embossed with swastikas. Lovely.

The latest, and possibly the most nausea-inducing example of this particular fad is an ever so sexy beauty pageant out of the former Soviet Union. Before it was apparently suspended by the Russian social media site Vkontakte, a page on that website solicited women who consider themselves Nazis to submit photos of themselves and statements on precisely why they admire Hitler.

To be eligible, according to the contest’s rules, a contestant had to be, among other things, “a woman Nazi” and “a woman who hates Jews.”

Among the entries are sultry Ekaterina Matveeva from St. Petersburg, Russia, who proclaims that “Adolf Hitler’s position is genius and true, that races are different not only in appearance, but also in intelligence,” and Katya Shkredova from Mogilev, Belarus, who “adores Adolf” and loves his willingness to “experiment on people.”

The winner of this revolting pageant was to be crowned Miss Ostland – the name given by the Nazis to the German occupation regime for the territory covering Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and part of what is today western Belarus – and receive a piece of jewelry featuring one of the Nordic runes that were popular with Heinrich Himmler and his SS. Second prize: a pendant with the German Iron Cross.

Granted, there is no indication that this particular beauty contest ever had a mass or even large-scale following. Nevertheless, it is a timely and potent reminder that neo-Nazism in its vilest form is enjoying a significant revival among at least some segments of society, and the Vkontakte page in question purportedly did have more than 7,000 Russian and Ukrainian followers.

In Kentucky, a white supremacist write-in candidate named Robert Edward Ransdell who is running for the US Senate is posting signs proclaiming “With Jews We Lose” that leave little to the imagination. Ransdell also took advantage of an invitation to participate in the University of Kentucky’s Constitution Week to spew his anti-Semitic bile to college and high school students.

And in Sydney, Australia, a neo-Nazi group is sending out flyers declaring that “It’s time for all White Australians to stop being blinded by political correctness and Jewish lies about equality, multiculturalism and the need for so called diversity. Diversity really means white genocide.”

To be sure, much of the virulent present-day anti-Semitism emanates from Radical Islamic and leftist pro-Palestinian sources. But these are increasingly finding disturbing common ground with the extreme right.

Cries of “Gas the Jews” are suddenly being heard once more in demonstrations in Germany and elsewhere. “The fear is that now things are blatantly being said openly, and no one is batting an eyelid,” Jessica Frommer, who works for a nonprofit organization in Brussels, told the New York Times. “Modern Europe is based on stopping what happened in the Second World War. And now 70 years later, people standing near the European Parliament are shouting, ‘Death to Jews!’ “

As Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, has emphasized, the prevailing atmosphere in which anti-Semitism has become acceptable empowers other equally odious manifestations of bigotry. “When hundreds of thousands of Christians – men, women and children – are killed, this isn’t war,” he declared at a recent gathering of Evangelical Christians in Jerusalem. “This is genocide. And we Jews know what happens when the world is silent to genocide.”

“Anti-Semitism has always been, historically, the inability to make space for differences among people, which is the essential foundation of a free society,” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “That is why the politics of hate now assaults Christians, Bahai, Yazidis and many others, including Muslims on the wrong side of the Sunni/Shia divide, as well as Jews. To fight it, we must stand together, people of all faiths and of none. The future of freedom is at stake, and it will be the defining battle of the 21st century.”

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the Nazi death and concentration camps by Allied troops, we must bear in mind that while the Third Reich was defeated at the end of World War II, the ideology that made possible the genocide of European Jewry is very much alive throughout much of the supposedly civilized world. We ignore or dismiss its presence in our midst at our peril.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft is general counsel of the World Jewish Congress and teaches about the law of genocide and war crimes trials at the laws school of Columbia and Cornell Universities. He is the editor of ‘God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors’ (Jewish Lights Publishing), available December 2014

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Fear of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

r of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

A new study shows the scale of the global obesity crisis.

The Global Obesity Crisis: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

(Photo:BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)





May 30, 2014

There are 1.35 billion people living in China, another 1.23 billion living in India. The world’s two most populous nations are each home to a crush of humanity that’s almost impossible to comprehend. But those numbers pale next to the overweight people who live in the world today—2.1 billion, or nearly a third of the world’s population.

The numbers come from a study published yesterday in the journal The Lancet. Researchers looked at 1,700 studies from 188 countries conducted between 1988 and 2013 in order to come up with a comprehensive view of what’s a truly global obesity epidemic.

However, it wasn’t North America—where Mexico and the United States have vied for the title of the fattest nation in the world—that registered the highest obesity rate. Rather, the Middle East and North Africa are the worst; nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are too heavy. The study says the U.S. is home to 13 percent of the world’s overweight population, the highest percentage of any country.

The sky-high rates in North Africa and the Middle East may come as a shock in the West, where public health stories from the Arab-speaking world can’t break through the wall of coverage of American invasions, oil, revolution, civil war, and military coups. If anything, most of the region borders the Mediterranean, which is most famous in dieting circles as a way to eat a healthy diet heavy in plants, seafood, and the occasional glass of red wine. Even if there’s less wine consumed with dinner in these predominately Muslim countries, they still consume a whole lot of olive oil. But the red flags have been flying for decades, however, and a combination of urbanization, globalization, and regional cultural norms has created a massive public health crisis.

In 2001, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the obesity rates in Morocco and Tunisia and found that while their governments were still working to address issues of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, the waistlines of women in both countries were expanding at an unhealthy rate. Public health officials were doing little at the time to address the problem, according to the researchers, “especially since female fatness is viewed as a sign of social status and is a cultural symbol of beauty, fertility and prosperity.” With more people living in urban areas, where processed foods were cheap and easily accessible, issues like malnutrition were steadily being alleviated. But the study goes on to say that, “Western culinary influences lead to new consumption patterns, which affect dietary habits and even the rhythm of consumption.” The study continues, “These new dietary habits have created conditions for chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes to take hold.”

Elsewhere in the region, especially in oil-rich countries, diet trends have followed a similar course. In Saudi Arabia, meat consumption increased by 500 percent between 1973 and 1980, according to a 2011 article in The Journal of Obesity. Changes weren’t as dramatic in less wealthy nations, but the same paper notes that people in Jordan nearly doubled how much meat they ate over the same period, and that the percentage of calories consumed as fat by children in Lebanon increased from 24 percent to 34 percent between 1963 and 1998.

Wealth and development can change diet and health by increasing the amount of meat used in regional cuisines—but American-style dining also seems to crop up in emerging markets around the world, and the Middle East in no exception. Just as global fashion brands and, more recently (and disastrously), institutions like New York University, have tried to catch some of the shimmer of the Gulf’s oil wealth, so have fast-food companies.

This $1,000 McDonald’s-Inspired Dress Is About More Than Income Inequality

“Demand for fast casual dining, which includes the more traditional fast-food chains such as McDonald’s as well as the table service brands like IHOP, is growing amid a rise in disposable income, extravagant shopping malls, and a seemingly unquenchable appetite for Western food concepts,” reads a 2012 trend story on the website Arabian Business. The article cites a study from the research firm Euromonitor that predicts the fast-casual dining in the United Arab Emirates will expand from $6.4 billion in 2011 to $8.7 billion in 2015. Burger chains are expected to propel the boom.

And just as meat consumption has increased across the region, so has the saturation of fast-food brands. The trade website Food Business Africa points out that the demographics across the Middle East and North Africa present an ideal market for fast-food companies: Huge populations of young people who have “grown up eating processed foods and dining in Western-style fast-food restaurants and coffee shops.” For the youth in this region—and around the world, for that matter—drive-through hamburgers are as much of a birthright as for kids in the U.S.

American-style fast food is no longer a foreign novelty, and neither is American-style obesity.

REDEMPTION! What You should know! Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs & cats in the United States!


Nathan J. Winograd

Mai 8 um 6:46 PM

Join us for a documentary film about the No Kill revolution in America. Coming to a city near you. Click on the links for tickets:

•Albuquerque, NM:

•Atlanta, GA:

•Austin, TX:

•Boston, MA:

•Charlotte, NC:

•Chicago, IL:

•Denver, CO:

•Fayetteville, AR:

•Ft. Lauderdale, FL:

•Louisville (Shelbyville), KY:
•Minneapolis, MN:

•Norfolk, VA:

•Phoenix, AZ:

•Pittsburgh, PA:

•Sacramento, CA:

•San Francisco (Palo Alto), CA:

•Troy, MI:

•Washington, D.C.:

The film will be followed in most cities by a workshop on building a No Kill community and others with an after party. Check on the links for more details. Coming soon: Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, OH, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Modesto, CA, Nashville, TN, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and Tallahassee, FL.

•To watch the trailer, click here.

•For more information about the film, click here.


P.S. 99% of the film is uplifting and while a small number of images may be difficult, they are not gratuitous. While we expect people who see it will experience a range of emotions, the primary ones they will come away with are hope, inspiration, empowerment, and well, redemption. In short, it is safe for animal lovers to watch.

No Kill Advocacy Center | 6114 La Salle Ave. #837 | Oakland CA 94611 | | HumanSinShadow Blog

Ausgerechnet bei einer Gedenkfeier für verfolgte Christen wich Franziskus von seinem Redetext ab – und relativierte in einer Mischung aus Dummheit und unsensiblen Verhalten eines der größten Verbrechen der Menschheit, den Holocaust, der in der Hölle der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager seinen Höhepunkt fand.

via Papst Franziskus relativiert Holocaust: “Flüchtlingslager sind KZs” — philosophia perennis

Pope likens migrant holding centers to ‘concentration camps’ 22 apr. 2017 Pope Francis urged governments on Saturday to get migrants and refugees out of holding centers, saying many had become “concentration camps”. During a visit to a Rome basilica, where he met migrants, Francis told of his trip to a […]

This video says about itself: Pope likens migrant holding centers to ‘concentration camps’ 22 apr. 2017 Pope Francis urged governments on Saturday to get migrants and refugees out of holding centers, saying many had become “concentration camps”. During a visit to a Rome basilica, where he met migrants, Francis told of his trip to a […]

via ‘European refugee camps are concentration camps’, pope says — Dear Kitty. Some blog

Study: Police-Inflicted Injuries Send More Than 50,000 To Emergency Rooms EVERY YEAR

Study: Police-Inflicted Injuries Send More Than 50,000 To Emergency Rooms EVERY YEAR

By Lily Dane

A new study published by JAMA Surgery found that from 2006 to 2012, there were approximately 51,000 emergency department visits per year for patients injured by law enforcement in the United States, with this number stable over this time period.

From the press release:

During this time period, there were 355,677 ED visits for injuries by law enforcement, and frequencies did not increase over time. Of these visits, 0.3 percent (n = 1,202) resulted in death. More than 80 percent of patients were men, and the average age of patients was 32 years. Most lived in zip codes with median household income less than the national average, and 81 percent lived in urban areas. Injuries by law enforcement were more common in the South and West and less common in the Northeast and Midwest. Most injuries by law enforcement resulted from being struck, with gunshot and stab wounds accounting for fewer than seven percent. Most injuries were minor. Medically identified substance abuse was common in patients injured by police, as was mental illness….

Holocaust Survivor, Katherine Schweitzer…Sad, brutal end for Holocaust survivor known for kindness: Holocaust survivor Katherine Schweitzer was said to be timidand kind.

Sad, brutal end for Holocaust survivor known for kindness: Holocaust survivor Katherine Schweitzer was said to be timidand kind. And: there a so many who couldn´t forget her!

Holocaust survivor Katherine Schweitzer was said to be timidand kind.Holocaust survivor Katherine Schweitzer was said to be timidand kind.

Les Kennedy
December 29, 2006

It ended in a death that was both brutal and mysterious: strangled in her Sydney home and dumped in a wheelie bin two days after Christmas.

Police say they can’t fathom why; neighbours are equally bewildered and shocked. Mrs Schweitzer, an 80-year-old widow who lived alone in a Bellevue Hill unit, was “timid and kind”, said one neighbour.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, of the NSW homicide squad, described the murder as bizarre. “I’m struggling to find a motive for such a callous act.”

Twenty detectives were assigned to investigate a death burdened by added sorrow once details of Mrs Schweitzer’s life story emerged. She had avoided the horrors of the Nazi labour camps that killed her entire family, joined the Zionist resistance movement during the war, fled as a refugee with her husband to Australia when her native Hungary was invaded by the Soviets in 1956, then lived a quiet life notable for her generous but unheralded support for good causes.

That continued in death. With no children or other relatives in Australia, her estate, worth several million dollars, was left to Jewish charities.

“The manner of her death is incongruous with her life, it’s disgusting that her life should end this way,” said Nick Pappas, the lawyer who was a close friend and executor of her will.

Mrs Schweitzer had lived at the nine-storey Tiffany complex on Bellevue Hill Road since 1987.

Her unit had sweeping views of the harbour and eastern suburbs coast, and was on the fifth floor of a building protected by a security system. For detectives, that only adds to the mystery: to work out not just why the killer did it, but how.

The murderer got into the complex, then into Mrs Schweitzer’s unit, strangled her, put her body into a wheelie bin taken from the basement car park, then abandoned the bin and the body on another level of the complex where bins are not typically kept. “It is quite appalling . . . to be found at that age strangled to death and dumped in a wheelie bin,” said Detective Inspector Oxford. “We really don’t know much about her. Living by herself, it’s always very difficult to work out if anything’s been stolen and simply just to work out a motive.”

Mrs Schweitzer was last seen on December 22 by another Tiffany resident, but an autopsy yesterday put the time of death as between 2pm on Wednesday, when she phoned her doctor, and 7pm, when residents noticed the bin. A neighbour and friend, Rose Kles, who lived on the same floor, said: “Kathy was very, very nice, very timid and very kind. She liked to play cards and never bothered anyone. I am amazed, it’s terrible.”


:::::according to another neighbour. “She wanted residents to be aware of who they let into the building,” another neighbour said.She was born in Budapest in August 1926 and, according to details she provided to the Jewish Museum, became involved with the Zionist resistance in Hungary during the war. She filled out the museum’s Holocaust survivors registry, but never said if she had been interned in a concentration camp.

Her role in the resistance was to create forged birth certificates to help people escape the Nazis with fake passports, and collect food stamps and smuggle food and contraband to Jews in the Budapest ghetto. But she and her family were eventually caught and put to work in labour camps and by the end of the war she was the sole surviving member.

In 1948 she married fellow labour camp survivor Paul Schweitzer, and when the Soviets invaded Hungary the pair fled to Australia to start a new life.

Mr Pappas said Mrs Schweitzer made regular donations to charities, including to a Jewish retirement home and hospital, Jewish Care and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

“Katherine was a real victim of the Holocaust who lost her parents and siblings so when her husband died, and with no children of her own she had nothing else left to turn to but to give generously to charities,” he said.

“It is a very sad case . . . that a gentle person, who was always giving, to have to end their life this way, it is disgusting.”::::


Arkansas Speeds up its Death Machine


Arkansas speeds up its death machine

Lily Hughes of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty reports on Arkansas’ cruel acceleration of executions, and why no execution method is “humane.”

The lethal injection chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana

ARKANSAS IS poised to add a grisly twist to the horror story that is the death penalty, after Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordered prison officials to carry out seven executions in just 11 days.

The state plans to execute two prisoners at a time over a series of days–Don Davis and Bruce Earl Ward on April 17, Ledelle Lee and Stacey Johnson on April 20, Marcel Williams and Jack Jones Jr. on April 24 and Kenneth William on April 27.

Williams was also supposed to have a partner in the death house, but Jason McGehee was granted a reprieve from execution this week.

The state is rushing to carry out this series of barbaric double state-murders because its…

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Dear Annamaria, Great job! You’ve earned a Badge for Taking Action to Oppose Modern Slavery

Dear Annamaria,

Great job! You’ve earned a badge for taking action to oppose modern slavery. Visit your personal dashboard to see your Activist badge, and share it with people you know on social media.  

In Solidarity,

The Team @ Freedom United

ABC’s ‘American Crime’ brings the Nahuatl language to network television — Fusion | Humansinshadow Blog

Screenshot from ABC’s “American Crime”In an era marked by so many divisions, hateful ideas, and willful ignorance, it is refreshing to see a major television network producing such an honest, probing, and emotional series. It helps that ABC’s anthology series American Crime, now in its third season, was created by Academy Award winner and 12…

via ABC’s ‘American Crime’ brings the Nahuatl language to network television — Fusion