Jean-Marie Le Pen

Jean-Marie Le Pen

World Roundup 

Country: France

Far-right French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen is to stand trial for ‘denying crimes against humanity’ after saying Nazi gas chambers were ‘just a detail of World War II’ in 1987. The octogenarian father of Front National leader Marine Le Pen was fined and convicted of ‘racial hatred’ at the time.

Country: Germany

A museum in northern Bavaria dedicated to Richard Wagner has reopened following renovation with new exhibits, including the 19th-century composer’s anti-Semitic writing. Wagner, whose family had Nazi ties, wrote about his hatred of Jews, first under a pen name, then under his own.

Country: Brazil

Prominent Holocaust survivor and Jewish activist Aleksander Laks has died in Rio de Janeiroa aged 88. Laks was born in Poland and held in the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz and other camps, but survived and fled to Brazil in 1945. He became known as ‘Grandpa’ to children in the Brazilian Jewish community.

Country: Egypt

An Egyptian soap showing Jews in a flattering light is proving a surprise hit with Arab TV viewers across the Middle East. ‘Haret al-Yahud’ (The Jewish Quarter) is a Romeo & Juliet-style love-story featuring the daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant and a dashing Muslim army commander, set in 1948.

Country: United States

Two exhibitions on Amy Winehouse have launched in San Francisco, with the blessing of her brother. ‘A Family Portrait’ was first shown at the Jewish Museum in Camden, while ‘You Know I’m No Good’ comprises artworks inspired by the late singer, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 aged 27.

Country: Lithuania

Lithuanian artists have called for the country ‘to face the truth’ about its role in the Holocaust. Author Sigitas Parulskis and director Audrius Juzenas have both dealt with the issue in their work. The capital Vilnius was once known as ‘Jerusalem’ due to its vibrant Jewish cultural and religious life.