World Report

ROME (JTA) — The Italian Jewish community is formally protesting an act of anti-Semitism that occurred at a Rome soccer game last weekend.

After a match between arch-rival teams Roma and Lazio, fans displayed banners deriding the other team's fans with anti-Semitic slogans.

"Auschwitz Is Your Homeland, the Ovens Are Your Homes," read a banner unfurled in the stands by Lazio fans.

Roma fans in turn displayed an anti-Semitic sign that used Nazi and Holocaust imagery.

"We've been fighting against this for years, but we don't get anywhere. It's high time to put an end to it," said Vittorio Pavoncello, the Rome Jewish community board member in charge of sports activities.

State TV will film `Italian Schindler'

ROME (JTA) — Italian state television plans to film a two-part miniseries based on the life of an Italian businessman who saved thousands of Jews in the Budapest ghetto during World War II.

The series will be based on "The Banality of Good," a book about Giorgio Perlasca, who is known in Italy as the "Italian Schindler."

Perlasca, who died several years ago, was an ardent fascist until he found himself appalled at the way Jews were treated in wartime Budapest. Masquerading as a Spanish diplomat, he saved Jews by issuing them false travel documents.

Swedes lining up for Shoah booklets

STOCKHOLM (JTA) — More than 750,000 Swedes have requested a Holocaust education booklet published by the Swedish government.

The booklet, "Tell Ye Your Children," is part of a history project that Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson launched last year after a survey indicated that one-third of Swedish teen-agers were not sure if the Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, actually happened.

Germans charge man in Holocaust murders

BERLIN (JTA) — German prosecutors have charged a Ukrainian-born man with participating in the murders of 17,000 Jews at the Majdanek death camp in Poland.

Alfons Goetzfried has admitted to personally shooting 500 people in the camp in November 1943. Goetzfried, who was imprisoned in a Siberian labor camp for 13 years after World War II, moved to Germany in 1991. No date has been set for the trial.

Controversial play opens on Italian stage

ROME (JTA) — A play that many consider to be anti-Semitic recently opened in Italy. One of the characters in "Garbage, the City and Death," is a rich, Jewish real-estate speculator who supposedly was based on Ignatz Bubis, who is now the leader of Germany's Jewish community.

The play, written in 1975, has been performed in various countries, including the United States. It has never been publicly performed in Germany.

First rabbi in 50 years installed in Zagreb

MOSCOW (JTA) — For the first time in more than 50 years, a permanent rabbi has been installed in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

Rabbi Kotel Dadon, an Israeli who had been teaching at the Rabbinical Seminary in Budapest, was recently inaugurated as the chief, and so far only, rabbi in Croatia. Dadon said he wanted to re-introduce Jewish ritual encompassing the entire life cycle and calendar.

About 2,000 Jews live in Croatia, most of them secular and assimilated into the mainstream community. Most children are from mixed marriages.

Austrian teen wins Kristallnacht contest

MOSCOW (JTA) — The Central and East European office of the Anti-Defamation League recently announced the winners of a national high school art contest held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

First prize went to 17-year-old Alexandra Szeredi for a work that depicted a baby with a tiny swastika in its right eye. More than 500 high school students from all over Austria entered the contest, which was endorsed by the country's political and church leaders.

Ex-Yugoslav youths gather in Vienna

VIENNA (JTA) — Forty Jewish teens and college students from the five republics of the former Yugoslavia met here late last month for a conference.

The participants — several of whom have not seen each other since war ripped their country apart in 1991 and 1992 — spent four days in Vienna attending lectures, engaging in discussions and participating in workshops in a program created by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Vienna's Jewish Welcome Service.

Dejan Petrovic from Belgrade said, "You cannot imagine how lonely, how sad these young people have been recently. When we were all together, back before the breakup of Yugoslavia, our small communities were strong only because young people from Belgrade would just come and visit their friends in Zagreb or Sarajevo.

"We stayed strong because we had each other. Now, with war and the economic problems we all have, much of the spirit has been lost."