Remembering a Polish Jew Who Helped Smuggle Hundreds of His Coreligionists Out of Nazi-Occupied France

Dec. 10 2021

On October 30, Justus Rosenberg, a Polish-born professor of literature at Bard College in the Hudson Valley, died at the age of one hundred. With Polish schools and universities becoming increasingly unwelcoming to Jews, and imposing ever-more restrictive quotas, Rosenberg left for Paris to pursue his education. He was there in 1939 when World War II broke out. Shira Hanau recounts his remarkable experiences working for Varian Fry, an American journalist who engaged in a major private effort to save intellectuals and artists from Nazi Germany:

When the Nazis took over Paris, Rosenberg fled to Toulouse where he met a woman who recruited him to join Fry’s Emergency Rescue Committee-sponsored rescue effort in Marseille. Rosenberg—who was blonde, appeared younger than his age, and spoke French—worked as a courier for Fry, ferrying forged documents and accompanying some refugees across the border to Spain. The rescue effort saved about 2,000 people, among them the writers Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Mann and the artists Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp.

When Fry’s efforts ended in 1941, Rosenberg, himself a refugee, was on his own again and was soon sent to a prison camp outside Lyon. When he learned that his fate and that of the other prisoners was to be sent to a labor camp in Poland, Rosenberg feigned an illness that would get him sent to a hospital. But even after having his appendix removed due to his nonexistent illness, Rosenberg was still slated to be sent to the camp. Devising a new plan, he sent a message to a group of priests that worked with the Resistance who brought him a bundle of clothing and a bicycle, which Rosenberg used to escape before he had recovered from surgery. After his recovery, Rosenberg joined the French Resistance and later worked as a guide for the American army.

After the war, Rosenberg continued his studies in Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1946. . . . During his years in Cincinnati, he supplemented the meager Jewish education he received as a child by conducting his own study at the Hebrew Union College’s library.

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Read more at Jewish Telegraphic Agency

More about: Holocaust, Holocaust rescue, Resistance

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror