Shorts: world

Brazilian store won’t be called Fuhrer

A soon-to-be-opened Brazilian store is giving up the name Fuhrer after a campaign by local Jews.

The name of the menswear store, located in a shopping mall in Fortaleza, was changed after officials of the Ceara Israelite Society met with store and mall owners. The store has been using the slogan “Fuhrer: Fashion for the man who knows to be a leader.”

Its publicity also features the colors of the German flag and a photo of a child in a Nazi outfit talking to a train conductor. Adolf Hitler was called “Der Furher,” German for “the leader,” by his supporters. — jta

Jewish envoy named top Sarkozy adviser

Nicolas Sarkozy appointed France’s ambassador to Washington, who is Jewish, as his senior diplomatic adviser.

Jean-David Levitte, who reached out to Jewish groups during his term in Washington, already has joined the transition team for Sarkozy, who took office last week as French president. Levitte will return to Washington in June to wrap up his ambassadorship. He presented his credentials to President Bush in December 2002. — jta

Russian police claim arson is ‘hooliganism’

Police in the Russian city of Samara have classified an arson attack on a local synagogue as “hooliganism,” angering local Jewish activists.

“This was not in any way an act of hooliganism,” a community member quoted on condition of anonymity told the Web site. “Somebody planned this, somebody built the explosive device, somebody placed it there. I see this as an act aimed against the Jewish people. I hope that this case won’t have the brakes applied to it and that the culprits are found.”

The May 5 attack, in which an explosive device was detonated in front of the synagogue, is the latest in a string of attacks on the Jewish community in Samara. In April, a community member’s home was attacked by an arsonist and anti-Semitic graffiti reading “Kikes to Israel” was painted on a fence near the synagogue. Anti-Semitic leaflets also have been circulating throughout the city.

Police officials say they’re not convinced the attacks are linked and see no reason to investigate them under Russia’s hate-crimes law, which mandates tougher penalties for “the incitement of hatred or enmity” aimed at a particular minority group. “The fact that the explosion took place at the window of the synagogue says nothing in and of itself,” a local police official said. — jta

New work highlights Russian Jewish soldiers

An encyclopedia that pays tribute to Jews’ contribution to the Russian military was published in Ukraine.

The Jewish Military Encyclopedia contains 1,800 biographies and 1,200 photos of Jewish soldiers and officers in the Czarist and Soviet Armies as well as the armies of some countries of the former Soviet Union.

One thousand copies were printed of the volume, which was collected and edited by Ilya Levitas, long-time president of the Jewish Council of Ukraine, a group that promotes Jewish culture in the former Soviet republic. — jta

David Irving booted from Warsaw book fair

Holocaust denier David Irving was ejected from the Warsaw International Book Fair over the weekend.

“We asked him to leave,” book fair organizer Grzegorz Guzowski told Reuters. “Our employees helped him pack up his things, and our car drove him to the address he specified.”

Irving, whose work as a historian has been widely discredited, was convicted of Holocaust denial in Austria two years ago and spent a year in jail there before gaining early release.

There is no law in Poland against Holocaust denial. Irving was at the fair to promote his writings, many of which question long-established facts about the Holocaust, such as the existence of the gas chambers that killed Jews at the Auschwitz death camp.

Irving, who is British, plans to visit Auschwitz and other former Nazi concentration camps in Poland, according to Reuters. — jta