Shorts: World

Romania marks Holocaust remembrance

bucharest (jta) | Romania marked its second Holocaust Remembrance Day. During a ceremony held last week in the city of Iasi, the country’s foreign minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, said the country must take responsibility for its role in the deaths of Romanian Jews during World War II and educate young people about Jewish contributions to Romanian culture.

The Elie Wiesel Institute for Holocaust Studies was slated to open in the country’s capital of Bucharest. Romania has made strides during the past few years toward acknowledging its complicity in the Holocaust, since a Romanian government statement denying that the Holocaust took place on Romanian territory sparked an uproar.

Grave vandalized in the Netherlands

amsterdam (jta) | A Jewish grave was vandalized in the Netherlands. The grave in the city of Roermond was dug up and much of the remains were removed from the site.

Police said they had no clues as to the identity of the perpetrators.

The desecration was discovered earlier this month. Located in a graveyard that is currently no longer in use, the grave dates from 1887 and belongs to a local Jewish family. Police have since closed the graveyard to the public.

St. Petersburg cemetery hit

moscow (jta) | A Jewish cemetery in Russia’s second largest city was vandalized this week. About 50 headstones were destroyed or seriously damaged in a Jewish cemetery in St. Petersburg, local Jewish leaders said.

The city’s Jewish community called on police to investigate the case. According to a release from the Jewish community, the incident may have resulted from an ongoing dispute between two firms who operate the cemetery, which has been desecrated numerous times in recent years.

Babylonian Talmud released in Russian

moscow (jta) | A Russian translation of the Babylonian Talmud was released. The seven-volume edition is a reprint of a translation done by Nikolai Perferkovich in the early 20th century.

The original edition, released in 1902-1905, has become a rarity and sells at antique markets for about $5,000. The reprint will retail at $100 for the set.

Holocaust lawyer denies hiring underage prostitute

berlin (jta) | An American lawyer who pressed European countries in Holocaust restitution cases is fighting charges he illegally hired an underage prostitute in Austria.

After reports that Austrian prosecutors are looking into the incidents, Ed Fagan is planning a trip to Austria to fight the charges, the Forward reported.

Fagan told the newspaper that he does have an ongoing relationship with a woman named Inga; Austrian reports have quoted Fagan as saying Inga told him she was at least 22 years old.

He says he believes the probe is payback for his involvement in filing a lawsuit against the Austrian government in an American court in which Austria is accused of complicity in a deadly 2000 ski resort fire. In the 1990s, Fagan instigated lawsuits against Swiss banks that led eventually to a $1.25 billion settlement.