The tax man scoffs at genocide: Amsterdam Holocaust survivors were forced to pay back taxes


AMSTERDAMCharlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college student working part-time in Amsterdam‘s city archives when she and other interns came across a shocking find: letters from Jewish Holocaust survivors complaining that the city was forcing them to pay back taxes and late payment fines on property seized after they were deported to Nazi death camps.

How, the survivors asked, could they be on the hook for taxes due while Hitler’s regime was trying to exterminate them? A typical response was: “The base fees and the fines for late payment must be satisfied, regardless of whether a third party, legally empowered or not, has for some time held the title to the building.”

Following her discovery in 2011, Van den Berg waged a lonely fight against Amsterdam‘s modern bureaucracy to have the travesty publicly recognized. Now, largely due to her efforts, Amsterdam officials are considering compensating Holocaust survivors for the taxes and possibly other obligations, including gas bills, they were forced to pay for homes that were occupied by Nazis or collaborators while the rightful owners were in hiding or awaiting death in the camps.

“I didn’t expect any of this to happen, though I’m happy it finally did,” Van den Berg told The Associated Press in an interview. “I never dreamed that compensation could be the result.”

An unpublished review of those files by the Netherlands’ Institute of War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies — or NIOD — found 217 cases in which the city demanded that returning Jews pay the taxes and penalty fees for getting behind in their payments.

Two Dutch newspapers, Het Parool and De Telegraaf, have received leaked copies of the report and published its conclusions. The report found that the city’s top lawyer advised politicians of the time not to enforce the fines, but the recommendation was rejected. Politicians worried granting one claim might lead to more.

“The city made a conscious decision to reject this advice, which cannot be described otherwise than as a totally needless callousness toward (Jews) who had their property taken during the war,” De Telegraaf quoted the report as saying.

Amsterdam‘s official ruling of Sept. 12, 1947, a public document viewed by the AP, was that “the city has the right to full payment of fees and fines” and that most excuses — including that property had been seized by the Nazis — were invalid.

Ronny Nafthaniel — a leader of the Dutch Jewish community who sat on a vetting panel for the NIOD report and has reviewed a copy — said the papers’ reporting is accurate. Spokespeople for the NIOD and the city declined to comment on the findings ahead of a statement planned next week.

Nafthaniel said many of the homes were sold to Dutch collaborators who left the bills unpaid and fled at the end of the war.

“Another thing that happened, and this is almost too sad to relate, is that Jews got back from Auschwitz — and then got an invoice for the gas that had been used in their homes,” Nafthaniel said.

The Netherlands deported a relatively high percentage of its Jews during the Nazi occupation of 1940-1945 compared to other European countries, in part because of its efficient bureaucracy. An estimated 110,000 Dutch Jews died in the Holocaust, including teenage diarist Anne Frank. Around 30,000 survived the war, many later emigrating to Israel.

The Institute report recommends that the city now pay survivors or their families 4.9 million euros ($6.7 million): 400,000 euros for the fines and 4.5 million euros for the back tax payments on homes they were unable to use while in hiding or incarcerated at German camps.

However, these are only for one type of housing tax, specifically fees for long-term leases when the city owns the ground a house is built on. Nafthaniel said there were numerous other categories of unfair charges — such as the retroactive gas bills — but remaining records may be too spotty to do anything about those. There is also a major unanswered question about whether Jews who paid the back taxes and fees without filing a formal complaint should also be reimbursed.

In one of the letters Van den Berg found, a Jewish man asked for an extension in paying the back taxes because his home had been seized by an organization created by the Nazis in 1941 to despoil Jews of their property. Before deportation, the man was also forced to surrender his assets to the Lippmann, Rosenthal & Co. bank in Amsterdam, which transferred them to the Third Reich — leaving him with neither the house nor funds to pay for taxes on it.

“In conclusion,” the man wrote, “I’m asking you in handling this matter to be led by moral considerations.”

No response was found in the archives, Van den Berg said.

None of Van den Berg’s colleagues or superiors had the time or inclination to take the matter further.

……………..rest of article here Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/19/amsterdam-holocaust-survivors-were-forced-pay-back/#ixzz2zNOEoTot

Posted in Uncategorized, authority, cultural blinders, persecution, history, WAR, economics, media, Christian Ethics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Atheist Group Sets Up ‘Jesus Is a Myth’ Banner in Response to Christian Easter Display at Wis. Capitol


cross on hill, man kneelingWoW with bradyLove it when folks show exactly how they see the world, and it is so inaccurate.
                            Fr. Orthohippo                             
“He is risen indeed!
 
April 17, 2014|7:49 am Christian Post reporter
Catherine Weber

An atheist group is combating a Christian Easter display at Wisconsin’s Capitol building in Madison by setting up a sign that reads “Nobody died for our ‘sins,’ Jesus Christ is a myth.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it rushed to get a permit for their display after seeing that the Concerned Women for America group was able to set up their own display at Wisconsin’s Capitol building. The CWA group’s display reportedly included a Christian cross and pro-life literature. The conservative women’s group says on its website that it’s dedicated to bringing “biblical principles into all levels of public policy.”

Annie Laurie Gaylor, president of the FFRF, said in a statement that she finds it “unfortunate” to see a cross displayed in front of a capitol building.

“It’s unfortunate to see a sectarian symbol that is increasingly used as a symbol of political intimidation in our state capitol,” Gaylor said. “It’s also unfortunate to see women serving as a front for a patriarchal religion based on women’s subservience and second-class status. This is the same group that helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment citing its allegiance to biblical principles, instead of civil liberties under our secular government.”

Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed told Fox News that he believes in free speech rights, even though he finds the sign to be “repugnant” and showing “contempt” toward the Christian religion.

Entire article here -

By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
April 17, 2014|7:49 am
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Attempted Takeover of English Schools by Muslim Parents?


 

Disaffected Muslim Parents Urged Faith ‘Takeover’ Of Birmingham Schools, Leaked Documents Show

The Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: 02/03/2014 11:03 GMT  |  Updated: 02/03/2014 12:59 GMT

Documents purportedly from disaffected Muslim parents, being described as a small group of fundamentalist Salafists, are being investigated by a Midlands council after they apparently urged a Muslim “takeover” of failing schools.

The Sunday Times reported that Birmingham city council is deeply concerned about ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ strategy documents which allegedly outline plans oust to headteachers in Muslim areas of the city, and turn the schools into faith-based academies run on Islamic principles.

The documents, leaked to the Sunday Times, call for an end to “corrupting children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children say Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports.”

They say parents should:

  • Parachute in Muslim governors to “drip-feed” ideals for a Muslim school
  • Have an “English face” to campaigns to turn secular schools into faith-based academies
  • “Wear down” the resolve of a headteacher at a targeted school “so they eventually give up”

One school mentioned in the Sunday Times report was Regents Park Primary, where headmistress Tina Ireland was given an “outstanding” Ofsted report but resigned last year after questions were raised on exam performance.

If proven bone fide, the documents will be a further blow to the government’s free school’s programme, dogged by the closure of the Al-Madinah school in Derby after Ofsted found it failing in every respect, and reports children were being segregated by sex and non-Muslim members of staff being told to wear Islamic dress.

Park View Academy in Birmingham is also subject of allegations that school leadership “side-lined” non-Muslim staff and implemented Islamic studies lessons in the secular school. It will now be investigated by Department of Education, despite an “outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

Birmingham city council said in a statement: “We are investigating allegations in relation to some schools in the Birmingham area and have passed any relevant information to West Midlands police to investigate.”

Police said they were monitoring information given to them by the council.

Posted in child rearing, christian education, freedoms lost, Islam, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Declining Numbers for Southern Baptists Heartbreaking, Says Leader


A view of membership decline from one denomination we often think of as very active evangelists.  One contrast is the growth of Anglican churches in Africa and elsewhere in third world countries.
American along with England and European established churches face similar problems. Southern Baptists are by no means along with this problem.
Fr. Orthohippo (article edited for space)
By Jessica Martinez, CP Reporter
April 15, 2014|7:59 am

About 800 to 1,000 Southern Baptist congregations cease to exist annually, largely due to a stagnant vision among the leadership and lack of impact within their communities, says a church planting director. However, church leaders say the closures are often the symptom of a greater problem.

“Churches are closing in large part because they have either become disconnected from culture and, or disconnected from Scripture. When this happens, life leaves the church,” Joshua Hedger, director of Center for Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, told The Christian Post.

Although the Baptist convention opened 1,300 new churches last year, Hedger says they are not gaining enough new ground and will rely on church planters to create a movement that will hopefully put an end to dying congregations. The church revitalization process usually involves new leadership taking over a declining church, who then implements a strategy on how to grow the congregation again.

“In some churches, a simple change in leadership and culture takes place,” Hedger said. “Some fully shut down and allow a new church to take over their facilities, assets, and people. Others find themselves anywhere between those two extremes.”

Dr. Rodney Harrison, a former revitalization pastor says part of the process is also addressing issues that the former leadership of a church did not deal with, such as “problems caused by members who embodied the works of the flesh.”……….

“In these restarts, church discipline has always been a part of the revitalization process. The goal of discipline is restoration, however, since the process is painful, most churches in need of revitalization have not addressed the issue of members behaving badly,” Harrison said

“In order for this to happen we will have to find ways to equip, empower and coach pastors to go to these churches and likewise these churches will have to be willing to accept a young man who will come with ideas and concepts that are perhaps different than theirs,” Clifton said.

In 2012, the Southern Baptist Convention – considered to be the largest Protestant denomination in the country – counted less than 16 million members. It was the fifth year the denomination experienced a large decrease among its members. However, even with membership numbers declining each year, some church leaders object church revitalization, said Harrison.

Full story here

Overall Declining Numbers for Southern Baptists Heartbreaking, Says Leader

Posted in christian growth, Protestantism, shrinking membership rolls, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Muslims Forced to Flee by Christians


French soldiers from the 13th Alpine Hunters Battalion (13th BCA) control anti-balaka members as they patrol near the northwestern Central African Republic city of Boda on April 7, 2014
.

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French soldiers from the 13th Alpine Hunters Battalion (13th BCA) control anti-balaka members as they patrol near the northwestern Central African Republic city of Boda on April 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/Miguel Medina)

Boda (Central African Republic) (AFP) – Stifled by the heat inside a barn in the Central African Republic town of Boda, dozens of emaciated and often sick displaced people subsist in fear of the vigilantes who surround the diamond producing town.

The group, members of an extended family, fled to Boda from the village of Danga 25 kilometres (15 miles) away, seeking shelter from the anti-balaka — or “anti-machete”, mainly-Christian militia groups that have been hunting and killing members of the crisis-torn country’s Muslim minority.

But days after the family arrived in Boda, fierce clashes broke out between the anti-balaka and local Muslims, ending with the Christian militia forces encircling the southwestern diamond-mining town.

More than 14,000 Muslims, including the displaced family from Danga, are now trapped inside with no way out and very limited supplies.

“I am suffering very much. No house, no food. The anti-balaka are killing people — many,” said Saifou, one of those sheltering in the suffocating barn.

“I have lost many things, even my cattle. I had 800 of them,” said Saifou — who, like some 200 other displaced people stuck in the town, is from the Fula ethnic group, a predominantly Muslim, herding people whose members are scattered across west and central Africa.

Boda began its bloody downward spiral at the end of January, after coup leader-turned-president Michel Djotodia gave up power under international pressure.

Djotodia was accused of letting ex-fighters from Seleka, the mainly Muslim rebel coalition that swept him to power 10 months earlier, wage a campaign of atrocities against the Christian majority.

Seleka fighters abandoned Boda after Djotodia stepped down, and horrific fighting broke out between people of both faiths. More than 100 people were killed in a week.

The bloodshed — which typifies the terrifying plunge into ethno-religious violence that has swept the country — was halted by the arrival of French peacekeeping troops.

- No milk for baby -

Since then, however, anti-balaka forces have laid siege to the town, once called “Boda the Beautiful” for its majestic, centuries-old trees.

The most feeble have died. Yet those who could still stand on trembling legs proved ready to stumble forward and greet visitors

“The WFP isn’t giving us sugar, no honey, no firewood, just rice and maize,” he said.

“The Christians wanted to kill us in order to take away our property. We can’t even go the mosque in our district,”

entire article here:  Muslims Forced to Flee

Posted in christian, history, Islam, persecution, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

….. ‘Questioning Islam’ Defined as Terrorism…..


‘Atheist Thought,’ ‘Questioning Islam’ Defined as Terrorism in Saudi Arabia; Human Rights Group Slams New Law

By Katherine Weber , Christian Post Reporter
April 4, 2014|12:11 pm

A human rights group has decried Saudi Arabia’s new sweeping set of laws aimed at counter-terrorism, arguing that they greatly stunt any religious or political expression that appears to criticize the government or Islam.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah arrives at the the opening ceremony of the Organisation of Islamic (Photo: Reuters/Susan Baaghil)

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah arrives at the the opening ceremony of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Mecca August 14, 2

The new laws, approved by Saudi King Abdullah, calls for prison sentences of three to 20 years for any form of terrorist activity, defined as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”

The new list of decrees also defines the Muslim Brotherhood and some al-Qaeda factions as terrorist organizations.

The new decrees were formed in part to stop Saudis from emigrating the country to fight the civil war in Syria, as the Saudi government is concerned fighters will return to their native country with newfound thoughts of rebellion and attempt to overthrow the Saudi monarchy. Therefore, the new laws also punish any actions that may “harm public order,” and criminalize the “[participation] in hostilities outside the kingdom.”

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, has condemned Saudi Arabia’s new counter-terrorism laws, saying they seek to further smother free speech and independent expression in the Middle Eastern country.

“Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” Stork said. “These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups.”…….. the entire system of government is based on Wahhabi interpretations of Islam, non-believers are assumed to be enemies of the Saudi state.”

The Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam is considered to be an ultraconservative interpretation of Islamic teachings.

Entire article here  ‘Atheist Thought,’ ‘Questioning Islam’ Defined as Terrorism in Saudi Arabia; Human Rights Group Slams New Law

 

By Katherine Weber , Christian Post Reporter

April 4, 2014|12:11 pm
Posted in authority, cultural blinders, history, Islam, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
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