Austrian Parliament cancels International Women’s Day event following attacks on Hedy Epstein

Middle East
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Last December a good friend of mine, Kathy Sheetz, called to ask if she could use my living room to interview someone for the next few hours. Sheetz had interviewed people in my home before (great lighting) and I was happy to accommodate. “Of course” I responded and then ask who the person was. Her answer, “Hedy Esptein”.

I was jolted; surprised and thrilled to meet this legend and have her in my home. 15 minutes later I opened my front door and there she stood, as tiny as ever with a big broad smile. We settled in very quickly and that’s when I found out Sheetz would be interviewing Epstein about her almost 3 long years of work as a research analyst for the Nuremberg Trials, specifically the trial of Nazi doctors who performed medical experiments on concentration camp inmates. Previously unaware of this part of Esptein’s history, one thought crossed my mind, ‘how gruesome, this was not what I expected at all’.

Hedy Epstein is a dynamic person. She answered Sheetz’s questions thoughtfully with detail — how she ended up back in Germany at the young age of 20, too young for the research position she was seeking — which was eventually overlooked — and spent hours pouring over details day after day after day analyzing medical reports. The specifics of those details is something I cannot write about — just too horrific for me to describe for you today — or perhaps ever. But I will never forget hearing about it from Hedy.

So it is with profound sadness to learn that a special event, previously scheduled for today, has been canceled by the Austrian Parliament due to the deliberate slandering of Hedy Epstein, almost certainly for her support for Palestinian freedom.

An Open Letter is being circulated in the Bay Area today by Debra Ellis co-founder of The Islah Reparations Project, and published on Cognitive Liberty. Ellis adds this forward:

Today, International Women’s Day, the Austrian Parliament was scheduled to hold an event called In Grandmothers’ Words. This event would have joined eight female WWII witnesses from around the world in Vienna in an unprecedented opportunity for the public to hear their experiences regarding specific topics, such as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the Uprising in Warsaw, and the Blitz in London. However, fueled by a biased article in a newspaper abroad, accompanied by reports in the Austrian media using terms such as ‘Israel-Hasserin’ (‘Israel hater’) to describe Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, the event was cancelled. A protest emerged in an open letter originating from the Austrian public and with strong international support: over 180 signatures from 19 countries, including almost 50 Austrians and eminent figures such as:

  • Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph.D.: Linguist, philosopher, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist, USA
  • Brian Eno: Musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, England
  • Professor Richard A. Falk: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, USA
  • Johan Galtung, dr hc mult: Professor peace research around the world, Founder TRANSCEND International for Peace, Development and the Environment, Switzerland
  • Christiane Hessel: Member of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Honorary Member of PUGWASH France
  • Erwin Lanc: Federal Minister of Austria ret., Honorary President of International Institute for Peace, Vienna, Austria
  • Mairead Maguire: Nobel Peace Laureate (1976), co-founder of Women for Peace/the Community for Peace People, Northern Ireland
  • Dr. h.c. Hans-C. Graf Sponeck: Former Assistant UN Secretary General, moreover, inter alia UN Coordinator in Islamabad, New Delhi and Baghdad
  • Alice Walker: American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The focus of this letter is simple: A request that the Austrian media report with accuracy and impartiality on events in Israel/Palestine and on those individuals and organizations seeking a just and peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.​

The eyes of the world are clearly on the Austrian media.

Best regards
Debra Ellis

That the Austrian parliament would choose to cancel an event such as In Grandmothers’ Words, to prevent the appearance and presentation of Hedy Epstein, a witness to one of the most horrific crimes in modern history, is unconscionable, for any reason.

I spoke with Hedy by phone this morning and ask her if she had any comment regarding the cancellation of this event. Here is her response:

I am very sorry for the other 6 panelists who did not get an opportunity to tell their respective stories and feel sorry for the would be audience who did not get to hear these stories. I am shocked at the Austrian parliament yielding to intimidation. 

Here is the open letter:

An Open Letter to the Austrian Media:

‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ ~ United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Overview
We request that the Austrian media take responsibility to report with accuracy and impartiality on events in Israel/Palestine and on those who seek a just and peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region. This issue arose most recently in the Austrian media’s treatment of the Holocaust witness Hedy Epstein who was to have spoken at an international event in Vienna.

Background on In Grandmothers’ Words Event
Today, March 8th 2016 (International Women’s Day), the Austrian Parliament was scheduled to hold an event called In Grandmothers’ Words. This event would have joined eight female WWII witnesses from around the world in Vienna in an unprecedented opportunity for the public to hear their experiences regarding specific topics, such as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the Uprising in Warsaw, and the Blitz in London.

Two women of Austrian descent were among those scheduled to speak, including a Holocaust witness originally from Vienna and a woman of Slovene heritage who had endured multiple labor camps. Unfortunately, the Viennese Holocaust witness had to withdraw due to health reasons.

The US/German citizen Hedy Epstein was scheduled to speak about her experiences working on the Nuremberg Trials.

After the invitations were issued, a media outlet in Israel ran an attack article with quotes such as ”Epstein, ‘the Holocaust survivor,’ instrumentalizes her role against Israel and is for haters of Jews like the organizers of the Gaza Flotilla apparently a political lotto jackpot” and that the invitation for Epstein to speak legitimates ‘a hate movement against Israel.’

Faced with heightened domestic public opposition and concerned about safety issues, Parliament cancelled the entire event.

Austrian Media’s Reporting of the Cancellation
Of those Austrian media reporting the cancellation, there was unanimous condemnation of Ms. Epstein. In just two examples, the tabloid Heute headlined: ‘Parliament Cancels Event with Israel Hater.’ The newspaper Der Standard mainly quoted another publication’s attacks on Ms. Epstein’s credibility.

Interestingly, no Austrian media reported having contacted Ms. Epstein to ask if the allegations against her were true. No media mentioned that Ms. Epstein was scheduled to discuss only the Nuremberg Trials at the Parliament event.

And no media questioned whether Ms. Epstein really is an ‘Israel hater.’

Democratic Principles

Undoubtedly, Ms. Epstein has a compelling background. Born in Germany to a Jewish family, she was part of the Kindertransport in 1939. Subsequently, most of her family members were killed in concentration camps. After working on the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, she moved to the US and has been involved in various forms of activism ever since, most recently, at the age of 90, being arrested in protests surrounding the police shooting of an unarmed African-American youth in Ferguson, Missouri.

And Ms. Epstein is an outspoken supporter of the rights of Palestinians. She has called on members of the US Congress to ‘raise basic questions with Israeli officials about decades of inferior rights endured by Palestinians both inside Israel and the occupied territories.’ She has made multiple attempts to visit the Gaza Strip, has been in the Israeli-occupied West Bank five times since 2003, and openly criticizes the policies and practices of the Israeli government and the Israeli military.

But does that make her an ‘Israel hater’? In essence, does questioning the policies of a government equate to hating a country?

Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu does not think so. In a 2014 Haaretz article entitled ‘My Plea to the People of Israel: Liberate Yourselves by Liberating Palestine,’ Mr. Tutu said that the key to ‘a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign’ requires ‘a mind-set shift that stops regarding legitimate criticism of a state’s policies as an attack on Judaism.’

In 2013, Mr. Tutu noted: ‘It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in particular for its abuses… It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation. True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute.’

Another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mairead Maguire, has said: ‘I hope we can agree that breaking the Silence on Palestine, and insisting that people have a right to know what governments are doing in their name, is a way in which we all, especially journalists, media, can help… We can especially pledge to support the ongoing Palestinian and Israeli HR and peace movements for justice believing that genuine diplomacy, dialogue and listening brings us to a new understanding of each other, being the only way to peace.’

Would anyone accuse these two Nobel Peace Prize laureates of being ‘Israel haters’?

Historical Precedent
This is not the first time that a prominent supporter of Palestinian rights has been silenced in Austria. There have been multiple cases, such as in 2001, when the cultural critic and public intellectual Edward Said was disinvited to speak at the Freud Society. The Society’s president explained that the cancellation arose from the desire to avoid ‘an internal clash.’

Mr. Said later noted: ‘Freud was hounded out of Vienna because he was a Jew. Now I am hounded out because I’m a Palestinian.’

In his 2003 book, Culture and Resistance, Mr. Said wrote: ‘For anyone to deny the horrendous experience of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust is unacceptable. We don’t want anybody’s history of suffering to go unrecorded and unacknowledged. On the other hand, there’s a great difference between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people.’

After the Freud Society revoked Mr. Said’s invitation, a group of distinguished psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic critics wrote a letter of protest. The London Freud Museum invited Mr. Said to deliver the lecture he was to have given in Vienna. The Austrian Society for Literature and the Vienna-based Institute for the Human Sciences also subsequently invited Mr. Said to speak.

The issue was not whether people agreed with Mr. Said’s opinion, but that they defended his right to express it.

Journalistic Responsibility
That Austria has a difficult history regarding WWII is clear. Sensitivity to issues connected to the Holocaust and the persecution of Jewish and other populations is well-founded. The acknowledgement and prevention of anti-Semitism everywhere is absolutely imperative.

But does that equate to censuring a Holocaust witness who lost her family to concentration camps and was going to speak about her experience working on the Nuremberg Trials?

The democratic process depends on informed citizens taking an interest in the actions of governments. The media has an obligation to promote freedom of speech in that regard.

Journalists everywhere face pressure from powerful interest groups seeking to silence certain perspectives on different topics. Yet the journalistic tenets of objectivity and impartiality necessitate reporting fairly on those whose opinions may be controversial.

We, members of the global community, are deeply concerned about the Austrian media’s recent treatment of Hedy Epstein and the clear pattern of silencing voices which are critical of the policies and practices of the government of Israel. Questioning the policies of a government does not equate to hating a country. Freedom of speech is a basic democratic value incumbent upon society to uphold and for media everywhere to pursue.


The list of supporters below is not exhaustive, but rather indicative of the strong support this open letter receives worldwide:
Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph.D.: Linguist, philosopher, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist. Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of the founders of the field of cognitive science. The author of over 100 books, USA

Brian Eno: Musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, England
Professor Richard A. Falk: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Professor Emeritus of International Law at PrincetonUniversity, USA

Johan Galtung, dr hc mult: Professor peace research around the world, Founder TRANSCEND International for Peace, Development and the Environment (Professor Friedensforschung rund um die Welt, Gründer TRANSCEND International für Frieden, Entwicklung, Umwelt), Basel, Switzerland
Christiane Hessel: Member of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Honorary Member of PUGWASH France (membre du Tribunal Russell sur la Palestine, membre d’honneur de PUGWASH France), Paris, France

Erwin Lanc: Federal Minister of Austria ret., Honorary President of International Institute for Peace, Vienna, Austria
Mairead Maguire: Nobel Peace Laureate (1976), co-founder of Women for Peace/the Community for Peace People, Northern Ireland

Dr. h.c. Hans-C. Graf Sponeck: Former Assistant UN Secretary General, moreover, inter alia UN Coordinator in Islamabad, New Delhi and Baghdad (ehemaliger Beigeordneter UNO General-Sekretär, darüber hinaus inter alia UN Koordinator in Islamabad, Neu Delhi und Bagdad)

Alice Walker: American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Avigail Abarbanel: Psychotherapist, Inverness, Scotland
Paula Abrams-Hourani: Founder, Women in Black, Vienna, Austria
Kaveh Ahangar
: Rapper, activist, journalist, Berlin, Germany
J’Ann Schoomaker Allen: Missouri, USA
James D. Allen Jr.
, PhD: Missouri, USA
Teresa Arrietta: Journalist, Kritzendorf, Austria
Ofra Ben Artzi: Israeli citizen
Alice Bach: Professor of religious studies, anti-war activist, journalist, Cleveland, USA
Dr. Wolfgang Bahr
: Journalist, translator, reader (Journalist, Übersetzer und Verlagslektor) Vienna, Austria
Frank Barat: Coordinator Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Belgium
Ronnie Barkan: Israeli dissident Boycott from Within, Israel
Ramzy Baroud, Ph.D.: Author and journalist, Washington, USA
Dr. Georg Becker: Vienna, Austria
Dr. Johannes M. Becker: Associate Professor, Peace Research (Privatdozent, Friedensforscher) Universität Marburg, Germany
Medea Benjamin: Author, Co-Founder of Code Pink, USA
Univ.Prof.Dr. med. Ernst Berger: Specializing in psychiatry and neurology, Vienna, Austria
Greta K Berlin
, MFA: Co-founder, Free Gaza movement, author/editor, Freedom Sailors, France
Randy Bernard: Writer/Editor, North Carolina, USA
Judith Bernstein: Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group Munich (jüdisch-palästinensische Dialoggruppe München), Germany
Stephen Bingham: Attorney, past President, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, National Lawyers Guild, USA
Jeffrey Blankfort: Radio journalist, former Editor, Middle East Labor Bulletin
Walter P. Blass, B.A. Honors, M.A.: Dual Austrian/American nationality, North Carolina, USA
Harald Moritz Bock: Secretary General of the German-Arab Society D-A-G (Generalsekretär DEUTSCH-ARABISCHE GESELLSCHAFT), Berlin, Germany
Barbara Bogard, BA, BS, MA: Co-Founder and Chair of Pesticide Free Marin, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, USA
Audrey Bomse: Attorney, Member, National Lawyers Guild and co-chair of Palestine subcommittee, USA
Lauren Booth: Journalist, broadcaster and blogger, UK
Dr. Mark J. Boyd, PhD: North Carolina, USA
AnnaLisa Erdemgil Brandstätter: Vienna, Austria
Dr. (theol.) Martin Breidert, Germany
Diana Buttu: Attorney
Mark Chmiel: Professor of Humanities, Maryville University, Missouri, USA; author of “Eli Wiesel & the Politics of Moral Leadership”
Kia Corthron: Novelist/playwright, USA
Anne Herzon Craig
, M.Ed.: North Carolina, USA
KZ Gemeinschaft Dachau (Concentration Camp Community, Dachau), Germany
Rawan Allan Damen: Senior Producer, Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar
Lawrence Davidson: Emeritus Professor of History, West Chester University, Penn., USA
Raymond Deane: Composer, author, Dublin, Ireland
Dominique Doujenis: Vienna, Austria
Gretta Duisenberg: Founder and chair “Stop the Occupation,” The Netherlands
Evelyn Dürmayer: Attorney (Juristin) Vienna, Austria
Fritz Edlinger: Secretary General, Society for Austro-Arab Relations, Vienna, Austria
Dr. Edda Egerer: Women in Black, Vienna, Austria
DI Erik Egerer: Architect, Vienna, Austria
Irmgard Ehrenberger: Vienna, Austria
Debra Ellis: MS Counseling and Human Systems, co-founder of The Islah Reparations Project, retired University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Dahr Jamail: Journalist, author, recipient of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, USA
Jim Ennes: USS Liberty Survivor, author, “Assault on the Liberty,” USA
Ayed Fadel: Kabareet, Haifa
Eva Fitz: Co-founder ‘Kirchenfrauenkabarett, eh. Präsidentin KA,’ Vorarlberg, Austria
Peter Fleissner: Social scientist, coordinator of Transform! Austria
Kathlyn Gadd: Chartered Accountant, UK
Dr. Richard Gadd: Retired Head of Nuclear Medicine Imaging, RSUH, UK
Ophira Gamliel, PhD: Research scholar at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
Philip Giraldi: Executive Director, Council for the National Interest, USA
Tali Feld Gleiser: Dominican Republic
Rita Giacaman: Professor of Public Health and Research and Program Development Coordinator, BIrzeit University, Occupied Palestine
Neta Golan: Co-Founder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
Tsilli Goldenberg: Retired teacher, political activist, Jerusalem, Israel
Elleanne Green: Activist and founder of PALESTINE LIVE, UK
DI. Friedrich Griess: Former President of the European Federation, Vienna, Austria
Gordon Griffin: Actor and Casting Director of the English Theatre of Hamburg, Germany
Prof.Dr. Alfred Grosser: Peace prize winner of the German Booksellers (Friedenspreisträger des deutschen Buchhandels) Paris, France
Serge Grossvak: Director of Social Center, member of l’UJRE (Directeur de Centre Social, membre de l’UJRE – Union des Juifs pour la Résistance et l’Entraide), Marseille, France
Diane Guildoni: Free Speech Supporter, Missouri, USA
Jeff Halper, Ph.D.: Anthropologist, author, lecturer, and political activist, Co-Founder and Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Dr. Ilana Hammerman: Writer, editor and translator, Jerusalem
Dr. Roni Hamermann: Hebrew University, Jerusalem, co-founder of Machsomwatch, Israel
Oliver Hashemizadeh: BDS Austria, Vienna, Austria
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski: Publicist, Germany
Chris Hedges: Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and former Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times, USA
Karl Helmreich, OSB: Verein Netzwerk, Benediktiner des Stiftes Melk, Leobersdorf, Austria
Shir Hever: Heidelberg, Germany
Dr. Hannes Hofbauer: Publisher and publicist (Verleger und Publizist) Vienna, Austria
Joyce Holliday: Author, United Church of Christ Minister, North Carolina, USA
Tikva Honig-Parnass, PhD: Jerusalem, Israel
Univ.-Prof. Dr. iur. Frank Höpfel: University of Vienna, Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology (Univ.-Institut für Strafrecht und Kriminologie), Austria
Jocelyn Hurndall: Mother of Tom Hurndall, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer who was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper
Patricia Hynes, MS JD: North Carolina, USA
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Priv.-Doz. Anne Maximiliane Jäger-Gogoll: Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
Jane Jewell, L.R.A.M. B.A. (mus) Hons, USA
Dr. Ghada Karmi: Palestinian academic and Research Fellow, Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK
Rev. Dr. R. David Kaylor: Professor of Religion, Emeritus, Davidson College, North Carolina, USA
Dr. Elizabeth B. Keiser: Charles A. Dana Professor Emerita, English Dept., Guilford College, North Carolina, USA
Dr. R. Melvin Keiser: Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies Dept., Guilford College, North Carolina, USA
Ramsis Kilani: Student, his father, five of his siblings and his father’s second wife (all German citizens) were killed in Gaza during “Operation Protective Edge,” Universität Siegen, Germany
Martha King: Human rights activist, Missouri, USA
Prof. Ali Kohlbacher: Austrian anti-fascist, Board Member of ‘Österreichischen Nord-Süd-Instituts,’ Vienna, Austria
Klaus Kucharz: Austria
Christopher Ben Kushka: Human rights activist, (BDS + ISM), Ungedanken, Germany
Sabine Lafazani: Data Analyst, Localization (IT), Vienna, Austria
Ilias Lafazanis: Data Analyst (IT), Vienna, Austria
Susan Larhrop: President, Just Peace for Israel/Palestine, North Carolina, USA
Derek Laney: Co-Executive Director, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Missouri, USA
Sigrid Langhaeuser: Historian, Anglicist, translator, Germany
Wilhelm Langthaler: Author and anti-globalization activist (Autor und Anti-Globalisierungsaktivist), Vienna, Austria
Renee Leavy, PhD (biochemistry): Rebbetzin, New York, USA
Dianne Lee: Professor, St. Louis Community College, Missouri, USA
Martin Lejeune: Journalist; in Gaza during the 2014 assault and later gave testimony at the Special Session of the Russell Tribunal, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Kurt Leitner: Vienna, Austria
Gunther Lorbeer: Vienna, Austria
Dr. Michael Lüders: Political scientist and scholar in Islamic studies, author, political and economic advisor, Germany
Miriam Margolyes, OBE: Actress and voice artist, UK/Australia
Lubna Masarwa: Political activist, Palestine 48, Jerusalem
Mohammed Matter: Journalist from Gaza, Berlin, Germany
Gabriele Matzner: Retired Austrian diplomat, Vienna, Austria
Rudolf Mayerhofer-Sebera: Manager und Zivilgesellschafts-Netzwerker, Berndorf, Austria
Raymond L. McGovern: Founder, Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Security (VIPS), USA
Cynthia McKinney, PhD: Politician and activist, Georgia, USA
Dr. Janice McLaughlin: MM, Zimbabwe, former President of Maryknoll Sisters, (imprisoned by colonial regime in Rhodesia), New York, USA
Joe Meadors: USS Liberty Survivor, Freedom Flotillas I, II and III Participant
Prof. Dr. Georg Meggle: Universität Leipzig – Dir. Institut für Philosophie (emerit.), AUC, American University in Cairo, Germany
Elizabeth Murray: former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (retired), USA
Carol Murry, DrPH: University of Hawai’i Professor, passenger US Boat to Gaza, international health consultant, USA
Dorothy Naor: Anti-occupation activist, Israel
Ofer Neiman: Boycott from Within, Israel
Oded Netivi: Painter and author, Heidelberg, Germany
Henry Norr: Technology journalist and activist, USA
Jonathan Ofir: Israeli musician, conductor and blogger/writer based in Denmark
Cindy Osborne: North Carolina, USA
Prof. Dr. Norman Paech: Hamburg, Germany
Maxine Peake: Stage, radio, film and television actress, England
Nurit Peled-Elhanan, PhD: Sakharov prize laureate for human rights 2001, Jerusalem
William T. Quick: Attorney at law, member Missouri Board of Directors of National Lawyers Guild, Missouri, USA
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D.: Professor, Bethlehem University, Palestine
William Ramsey: Human rights and peace activist, North Carolina, USA
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin: Former President of the International League for Human Rights; Board Member of the Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in Germany
Lillian Rosengarten: Writer and poet, activist to end the occupation, USA
Coleen Rowley: retired FBI agent and former Division Legal Counsel, one of Time Magazine’s 2002 Persons of the Year
Dr. Norbert Rozsenich: Chairman of IFAC-Austria, Vienna, Austria
Kali Rubaii: PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of California, USA
Waltraud Schauer: Peace activist, served as a human shield in Iraq, Austria
Guenter Schenk: grenzenloser Friedensaktivist / Peace activist beyond borders, Strasbourg
Herzl Schubert: High school teacher, Ort Ebin, Ramat Gan
Dr. Tariq Shadid (Doc Jazz): Surgeon and musician
Uri Shani: Israeli theater director, author and lecturer, Israel
Tali Shapiro: Human rights activist and translator (Menschenrechtsaktivistin, Übersetzerin)
David Schermerhorn: Retired film producer, has joined seven attempts to reach Gaza by ship and succeeded three times; he was captured by Israeli Naval Forces during the 2010 Flotilla, Washington, USA
Amir Schnitman: Missouri, USA
Konrad Schön: Styrian Peace Platform (Steirische Friedensplattform), Graz, Austria
Georg Schönfeld: Architekt, Vienna, Austria
Dr. Albrecht Schröter: Mayor of Jena, Germany
Haim Schwarczenberg: Photographer, Jaffa, Israel
Gigi Segall: Vienna, Austria
David Sheen: Journalist; in Gaza during the 2014 assault and later gave testimony at the Special Session of the Russell Tribunal, Dimona, Israel
Yael Shomroni: Missouri, USA
Clare Short: British politician and former MP, UK
Rich Siegel: Musician/activist, New Jersey, USA
Dr. Salman Abu Sitta: Palestinian historian, UK
Dr. Peter Smutny: Journalist, Biedermannsdorf, Austria
Franz Sölkner: Chairperson Styrian Peace Platform (Obmann, Steierische Friedensplattform) Graz, Austria
St. Louis Women in Black: Missouri, USA
Lia Tarachansky: Israeli-Russian journalist, Israel
Prof. Dr. Jack Thiessen: New Bothwell, Manitoba, Canada
Mary Hughes Thompson: Co-founder Free Gaza Movement Writer/Freedom Sailor
Canada
Baroness Dr Jenny Tonge: Former MP House of Lords, Westminster, England
Phillip F. Tourney: Liberty Survivor, USA
Joan Unterweger: Retired IT specialist, Vienna, Austria
Peter Unterweger: Retired member of the Secretariat of the Int’l Metalworkers’ Federation, Vienna, Austria
Brigitta Vavken: Austria
Mariana Vazquez: Vienna, Austria
Prof. Dr. Rolf Verleger: Psychologist, member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany 2005-09 (Psychologe, Mitglied im Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland 2005-09)
Dr. Angela Waldegg: Artist, Vienna, Austria
Naomi Wallace: Playwright/screenwriter, USA
Darlene Wallach: Anti-zionist activist; social justice/human rights activist
Alison Weir: Alison Weir B.A. Founder and executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, author, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the US Was Used to Create Israel, USA
Dr. Elian Weizman: Israeli citizen
Nina Werzhbinskaja-Rabinowich: Artist, Vienna, Austria
Ing. Samuel Welber: Critical Jewish Voice (Kritische Jüdische Stimme), Vienna, Austria
Dr. Charlotte Wiktorsson: Gothenburg, Sweden
Helmut Wintersberger: Social scientist, Vienna, Austria
Walter Wipp: Former Head of Division of the Education Ministry (Ministerialrat i.R., ehem. Präsidialbeamter im Unterrichtsministerium), Austria
Em. Professor Ruth Wodak, FAcSS: Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University/University Vienna
Heather Wokusch: Founder of the ‘In Grandmothers’ Words’ project, Austria
Colonel Ann Wright: US Army Colonel (retired) and former US Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war
Ofra Yeshua-Lyth: Journalist and writer, Israel
Rudolf O. Zucha: Psychologist, publisher, Vienna, Austria

 

 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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62 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    March 8, 2016, 6:57 pm

    I just got an email from Hedy who explains the Newsweek photo was taken at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. she explains:

    “In the background you see the courtroom in which the doctors were tried & see some of the defendants sitting in the dock. Above that is a photo of the freezing experiment. A person is lying in a large vat of freezing cold ice water. Two doctors, one of them Dr. Rascher, are observing. Many people died as a result of this experiment.”

    This has been added to the description of the photo.

    I’d imagine very few people are alive today who participated in the grueling research for these trials. as i mentioned they made an exception for hedy as she was too young when she applied but she was persistent. i recall she told us she celebrated her 21st birthday there, researching. it was somewhat of an event at her work since she was underage before that day. i really cannot imagine participating in work like that for even a week much less years. can you even imagine the sort of documents she was scrutinizing and analyzing day after day?

    it is shocking the austrian government canceled this event with all these women. each one with their own unique stories. no amount of slandering can erase hedy’s history, what’s she’s done in her life.

    • Susie Kneedler
      March 8, 2016, 11:27 pm

      Thanks, Annie, as always for bringing us another special report.

      Hi Mooser, I assumed that the superb Open Letter told us that the “biased article” was this:

      “a media outlet in Israel ran an attack article with quotes such as ”Epstein, ‘the Holocaust survivor,’ instrumentalizes her role against Israel and is for haters of Jews like the organizers of the Gaza Flotilla apparently a political lotto jackpot” and that the invitation for Epstein to speak legitimates ‘a hate movement against Israel.’”

      The Israeli “media [not “news!”] outlet” appears to be “The Jerusalem Post”:

      “Austria’s parliament set to honor pro-Hamas, pro-BDS Jew who fled Nazis: Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Austria’s parliament to disinvite Hedy Epstein.”
      http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Austrias-parliament-set-to-honor-pro-Hamas-Jew-who-fled-Nazis-445549

      “Samuel Laster, the Israeli-born editor-in-chief of the Vienna-based news website Die Juedische,” is quoted as telling “the Post on Saturday that “Epstein, ‘the Holocaust survivor,’ instrumentalizes her role against Israel and is for haters of Jews like the organizers of the Gaza Flotilla apparently a political lotto jackpot. ”

      Sorry: meant to post this below Mooser.

      And Thanks, Sycamores: couldn’t see your great reply til now.

  2. Mooser
    March 8, 2016, 7:30 pm

    “no amount of slandering”

    Great article Annie. One question ocurred to me:

    “However, fueled by a biased article in a newspaper abroad, accompanied by reports in the Austrian media using terms such as ‘Israel-Hasserin’ (‘Israel hater’) to describe Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, the event was cancelled.” (from the “Open Letter”)

    Are there any specifics on that “biased newspaper article”? Maybe I’ll be sorry, but I’d like to see how somebody tries to slander Hedy Epstein. And who would sign their name to it and publish it.

    • Sycamores
      March 8, 2016, 11:19 pm

      Hi Mooser,

      i been following this story for a few days on twitter.

      i’m not sure which newspaper article Annie is referring to but Jpost printed this tripe

      “She [Hedy Epstein] is not a survivor in the classical sense,” Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday. “She is a notorious anti-Zionist who doesn’t miss an opportunity to exploit her biography to attack Israel. If they [Austria’s parliament] want to talk about the Holocaust, they chose the wrong person. If they want to bash Israel, they chose the right person.”

      Zuroff said the choice of Epstein is “absurd” and they “should disinvite her because they are making a mockery of their event.”

      http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Austrias-parliament-set-to-honor-pro-Hamas-Jew-who-fled-Nazis-445549

      what Efraim Zuroff is saying
      1/ because Hedy Epstein left Germany in 1939 and didn’t get sent to a concentration camp she “is not a survivor in the classical sense.”
      2/ been a sensationalist to sell her book.
      3/ anti-Zionist, Israel basher and a self hating Jew.
      4/ no one should listen to her holocaust story because she ” making a mockery of their event.”

      there is some of the slander and here’s one the slanderers name Efraim Zuroff.

      ps: BTW anti-Zionism is not slanderous in our eyes.

      • Boris
        March 9, 2016, 12:15 am

        The fact that she is not a survivor in the true sense of this word, but claims to be one speaks volumes about her character.

        Even the quote used in the article gives an impression that she was a witness to the Nazi experiments. It is clear that she was not.

        The Australian event was about women who actually survived the genocide. Her presence would have devalued it.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2016, 2:42 am

        boris, you’re being silly. eveyone knows, for example, an expert witness at a trial is considered a “professional witness or judicial expert is a witness, who by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience, is believed to have expertise and specialized knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially and legally rely upon

        prosecutors depended on these researchers. somebody had to do it. i’d say she qualifies as a witness in this regard. she’s probably one of the only people alive who worked on the doctors trial. people who study it today rely on the research and information they unearthed. don’t be so spiteful. efraim zuroff wasn’t even out of diapers yet — instead of a nazi hunter he’s now hunting down holocaust survivors? phff. what a disgrace.

      • talknic
        March 9, 2016, 2:54 am

        LOL
        @ Boris March 9, 2016, 12:15 am

        “The fact that she is not a survivor in the true sense of this word, but claims to be one speaks volumes about her character”

        The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Claims Conference for Material Claims Against Germany consider anyone who was displaced or discriminated against by the Nazis or their allies between 1933 and 1945 a survivor. She was part of the Kindertransport in 1939

        “The Australian event was about women who actually survived the genocide. Her presence would have devalued it”

        A) It wasn’t in Australia

        B) If it was simply her and for the reasons you gave, they’d have merely taken her off the list of speakers. The whole event was cancelled.

        Try something else, like being honest

      • eljay
        March 9, 2016, 8:23 am

        || Boris: The fact that she is not a survivor in the true sense of this word, but claims to be one speaks volumes about her character. … ||

        According to Yad Vashem:

        How do you define a Shoah survivor?

        … At Yad Vashem, we define Shoah survivors as Jews who lived for any amount of time under Nazi domination, direct or indirect, and survived. … This includes … Jews who forcefully left Germany in the late 1930s. …

        The fact that you challenge Yad Vashem’s definition of Shoah survivor speaks volumes about your character.

      • Mooser
        March 9, 2016, 11:38 am

        Thanks, “Sycamores”!
        Well, I do have the cold comfort of being right, I’m very sorry I asked.

        “1/ because Hedy Epstein left Germany in 1939 and didn’t get sent to a concentration camp she “is not a survivor in the classical sense.”

        Gee, wouldn’t that condition, of having survived by escaping, be the state shared by almost all survivors, and certainly (since concentration camps were very debilitating even if survived) most alive today?

      • Mooser
        March 9, 2016, 11:45 am

        “Boris” has a cute profile:

        “Sometimes I feel an urge to defend Israel against baseless attacks so common on liberal sites like mondoweiss. However, I am not against listening to the other side, however stupid their arguments are.See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/boris/#sthash.cuOs6yH5.dpuf

      • Nicholas
        March 9, 2016, 8:02 pm

        Let me get this straight. Boris claims “she is not a survivor in the true sense of this word”, yet Ms Epstein IS a survivor by definition of the Holocaust Museum, the Claims Conference for Material Claims Against Germany, and Yad Vashem.

        I’m thinking Boris just qualified himself as a Holocaust Denier if we are to apply the standard measure of what defines “denier”, which is anything less than 100% acceptance of the Holocaust narrative. LOL.

    • pianoteacher
      March 8, 2016, 11:22 pm

      This is one of the Israeli articles slandering Hedy: again Hedy Epstein is under attack, this time from the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers:

      http://m.jpost.com/Diaspora/Austrias-parliament-set-to-honor-pro-Hamas-Jew-who-fled-Nazis-445549#article=6017RTE3QjIzRDQyQTNDNURBMTQ4QUVGNUJGRkY2QzUxNDE=

      • Stephen Shenfield
        March 10, 2016, 1:05 pm

        All these important people scared to death of one old lady…

      • eljay
        March 10, 2016, 1:42 pm

        || Stephen Shenfield: All these important people scared to death of one old lady… ||

        It’s incredibly telling that Zio-supremacists:
        – don’t have an issue with Ms. Epstein for being elderly, Jewish and a Holocaust survivor; but
        – despise her for being elderly, Jewish, a Holocaust survivor and an advocate of justice, accountability and equality.

        Zio-supremacists can’t help but show their true (and truly evil) colours every time they recoil from and lash out – with words and/or violence – against justice and morality.

    • pianoteacher
      March 8, 2016, 11:24 pm

      The story was picked up from the Israeli papers by two Austrian newspapers – will hunt for their names now. Lot of emails to sift through!!

      • pianoteacher
        March 8, 2016, 11:34 pm

        The story was picked up from the Israeli papers by two Austrian newspapers – will hunt for their names now. Lot of emails to sift through!!
        ….
        So sorry, can’t find them. Too many emails! The whole thing started Feb 21st, and a group of us have been working on it ever since!

      • Mooser
        March 9, 2016, 11:50 am

        Thanks very much, “pianoteacher”.

        So to slander Hedy Epstein, Jpost and others are willing to devalue, invalidate the experience of the greatest bulk of Jewish Holocaust survivors alive today.
        Not smart, I would think, but I guess they balanced the cost against the result.

      • pianoteacher
        March 10, 2016, 2:39 am

        The two Austrian newspapers mentioned in the open letter are
        – Heute: a sensationalist tabloid with a massive readership, given away free to commuters across the country

        – Der Standard: a high-brow, well-read publication, one of the two most respected newspapers in the country. The head of this newspaper is strongly connected with the conservative elements of the Jewish community in Austria, so the reporting can be biased. People like Weinthal actually contribute articles to Der Standard, but the comments sections (after the articles) have really changed. Weinthal had an article in there recently and it got almost all negative comments…

    • Annie Robbins
      March 9, 2016, 2:07 am

      mooser, i read elsewhere the slander was initiated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. i think it’s clear that forces are at work to denigrate hedy’s reputation prior to her death. it won’t work. she’s arguably one of the most famous holocaust survivors alive today and only if by some unlikely bizarre twist of fate history does not look back favorably at pro palestinian activists (impossible) will this revengeful zionist dagger tarnish her reputation. she’s a courageous little lady. not perfect or flawless or anything like that. but she’s extremely persistent and vocal, some of the greatest assets for a freedom fighter — especially with her longevity. it’s understandable how she’s a thorn in their side.

  3. charlesfrith
    March 8, 2016, 9:07 pm

    Along with the Rocket Scientists the US imported the top doctors performing human experiments with Project Paperclip. They went on to use their “trauma based mind control” torture expertise learned in the concentration camps to run the CIA mind control programme. Mossad loves the CIA as do the Israeli people.

  4. pianoteacher
    March 8, 2016, 11:26 pm

    Hedy’s side of the story:

    Zionist pressure has managed to CANCEL Hedy’s trip to Austria to speak about the holocaust. She was to speak about her part in the Nuremberg trials. It was to be part of women’s international day, March 8th. Other speakers on the panel were to be the following women:

    “A British woman, survivor of the Blitzkrieg (so am I, by the way) who worked in a military hospital.
    A Japanese woman, survivor of Hiroshima.
    An American Japanese woman, interned in Colorado.
    An American Japanese woman, interned in Arkansas.
    Wanda…….., a Polish resistance fighter.
    Rosina………from Slovenia, worked in a Nazi labor camp
    Me….. I’m to talk about my work at the Nuremberg trial of Nazi doctors who performed medical experiments on concentration camp inmates.”

  5. Ossinev
    March 9, 2016, 6:37 am

    “She [Hedy Epstein] is not a survivor in the classical sense,”

    So now we have classical and non – classical survivors of the Holocaust.

    That`s classic !

    • pianoteacher
      March 10, 2016, 2:49 am

      Just to make Hedy’s attitude clear:
      She has been called a holocaust survivor by OTHER PEOPLE. She herself HATES that term when applied to her. Thus the statement that Hedy ” claims to be one ” is erroneous.
      A better description would be: “Hedy Epstein fled from Nazi Germany in 1939 on the Kinder Transport. ”
      She and her parents had agreed that they would escape from Nazi Germany separately if necessary. So when her chance came on the children’s train, they decided together that she should take it. Her parents would try to follow on later.
      They never made it.

      • Mooser
        March 10, 2016, 4:39 pm

        Thanks, “pianoteacher”.

  6. Steve Grover
    March 9, 2016, 7:32 am

    The haters of Israel who signs that letter have a holocaust survivor they can get behind. I have met many holocaust survivors. I live in an area that is known for this. A movie called “Skokie” was made and there is also a great holocaust museum in Skokie. I haven’t met one that isn’t pro-Israel. These survivors would look at Hedy Epstein with great disdain.

    • eljay
      March 9, 2016, 9:13 am

      || Steve Grover: … I have met many holocaust survivors. … I haven’t met one that isn’t pro-Israel. ||

      It’s a shame that “many holocaust survivors” are hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists who believe that Jews have a right to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      It’s a shame that “many holocaust survivors” believe that the moral sentiment “Never again!” should be upheld not universally but only in a hypocritical and self-serving way.

    • CigarGod
      March 9, 2016, 10:46 am

      Then you must exist in a very small circle, indeed.

      • Steve Grover
        March 9, 2016, 11:47 am

        Unfortunately Cigar God the numbers of survivors are rapidly dwindling, but the MW cowards just spit on their graves by spewing their hatred of Israel.
        When someone passes we say, “May the Almighty comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem”. For the memory of these great folks, Zion and Jerusalem shall not fall.

      • Mooser
        March 9, 2016, 1:40 pm

        How do you define a Shoah survivor?

        … At Yad Vashem, we define Shoah survivors as Jews who lived for any amount of time under Nazi domination, direct or indirect, and survived. … This includes … Jews who forcefully left Germany in the late 1930s. …
        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/austrian-parliament-cancels-international-womens-day-event-following-attacks-on-hedy-epstein/#comment-829172

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2016, 1:54 pm

        surely they apply that only to zionist israel can do no wrong Shoah survivors, no? it doesn’t apply to survivors they wish would just die already.

      • eljay
        March 9, 2016, 2:00 pm

        || Steve Grover: … the numbers of survivors are rapidly dwindling, but the MW cowards just spit on their graves by spewing their hatred of Israel. … ||

        Anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel wasn’t satisfying enough for you Zio-supremacists, so now you hatefully conflate Israel with all Holocaust survivors and all Holocaust survivors with Israel.

        Why do you Zio-supremacists hate Jews and Holocaust survivors so much?!

      • eljay
        March 9, 2016, 2:19 pm

        || Steve Grover: … For the memory of these great folks, Zion and Jerusalem shall not fall. ||

        All hail the Thousand Year “Jewish State”, eh? It’s an insult to the memory of these great folks that you make promises:
        – that are unjust and immoral; and
        – that you can’t keep.

    • Mooser
      March 9, 2016, 1:38 pm

      ” I have met many holocaust survivors. I live in an area that is known for this.”

      And “Grover” steps right in it. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    • pianoteacher
      March 10, 2016, 2:54 am

      @Steve Grover
      Nonsense. Hajo Meyer spoke out strongly against what Israel is doing to the Palestinians. There are plenty of videos of him on the internet. https://youtu.be/cSlFR541Uoo

      He was in Auchwitz for ten months. Will that do for your definition of holocaust survivor?
      There are plenty of others. Surprised you have never heard of them.

      • Steve Grover
        March 10, 2016, 11:10 am

        Show me where I said Hedy Epstein was not a holocaust survivor.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2016, 8:17 am

      I lived in Skokie for many years, including during the NeoNazi March issue, the rally and counter rally in Marquette Park, etc, and where their were constant appeals to donate to free Soviet Jews. I knew holocaust survivors too. My experience differs from Grover’s. If “Never Again” is not a universally applicable principle/mandate, all the victims of WW2 racists died in vain.

      • Steve Grover
        March 10, 2016, 11:38 am

        Citizen,
        Have you been to the Yom HaShoah commemorations outside of the Skokie Public library and the one and at Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob? I have been going with my parents when they were still alive and my children for the past 30 years. These are attended by many holocaust survivors. The Consul General of Israel attends. Hatikvah and the Stars Spangled Banner is sung. Choirs sing Yerushelayim Shel Zehav. The survivors joyfully sing all. We also volunteer at Lieberman Center. Lieberman Center is where many survivors spend their days. Have you been there for an Israel Independence day celebration? They are Pro Israel. To them and to me the fact there is a Medinat Yisrael (State of Israel) means Never Again

      • Mooser
        March 10, 2016, 5:44 pm

        Ah, and that gives you the right to “disdain” Hedy Epstein? What a compelling self-portrait you draw, “Grover”.

      • Dutch
        March 11, 2016, 11:22 am

        [To them and to me the fact there is a Medinat Yisrael (State of Israel) means Never Again]

        ‘Never again’ while supporting the destruction of the Palestinian society. You seem comfortable with it. I am not.

    • Dutch
      March 11, 2016, 11:14 am

      [I have met many holocaust survivors. ….. I haven’t met one that isn’t pro-Israel. These survivors would look at Hedy Epstein with great disdain.]

      I met quite a few also. Actually I grew up among them. Over the years I interviewed many of them, also on Israel/Palestine. That’s why I am 100 percent sure that your claim is complete rubbish.

      If there are holocaust survivors that support colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, they will be looked upon with great disdain – just like others that do so.

      • Steve Grover
        March 11, 2016, 2:05 pm

        Dutch,
        I am sure you are a big fan of the television show “Survivor”. In fact I am 100% sure those are the only survivors you know.

      • talknic
        March 11, 2016, 6:36 pm

        “I am sure you are a big fan of the television show “Survivor”. In fact I am 100% sure those are the only survivors you know”

        The guy who sure would like to meet someone called “Click”, sure seems to be sure

      • Mooser
        March 11, 2016, 7:07 pm

        “I am sure you are a big fan of the television show “Survivor”. In fact I am 100% sure those are the only survivors you know.”

        “Steve Grover”, this has been a very successful thread for you.
        Your ‘Holocaust cred’ has really improved!

      • Mooser
        March 11, 2016, 7:39 pm

        “The guy who sure would like to meet someone called “Click””

        Ms. Click? Oh “Steve” has a date with her, every time he comes here! It’s like “The Bachlorettes”. He can go out with Ms. Click, Ms. Hit, or the exotic Ms. UPV.

      • Dutch
        March 12, 2016, 9:05 am

        Steve,

        No idea what you are talking about. For your information, the Holocaust was not a tv-show.

        You might remember the NYT-ad, placed by Holocaust-survivors. The Dutch among them are part of the group I am talking about. BTW, they don’t sing national anthems, not of NL, and certainly not of a foreign nation. Their history forbids them to do that, as you will hopefully understand.

        Am I getting you right that you distinguish several groups of survivors? So what’s the difference? Your group supports ethnic cleansing, mine doesn’t? My family left Israel cause they couldn’t stand the jewish racism and crimes, yours stuck around? Where do you draw the line? What makes people ‘true survivors’ vs. ‘unworthy survivors’?

  7. oldgeezer
    March 9, 2016, 8:07 am

    Such a shame that the event was cancelled as I am sure it would have been fascinating. The stories of the remarkable women of that period always are.

    It’s typical of zionists to slander and attack any opposition no matter how mild it may be. It may give preference to Jews but only those of the right kind.

  8. Sycamores
    March 9, 2016, 10:15 am

    here’s the tabloid article that Annie mention.

    Parlament sagt Event mit Israel-Hasserin ab

    Die Ankündigung der Veranstaltung “In Großmutters Worten” auf der Parlamentshomepage sorgte nach israelischen Medienberichten für Wirbel. Zeitzeuginnen sollten über Frauenschicksale im Zweiten Weltkrieg sprechen.

    Pikant: Einzige jüdische Teilnehmerin ist Hedy Epstein. Die 91-Jährige Amerikanerin legitimiert die Terrororganisation Hamas. Sie ist deklarierte Israel-Hasserin, will das Ende des jüdischen Staates. Unter anderem verglich sie Nazi-Verbrechen mit Israels Politik gegen die Palästinenser.

    Nach “Heute”-Anfrage zog Parlamentspräsidentin Doris Bures (SP) am Sonntag die Notbremse: Das Event werde “aus Rücksicht auf Bedenken gegen einzelne Teilnehmerinnen” abgesagt.

    http://www.heute.at/news/politik/Parlament-sagt-Event-mit-Israel-Hasserin-ab;art23660,1260515

    here’s a rough translation

    Parliament cancels event with Israel-hater

    The announcement of the event “In Grandmother’s words” on the Parliament website provides uproar according to Israeli media reports. Contemporary witnesses should talk about women’s lives in World War II.

    Piquant: only Jewish participant is Hedy Epstein. The 91-year-old American woman legitimizes the terrorist organization Hamas. She is a declared Israel-hater, wants the end of the Jewish state. Among other things, she compares Nazi crimes with Israel’s policies against the Palestinians.

    After “Today” request Parliament President Doris Bures (SP) on Sunday pulled the emergency brake: The event will be canceled “in deference to objections to individual participants.”

    can’t find the individual participants names that objected to having Hedy Epstein at the event.

  9. Theo
    March 9, 2016, 11:19 am

    WWII ended just about 71 years ago and the Holocaust Industry, (Finkelstein), is still churning out stories both positiv and negative to the zionist cause. There are many ways to skin a sheep and there is always money in it.

    Jews finally must come to the conclusion that there were many others who were threated just as bad as they were, for every jew 10 non-jews were killed in that war, and if we keep scratching the old wounds, they will never heel.
    The guilty ones are already dead or sitting in wheelchairs, so in my opinion it is time we bury this whole affaire in our deepest memory and start fresh again. For every action comes a reaction and it can go on forever.

    Millions were desplaced during that war, and if Hedy Epstein was evacuated with a child transport, then she should consider herself to be lucky. Many non-jews did not have this option, millions of german, austrian, polish, russian, french, british, etc. children starved or died through the bombing attacks of the war parties. One was not better than the other.

  10. Henry Norr
    March 9, 2016, 12:56 pm

    I don’t know about the Austrian media, but to the best of my knowledge the English-language media attacks began with an article on Feb. 19 by the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency):

    “BDS activist to represent Holocaust survivors at Austrian state event”

    All the major Israeli papers followed over the next day or two, either directly reprinting or slightly rewriting the JTA piece:

    “BDS activist to represent Holocaust survivors at Austrian state event

    Epstein, who has likened Israel to Nazi Germany, is the only Jewish guest slated to speak at the event, scheduled to take place March 8.”
    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/BDS-activist-to-represent-Holocaust-survivors-at-Austrian-state-event-445528

    “Jewish BDS Supporter to Represent Holocaust Survivors at Austrian Event
    Pro-Palestinian advocate Hedy Epstein, accused by ADL of anti-Semitism, has previously compared Nazi treatment of Jews to Israeli treatment of Palestinians.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.704393

    “BDS activist to represent Holocaust survivors at Austrian state event
    Hedy Epstein has likened Israel to Nazi Germany and participated in attempts to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip”
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/bds-activist-to-represent-holocaust-survivors-at-austrian-state-event/

  11. sawah
    March 9, 2016, 12:57 pm

    Hedy’s role at these trials, due to being fluent in English and German, was to read files of the experiments, translate and report the findings to the American lawyer, who in turn would verity and decide which cases to present. She never even vaguely indicated she was a witness to the actual experiment, which would have occurred while she was a child, and more than likely out of the country at that time. So she never claimed anything more than what she did as a witness. How sad to see people even attack her for that. It could not have been easy to uncover these horrific crimes.

    She must have been a valued member of the team– or al least to the head lawyer== as she and he have kept in contact over all these years.

    • pianoteacher
      March 10, 2016, 3:01 am

      “It could not have been easy to uncover these horrific crimes. ”

      It was horrendous for her. The experiments she had to read about were done on Polish woman, who died from them. Hedy still gets nightmares about them.

  12. Ossinev
    March 9, 2016, 2:54 pm

    “All the major Israeli papers followed over the next day or two, either directly reprinting or slightly rewriting the JTA piece”

    You have got to read some of the “readers` ” comments in the right wing Israeli press to get an idea of just how f…..d up and vicious these Zionists have become.

    No one in the civilized West would dream of using such vile and disgusting language to describe a frail 81 year old lady who has not committed a crime of any kind. If disagreeing with her political point of view which does not advocate killing or terror we would respect her age and her right to that view.

    But then Israel is not civilized nor is it the West. It is just an ugly shitty little cult colony in the Middle East.

    BTW had she been Pro-Israel or Pro – Zionism the script would have read “miraculously survived the Holocaust in which most of her family perished at Auschwitz. A wonderful brave lady who continues fight on behalf of blessed Judaism despite her frailties etc etc etc “

    • Annie Robbins
      March 9, 2016, 4:27 pm

      at least 90 years old ossinev.

      • pianoteacher
        March 10, 2016, 3:04 am

        91! Will be 92 in August !
        And ” frail ” is not a word I would use to describe Hedy. Would you Annie? :-)

  13. WH
    March 9, 2016, 6:08 pm

    I’m guessing these scumbags wouldn’t have given her much more slack if she’d been in every concentration camp in Poland…

  14. Sycamores
    March 9, 2016, 7:06 pm

    Israel ignores International Law, US Presidents and criticism from the world in general which will eventually lead Israel to global isolation.
    yet Hedy Epstein an 91 year old woman, a survivor of the Holocaust has Israel policy makers, apologists and hasbarats running scared.
    Israel and cronies knows when a Holocaust survivor criticized Israel people listen. this scares them more then anything, it destroys their image among other Jews in Diaspora.
    what non-Jews think doesn’t seem to bother them as much.
    unfortunate for the hasbarats the more they try to discredit Hedy Epstein the more they expose themselves.

  15. Sally Parker
    March 10, 2016, 1:28 am

    Too bad for Hedy Epstein. Perhaps the gatekeepers of the Holocaust respectability ought to take a closer look at their most famous and wealthiest Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, “the conscience of the Holocaust”. Holocaust survivor Miklos Greuner called Wiesel and impostor. Greuner (also Gruner) ought to know. Elie Wiesel claims to have been Lazar Wiesel. Greuner knew Lazar Wiesel well.
    Some of the points Greuner made are as follows:
    Lazar Wiesel was the Hungarian and Yiddish speaking inmate at Buchenwald. Elie Wiesel doesn’t speak Hungarian and isn’t fluent in Yiddish.
    If Lazar were alive today, he would be 103 years old. Elie is younger than Lazar.
    Elie Wiesel has consistently refused to show the tattoo on his forearm given to all concentration camp inmates. There are no photographs of Elie Wiesel’s tattoo although there are several Internet photographs of Wiesel without a tattoo.
    Greuner speaks Hungarian fluently and has been photographed with his tattoo. He tried unsuccessfully to sue Elie Wiesel for fraud and he has received death threats if he publicized his evidence.
    Unfortunately, this story has been passed on by anti-Semitic and Holocaust denying websites that detracted from the credibility of the story. Still, it’s a big discrepancy if Elie claims to be a Hungarian survivor and can’t speak the language.
    Even if Elie Wiesel were Lazar Wiesel, he has a cold heart. Elie Wiesel opposed allowing any information about Gypsy, gay, and Communist victims of the Holocaust into the Holocaust Museum. What did any Gypsy ever do to him?

    • Theo
      March 10, 2016, 10:44 am

      In those camps there were jewish capos who did not threat their fellow captives much better than the german or other guards. I have read a report on this decades ago, (please do not ask for source), stating that some of this overseers and accomplices later claimed to be just another captive jews and became the worst zionist leaders.
      Elie Wiesel könnte nicht Elie Wiesel sein, he could have stolen the identity of an unfortunate person who did not survive the Holocaust. Many capos did just that!

      Above it is mentioned several times that Hedy Epstein is a “survivor” of the Holocaust!
      You can be a survivor only if you were right in the middle of it, however she was far away and not in danger at all. On the same bases we can say that every person in Europe, USA, Canada, etc., who lived during that time, are “survivors” of the WWII, even if they were not even near to the war zone.
      She is a lovely old lady and I have the feeling that she is being used by others.

    • pianoteacher
      March 11, 2016, 10:52 am

      @Sally Parker
      Wow! How interesting. Had no idea about all this. Thanks for sharing.

  16. WH
    March 10, 2016, 5:58 pm

    What’s especially idiotic is that she wasn’t even supposed to be speaking as a ‘Holocaust survivor’; she was there because of her expertise regarding the experiments and the trial. So trying to discredit her by pointing out that she didn’t actually get put in a camp is a typical Zionist deflection.

  17. gratefulmama
    March 11, 2016, 1:51 pm

    I interviewed Hedy Epstein for an anthology of anti-occupation Jewish women’s voices (the essay was published under her name, I was the ghostwriter). The piece is an autobiography of her life from Nazi takeover of her village through the Kindertransport, her work on the trials, immigration to the US, to the awakening of her activism, its development and continuing trajectory. I don’t know her outside this context. In the piece, she does identify as a survivor. She was a child sent to a foreign land while her parents were being murdered by the Nazis–yet (Zionist) reviewers of the book seized upon this “not s survivor” narrative to discredit her words at that time (2010). What is it that they wanted to discredit? The fact that some survivors actually make the connection that seems only natural to me (these are my words): that the Palestinians’ oppression is our people’s oppression, that the Zionists’ crimes are the Nazis’. As she says in the essay, about her first witnessing of the apartheid wall, she wondered when “never again” had become “never again for the Jews, now by them.” She then says what I’m always shocked more people don’t see: “That is not the lesson of the Holocaust, not for me. To me, ‘never again’ means never to anyone, and it also means that it is my duty, as long as I am able to do it, to ‘not stand idly by’ as others suffer….the Palestinians…are my brothers and sisters.” This ability to identify victim and oppressor is what makes a tiny 92-year-old dangerous to the Zionist narrative.

  18. JLewisDickerson
    March 12, 2016, 12:43 pm

    RE: “That the Austrian parliament would choose to cancel an event such as In Grandmothers’ Words, to prevent the appearance and presentation of Hedy Epstein, a witness to one of the most horrific crimes in modern history, is unconscionable, for any reason.” ~ Annie Robbins

    I ASSUME THIS APPLIES AS MUCH TO AUSTRIA (VIA ANSCHLUSS) AS IT DOES TO GERMANY:
    “Israeli diplomat in Berlin: Maintaining German guilt about Holocaust helps Israel” | By Nir Gontarz | Haaretz.com | Jun. 25, 2015

    [EXCERPT] A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin recently told Israeli journalists it was in the country’s interest to maintain German guilt about the Holocaust, and that it isn’t seeking full normalization of relations between the governments.

    Embassy spokeswoman Adi Farjon made the comments in a closed briefing session with journalists at the embassy.

    “We were all in shock,” said a female journalist present at the briefing. “The spokeswoman clearly said it was an Israeli interest to maintain German guilt feelings. She even said that without them, we’d be just another country as far as they’re concerned.”

    Others present at the event confirmed the journalist’s account.

    Some added that the Israeli ambassador himself, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, was present for some of the briefing, as were other embassy workers who don’t speak Hebrew. Another journalist commented, “It was so awkward. We couldn’t believe our ears. We’re sitting there eating peanuts, and behind the spokeswoman there are two German women sitting there who don’t understand a word of Hebrew – and the embassy staff is telling us they’re working to preserve the German guilt feelings and that Israel has no interest in normalization of relations between the two countries.”

    “I don’t remember saying that,” Farjon told Haaretz in response. “I can’t vouch for any particular quote, she added. “It was an off-the-record conversation, a briefing talk. The way I speak with Israeli journalists is a little different. These things aren’t intended to get out. I can’t reveal the principles I work by. For example, I don’t say who I go to in order to get good stories out here, or who I pay for things like that.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.662962

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