LONDON (WJC)–Nazi leader Adolf Hitler possibly had Jewish as well as African ancestors, according to a report by the British newspaper ‘Daily Express’, citing new DNA tests done in Belgium.
Samples taken from Hitler’s relatives link him to both the Jewish community and people from northern Africa. Belgian journalist Jean-Paul Mulders said he had investigated Hitler’s DNA after managing to lay his hands on a serviette dropped by the dictator’s great-nephew Alexander Stuart-Houston in New York. He said he got a second sample from an Austrian cousin of Hitler, a farmer known as Norbert H., the report said.
The DNA tests revealed a form of the Y-chromosome that is rare in Germany and the rest of Western Europe, but common among Jewish and North African groups. Experts now think that Hitler had migrant ancestors who settled in his homeland. Mulders said both the test samples had a form of genetic material known as ‘Haplopgroup E1b1b’, proving an “irrefutable link” to the Nazi leader.
“It is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. One can from this postulate that Hitler was related to people whom he despised,” Mulders was quoted as saying. The link to Hitler’s ‘migrant ancestors’ could go back anything from three to 20 generations, said experts.
Ronny Decorte, a professor of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archeology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, told the ‘Daily Express’: “Hitler would not have been pleased about this. Race and blood was central in the world of the Nazis. Hitler’s concern over his descent was not unjustified. He was apparently not ‘pure’ or ‘Aryan’.”
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
TUNIS (WJC)–A musical show scheduled for the Carthage International Festival has been called off after its actors sparked outrage on the internet for performing for Israelis. Selim Baccouche, actor and organizer of the musical ‘Nouraniet’, canceled his show after his co-actor, Tunisian performer Mohsen Cherif voiced support for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video posted on ‘Facebook’. “Long live Netanyahu! Long live Bibi!” Cherif shouted at the concert for Israelis of Tunisian origin, using Netanyahu’s nickname. Festival organizers said the show had been canceled because Baccouche was “indisposed”. A press conference was also called off.
Baccouche himself became the target of criticism after a video showed him and other Tunisian artists performing for Israelis at a concert during a pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba. Thousands of internet users angrily demanded that the musical be canceled and some called for Cherif to be stripped of his Tunisian citizenship. Unions, including those representing musicians, condemned the “slur on national sentiment”, calling it a “shameful act” for Tunisians, who are generally hostile toward Israel. Tunisia and Morocco are the only two Arab states with a sizeable Jewish community.
Baccouche defended the video and said he was only responding to demand from a public for whom “all Tunisian artists, without exception” perform each year. “Why this video appeared one week before my show…I do not understand it,” he declared on the website ‘Kapitalis’.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
By Judy Lash Balint
JERUSALEM–The Sephardic Educational Center in Jerusalem’s Old City celebrated the completion of a new Torah scroll Wednesday night, July 28, in a lively celebration of Jews from around the world.
A scribe dips his quill pen into special ink and puts the finishing touches to a new Torah scroll before sewing up the parchment with special thread and dancing with the Torah through the streets of the Jewish Quarter.
Dozens of people from all over the world took part in the dedication of the scroll that was donated by families from Morocco and the United States.
A delegation of Sephardic leaders from Los Angeles and New York took part in the festive event, with many men putting their hand over the hand of the scribe as he finished the last letters of the scroll that contains the Five Books of Moses.
Scribes who are trained in the art of writing a Torah must undergo rigorous training. It takes about one year to complete the writing of the quarter million letters that make up the scroll.
The parchment must come from a kosher animal–usually a goat, bull or deer and generally takes about 80 skins for one Torah scroll.
A special feather quill and ink are used and the scribe must not write anything from memory. After checking the scroll with another scribe, the ceremonial completion is scheduled. It’s considered a great honor to take part in the writing of a letter of the Torah.
The last part of the scroll was sewn together, a cover and silver bells placed on it, and the entire congregation accompanied the Torah under a wedding canopy, dancing through the streets of the Jewish Quarter.
Balint is a freelance writer based in Jerusalem. This is reprinted from her website, Jerusalem Diaries:In Tense Times