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Best expressed in the following lines: The time has come and the deceit is crumbling like a house of cards. We hope to improve in the not too distant future. A new study suggests that the cave, called Porc-Epic, was the world's first art studio. DNA testing will also determine the link if any with the Braslav branch or the Pittsburgh branch.
It was viewed as a distraction from studies and making a living. And there was some discrimination against Jewish athletes. This explains why David Cone, star pitcher for the Yankees, was inundated with inquiries as to his faith when he broke into the Major Leagues.
No, he politely replied, he was not Jewish. For most of the last two thousand years, Jews were prevented, with some exceptions, from serving in European armies and had insufficient numbers or resources to counter official or unofficial violent attacks. Consequently, until the creation of the State of Israel, violence and the military were viewed as something non-Jewish. So when a Jew achieved a high military rank, or won a major decoration, it was a refutation of the image of the passive Jew who will take anything.
The Jewish military prowess in the creation of the State of Israel did not come out of a vacuum: For all these reasons, Jews like to hear about Jews who lead armies or win the Medal of Honor. During their heyday, these guys were viewed as a shame on the community. But behind the shame was a certain pride that some Jews would punch back and use a gun.
So these guys are largely forgotten, as is their Jewishness. Similarly, most people never find out that among the soldiers killed defending the Alamo there were a number of Hispanic-Texans as well as one French Jew. Not just John Wayne. So another aspect of LTL game is find out that Jews were an important presence in places one would not expect. As editor of Jewhoo! One cannot understand Jewish history if one does not understand what motivated so many famous Jews or their parents to convert-Marx, Heine, Felix Mendelsohn, and Disraeli.
The story is largely the same for each of these figures. Ironically, had they not converted, would they be remembered? Disraeli, for example, could not have become Prime Minister. In my heart, I have a softer spot for some converts than others. I am sympathetic to Heine, the great German poet, who converted for career reasons and always regretted it.
I also have a soft spot for Benjamin Disraeli, the great Prime Minister of England in the 19th century.
His father converted the family. However, he was always viewed as a Jew, he helped overseas Jews, and he made the greatest prideful response to an anti-Semitic remark ever made. A moronic Member of Parliament made a speech attacking Disraeli and concluded his remarks with these words to Disraeli: LTL is a game in its own right and a door to understanding the cultures of virtually every European civilization and some non-European civilizations as well. As Disraeli said, Jews have been around a long time and ended up in virtually very country.
If you find a famous Jew from a country and research his background a little, you enter not only into his world, but also into the world around him. How did he get there? How was he received in this country? What did his success say about his country and culture? And, of course, there is just the fun aspect.
Best expressed in the following lines: We want this site to grow and to be as accurate as possible. Please see our frequently asked questions column for more information on what standards we use for inclusion and other information. Baron Rothschild had a memorial placed on her Paris grave. Full first name is Alexandrea. Ali MacGraw - A reliable correspondent tells us the in Ms. Now mostly on infomercials because her acting ability was, to say the least, modest.
Yes, she is most assuredly Jewish. Alla Nazimova - Legendary silent film actress. Star of Russian and American stage. It is likely that her father is not Jewish Amanda Peet - Very attractive young actress who is rapidly becoming a star. Got incredible divorce settlement. She was married to actor Richard Harris not Jewish for a while.
Also an entertainment writer. Anne Meara - Well-known as part of the comedy team of Stiller and Meara. Mother of Ben Stiller. An organization of Irish Jews in NY. They serve green matzoh ball soup during their annual St. Annie Sprinkle - Star of adult filMs. One of the few actresses in such films that Jhoo could verify as Jewish.
Anouk Aimee - Beautiful leading lady of s and 60s European cinema. It took a little while, but we confirmed this entry. Barbara Bach - Born Barbara Goldbach. Wife of Ringo Starr. Her father was Jewish, her mother not. Married to actor Martin Landau Jewish for over twenty years, they are now divorced. While in college, she was in the same Jewish national sorority that Ruth Bader Ginsberg and astronaut Judith Resnik, among others, were in.
A visitor tells us that Ms. She mentioned being baptized in the same church she married her 3rd husband in. Therefore, our doubt may have been justified. So, many sources over the years have been wrong. Someone makes a mistake, and it is repeated.
We broke this chain. Barbara Harris - Tony-award winning actress. In one report, it is noted that her father is Jewish, her mother is not. This is likely accurate. Jhoo will update when we have more info. Deserves credit for being the first actress to not tone down her NY Jewish persona for popular approval. She was married for close to thirty years to Broadway and film director Gene Saks who is Jewish.
They are now divorced. Extremely talented singer and dancer as well as comedic actress. Bette Midler - Actress and singer. One of the few Jewish people born and raised in Hawaii. She is hosting an interview show carried on a limited number of stations in which she interviews Jewish celebrities.
Just published book about her life and weight problem: This is not a cruel joke, this is the title of her book. Stagestruck, she persuaded her father, a San Francisco rabbi, to let her go to Hollywood. Griffith classic her father was a techical advisor.
The story is told that her friend, legendary actress Mary Pickford, made an anti-Semitic joke in her presence.
When she found out Myers was Jewish, she was so upset she became a major long time benefactor of a Jewish old age home.
Sylvia Sydney, who was also Jewish, played this role in the pilot. Carol Kane - Star of many films and TV shows. Simka means a happy event in Yiddish.
Some supporting roles in filMs. She reprised this role in the series. Many character parts since, including a number of voice-only roles. Now divorced, we do not know if she still considers herself Jewish. Converted when she was married to Aaron Spelling. Unclear whether she considered herself Jewish after the marriage ended in divorce. Father, Eddie Fisher is Jewish. Married to Paul Simon for about one month.
Joely Fisher is her half-sister. Catherine Zeta Jones - Up for informational purposes. There was a report that this Welsh Catholic actress, who just married Michael Douglas, was thinking of converting.
Michael identifies as Jewish so we assume this means Jewish. Cathy Silvers - Daughter of actor Phil Silvers. She has retired from acting. We are almost certain her mother is not Jewish. All sons should be so nice. She is scheduled to have her own talk show, no surprise there. Recently wrote nasty memoir of her life with ex-hubbie Phillip Roth. Up with a huge asterisk. According to some reports, she is studying to convert in anticipation of marrying Australian Jewish rock musician, Ben Lee.
Up mostly to let you know that Jhoo is on top of the news. With a heavy heart, Jhoo has to announce that Cyd, listed as Jewish in many books, is not. We have received info. To people who ask, Fred Astaire almost certainly had some Jewish ancestry.
However, he was not born or raised Jewish and the ancestry was remote. Dani Behr - Very attractive young English actress.
She became a household name in the U. Messing is a graduate of Brandeis. Still doing good work. She spent part of her teen years in Israel and served in the Israeli army for a short time.
Dianne Wiest - UP with a big asterisk. We know all about her parents and that her husband is a guy named Sam Cohn. Didi Conn - Born Didi Bernstein. Had title of most annoying voice until Fran Drescher.
Her brother is Richard Bernstein, a fast-rising young and handsome opera singer. She is married to Oscar-winning film composer David Shire who is Jewish. Daughter of actress Lee Grant. Dinah Shore - Singer, actress, talk show host.
With her sweet southern accent and blond hair, she ranked high among stars that few people knew were Jewish. One of our visitors related a nice story. Her father who taught at Vanderbilt tutored Dinah and attended a seder at her home.
Dinah graduated from Vanderbilt. We have confirmed some visitor info. Not only is Ms. Elaine May - Actress, screenwriter, director, comedian. Elina Lowensohn - Rumanian-born daughter of a concentration camp survivor. Film and TV actress: Elisabeth Bergner - Born Elisabeth Ettel. Began career on stage in Germany with Max Reinhardt.
Clarifying what we know. We believe she was raised Jewish. Our source is not precise on these last points. Pretty to look at, Jewish, but she needs some real help with the acting part of being an actress. Elizabeth Taylor - Converted when she married film producer Mike Todd. He died in air crash; and Liz the widow was comforted by soon to be hubbie 4 , Eddie Fisher. So, sports fans, 3 and 4 were Jewish. Ron gives a lot of money to charity, but his personal behavior is usually described as somewhere between atrocious and awful.
Barkin is the 4th Mrs. Elsa Zylberstein - French actress who is becoming an international star. Her father is Jewish; it is unclear whether her mother is. Her married name is Estelle Gettleman. Estelle Harris - Best known for playing Mrs. In a published interview, Jerry Stiller Mr. One very memorable film role: Born and raised Lutheran. Her husband of 32 days who was in her weight class was Ernest Borgnine. Apparently some list floats around the web that says he is Jewish.
His real name is Ermes Effron Borgino, and he is the son of southern Italian immigrants. Especially from the south of Italy. But, in a weird way, we stand corrected. Jewish origins unadmitted until proved recently. She is a convert to Judaism. Her brother was actor Billy Halop. Unlike her character, she is actually married to a Jewish guy. We may write a short piece. Griffin is not Jewish in real life. Infrequent parent appearances and very minor characters excluded.
She was born in America of Greek Jewish parents. Gertrude Berg - No surprise here. Karyn was murdered in The case has never been solved. Gilda Radner - Actress and comedian. Wife of Gene Wilder; died of cancer far too young. Her half-sister is the much more famous actress Shari Belafonte. Her husband since is actor Sam Behrens, who is Jewish. We do not know if this has any significance as to her formal religious affiliation.
Hence its popularity as a pendant among Jewish and some non-Jewish people. This is a quite well done, if somewhat slow moving story of an American Jewish woman meeting a sister who was long thought killed in Europe.
Great cast, worth seeing. Her mother is Jewish, her father is not. Goldie has said she was raised Jewish. Unclear whether Kate was. Father, Bruce Paltrow, director, is Jewish. Mother, actress Blythe Danner, is not Jewish. Her brother was bar mitzvah, so we assume she was confirmed as well. Her mother was head of the Jewish Home in the Bronx.
Born Hedwig Kiesler, it is unclear from the sources whether she was Jewish by faith, or was the child of Jewish parents who converted.
Hedy referred to herself as Jewish in a few interviews, however. Incredibly, this toad, an arms merchant, supported the Nazis. Hedy left him and immigrated to the United States. Via a source very close to Ms. Real family name is Schlacter. Hermione Gingold - English Jewish stage and film actress who had a delightfully wacky persona and voice. Ida Kaminska - The last great Yiddish actress; tried to keep Yiddish theatre alive in post-war Poland. It was made in Czechoslovakia during the brief thaw before the Soviet invasion.
Ione Skye - Actress who seems to be getting increasingly better parts. Her mother is Jewish. Her brother is Donovan Leitch, an actor. He and Ally Sheedy recently hosted a Manhattan Chanukah bash. Skye was married, until recently, to Adam Horwitz, Beastie Boy member. We have recently found that Ms. Jamie Lee Curtis - Sexy star of many filMs. Father, Tony Curtis, Jewish. Mother, Janet Leigh, not.
Her father is Jewish, her mother is not. She took her name from the 3rd wife of King Henry VIII-there were a lot of films about royalty when she took her stage name.
Her aunt is Helen Suzman, legendary anti-apartheid activist. Has not acted on film or TV for many years. Elfman is her married name. She was born Jennifer Mary Butala. A non-Jewish Greek American. Jennifer Connolly - Attractive actress who grew up in Brooklyn and began in music videos. Our source, who knows her, says her mother is Jewish.
Her father is not. Daughter of Joel Grey, actor. Grandaughter of Mickey Katz, legendary Klezmer musician. A few years ago she had so much plastic surgery she is almost unrecognizable. She needs a shrink, not a plastic surgeon. Her father was actor Vic Morrow, Jewish, from whom she was estranged. Unclear, but unlikely that her mother is Jewish.
She has been in a number of television series, but none seem to last more than a season. Guest shots on scores of series. She is married to actor Ron Leibman. David Merrick was Jewish. Reported to be quite smart, she dated Henry Kissinger for a time. In a famous incident, Soviet Premier Breshnev reportedly squeezed her tushy at a reception.
Joan Blondell - We had long heard one of our favorite actresses was Jewish, and it was confirmed by a scholarly biographical encylopedia. Joan Copeland - Character actress born Joan Miller. Joan Rivers - Comedian and actress. Although her forays into acting have not been successful. Joanna Frank - She had one really memorable role. She is married to him in real life. Bochco certainly does not have an anti-nepotism policy. Joanna Gleason - Film and television actress.
Yes, Monty is Jewish. Father, Eddie Fisher, Jewish. Mother, actress Connie Stevens, not Jewish. A veteran Israeli visitor to Jewhoo tells us that an Israeli paper reported her as Jewish and that both sets of her grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants to France. We had reason to question this entry based on the fact that Ms. Light went to a Catholic H. Light said she went to a Catholic H.
Refugee from Germany, her father was a rabbi. Nor is Liza Minnelli. Her father was Vincente Minnelli, film director, not Jewish. Very smart, despite dumb blonde appearance. Sadly, she died young. Tuvim can mean holiday in Hebrew. Not an easy subject to research, we are almost certain that only her paternal grandfather was Jewish.
However, her mother converted to Christianity when Julianna was a small child and Ms. Margulies was more or less raised Christian her parents divorced. She says she does not consider herself a practicing member of any faith now. This is an unusual biography and accounts for confusing reports about her ethnic background. Voice of Marge Simpson. See rock and roll for more details. One article said her mother is Jewish. Her maternal great-grandmother is Jewish.
Lang seems to self-identify as a Jew, noting that she fasted one year on Yom Kippur. Karen Black - Up with a big asterisk. Converted after she met and later married Steven Spielberg. Her father was well-known film and television director Boris Sagal. Both she and her father are religious Christians. The children working in her sweatshops probably know by now.
Frank, you can send me the angry letter now. Kathryn Grody - Character actress and playwright. Has appeared in about twenty films in supporting roles. Wife of actor Mandy Pantikin. Kitty Carlisle - Wife of famous playwright Moss Hart. Probably last person alive who dated George Gershwin. Kyra Sedgwick - Up with an asterisk. Lainie Kazan - Singer and actress. Has made a number of television and film apperances since.
Unlike John Belushi, she cleaned up her act before it was too late and has been clean for a long time. Lauren Bacall - Born Betty Perske. Bogart was, of course, not Jewish. Blacklisted for a long time for refusing to testify aganist her husband. Her daughter is actress Dinah Manhoff. Lesley Anne Warren - Pretty actress who should have been in more good movies.
Born Lily Peyser in Poland. Lillian Roth - Born Lillian Rutstein. Her career declined into alcoholism. Lilyan Tashman - Brooklyn-born Jean Harlow type bombshell who made the transition from silents to talkies. Died of a mysterious ailment in None of her talkies are well-known.
She was born and raised in Portland, Maine which has a small, but vibrant Jewish community. She was once married to actor Ron Leibman. She has continued to have a major career, starring in big budget filMs. Bonet was recently inteviewed by an Israeli paper. She was raised Jewish and loves kreplach, but not gefilte fish the sugar.
She is raising her child with Mr. Lisa Edelstein - Guest actress on many television shows. Lisa and David are Jewish. Courtney Cox is not. Matthew Perry is NOT. All we could find is that she was born in Toronto of Yugoslav parents. Therefore, we think it is unlikely that she is Jewish if her parents were post War immigrants.
If anyone knows, let us know. Lori Capp - Born Lori Kopp. Once married to Woody Allen. She was a non-conformist and few good parts subsequently came her way. She is still very much alive and appeared in a Hungarian film made in Once married to playwright Clifford Odets. Died in of ovarian cancer, which is the disease that killed Gilda Radner.
Like Gilda, she was funny and will be missed. The dialogue is a mixture of Swedish sounding English and Yiddish. Mae West - Its one of those maybe stories. Mother, maybe some Jewish ancestry-how much will forever be unclear. Mother and West practicing Christians. Maia Morgenstern - Rumanian actress who works in the international cinema and Rumanian theater. Born in , she was with the Rumanian State Jewish theater between and She has been with the Rumanian State Theater since We note that this film, about a Greek filmmaker, is something of an international Jewish actors convention-starring Harvey Keitel, Morgenstern, and Erland Josephson, a Swedish Jewish actor.
Maria Friedman - British actress and singer who has been extremely hot in the British musical theater for the last decade. A visitor says she saw Friedman in concert and Friedman said she is Jewish. Friedman also sang some songs composed by prisoners of a concentration camp. Marisa Berenson - Actress and model. Related to the legendary art critic, Bernard Berenson.
Her father is Jewish, her mother not. Berry was married to Tony Perkins for a time. But they are now divorced and it unclear what her religious affiliation, if any, is. Mother Jewish, father not. Raised in both religions, according to our source. Marla Maples - Well this one is almost too absurd.
She is engaged to Michael Mailer, producer and son of Norman Mailer. She told the Post that she and her daughter, Tiffany Trump, are serious students of kabbalah Jewish mysticism. Marla has a few acting credits as well as a former career as a model. Maureen Lipman - English actress. Not well known in the States, but well-known to English audiences.
A lot of surgery later, she looks much more WASPish. Sister of Sara Gilbert. We do not know if Mr. Melissa Rosenberg - Daughter of Joan Rivers. Played herself in autobiographical movie about family. Her father is a reporter for the Canadian Jewish news. She says that she was raised in a Conservative household and observed the major holidays. Michelle Pfeiffer - Not Jewish.
The mohel to the stars, if you will. Pfeiffer, while not Jewish, wanted a very experienced hand. Because of it, he has amassed political capital both at home and abroad. But, it could be his greatest weakness too. There are those who oppose him and are prepared to use violence to stop his reform agenda, and render the country ungovernable. Besides sporadic ethnic clashes, there have been some high profile assassinations and an attempted assassination that remained shrouded in mystery.
July 26, or Hamle 19, EC will be remembered as the saddest day in Ethiopian history. The great Engineer and hero Simegnew Bekele has fallen victim to the enemies of Ethiopia who hired mercenaries to do their mission in obstructing and if possible halting the completion of the GERD.
Ethiopia indeed has lost one of her brightest and brave sons, but the paid agents and the sponsoring governments or political groups are too naïve and too shortsighted to entertain such a foolish idea of deterring Ethiopians from completing the Dam by just shooting and killing the chief engineer. Tecola w Hagos 23 July Human beings are not numerical values, variables, nor symbols. For example, it adds horrible ex-Derg Officials along with members and leaders of Terrorist Organizations into the mix with innocent and upright Ethiopians.
Kassa Kebede, a pathological liar, asserted that he had heard I was involved in the nationalization of his residential property. I did no such thing. I advocated for the return of residential properties including investment real-estate to the owners, at the time I was in the Transitional Government in He also boasted that he would have had United States Citizenship if he had wanted. Not in a million years, for the immigration Laws of the United States and the Government policies are strict to granting Citizenship to individuals with backgrounds of membership in political organizations that practiced extra judicial executions, mass detentions, torture et cetera and especially those who were at the highest leadership structure.
The African leaders hailed, in particular, the UAE's role in establishing security and stability in the Horn of Africa region. Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders have thanked the UAE and Saudi Arabia for their contribution in ending years of conflict between the two African countries. The UAE and Saudi Arabia "spared no effort" to help the two neighbouring countries reestablish good relations for the sake of their people and the wider region, the leaders said. The Ethiopian Herald newspaper reviewed in its digital version statements by the director of the Port Administration of that marine enclave, Layne Asfahaley, who pointed out that an intensive phase of renovation of infrastructures has concluded to adequately fulfill those purposes.
A delegation from the Ethiopian business community also made a visit there to assess the situation of the port, which this nation could not use for 20 years after the break of relations with Asmara. It became a mode of operand to spread false news for this newly created ethnocentric demagoguery YouTube media called Voice of Amhara, Ethio Media Forum and Tena adam internet radio. Your forum should not be a conduit to hate mongers to spew hate and propaganda. With no evidence what amounted to smear campaign faceless and fast-moving assault on the integrity of SebHidri members and organization.
Sebhidri was born out of the heroic concern of Tigreans; our name should not be teetered by cyber foot soldiers to trash smear campaign. The purpose of our organization is to tackles development deficits by building the institutions necessary for good governance and ensuring genuine participation in a democracy in our Tigrai, to ensure that there is effective participation, transparency, responsiveness, consensus orientation, equity, inclusiveness and accountability.
These are values which form the bedrock of our democracy. Time heals time kills: Africa gathering of rising leaders from 44 countries with a Town Hall with President Obama. Is Ethiopia on the brink? Tecola W Hagos 17 July I. As PM Abiy emphasizes often, the process of healing starts with forgiveness and reconciliation. And I may add that the sheer joy of being in the home of a long-sought after Family member would seal the familial bond all over again.
There seems to be a very nasty undercurrent against TPLF and by extension against Tygreans in the current extremely exaggerated expression of friendship to Issaias Afeworki and to Eritreans. Economic geology value of oil shale deposits: The oil shale deposits in the Tigray region are found in the northern parts of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa. They are of Upper Paleozoic in age, existing as remnants of the Cretaceous erosion period, underlain by tillites and overlain by sandstones.
They were formed during the glacial retreat followed by marine deposition of shales in a basin created by the enormous load of the glaciers.
The Ethiopian-Tigray oil shale deposits cover an area extending over approximately 30 km2, with an average mineable bed-thickness of 55 m, showing on the upper part inter-beds and laminations of shaley limestones.
The oil shale resources in this region are estimated to be approximately 4 billion tonnes. This study sheds light on the oil shale resources in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, as they are fairly investigated, regarding their geological characterization, and future strategies for their exploration and exploitation.
Introduction There are several variations of the proverbial that express similar sentiment as in the title of this article. I am very glad that I was proven wrong in that peace and friendship is possible between Ethiopia and Eritrea. You both have proven to me that you both are far complex personalities and far more perceptive and truly courageous than I am.
I am obviously making tautological statement here, for you are leaders of countries, and I am a sideshow scribbler who should know better to use his time productively. I owe you both an apology. Sorry for my hasty and harsh defeatist remarks.
As always, the Ethiopian phenomenon is complicated, complex, and shrouded in mystery to say the least. Given the admixture of a lingering feudal mode of thinking the mode of production is done away with with unpolished and haphazard modernity considering the exposure of Ethiopians to Western values and technology , obscurantism in the Ethiopian political culture is not surprising. Hybrid politics, however, is dangerous because it tears apart Ethiopians between the archaic framework of thinking and the relatively science-based general orientation.
Ethiopians, thus, are suspended between two irreconcilable poles, and adding fuel to the fire, the present generation of Ethiopians are even in a much worse condition for the following reasons: On a closer look of the phenomenon, I see some bizarre development in this unusual positive reaction to a leader rooted in the EPRDF.
Foretelling Irreversible Tragedies Part I Mogos Abraham, PhD Premise Weakness, fragility, and failure of a governance system are sequenced sociopolitical and economic conditions that cause national tragedies.
It failed about 30 years ago to function as a nation of law and order; and remains a tragically failed country. Somalia has become a budgetary burden to the UN and the AU; and a peace and security nightmare to Ethiopia. By all indicators, Ethiopia appears to have passed the threshold of a weak state to a fragile state, approaching the tragedy of a failed state. What is going on in Ethiopia?
For no reason other than whom they are, hundreds of Ethiopians are being murdered and their properties being torched, while others are being uprooted and internally displaced.
EPRDF has become impotent completely. The African continent currently consists of 55 countries, with odd currencies some have chosen to adopt the US dollar , 55 regulatory frameworks and, in simple terms, 55 different sets of red tape. This scenario means doing business on the African continent can be challenging, both for foreign and domestic investors.
The following two articles were authored by Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia , and for readers and researchers interested to fully understand the essence of the articles and also to make reflections on the Border Commission decision following the Algiers Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea in , it is imperative to read: By Excellency Belay Abay. The conference dealt with the border issue in great detail.
A very important paper was presented by his Excellency Ato Belai Abay on the situation of the border issue. Solidarity's struggle with the core of the ideals for the last 2 years was that Meles acted as an agent appointed to destroy Ethiopia, and that he has secretly signed an agreement with Shaebia to cede vast territories from Tigrai and Afar.
No matter what Meles policy promoters disseminate, the noose is around their neck. Now an inch of an Ethiopian sovereign land can cost them an end to the life in politics. The time has come and the deceit is crumbling like a house of cards. Many Scholars exposed the sinister motive of Meles Zenawi and Co. You judge for yourself after reading the research paper that history, no matter how much spin is done, the truth still comes out.
A year earlier, the previous Secretary General Cofi Annan stated before he left office that Eritrea had violated the Peace Treaty by moving tanks and its soldiers in the Buffer Zone. There is no question that the Eritrean Government has violated both the letter and spirit of the Algiers Agreement. There are numerous instances where there have been violations by the Eritrean Government of the Algiers Agreement since it signed that agreement seven years ago.
We have been optimistic about the current political atmosphere and the fresh air of hope flowing in the country since you have assumed the premier position. We understand that you came to this position at the very critical time where ethnic tensions were high, state apparatuses were collapsing, and the country was on the crossroad. Thousands have lost their lives and their properties and become a victim of massive displacement because of the mal-governance of the local administrators.
Unfortunately, however, this ethnic cleansing and massive displacement steadily continued to happen in Ethnic Gedeos who have been living in Oromia region for the millennials. Trade liberalization in context.
The rationale behind more regional integration is to trade between equals and limit the share of vertical trade exports of commodities and imports of capital. The current predominance of commodity exports makes growth procyclical to commodity prices. Sizeable output volatility deters economic development.
Ethiopia's peace offer comes with strings attached Ethiopia's new prime minister Abiy Ahmed wants to recognize a longstanding peace deal with Eritrea. That's good news after 20 years of hostility but it's too early to celebrate, writes Ludger Schadomsky.
Ethiopia finally recognises border ruling with Eritrea By Robert Hackwill Eritrea invaded, and tens of thousands died or were taken prisoner on both sides. Eritrea had been a province of Ethiopia until a referendum established independence. Eritrean fighters had helped in the overthrow of Ethiopia's military dictatorship and fought a year war of independence.
The country's creation transformed Ethiopia into a landlocked country. Special Message to PM Abiye Ahmed Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD May 26, The main title of the article is pretty much clear; the companion title, however, is not quite obvious and intelligible, but I will make it comprehensible to the reader when I delve into the current Ethiopian politics.
As always, I will try to be objective and fair in my overall analysis and investigative discourse pertaining to the recent political change in Ethiopia. The formation of Tigrai cultural troop and its historical genesis. The Fallen Obelisk of Aksum. Ghelawdewos Araia proposed, among many other suggestions he presented, the erection of the fallen obelisk of Aksum. Professor Ghelawdewos is a leading Ethiopian scholar in education, international studies, political economy, and history, and a prolific writer on contemporary and current issues; he has contributed hundreds of scholarly works, not to mention his books on Ethiopia in English, Amharic, and Tigrigna.
He also has written extensively on areas pertaining to his field of expertise mentioned above. Ghelawdewos different from other writers is that his writings are objective, balanced, educational, and original; and with this unique style and integrity, he has been producing articles that reflect divergent issues and that could be considered blue prints for discussion forums, researchers, and individual readers.
On top of this, Dr. Professor Desta, Asayehgn Against odds, Ethiopian patriots won a decisive victory over the aggressive colonial Italian army at the battle of Adwa on March 1, Consequently, the Battle of Adwa helped Ethiopia maintain its sovereignty while inspiring other African countries that had been defeated and divided by European colonizers.
After the victory, Ethiopia served as a role model for the entire black race, even inspiring other colonized countries worldwide to repulse aggression with dignity and to assert their own independence. More importantly, the Battle of Adwa forced the Italian invaders to shed their long-held and false illusions about the black race.
This one-year leadership development and civic engagement program will train and support promising young leaders across Africa working in government, civil society, and the private sector. The Foundation received nearly 10, applications for slots. The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program will launch in Johannesburg, South Africa with a five-day convening. The convening will run from July 14 through July 18 and include plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, and technical trainings that will help these young emerging leaders drive positive change throughout Africa.
It remains to be seen what will happen to him now that his host, Robert Mugabe, has been removed from power. But the Ethiopian government says that such a gesture is not sufficient, and that it will continue to seek permanent return of the artifacts. Abiy assuming he was a progressive voice, a reformist, cue-taker, open to suggestion, and because he has a proven ability to divert profound social crises in his hometown, a point he developed into his doctoral dissertation.
Thus, protesters temporarily suspended changes in decision-making process immediately after Dr. At long last, the Africa must Unite motto of the Accra conference, then attended by only eight independent African countries, will become a reality. WORLD Peaceful reform will see Ethiopia through dynamic political moment Taye AtskeSelasie, ambassador of Ethiopia to Egypt The article contains numerous factual errors and erroneous assumptions about Ethiopia — a country that prides itself on its diversity and the unity of its people.
Leaving aside the sinister motivations one might insinuate from the flavor and slant of the article — namely, the international misrepresentation of political realities for underlying geopolitical aspirations — I would rather focus on separating the facts from the falsehoods for the benefit of your readers. Tyranny of Size in a Fragile Democracy: The Ethiopian Case Mogos Asghedom As pointed out in the introductory paragraph, blind faith in size has tragic consequences.
The extremist elements do not seem to be able to predict the hell their actions might take them, because their arrogance, ignorance, and monetary greed have blinded them. These residual human elements do not hesitate to abuse and misuse the meaning of democracy to fulfill their wild ambitions to dominate and subjugate other nations, nationalities, and peoples.
They do not understand that true democracy has multiple guiding principles, which include primacy of the rule of law, accountability, transparency, collective decision-making, equality, collective voice universal suffrage , civil liberties and civil rights, strong nationalism, and obligations to serve the masses. Araia, recently published an article recent and offered the following recommendations for the government to consider: The Government and the legally operating opposition parties in Ethiopia should enter dialogue with the sole purpose of fostering national unity and retooling Ethiopian nationalism while at the same time de-emphasizing ethnic politics.
If this kind of national reconciliation is tried, it should be done in public in which the Ethiopian people also become participant-observers.
This would also be a momentous historic event at unleashing a political culture of toleration and inclusiveness and a reflection of the ideals and sentiments of the Ethiopian nationhood. Construction machinery such as excavators, dump-trucks Their time reckoning system seems not to go with the usual one - readying oneself at dawn for work, and getting back to home at dusk.
After months of anti-government protests and security force action, the government earlier this year decided to release several political prisoners. Unrest, however, continues in several parts of the country. Analysts agree that Ethiopia is traditionally far less susceptible to outside influence in its internal affairs than many other African countries. A discussion of the situation in the member AU Peace and Security Council that deals with conflicts on the continent has also never taken place.
Ethiopia's Stability Envisages Africa's Inclusive Development OPINION By Zelalem Girma As Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa, its main challenges are sustaining its progressive economic growth and ensuring poverty reduction, which requires significant improvement in job creation and improved governance. To make certain a comprehensive growth in the country, the government will need to improve its governance, empower local authorities, and become more accountable to its citizens, according to members of the diplomatic community.
Following the instabilities observed recently in some parts of the country, the government has declared a State of Emergency SoE to protect losses of life and damages in properties as well as to adjust political reforms. The Nile eventually pours into the Mediterranean Sea in the north of Egypt. The river has served as the stem of civilizations, dating from thousands of years ago.
Without its waters, more Egyptians would starve than do already. The Blue Nile accounts for some 85 percent of the water flowing into the main Nile. However, these wonderful and beautiful fashion bloggers Hermon and Heroda Berhane never allowed their disabilities distract their purpose and vision in life.
With both now 34, the Eritrean-Ethiopian twin sisters have great and blossoming careers in modeling and acting as well as a fashion blog. According to them, the mission is simple. Certain groups may invoke Article 39 of the Constitution to separate Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia but they will not be successful because the majority of the people of Tigray would like to jealously guard the unity of Ethiopia and maintain Ethiopian national identity. In this context, thus, back in I tried to portray Tigray as an indivisible core of the Ethiopian nation-state, as shown below: Retrospective and Prospective Analysis of.
That is, in contradiction to the socialization process of the ancient regime and the military Junta who favored a centralized type of government, after coming to power, the EPRDF propagated and endorsed an ethnic-based federal type of government structure in Ethiopia Hailemariam, Desalegn announced that he was stepping down to quell months-long unrest in the landlocked African nation.
By Vasudevan Sridharan The landlocked African state of Ethiopia is at a crossroads after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn succumbed to increasing public pressure and announced his surprise resignation. It is an unprecedented move by the premier of the Horn of Africa nation as he said his stepping down would pave the way for "lasting peace".
Why advertise with us Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country, has been reeling under protracted anti-government demonstrations against human rights violations and political clampdowns, with protests gathering momentum back in What started as a campaign against the government's urban development plan for capital Addis Ababa, ended up with hundreds of people losing their lives. A police car appears in a cloud of red dust on the dirt road between the boulders.
A young man in uniform opens the window and starts grousing in French. The Chinese men he is rebuking don't understand any of it, but slowly realize where the anger is coming from. They had forgotten to register with the sentry guarding the entrance to the large construction site above the coast.
Ethiopia has been experiencing recurrent mass protests, riots and ethnic conflicts over the past two years that have claimed the lives of thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands. State collapse is so far an extreme and unlikely scenario given that the conflicting parties are internal actors in the system and have a vested interest in its survival. A more likely but still dangerous scenario is a long-term vicious cycle of political conflict and economic stagnation that cripples state and society.
Policy towards the Horn of Africa. The problems of the Horn of Africa are frequently interlinked and often cross international borders. The root causes of the conflicts include economic inequality, political marginalization, poor governance, ethnic tension, competition for scarce resources such as water and good land, periodic drought and poverty.
Contributory factors are porous borders, widespread availability of arms, corruption, a poor record by governments on human rights issues and interference in the region by organizations and countries outside the Horn.
When you add the fact that the Horn is located on a religious fault line, you have a recipe for frequent conflict. It has arguably been the most conflicted corner of the world since the end of World War II. The Horn has constantly posed a serious challenge for U. Songwe's remarks came during her speech at the executive council meeting of the African Union in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday. Observing and Analyzing the New Egyptian-Ethiopian Accord with Cautious Optimism Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD January 26, I am optimistic by nature, but given the jittery politics and unfathomable political discourse and diplomacy of the Egyptian leaders, I like to observe and analyze the recent meetings and subsequent agreement reached between Egypt and Ethiopia with cautious optimism.
There is no doubt that both sides, that is, the Ethiopian and Egyptians diplomats, were satisfied by the outcome of the three-day meeting beginning January 16, and discussions wrought in an effort to iron out differences. After he returned home, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, for instance, told Ethiopian journalists that he was personally gratified with the agreements reached on various cooperative agendas; he underscored that both countries have agreed to cooperate in many sectors including agriculture, industry, health, education, and tourism.
Beyond these sectors, both countries have also agreed to work together and create synergy in some e. Ethiopia could be sitting on one of world's great untapped gold deposits January 24, by Liam Bullock, The Conversation Our field observations and panning suggest that gold should be generally abundant across the Asoza zone — both in quartz veins but also elsewhere in the schist and pegmatite rocks in which they are located.
We also see signs of substantial graphite deposits, which are important for everything from touch-screen tablets to lithium-ion batteries. There is undoubtedly much more world-class gold within this area than has already been discovered, pointing to a promising source of income for the government for years to come — much of the region remains unexplored, after all.
It probably is no exaggeration to say that Ethiopia's gold potential could rival South Africa's, which would put it somewhere around the top five gold producing nations in the world.
Embassy Announces Solve IT! Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The competition is implemented by the U. Embassy in collaboration with partners iCog Labs and Humanity plus. The soul intention of building these institutions was to provide and promote the best education to the black community. Who knew in those times that the universities established for the black people would be the top educational institutions some day and for which even the royal communities will compete to get admission.
Here is the list of top seven universities of current times that are actually Black Universities. In an interview with the Sudanese daily newspaper Sudan Vision, Zewdie accused some parties of transforming the GERD from a technical issue into a political issue, calling for political issues surrounding the dam to be avoided and to concentrate on the technical side set by experts from the concerned countries.
He expressed his surprise over the negative statements from Egyptian media outlets regarding GERD, describing the statements as an attempt to create agendas which are far from the reality. In Pinehurst, at the north end of Seattle, you will find the hub of this ever-growing community: Jebena Cafe and its neighboring grocery store.
At the center of the offerings here is a warming injera — a perfected sourdough flatbread with a texture often defined as spongy. While this may seem like a modern problem, history has proven that this has actually been happening for a while. Ayalew Mesfin was part of an Ethiopian musical movement known as Ethio-Groove, a genre that combined the best parts of funk, soul, big-band jazz, Afrobeat, and traditional Ethiopian music.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity. Donald Trump must apologies for comments - African Union. The organization representing African countries has demanded that US President Donald Trump apologies after he reportedly called nations on the continent "shitholes". The African Union mission in Washington DC expressed its "shock, dismay and outrage" and said the Trump administration misunderstood Africans.
The US leader made the alleged remark in a Thursday meeting on immigration. But Mr Trump has denied using the language reported. He has been backed by two Republicans who were at the White House meeting, but Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump called African countries "shitholes" several times and used "racist" language.
What did the African Union say? It said the "remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity". The predicament of Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia January 18, socioeconomic overhaul which this paper will discuss in the following paragraphs, there is another reason why there has been a crackdown on Ethiopian undocumented immigrants in Saudi Arabia, namely a backlash on the political position of Ethiopia in the ongoing Gulf crisis. Some of the African countries succumbed to the pressure but most did not including Ethiopia.
Italian Black shirts made trips to the bank to cash in the jewellery they seized from their victims. Upper-class neighborhoods of Addis Ababa were spared only because Italians coveted the properties. More than 19, Ethiopians were killed in Addis Ababa by the time the Italians had exhausted themselves. Across Ethiopia, the figure is north of 30, Eyewitnesses to the massacre gathered ample evidence, including photographs of Italians posing with severed heads of Ethiopians. He was an unabashed white supremacist who mobilized his nation against Nazi Germany, and not, as his hagiographers relentlessly strive to portray him, a champion of universal freedom and neutral justice.
African immigrants are more educated than most — including people born in U. Simmons Contact Reporter Lots of the news from sub-Saharan Africa is about war, famine, poverty or political upheaval.
But research tells another story. And on average, African immigrants are better educated that people born in the U. The are several issues between Cairo and Khartoum including Sudan support to the Ethiopian renaissance dam, border dispute over Halayeb triangle and the ban on Egyptian farming products.
The latest tensions have sparked between Sudan and Egypt after the former signed an agreement to temporarily hand over the Red Sea island of Suakin to Turkey.
Sudan deploys troops to Eritrea border amid tension with Egypt Sudan has deployed more forces on its border with Eritrea amid rising tension in the Red Sea region. Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour cited security threats on its eastern border. Earlier this month, Sudan closed its border with its eastern neighbor and sent troops to the frontier amid reports that Egypt had deployed troops in Eritrea. Khartoum also recalled its ambassador to Cairo following the reports.
A university professor has asked the leadership of Columbus, Ohio, to recruit more Somali police officers for better integration of local Somalis into the American community. Chambers pointed out that the Minneapolis Police Department has seven Somali police officers, with several others in the academy, while Columbus has none.
The reports hadsaid it was mulling ending extensions for H-1B holders. The approval came after rare heated debate as some lawmakers worried that the East African nation does not have enough child care centers to handle the effects of the ban.
Ethiopia had been among the top 10 countries for adoptions in the United States, according to State Department figures released last year. Actress Angelina Jolie is among the people who have adopted a child from the country.
Breaking the silence over the plight of adopted Ethiopian children. Therefore, the security of nations in the twenty-first century will depend on secure access to natural resources, energy and mineral resources and water and arable land resources. Global competition over natural resources will be a source of economic imbalance and disorder and will lead to the spread of instability, including in some cases the outbreak of armed conflicts.
Water Security Water and its impact on human life is one of the challenges facing mankind in this century. Water is one of the most important factors creating security.
If a state blocked the flow of a river to another state or changed its course this would damage the interests and needs of the citizens of the other country. The decisions taken by the state in the use and regulation of water are important actions. Every water project or movement within a country translates as an assault on the other countries in the same river basin.
Ethiopia to free jailed politicians to 'foster national reconciliation' - PM Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA Reuters - Ethiopia will release and pardon dissident politicians jailed on criminal charges, its prime minister said on Wednesday -- an unexpected shift in stance from a government routinely accused by rights groups of using security concerns to stifle dissent.
It follows recent protests over land rights and repression and ethnic clashes, and takes place amid a political crisis that has seen some senior officials submit resignations from the ruling party. Ethiopia frees all political prisoners and closes notorious Maekelawi jail in surprise decision Ethiopians were quick to respond, even with social media sites currently blocked Elias Meseret Addis Ababa, Ethiopia In a surprise move, Ethiopia's leader on Wednesday announced plans to drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in what he called an effort to "widen the democratic space for all.
The protests spread into other parts of the East African country, leading to a months-long state of emergency that has since been lifted. Ethiopian workers 'beaten and robbed' by Saudi police 28 DECEMBER Undocumented workers say they saw their compatriots shot at and wounded by police when they tried to escape roundups.
Humiliated and abused Upon reaching Saudi Arabia, many work as domestic workers, often for more than 20 hours a day, with few legal rights. According to rights groups, many have their phones and passports confiscated and endure physical and sexual abuse.
I would like to beg my brothers and sisters not to repeat the mistake we already made, in the name of Allah. A colonial massacre in Africa fully revealed for the first time by Charlie Kimber. Eighty years ago a colonial massacre of over 20, people was carried out by Italian fascist forces in Ethiopia in north east Africa.
In three days and nights of arson, murder and looting, thousands of men, women and children were burned alive, shot, beaten senseless, stabbed to death or blown to pieces. A particularly vile role was played by Winston Churchill. A recent book by Ian Campbell has revealed in terrifying detail what happened. Italy, led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had invaded Abyssinia present day Ethiopia in October Mussolini claimed it was a humanitarian intervention to wipe out slavery.
The faces behind the Yellow Movement: A group of young activists, who are among the few privileged women to graduate from university in Ethiopia and abroad, have set up a movement in the bid to empower women. When she refused to marry one of them they pushed her off a cliff and she was left paralyzed.
Dam negotiations going on: Egypt committed to peaceful course in negotiations on Ethiopian dam: Presidency spokesman Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Dec We are still committed to this path," Rady told Ahram's Arabic news website. The latest tripartite ministerial meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan held in Cairo last November to discuss a preliminary technical report on the impact of the dam had failed to reach a consensus.
In light of this, the violence which has been erupting at few towns and administrative districts in recent time serves no purpose other than obstructing the ongoing efforts of transforming the nation into a middle income economy. For a country which has lifted itself from the abyss of extreme poverty, paying all kinds of sacrifices, such violence is highly likely to derail the hard-won gains. It erodes the age-old culture of respect among the diverse people and leads to loss of life and property.
In fact, the past violence in some parts of the country has claimed the lives of citizens while posing destruction of property. If goes unchecked, if not stopped somewhere, it would undermine the national security and will degenerate into very unpleasant situation--may also cause a complete U-turn of the socio-economic development-- which is against the wishes of all Ethiopians and their lovers--God forbid that!
Researchers must remember, however, that we lack enough evidence to be certain. The relatively rare names Elyakim, Simon and Zalke continued to be used by our Amdurs up until the Holocaust. About Braslav Braslav today is the regional center of Vitebsk oblast in Belarus, very close to the border with Latvia.
It is 50 kilometers from Dvinsk, Latvia, a large city that, in the 19th century, became home for many Amdurs after they left Braslav. Braslav located on the banks of Lake Drivjaty, is partly surrounded by hills. The first mention of Braslav comes from a chronicle of In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town belonged to various Lithuanian and Polish noblemen.
Braslav suffered greatly during the Northern War between Sweden and Russian - when troops from both sides ravaged the town. Some members of the Polish nobility supported Sweden; others supported Russia. The Sapieha sided with Sweden, the Visniviecky with Russia.
A measure of the destruction suffered can be seen in the population statistics. In , Braslav had houses. By contrast, in the town had only 68 houses and inhabitants. At the end of the 18th century, the former town looked like a village, but with an inn, two churches and some shops. Some residents were craftsmen, but the majority lived off the land. During the first partition of Poland in , part of Braslav district was incorporated into Russia. Another portion, including the town itself continued to belong to Poland.
In , the Polish magnate, Stanislav Poniatovsky granted Braslav the right of self-government. In the same year, the town was occupied by the Russian troops of Prince Dolgoruky. In , the Polish szlachta, headed by Tadeusz Kosciucka mounted a large insurrection. Russia prevailed in when the remained of Braslav district and the town itself was incorporated into Russia.
Jews first appear in a census of A census of which we have not seen mentions a synagogue for the first time and records Jews in Braslav kahal Jewish community. It seems that our Amdurs, along with other Jews, likely moved to Braslav sometime during the 18th century because of the economic opportunities that existed after the Northern War ended. The numerous karczmas found at nearly every crossroad, seem to have been almost a Jewish monopoly.
In an inventory of Braslav taken in , Jewish men are mentioned; some seem to be members of our family. A certain, but unspecified number of Jews are said to have been Karaites. During the 19th century, Jews tended to move into the town from outlying districts, although an census of Slobotka shows numerous Amdur families, the majority of them operating karczmas in nearby settlements. By , the Braslav kahal comprised men and women. The Jewish population of Braslav peaked in when the census showed that Braslav had 1, inhabitants, 1, of them Jews.
The population of Braslav grew slightly in the first quarter of the 20th century to 1, in , but the Jews population had begun to empty out, declining to 1, in that year. The prolonged suffering and ultimate destruction of the entire Jewish population of Braslav and environs in the Shoah is described in "Darkness and Desolation", a yizkor memorial books written by the few survivors.
We found one Amdur, Simon and his wife, still living in Braslav in the early s—the last Jews of Braslav. Recently JewishGen has added to their database a translation of Amdur, mayn geboyrn-shtetl Amdur, my home town by Yedidya Efron. It can be located at http: For those Amdurs who are wishing to gain a deeper understanding and perspective of where they come from this reading is highly recommended.
Please be aware that the document was written primarily for members of her family. Sandy notes that the accuracy is not guaranteed. If anyone comes across surnames of Eisen, Aizin, Ayzen, etc. Since the Jews are gone and the Christians remain, Indura is how you'll see it spelled on the maps.
Amdur is about 25 miles south of and a short car ride from the much larger city of Grodno also spelled Hrodno.
By horse and cart, it is probably a journey of half a day. Most historical events that affected Grodno also affected Amdur. Grodno would have influenced Amdur and my grandfather's family back in ; it was the centre of area trade and transportation and had a very large Jewish population.
Amdur and Grodno are located in the northwest corner of what is now the independent country of Belarus, close to the Lithuanian and Polish borders. Human beings have lived in the Grodno area since pre-historic times. The first mention of the city of Grodno in European history was in A. Grodno was founded at the crossing of the Nieman and Hrodnichanka rivers; the name Grodno simply means "town" or fenced settlement.
I don't know how old Amdur is; Jews have lived there as far back as or earlier. During the 's, Grodno and Amdur became part of Lithuania, as they remained for hundreds of years. In , the area merged with the "Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania.
According to one source, "In , there were two castles in Grodno, nine Orthodox churches, three Catholic churches, one synagogue, 31 streets, and 4, residents. Between to , the Russians and Ukrainians expanded into southern Belarus. After the Cossack revolt of against Polish landowners and gentry, Cossacks joined with the Polish peasantry and murdered over , Jews, mostly in Ukraine and southern Belarus, but did not advance north to the Grodno region.
Generally, there was peace and cooperation during these centuries between Polish Catholics and Jews, and Jews enjoyed a relatively high status at times. But there were some frictions. As in other places in Europe, there was an incident in Grodno in when a Jew was accused of killing a Christian child to use his blood for baking matzah. This absurd accusation, which is abhorrent to Jewish law and, of course, in violation of the laws of kashrut, is referred to as the "blood libel" accusation.
The accused Jewish man was put to death for this alleged crime, and his body was cut into pieces for public display. But this was apparently a very isolated incident in Grodno. Notwithstanding the fact that Jews were a majority in Grodno, they still had to obtain permission from the Catholic church in the 's to build the grand synagogue, which still stands today.
Grodno was within the Polish king's lands, and overseeing religious matters was turned over to the church. At times during the 18th century, Amdur was the meeting place of the "Council of Four Lands," a Jewish self-governing body that met for two weeks each year and wielded considerable power among the large Jewish community in the areas that now constitute Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.
The meeting of the Council in Amdur indicates that the town was one of some significance. In , most of today's Belarus was annexed from Poland by Russia under the rule of "Catherine the Great. The Grodno area remained part of Tsarist Russia until about From to , Amdur and Grodno were part of the "Pale of Settlement," an area to which Jews were restricted by Catherine's regime. They were granted certain rights under this regime, however, that had been previously denied by Polish rulers.
The Pale of Settlement comprised most of today's Belarus and Ukraine; 4. In , a fire destroyed much of Amdur, including its largest synagogue. A great brick synagogue was immediately built to replace it, and that structure still stands today. As mentioned, a census reported 2, people living in Amdur, including about 1, Jews. Grodno's total population at that time was about 46,, half of whom were Jews.
Grodno was one of about a dozen centres of the "Bund," the Jewish social democratic party established that year. Poverty brought on by the Tzar's policies, mandatory lengthy conscription in the Tzar's army, the lures of modernization known to exist in other places, word of pogroms occurring in nearby Ukraine following the assassination of Tzar Alexander II in and again in , unrest in western Europe, and the beginning of the communist revolutions the first of which occurred in , the last in all contributed to the Jews of the Grodno region re-evaluating their lives in this area.
One-third of Europe's Jewish population left for North America and other destinations between the 's and the beginning of the first World War. Some of the less religious Jewish youth began to align themselves with the Zionist movement, the Russian communist movement, or the Bund. Some of Grodno's Jews were actually quite well-to-do and were among the wealthiest citizens of the city.
Likewise, the better-off in Amdur were Jewish as well. And while many left during this period, including our family, many also stayed. Perhaps it was the poorest Jews who thought that travelling far away to the United States or Argentina would be worth the risks. Of course, now we know that these Jews fared much, much better than those who stayed. From the beginning of the Russian Revolution of until , Belarus was in a state of turmoil. In , the area was taken by the Polish army of Pan Pilsudski.
The eastern part of Belarus became part of the Soviet Union; Grodno and its nearby shtetlach were included in the western section that became part of Poland. Prior to the 20th century, the Jews of Amdur were very segregated from their gentile neighbours, though living peacefully with them most of the time.
The Jews lived on different streets and had separate schools for their children. This changed somewhat prior to the second world war, when Polish authorities required that children study together in secular schools. Immigration to America was halted by the U. As the second world war neared, some Jews managed to leave for Palestine. But as war loomed closer, the options for leaving Europe diminished. One source cites Amdur's population at 2, in Industry at that time included distilling and brewing.
One source estimated the town's population was 1, at the start of World War II; another source cites 2, Jews; and yet another cited 3, Jews and 1, Christians. In September , Germans bombed Grodno briefly as it invaded Poland.
Many residents of Grodno, including many Jews, favoured the reunification of Belarus under Soviet rule. Stalin's now well known murder of millions may not have been clearly evident during that time. Communist life was, apparently, kinder to Jews than life under Polish or German rule. It was occupied for three years by the Germans. Two ghettos were set up in Grodno where Jews were quickly herded.
Eighty Jews were murdered in Grodno within the first few weeks of occupation. Life in the ghettos continued for some time before all of Grodno's Jews were systematically transferred to the Kielbasin slave labour camp before deportation to the Treblinka or Auschwitz death camps.
Twenty-nine thousand Jews from Grodno and nearby towns had passed through the large ghetto and 15, through the second.
Amdur's 3, or so Jews, who comprised the majority of the town, were probably sent to the Kielbasin camp and then deported to Treblinka for extermination in There was not, as far as we were told, a mass grave of Nazi victims in or near Amdur. Grodno's population was about 60, before the war began, including 25, Jews.
Grodno's population at the end of the war was about 25, No Jews remained, and some 10, of the city's non-Jewish residents had been killed or fled during the war. Two hundred Jews are thought to have survived the Grodno ghettos. Hirshel Grodzienski is believed to be the youngest survivor from Grodno. He changed his name to Harold Gordon after immigrating to the United States after the war. His experiences as a ten-year-old, from escaping the Grodno ghetto, to living in Bialystok's ghetto, Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and Dachau before freedom, are chronicled in his book, The Last Sunrise.
We know that a Jew named Elli Goldfand from Amdur survived the war because he was away at the time, serving in the Red Army. After the war, he married a Christian woman, Ludmila, and brought her back to Amdur.
Elli and Ludmila had children who are now grown and who have left Amdur. Elli was in touch with another Jewish survivor of Amdur, Shalom Siegel, who left eastern Europe after the war. There may have been a few other Jewish survivors who either escaped to the forests and joined the partisans or who survived service in the Red Army and hence were not in the town when the Nazis exterminated the Jews.
Grodno was liberated by the Soviet army in July of There was no battle; the Germans merely left. The city's buildings, its synagogues and churches, the Jewish shops and homes had gone mostly untouched.
But nearly all Jewish life in the entire area had been extinguished. For the next four and a half decades, Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. A very small number of Jews who had survived the war returned to Grodno and surrounding towns. Other Jews settled in Grodno due to work situations; their families most often survived the war because they had lived further east where Germans never advanced: During these decades of the Soviet Union, religion was prohibited by the government.
Churches and synagogues were abandoned and, in some cities, destroyed. Only Grodno's large Catholic church, which was considered to be part of the Vatican and thus untouchable by the Soviets, continued to function. Cemeteries of all religions were destroyed and built upon; the Soviets considered cemeteries without burials within the past 25 years to be subject to demolition. A large sports complex now lies on the site of Grodno's large Jewish cemetery.
In , the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine exploded, spreading radioactive dust over southeast Belarus. The Grodno area is in northwest Belarus and was not directly affected; however, the Soviet Union evacuated people from the areas that were heavily affected by Chernobyl's contamination, some of whom were sent to live in the Grodno region.
Belarus remained part of the Soviet Union until April 25, , when it declared independence. Jewish emigration has been virtually unrestricted since that time, and more than half of the Jews of the former Soviet Union have left for Israel, the United States, Canada or western Europe.
Amdur, Grodno and Belarus Today Grodno today is a city of about , people. The Jewish population is about 1, Their families were in the eastern Soviet Union during the war: Moscow, Kazakhstan, the Urals or Siberia, and they came to Grodno after the war.
A few war survivors did return to Grodno and surrounding towns, including the one to Amdur. The Jewish community in Grodno has declined from three to five thousand people some ten to fifteen years ago to just 1, today as a result in the change in emigration policies. From the 's until the late 's, emigration from the Soviet Union had been virtually impossible, while emigration has been virtually unrestricted since that time.
Notwithstanding the recent decline in Jewish population, the religious and cultural life of the Jewish community has experienced a marked resurgence in all of the former Soviet Union countries now that such activities are no longer forbidden.
Synagogues now actively operate in most major cities, and there are supplementary Hebrew schools, day schools and camps. There is a small religious group of Jews in Grodno that meets for prayers in an apartment, though most Jews in Grodno and in Belarus are secular. In the centre of Grodno is a large plaza; when my grandparents lived nearby, it was called "Parade Square.
My grandfather surely visited. Amdur is about a half-hour drive by car today; it was probably a few hours' drive by horse and cart, and there may have been a train. By the way, horses and carts are still a common mode of transportation today; most people cannot afford cars. The second home of Polish King Stephen Batori was on another side of this plaza square, where it still stands, as does the Catholic church that also dates back to the 's.
They were not rebuilt; that side of the plaza was turned into a park. Grodno's two Polish castles remain. Both are now museums. The first dates back to the 's. It is high on a hill overlooking the river where you can see the bridge upon which Napoleon's brother crossed with his troops. There had once been a mote around the old castle and drawbridge. The second castle is just nearby and now bears the Soviet hammer and sickle in its stone exterior.
The grand old synagogue lies at the edge of the large wartime ghetto. Originally built in the 's, this building remains a very majestic structure; it is being restored today with American Jewish funds. There were a number of other smaller synagogues before the war, along with other Jewish institutions, including a hospital, that are now used for other purposes.
In what is now the synagogue's parking lot, ghetto residents had to gather each morning to receive work assignments from their captors. Being assigned to the large Jewish bakery which we also saw; it is in a state of disrepair was considered a good job, as it offered the hope of receiving a piece of bread. Many of the large ghetto's original buildings remain. Before the war, this was the wealthy Jewish neighbourhood.
Jewish merchants' stores had lined the main roads, and their homes were built on the second and third floors above the stores. These buildings are all occupied by the city's gentile residents now. Local historians know well where the ghetto borders fell and which structures had belonged to Jews before the war.
The walkway where 29, Jews had to march as they exited the large ghetto to be sent off to death camps remains intact and is marked by a memorial arch and plaque. Grodno's largest industries are located outside of the old historic town and include chemical products, textiles and electronics.
In the downtown area, there are private shops; however, the large department store remains state-owned, as are most of the restaurants. This explains their very sterile atmosphere. The city's population grew from 25, at the end of the war to , today. Privatization is coming slow to Belarus.
Many Belarussians were not particularly happy about the break from Russia in ; some continue to support communism. Belarussians speak both the Belarussian and Russian languages which share a common Cyrillic alphabet but have very different vocabularies interchangeably, and don't prefer one over the other. They appreciate Russian art and literature. Most are still employed by the state. The population is struggling economically.
But they are well educated, dress nicely and are well groomed. The poverty spurred by the Russian economic crisis doesn't appear to suit them well, but they accept their circumstances. This is contrasted to the situation in Ukraine, where we also visited; Ukrainians, particularly in the west, are much more nationalistic, promoting the Ukrainian language and culture, and are much more anti-communist.
The food is the same throughout Belarus particularly since the restaurants are almost all owned by the state: Restaurants are nearly empty. Belarussians cannot afford to eat out. The hotels are of substandard quality for Americans; public restrooms are horrendous. Our primary guide in Belarus was a Jewish woman about my age: Her enthusiasm and knowledge made our trip to this depressed country not only interesting and worthwhile, but also exciting.
Her English, learned entirely in Belarus, was outstanding. She was assisted in Grodno by a local licensed tour guide, Rosa, who did not speak English; Galina translated wonderfully. After touring Grodno, we had a dinner experience worth noting. We took Galina, Rosa and Pasha, our driver, to dinner. This was our most expensive meal in Belarus: As was typical for Belarus, the restaurant was quite large, but there were only three or four tables of people.
There was a live band with five or six members. The state obviously does not run these restaurants at a profit! Rosa commented that she knew the lead singer; he was a Jewish fellow and he knew Hebrew songs.
Rosa herself was not Jewish but had been married to a Jewish man, now deceased. I challenged Rosa, in jest, to request that he sing a Hebrew song. She thought that was a reasonable request and did, in fact, ask him to sing something in Hebrew. When he sang "Oseh Shalom" which Alan and I know well , not only did he and the entire band know it, but everyone else in the restaurant seemed to know it as well.
Needless to say, I was surprised. Belarusian gentiles consider themselves to be a unique ethnic group, descendants of ancient Slavic tribes, closely related to the Russians. There may have been trouble from the Poles and Lithuanians in the west, who long-ruled the Grodno area, and the Ukrainians in the south, but the Byelorussians have always gotten along just fine with the region's Jewish residents. We saw or heard nothing to lead us to believe otherwise.
This was in rather sharp contrast to nearby Ukraine, where we heard about anti-Semitism right from the beginning of our visit. Amdur still exists today as a small town. Neither the town nor its people were what I had expected to find. I had expected to see a small but modern town where people would be busy with the ordeals of everyday modern life as we know it in the United States; I had expected to find people hostile to our visit or, at the very least, disinterested and too busy to be bothered with us.
I knew I wouldn't see the shtetl of years ago when my grandfather lived there. I was dead wrong about all of that. Surprisingly, very little has changed.
It surely looks much the same as it did 60 or years ago. Only its Jews are gone. And as to the Christian population, I don't believe I've ever come across more friendly and warm strangers.
Rural life is relaxed, and everyone was eager to help us. Outside the old town center, there is some modern housing, but inside, many pre-World War II houses remain. We became somewhat adept at identifying the "old" versus the "new" housing that is, pre-World War II or post-World War II and the Jewish pre-war, of course versus the non-Jewish housing.
The more well-to-do people in town had been Jewish. Their houses were built of bricks, more carefully mortared together than other houses and more ornate, with decorative brick patterns.