Shorts: World

Germany to open Holocaust records

berlin (ap) | Germany agreed this week to clear the way for the opening of Nazi records on some 17 million Jews and enslaved laborers who were persecuted and slain by the Nazis and their collaborators more than 60 years ago during the Holocaust.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said that Germany would work in partnership with the United States to assure the opening of the archives, held in Bad Arolsen, Germany, and allow historians and survivors access to some 30 million to 50 million documents.

Until now, Germany resisted providing access to the archives, citing privacy considerations.

Pope endorses two-state solution

rome (jta) | Pope Benedict XVI endorsed Israel’s right to exist as well as Palestinian statehood.

“May the international community, which reaffirms Israel’s just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and build their future, moving toward the constitution of a state that is truly their own,” the pontiff said in an Easter Sunday speech at the Vatican.

The pope also announced recently that he would visit Auschwitz in May.

Norway mulls over meeting Hamas

oslo (ynetnews) | The Norwegian government says it is considering meeting representatives of Hamas during their visit to Oslo in May.

“The government believes in dialogue, including with groups whose actions we do not agree with,” said Norwegian Aid Minister Erik Solheim.

Solheim did not specify at what level a meeting could be held, saying only that Norwegian high-ranking civil servants or members of parliament could take part.

Artist’s money aids Latvian synagogue

riga (jta) | A historic synagogue renovated with funds donated by the family of a famous American artist was rededicated in Latvia.

The country’s president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, attended last week’s ceremony in the city of Daugavpils, where the only synagogue recently underwent major reconstruction thanks to funds provided by Keith and Christopher Rothko, children of the painter Mark Rothko.

The Jewish abstract expressionist painter was born in Daugavpils (then called Dvinsk) in 1903, when Latvia was still part of the Russian Empire. He immigrated to the United States in 1913.