World Report

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Hungary plans to transform an unused Budapest synagogue into a Holocaust museum.

"An old and just demand of both the Jewish community and the Hungarian nation as a whole will now be fulfilled," Culture Minister Jozsef Hamori said Dec. 9.

The museum will contain exhibits documenting the Holocaust, when some 600,000 Hungarian Jews perished. The museum, slated to open in 2001, will also "serve as a remembrance of the 30,000 Gypsies who died," Hamori added.

Germany sentences denier to two years

BERLIN (JTA) — A German neo-Nazi has been sentenced to two years in prison without parole for denying the Holocaust.

Manfred Roeder, 70, was given the sentence earlier this month for referring to the Holocaust as a "humbug" during an August 1998 election rally in the eastern German city of Stralsund.

Roeder spent eight years in jail during the 1980s for leading a neo-Nazi group in an attack that left two Vietnamese refugees dead.

Scholars want Jew cleared in murder

NEW YORK (JTA) — Czech historians are planning to send a letter to Austria's president requesting that a Czech Jew sentenced to 100 years for ritual murder be posthumously cleared of the charge.

Leopold Hilsner was sentenced in 1899 by Austria-Hungary for allegedly killing a Christian girl. He was released in 1918.

Chile bans meeting of neo-Nazi congress

SANTIAGO, Chile (JTA) — Chile has banned an international gathering of neo-Nazis.

Jewish leaders in Latin America and abroad had sought a ban on the international congress, which was scheduled for April 20, the 111th anniversary of Hitler's birth.

Eight Israelis killed in Bolivia jeep crash

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Eight young Israelis were killed Dec. 1 in Bolivia while riding in a jeep that plunged off a cliff.

The group had been traveling in one jeep, together with two Dutch tourists, in an area called Yungas, or the "Death Path," near La Paz. The two Dutch citizens also died.

Bolivia is a popular travel destination for Israelis, and the Israeli Embassy there has several hundred listed as tourists at any given time.

No charges expected for shredding papers

BERN (JTA) — Switzerland's largest bank will not face criminal charges for shredding Holocaust-era documents.

An official in Zurich said Dec. 9 that no charges would be brought against the Union Bank of Switzerland because of a one-year statute of limitations.

The announcement came after a panel reported several instances in which UBS officials destroyed records that may have been pertinent to the investigation.