World Report

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PARIS (JTA) — Unzer Wort (Our Word), the last Yiddish daily newspaper in the world, is closing down at the end of the month, a half century after it was founded.

The decision to cease publication resulted from the newspaper's inability to meet rising production costs at a time when readership has continued to decline.

Created in 1946 by Mapai, the forerunner of Israel's Labor Party, to spread the Zionist message among Paris Jews, Unzer Wort's early readers were mostly Eastern European immigrants who settled in France in the years surrounding World War II.

The four-page broadsheet, which had a circulation of about 1,500 in 1994, maintained a left-leaning editorial line since its birth.

In the 1950s, it was one of three Yiddish dailies in Paris. The other two were owned by communists and the Bundist Jewish socialists.

In recent years, with a shrinking readership and its staff reduced to about six people, helped by volunteers keen on preserving the dying language of Eastern European Jews, it had been forced to publish just three or four editions a week.

Of France's 750,000 strong Jewish community, more than half are Sephardim, who have origins in North Africa, where French and Arabic are spoken.

German neo-Nazi goes back to prison

BONN (JTA) — Gunter Deckert, a well-known German neo-Nazi, has been sentenced to prison again — this time for inciting racial discrimination and defaming the memory of Holocaust victims.

Deckert was sentenced Friday of last week in the German town of Weinheim to a 20-month prison term for the publication and circulation of a book that contains anti-Jewish statements he and Holocaust denier David Irving of Britain made at an event they organized.

In April 1995, a court in Karlsruhe sentenced Deckert, the former head of the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party, to prison for two years for his role in the actual incident, during which participants ridiculed the Holocaust, denying the mass murder of Jews.

In a separate case in April of this year, a Mannheim court sentenced Deckert to a month in jail for defamatory statements about Jews.

The prosecution in the case heard in Weinheim demanded a prison term of four years and immediately announced its intent to appeal the sentence. The defense pleaded for acquittal.