Monthly Archive: November 2018

Conflict between Palestinians and Israelis escalates: 300 missiles and three dead

Missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. After the fatal deployment of an Israeli special unit in the Gaza Strip, the conflict with the Palestinian organization Hamas, which is ruling there, has escalated dangerously. Palestinians fired massive quantities of missiles at Israel. Israeli fighter jets responded by attacking more than 70 military targets in the coastal area, the army said Monday. At least three people were killed according to Palestinian data. Nine other Palestinians have been injured, the Ministry of Health said in Gaza.

Militant Palestinians had fired more than 300 rockets and mortar shells on Israel by evening, Israeli army officials said. An anti-tank grenade hit a bus northeast of the Gaza Strip, where at least one soldier was seriously injured.

According to the army, about 60 missiles were intercepted by the missile defense system Iron Dome (iron dome). Most are smashed in open terrain. However, a handful of projectiles have hit buildings – according to the Israeli police in the cities Ashkelon, Sderot and Ofakim. The Israeli rescue service initially spoke of six injured.

Two of the dead in the Gaza Strip had been members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the group said. A third Palestinian was killed, according to medical officials, during an air raid near Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army allegedly attacked targets of the radical Islamic Hamas and the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad. These include three attack tunnels and a weapons production facility and a base to fire rockets.

In addition, the Air Force had attacked the station of Hamas television station Al-Aksa in Gaza. This spread information to Hamas fighters and call for terrorist activities against Israel. Eyewitnesses from Gaza also reported the attack.

During the special mission on Sunday, seven Palestinians and one Israeli were killed

The UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov wrote on Twitter: “The escalation over the past 24 hours is extremely dangerous and inconsiderate.” The United Nations worked closely with, among others, Egypt to calm the situation. The EU called on both sides to avoid anything that would escalate or endanger civilians. “All violent acts must cease immediately,” said a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy Federica Mogherini.

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, wrote on Twitter: “The Israeli government should be aware that all attacks on the Palestinian people are reported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

The deployment of an Israeli special unit in the Palestinian territory on the Mediterranean, which triggered the escalation, killed seven militant Palestinians and one Israeli officer on Sunday night. In the incident near Chan Junis were killed according to the Hamas several fighters of their militia. Among them was also a local commander, who was responsible for digging tunnels, rocket attacks on Israel and attacks on Israeli soldiers. In addition, seven other people were injured, said the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

According to Hamas, the Israeli Special Forces had penetrated three kilometers into the southern Gaza Strip with a civilian vehicle. Purpose was to kidnap the 37-year-old Hamas commander Nur Baraka. Militant Palestinians, however, had discovered the special unit in their vehicle near Chan Junis.

The Israelis had killed only Baraka then and then drove off towards the border. Hamas fighters opened the fire and pursued the special unit. Israeli fighter jets intervened to cover the retreat of the soldiers. An Israeli army spokesman emphasized, “This was not a kill attempt and a kidnapping attempt.” A statement said it had only been during a deployment in the Gaza Strip to have a shootout.

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, more than 220 Palestinians have been killed since March in partially violent protests on the Gaza border with Israel. The protesters call for the lifting of the Gaza blockade that has existed for more than a decade, as well as the return of Palestinian refugees to areas that today belong to Israel.

The Hamas File: What Hamas aims for

The ceasefire on the Gaza Strip still holds. Until recently militant Palestinians had fired dozens of mortar shells and rockets at Israel . Jerusalem responded with air strikes on military targets. But this Friday, the situation could escalate again.

A “one-million-march-for-al-Kuds (Jerusalem)” is to commemorate the defeat of the Arabs in the Six-Day War in 1967. If demonstrators march on the border fence again or throw incendiary bombs, it is not ruled out that there will be deaths. Israel’s army wants to use snipers as before to secure the border.

What does Hamas intend to do with the protests?

The aim of the Islamists is that the blockade of the Egyptians and the Israelis is loosened. For the coastal strip suffers for years under the restrictive border policy of the two neighbors. Deliveries of goods are limited, the Gazans are more or less imprisoned.

But the dismal situation of the people leads not only to anger on Egypt and Israel, but also to displeasure over the ruling Hamas.

“Over the past few weeks, the organization has joined the protest movement to present itself as an organization that is peacefully fighting the blockade. This is opportunistic, but it also shows that Hamas recognizes the strategic added value of being perceived as part of the protests, “says Marc Frings, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah. Hamas has also succeeded in mobilizing the masses. “Without their logistical help, it would not have been possible to bring so many people to the border.”

Who are the protesters?

The Israelis are certain: The demonstrators at the border fence to Gaza are terrorists . You see yourself confirmed by the words of Hamas spokesman Salah Bardawil. He admitted that 50 of the more than 60 Palestinians killed on May 14 were Hamas members. At the same time, however, representatives of Hamas emphasize that the protests have been peaceful and have the support of the population. This shows that Hamas is attempting to double-track the protests on the one hand as a popular uprising, but at the same time refute allegations, one would have deliberately sacrificed civilians.

Nevertheless, it can not be denied that Hamas accepts that people are killed. After all, Israel’s army has repeatedly stated that it will stop attacking at gunpoint.

On the other hand, the Islamists are exploiting poverty in the bitterly-poor coastal strip. So Hamas has paid money to protesters, equivalent to between 170 and 250 euros for injuries and up to 2500 euros for the bereaved in the event of death. But not all take money or are Hamas members. The initiators of the protests had a peaceful action in mind to draw attention to the situation of the people of Gaza .

How does Israel react?

Israel intends to shoot snipers again on Friday at those who want to break through the border fence or use Molotov cocktails for attacks. In addition, the army has announced that it will no longer accept burning dragons.

These, partially fueled with petrol cans, have not only destroyed hundreds of acres of cornfields and forests, but have come dangerously close to villages along the Gaza Strip. This should be prevented in the future – even with armed force.

What are the goals of Hamas?

The militant organization was founded in late 1987 as a Palestinian offshoot of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood – at the beginning of the first Intifada, the revolt against the occupying power Israel. Her name bears witness to the self-image.

“Hamas” stands for zeal and commitment in Arabic. The word is also an abbreviation for “Movement of the Islamic Resistance”. This refers to armed resistance to “the Zionist project”, which includes assassinations. For example, in the past Hamas extremists have repeatedly committed devastating suicide bombings in Israel.

The radical movement is therefore on the terrorist lists of the US and the European Union. The Jewish state answered the attacks by attacking the positions of the Islamists and at times with targeted killings of leading activists.

On May 14, protests escalated on the Gaza Strip. The ideological basis of Hamas is its charter from 1988. There, in a fanatical tone, Israel’s right to exist is denied, and violence against the Jewish state is described as legitimate. The goal is to destroy Israel through a “holy war”, the “liberation” of Palestine is “the highest duty” for every Muslim.

The Charter refers several times to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, an anti-Semitic pamphlet. A Hamas leaflet from 1990 states: “Every Jew is a settler, and it is our duty to kill him.”

Just over a year ago, Hamas gave itself to the outside a bit more moderate. At that time a paper was presented in which it is said that a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders is being considered. Observers see this as a tactical maneuver, just to make a sweet child in the West. However, Islamists want to stick to their ultimate goal: Israel’s destruction.

How is Hamas organized?

Officially, the organization consists of three parts, which, however, are in fact not separate. There is a relief organization that takes care of the needs of the people, a party and the Kassam Brigades. This military unit is said to have up to 25,000 fighters under arms, with which it has been at war three times in recent years against Israel.

Ismail Hanija, who spent years leading the Islamists in Gaza, has been at the head of all Hamas for some time. This job was taken over by Jahia Sinwar, a hardliner among the radicals. He was a member of the Kassam Brigades and was in Israeli custody for more than 23 years.

Where does Hamas get its money from??

From many sources. These are, for example, donations from members and sympathizers. In addition, taxes and fees are charged in the Gaza Strip. The bulk of the funding comes from foreign patrons. Initially, these were Saudi Arabia and Syria. But in the meantime these states have fallen out with Hamas.

First, Qatar filled the gap – until a year ago, when some Gulf monarchies and Egypt imposed a blockade on the emirate . One of the demands was to break with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. It seems that Qatar is actually retreating .

This is a golden opportunity for Iran to resume its role as an allied financier. It does not bother the Shiite leadership in Tehran that Hamas has a Sunni background. The priority is to be able to build a new front against Israel.

Hamas is using the money at its disposal to improve the lives of the people of Gaza. The radicals prefer to upgrade and build elaborate tunnels to commit acts of terrorism on Israeli territory. The UN cares for the well-being of the people above all .

How stable is the rule?

Hamas has been in power in the Gaza Strip for more than ten years . In elections in the Palestinian territories she emerged victorious in 2006. But it did not come to a planned government of national unity with Fatah. Rather, there was a fratricidal war in Gaza, Fatah was expelled from the coastal strip .

Since then, Hamas rules with a strong hand and violence, based on Sharia law. She does not care about free elections. On a military path, however, there will probably be no change in circumstances. even if this is demanded by nationalist politicians in Israel. The permanent bombardment must, as the hardliners argue, mean that the coastline will be filled again.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as leading military leaders, think little of resuming responsibility for Gaza. That’s another reason why there is no interest in a new war . Then you better deal with Hamas somehow. At least you know how she “ticks”.

There is also a risk that even more radical Hamas groups could succeed as rulers. So far, it does not seem that terrorist organizations like Gaza-based “Islamic Jihad” or “Islamic State” related Salafists will inherit Hamas .

Nevertheless, such groups are certainly a competition for the rulers. Because there is the accusation that Hamas act too moderate, have long betrayed the “struggle for freedom of the Palestinians”. No wonder that the rulers rigorously oppose this kind of opposition. One year ago, Hamas militants reduced the mosque of an IS-affiliated group to rubble – as a warning.

Budget dispute: Italy should get really into debt

Deputy Italian Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio. The audacity of the Italian populists in the dispute with the EU is hard to beat. The deficit is to be tripled to 2.4 percent of economic output. At the same time, with more than 130 percent of GDP, Rome’s debt is twice as high as allowed by EU rules . The coalition of five-star movement and Lega party can only be replaced by the Italian voters. However, they prefer to rely on promises – from the civic income for destitute people in the amount of 780 euros, tax cuts to a pension reform.

Bella Italia is not helped when European politicians stare at the immense mountain of debt. Interest rates have been low for a good ten years . It was thus possible for Italy to extend the term of the debt relatively favorably. It therefore depends mainly on what the money is spent exactly. Brussels must – even in its own interest – the line of communication to Rome not demolished. Only by saving alone, no country has made it into the black again.

Therefore, the EU should help Italy to make more debts – just the right ones. Such a compromise can not be denied by the government in Rome. Because the more dangerous problem for Italy is the lack of growth. And here it must be doubted that tax cuts and higher social spending fruit.

Instead, Brussels is called upon to work with Rome to launch a sustainable economic policy that will relieve the country in the long term. The sticking points are the massive decline in economic output of five percent in the past ten years and the high youth unemployment rate of 30 percent. The jobs – less the debts – are the linchpin of the Italian misery. First, companies need to be motivated to create new jobs. Italy’s economic backbone is the middle class. Another decisive factor is the fight against the devastating corruption – an immense investment risk. Here more money has to go to the law enforcement agencies.

Europe can not be blackmailed

Such an EU package does not exclude the necessary signal of harshness over the impudence of the populist government: Europe can not be blackmailed. Perhaps it would be advisable to clarify that help from the European bailout is already not legally available if Italy does not agree sanitation requirements, but deliberately violate EU requirements. Also a warning would be beneficial that without the euro, the interest rates on Italian government bonds could increase almost tenfold.

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This has never happened before: the European Union demands that the Italian Government revise its draft budget. The answer: “There is no way back.”

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For the first time since the introduction of the euro, the EU Commission has been forced to reject a Member State’s draft budget and demand a new bill: “The Italian Government is openly and deliberately breaching its commitments to the other EU commitments. States, “said the vice-president of the commission, the Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis. Europe is based on cooperation and mutual trust – the common rules apply to all. Italy sent a budget to Brussels on Monday, foreseeing a deficit of 2.4% of GDP – three times more than had been agreed with the Commission. This was a departure that was “unprecedented in the history of the Stability and Growth Pact,” EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici had already stressed last week. Thus, the Commission “had no choice but to reject the budget,” said Dombrovskis yesterday.

The Italian Government now has three weeks to revise the draft and reduce the deficit to a level consistent with European budgetary rules. The populist ruling parties in Rome – the protest movement Cinque Stelle and the far-right Lega – do not think that they are adapting their budget now: “The rejection by the EU? That does not change anything, “said Vice Premier and Lega CEO Matteo Salvini. They understand and communicate the refusal as a declaration of war: “The EU is not simply attacking a government, it is attacking a people. And then they are surprised that the EU is in Italy at a historic popularity low, “said Salvini.

The EU Commission has little leverage to enforce the budgetary rules . After rejecting the budget, she will probably open an official deficit procedure against Italy in the coming months. Brussels could impose a fine of up to 0.2 per cent of annual economic output – that would be up to 3.4 billion euros. But such a process takes years and could easily fail at the veto of another country.

Matteo Salvini Roma 20/10/2018. Consiglio dei Ministri sulla Manovra Economica DEF. Rome October 20th 2018. Minister s Cabinet about the Economic and Financial Document. Photo Samantha Zucchi Insider photo PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITA SamanthaxZucchi

The Italian government could rather be stopped by the financial markets: Due to the loss of investor confidence, the “spread” much quoted in Italy, the interest differential between Italian and German ten-year government bonds, has already risen to more than three percent. At the same time, the old bonds are losing value – a problem for the weakly capitalized Italian banks, which hold a significant portion of the sovereign debt in their books.

Whether the interest rates will continue to increase, should depend significantly on two dates later this week. According to experts, the ECB will confirm its intention to end the already reduced bond purchases program next year at its interest rate meeting on Thursday. As part of the so-called “quantitative easing”, the central bank, run by the Italian Mario Draghi, had bought over 350 billion euros of Italian debt, thereby helping to keep interest rates low. Draghi also expects a few words of caution from the government in his home country.

Nazi trial in Münster: Former concentration camp guard denies guilt and knowledge of mass murder world daily mirror

In front of the Münster district court, the former security guard in the Stutthof concentration camp expresses himself for the first time. He rejects a debt, he also acted out of coercion.

On Tuesday, the 94-year-old former concentration camp guard from the district of Borken made his first statement in the Nazi trial at the Münster district court . The former SS man had an individual guilty of killing in the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk. He did not find any “systematic killing machinery” in his time there, he said in a multipage statement read by his lawyer.

Through good contact with his former company commander he had been mainly used at the first watchtower and not involved in the organization of the camp. Nevertheless, the accused admitted that all the guards in the camp knew of a crematorium on the grounds.

At that time he acted out of compulsion, not out of conviction, it was said. As a native Romanian he was at the age of 18 years of the Nazi state as “ethnic German dug” and committed to serve in the concentration camp Stutthof. The conditions there he described as “the unspeakable suffering of the camp inmates”. However, he did not know of either neck-blowers or gas chambers for the murder of Jews. From his perspective at that time, it had been a detention center for regime-critical Poles, not an extermination camp. The accused lives today in a small community in the Münsterland.

Accused of assisting to murder in several hundred cases

The trial was opened a week ago. The public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund accuses the former concentration camp guard of murder in several hundred cases (AZ: 10 KLs – 45 Js 2/16 – 13/17). According to the court from June 1942 to autumn 1944, the defendant was responsible for guarding the camp and supervising labor commands outside the camp. According to the prosecution, he had known about the murder of detainees and “deliberately encouraged” them by his activity in the security service.

The 94-year-old has to answer before the juvenile chamber of the district court, because he was at the time of his alleged deeds not 21 years old. The process is scheduled for February 12th. The public prosecutor’s office requested on Tuesday the hearing of four survivors of the concentration camp Stutthof as witnesses. The women living in the US today will be brought on board via Skype to “give a voice to the victims of the Holocaust,” they said.

NS trial in Münster: Accused after more than 70 years

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Johann R. is almost 95. He is said to have helped to murder hundreds of prisoners in the Stutthof concentration camp. But the relatives of the victims are not concerned with a heavy sentence.

The defendant is pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair. When he sees the many cameras pointed at him, he briefly raises his left hand and waves. In his place he sets the pale green fishing hat off and straightens the collar of his fine white shirt. The thinning white hair, which is slightly disheveled, makes him look even more frail. His eyes are awake though. Never has such an old defendant appeared in front of a youth chamber. Johann R. celebrates his 95th birthday in two weeks.

But because the defendant was not yet 21 years old at the time of the crime, the youth chamber of the district court Münster is responsible for the old man. Johann R. has been on trial since Tuesday because he was a security guard in Stutthof near Gdansk, more than seven decades ago. This is the beginning of a major Nazi trial in Germany. Maybe the last one.

He admitted that he was a security guard

While Johann R. is caught up with his past at the end of his life, other people have long been waiting for this day. 17 co-plaintiffs are present in the process, each of them still mourning for a family member who was murdered in Stutthof – at the time when Johann R. was a security guard there. The public prosecutor Dortmund accuses the former SS man aiding the murder of several hundred people . That he was a guard in Stutthof, Johann R. admitted in a survey. He denies being involved in the killing of prisoners. However, according to the prosecution, each guard had to be aware after a short time that prisoners were killed there – and how.

However, the 17 co-plaintiffs living in the US, Canada, Israel and Germany are too old and infirm to participate in the trial. The journey would be too difficult for them. And so on the first day of the trial, those in the courtroom who have not experienced the horror in Stutthof or have lost a close relative there are missing. In the last two major Nazi trials in Germany, Oskar Gröning’s “Auschwitz Accountant” trial in Lüneburg in 2015 and Detmold’s trial of former Auschwitz security guard Reinhold Hanning one year later, the co-plaintiffs played an important role played. It was they who gave the murdered a voice and a face .

However, adjutant lawyer Cornelius Nestler reads a statement from his 89-year-old client Judy Meisel on Tuesday morning in the courtroom, which now lives in the United States. As soon as he starts, he is interrupted by the defense. The defendant has difficulty understanding what has been said. Finally he gets headphones. Slowly and clearly, Nestler now presents Judy Meisel’s story.

“Death became a daily companion in my life”

Already as a twelve-year-old she had experienced forced labor, hunger, “daily humiliation and arbitrary terror” in a ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania. “And yet – I was not prepared for what came after,” the Holocaust survivors say. “After that came Stutthof and I experienced the unimaginable – hell, set up and executed by the SS.” There were no sanitary facilities, almost no food and only one garment for each inmate. “Death became a daily companion in my life.” When the prisoners got up in the morning, there was already “a pile of bodies piled up in front of the barracks.” Those who were still alive but too weak to work were sent to the gas chamber.

That would almost have been Judy Meisel’s fate. “The last time I saw my mother, we were standing in front of the gas chamber without any clothes, along with a group of other women.” But her mother urged her to run back to the barracks when suddenly an opportunity presented itself. Judy Meisel’s mother was murdered in the gas chamber.

“Stutthof, that was the organized mass murder by the SS, made possible with the help of the guards.” The defendant, along with the other SS men, made sure that “nobody could escape from hell”.

Maybe he did not decide to become a security guard in Stutthof himself. “But he has to take responsibility for what he did when he was in Stutthof. Responsibility for helping with this unimaginable crime against humanity, for helping to murder my beloved mother, whom I’ve missed so much my entire life. “While Nestler reads the statement, Johann R. sits motionless and with lowered eyes in his place.

Judy Meisel and the other co-plaintiffs are not concerned with the highest possible punishment for the accused. “For me, this criminal procedure means justice, and it brings late justice for my murdered mother.” The 89-year-old does not understand why the judiciary took so long to bring Johann R. to justice.

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For 70 years he remained unmolested

This is also evidence of the negligence of the German judiciary in dealing with Nazi crimes. For decades the responsible investigators did not even look for the guards from the concentration camps. Only those SS men were tried in Germany, who could be proven a specific murder.

For seventy years, Johann R. remained completely undisturbed by the judiciary . He led a normal life in Germany, studied, earned a doctorate and later worked as a civil servant in North Rhine-Westphalia. He married and became the father of three children. Today he lives in a small village in Westmünsterland, near Borken.

Two years ago he still had a visit from German investigators who asked about his time in Stutthof. In 2011, the Munich Regional Court had sentenced John Demjanjuk, a former security guard in the Sobibor extermination camp, for aiding and abetting murder . The court followed the prosecution’s argument that the guards made their killings possible. After this verdict and especially after the guilty verdict against Oskar Groening in 2015, the investigators in the central office for the investigation of National Socialist crimes once again went through the old files. They were specifically looking for men and women who guarded the camps in the service of the SS. In this way, the name Johann R. appeared.

At 18, he went to the Waffen-SS

The accused was born in November 1923 in the Romanian town of Sankt Georgen, in a family of Transylvanian Saxons. At 18, he goes to the Waffen-SS. On June 7, 1942, he is sent as a guard to the camp Stutthof. From now on, like the other security guards, he wears a skull on the collar of his uniform in the service of the SS. Johann R. stayed in Stutthof for more than two years. He apparently does his job to the satisfaction of his superiors, because he is promoted. The SS men stand on the watchtowers day and night, forming guard chains around the camp. It is also their job to oversee the detainees forced to do forced labor outside the camp.

Sober and matter-of-fact, Attorney-General Andreas Brendel traces the horror in Lager Stutthof on Tuesday morning in Münster. Quite silent in the hall of the district court, when he explains how the deadly gas Zyklon B acts on the human body, it first suspends cell respiration, so that man suffocates internally, and how those trapped in the gas chamber fall into fear and panic. “The cries and cries of the victims were heard outside the gas chamber, and anyone who heard this was aware that the victims were fighting for their lives.”

The accused sits motionless, his eyes directed downward. As if it was not about him and about what he himself heard in Stutthof, saw and did.

However, because these are exactly the issues that are so important to the trial, the attorneys for the co-plaintiffs ask the court to visit the camp’s memorial. The defense is surprisingly true. Now the judges have to decide whether the parties to the proceedings are going on a trip together – and whether the accused must also come along.

On the first day of the trial, the chief public prosecutor lists for which acts Johann R. bears a responsibility from the point of view of the prosecution: On 21 and 22 June 1944, more than 100 Polish prisoners were murdered in the gas chamber of the Stutthof camp with Zyklon B. At least 77 wounded Soviet prisoners of war died in the same way a little later. From August 1944, several hundred Jews were murdered in the gas chamber and in railroad cars.

Stutthof is one of the lesser known National Socialist concentration camps today. The camp was opened one day after the German invasion of Poland. Already on the first day of the war, the mass arrests of Polish intellectuals began in the Free City of Gdańsk. The National Socialists had the corresponding lists of names in their drawer. Even the camp had been built before the war began. Later, Stutthof became one of the crime scenes of the mass murder of European Jews. In the summer of 1944 deportation trains from Hungary and the Baltic met there. Of the 110,000 prisoners, about 65,000 did not survive.

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Diseases spread quickly

Before there was a gas chamber in Stutthof, inmates were killed in shots in a side room of the crematorium. Victims were Jews who were no longer “fit for work”. Attorney General Brendel describes in detail how the SS men simulated a medical examination, how the victims in the belief that their height should be determined, put on a wall and raised a bar on the head, then by SS men who waiting in an adjacent room, were shot. Other inmates, especially women and children, gave SS doctors a lethal gasoline or phenol syringe directly into the heart.

The living conditions in the camp alone have caused many prisoners to die, says the prosecutor. The prisoners had to starve and at the same time work hard physically. Her clothes did not protect her from rain or cold. Diseases spread quickly. In inhuman experiments prisoners were doused naked with water and then sent outdoors in freezing temperatures.

While Brendel describes all this, the defendant is still introverted and apathetic. Despite his high age, an appraiser has classified him as having limited ability to negotiate. A maximum of two days a week should not be negotiated for more than two hours, advised the medical expert. At least one day off between the two days of the trial. When presiding judge Rainer Brackhane identifies the identity of the defendant and asks him if he is a pensioner, Johann R. has to ask for the first time. “Please?” Yes, he says he retired at the age of 65, he says. That’s three decades ago.

The defendant wants to talk about his past

Together with Johann R. the public prosecutor’s office Dortmund had accused another former SS man , who lives today in Wuppertal. However, there were doubts about the 93-year-old’s ability to negotiate; it was unclear whether he could follow a trial because of his hearing loss. That’s why Johann R. is now alone in court.

In his hometown, nobody seems to know about his Nazi past. The trial has not really started yet, as the defender Andreas Tinkl advocates a judicial order to pixelate photos of the defendant. He argues not only with the protection of privacy, but also with the advanced age of the defendant, who is “not physically too blissful”. The court decides that pictures have to be bleached. The accused did not seek the public himself and live in a small community, which leads to stigmatization.

New Nazi trial in Germany: Former SS guard must go to court in November – Politics – Tagesspiegel

Münster, a 94-year-old former SS guard has to answer to the court. He is accused of aiding and abetting murder in the Stutthof camp.

In Germany there should still be a Nazi process. In front of the Münster district court, a 94-year-old former SS guard has been responsible from November. The public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund accuses him of helping to murder several hundred people in the National Socialist concentration camp Stutthof near Gdansk. Because of the age of the accused at the time of the crime, the trial is conducted before the large youth chamber of the district court of Münster at the district court Bocholt, as a spokesman for the district court announced.

The accused, who lives in the district of Borken, belonged from 1942 to 1944 to the SS guards in Stutthof. He is said to have guarded the camp as well as accompanied work teams outside the area.

From the community

These processes come decades too late. Most of the perpetrators, officers and commanders, who often made a career in the young Adenauer Federal Republic, got away with it unscathed.

… writes user MikeNixeda2014

On 21 and 22 June 1944 more than 100 Polish prisoners were murdered in the gas chamber in Stutthof. At least 77 wounded Soviet prisoners of war and an unknown number of Jewish inmates were later killed in the same way as a court communication stated. In addition, the living conditions in the camp were “purposefully so bad” that several hundred prisoners were killed by illnesses and lack of medical care. Inmates who were no longer “fit for work” were murdered by shots.

Defendant denies involvement in murders

The prosecution accuses the accused of “deliberately promoting” the killings with his guard duty. In the course of the investigation, he admitted to have been a guard in Stutthof, but denied having participated in the murder of detainees.

The 94-year-old is regarded as having limited ability to negotiate. One reviewer had recommended negotiating two hours a week for a maximum of two days a week. The case against a second defendant from Wuppertal was severed because it was not yet possible to assess whether he was able to negotiate, the district court said.

Twelve relatives of victims are co-plaintiffs

Twelve co-plaintiffs have already been admitted to the trial in Münster, ie direct relatives of people who were murdered in Stutthof during the period of the offense. They live in the USA, Canada, Israel and Poland.

Since the verdict against former SS man John Demjanjuk in Munich in 2011, investigators evaluated targeted lists of security guards. The name of the now accused man also appeared.

Nazi Crime: New Charges Against Former SS Guards

The public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund has brought charges against two men who had belonged to the SS guards in the National Socialist concentration camp Stutthof. They are accused of murder.

The entrance to the former concentration camp Stutthof near Gdansk. The entrance to the former concentration camp Stutthof near Gdansk.

More than 72 years after the end of the Second World War, there could be a further trial in Germany for Nazi crimes : the public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund filed charges against two former SS men who had been members of the guards at the concentration camp Stutthof near Gdansk. A 92-year-old from Wuppertal and a 93-year-old from the Borken district is accused of aiding and abetting the murder of several hundred people. The Münster district court must now decide on the opening of a procedure.

Both men were responsible both for the guarding of the camp and for the supervision of labor commands outside the camp, according to a statement of the district court Münster. On 21 and 22 June 1944 more than 100 Polish prisoners were murdered in the gas chamber in Stutthof. A little later, at least 77 wounded Soviet prisoners of war and several hundred Jews were killed in the same way. In the camp itself, the living conditions at the behest of the SS leadership and the camp management had been so bad that several hundred prisoners died of diseases such as typhus and typhus or by lack of medical care, the prosecutors emphasized. Inmates not classified as “fit for work” were killed by shots. More than 140 people, including many Jewish women and children, were murdered through injections.

Defendants admitted guard duty in Stutthof

The prosecutors assume that the two defendants knew all this – and that they were aware that “in this way and with this regularity, it could only be killed if the victims were guarded by assistants like them”. The two men have admitted to have been guards in Stutthof, but they deny having participated in the murder of the prisoners. Of the 110,000 prisoners in the concentration camp, at least 65,000 died. Shortly after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the first prisoners were taken to the Stutthof camp, mainly Polish intellectuals from Gdansk. In 1944, deportation trains from Hungary arrived there, Stutthof became one of the crime scenes of the mass murder of European Jews.

Another former SS man charged in Frankfurt

In the names of the two men who were now being charged, the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes had come to Ludwigsburg, as it evaluated lists of SS guards. After the trial of the former SS guard in Sobibor, John Demjanuk, and especially after the final verdict against the former “Auschwitz accountant” , Oskar Gröning, the investigators had begun to search for other guards.

Cabinet meeting in Potsdam: In artificial intelligence, the human must be the focus – Politics – Tagesspiegel

The curator Judith Spickermann is in the exhibition: "Artificial Intelligence and Robotics" in the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum in front of a service robot named Pepper. The curator Judith Spickermann is in the exhibition: “Artificial Intelligence and Robotics” in the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum vor … Photo: Guido Kirchner / dpa

If you want to have your liver spots checked, you have to go to the dermatologist today. The waiting time is often long, the worry big if a stain looks unusual. Is this skin cancer? In the future, it should be possible to check it from home via a smartphone app: take a picture of the spot, wait a minute, the result will come – this is possible with artificial intelligence (AI) , with which data can be evaluated in seconds. For this to work, the program has to learn how a harmless spot looks and how evil. Around 70,000 pictures are necessary for this. Only: where should the app developers get the photos?

The government wants to make such data much easier for researchers and developers to use as part of its Artificial Intelligence strategy. Because only then can products such as the app in Germany be developed – before it makes the competition in China, where there is almost no privacy. Or one of the tech platforms from the US, which can rely on gigantic amounts of data like Facebook or Google.

On Thursday, the government will therefore decide on an AI strategy in its Cabinet meeting in the Hasso Plattner Institute, which will make Germany the world leader in AI. The strategy for this could come just in time, so that Germany is not left behind in the race for innovation leadership. Against China, where the state spends billions on AI research and development. And the US, where the Silicon Valley companies themselves invest billions in AI.

Even today, business models are increasingly data-driven, but in the future there will hardly be a product that is not “intelligent”: autonomously driving cars, sensors that warn their wearer half an hour before a heart attack, digital voice assistants who manage the networked household by acclamation.

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Researchers in Germany hold

If Germany wants to participate in this lucrative market , it needs more than easier access to data. The strategy must therefore also provide an answer to how researchers can be better kept in Germany. Leading AI institutes complain that they are wooing the best people from companies and laboratories in China and America on a weekly basis. One million dollars is supposedly paid there for top executives, a supply package for the family is added. How should the TVÖD keep up?

Maybe in the end it will not always be the one with the heaviest check – but the one with the most attractive overall package. That’s where the government has to go with its strategy. For example, it must enable researchers to use hybrid models to develop products and services alongside their research. For this they need test fields that are not down to the last detail. And data that the state will make available to them in the future – at first free of charge, before he opens his hand to get his share of the potential business success.

But these data alone will not be enough. It needs a kind of trustee or data pool, in which the citizens confidently bring in and control their – anonymous – data. But they will only be willing to do that if they understand how not only the society as a whole but also individuals as individuals can benefit. Communicating this remains an essential task for the government even after the decision of the strategy.

Working conditions at Ryanair

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Hubertus Heil and Frank Bsirske are equally horrified. “There are working conditions here that I did not think possible. We meet the 19th century, “says the head of the services union Verdi. “Here fundamental workers’ rights are trampled on and globalization equated with exploitation,” adds Bundesarbeitsminister Heil (SPD) on Friday morning at Frankfurt Airport. Both have been talking intensively with employees of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair .

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary express his employees like a lemon, the visitors say. Half a dozen flight attendants nod in agreement as Heil, Bsirske and the Hessian SPD leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel describe their impressions. And keep up signs on which they claim their rights. Also the abolition of paragraph 117 of the Works Constitution Act. The stating that the staff of an airline in the cabin as well as in the cockpit can form a works council only if there is a collective agreement.

Because this is not the case with Ryanair, the employees can not choose a substitute, making it difficult to assert their rights. “We will close this gap by the end of the year,” promises Heil. He launched a corresponding initiative in the Federal Cabinet.

According to Bsirske, the cabin crew at Ryanair are working on the verge of subsistence and face repression and threats. Most young people have worse working conditions than their grandparents. “When I started my job a year ago, I had a gross monthly wage of 900 euros,” says a 20-year-old Italian, who is based in Frankfurt as a flight attendant. Before that, she paid 3000 euros for her education. In the beginning she was employed by an agency, today she has a contract with Ryanair and gets 1200 Euro gross; Half of it goes for the rent.