A Jewish Family’s Fight to Reclaim Its German Past

The British-born journalist Dina Gold, descended on her mother’s side from a family of German fur-coat manufacturers, took it upon herself to discover what became of their large office building in downtown Berlin. Upon driving the Jewish-owned Wolff Furs out of business, the Nazis had forced the sale of the building; after the war it was inherited by East Germany and then by the unified Federal Republic. Gold relates her family history and the story of her attempt at receiving restitution in what is, according to Josh Gelernter, a gripping book:

The real story begins with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Dina Gold . . . decided to have a look at her family’s building, and as the newly unified Germany opened up to reparation claims, she persuaded her mother to try to establish ownership. As might be expected, the German authorities were not especially helpful. First, they tried to prove that the Wolffs had sold their building voluntarily to the Nazis. Then they sought to prove that the building didn’t exist anymore: a communicating door had been built in the wall it shared with an adjacent building; this, it was claimed, made the two structures one entirely new building. Then they tried to prove that because the building had been “altered” since it was confiscated, it was no long subject to the laws of restitution. They also contested the validity of the Wolffs’ wills.

Fortunately, Dina Gold was able to find a few good Germans to help her, but they had to fight an uphill battle. How did it turn out? I won’t spoil it for you.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: German Jewry, Germany, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Holocaust restitution

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas