News Releases 2020

Paris, 10 September 2020 

In a letter to Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Mats Malm, the Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that, “your October meeting will establish a checklist of candidates, for the 2020 prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Among them is bruited Portuguese author, António Lobo Antunes.”

The letter continued, “In 2005, Lobo was invited to Israel to receive the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society. Back in Portugal, in October 2006, he was interviewed by Pública on his impressions of Israel as a Jewish State…” “That article can be read as a ferocious attack of contempt and disgust.”

Buenos Aires and Paris, 8 September 2020 

The Wiesenthal Centre had called for the intervention of Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to demand that Volkswagen Mexico drop all relations with its Coyoacan dealership due to its display of Nazi posters.

It took less than three hours for the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, to receive a message from Robin Aschhoff, Head of International Communications for Volkswagen.

In parallel, the Centre’s Latin America Director, Dr. Ariel Gelblung, pressed Volkswagen Mexico, resulting in the attached press release announcing Volkswagen Mexico’s end to any commercial and business relationship with the dealership.

“We commend Volkswagen Mexico for having reacted rapidly in memory of the victims of Nazi barbarism as a clear message to the world,” concluded the Centre's officials.


“The outrage was shared with newly appointed Volkswagen CEO, Ralf Brandstetter, in Wolfsburg HQ, Germany.”

Buenos Aires and Paris, 7 September 2020

In a letter to Steffen Reiche, President of the Executive Council of Volkswagen México, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre demanded immediate action against those responsible for its dealership located in Coyoacán, which is displaying Nazi symbols on its facilities.

7 Sept. 2020
The Nazi era photo in the Volkswagen dealership in Coyoacán, Mexico.

The letter signed by Drs. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, Directors for International Relations and for Latin America respectively, stated: “On behalf of our more than 400,000 members worldwide, we demand that, as a German company you enforce the law that prohibits the exhibition of Nazi symbols... We expect you to immediately identify those responsible and publicly announce the action you will take. The most appropriate would be to drop the concession completely, in order to pass a clear message to your customers that you have learned from your history. Volkswagen, the 'Peoples Car', was a Nazi concept. German cars in Mexico are unacceptable if they come with the swastika...”

The letter was shared with the newly appointed CEO of the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg, Germany, Ralf Brandstetter, via Peik von Bestenbostel,

“Mr. Prime Minister, incitement to hatred and violence is not a human right - even and especially on campus!”

Paris, 4 September 2020

In a letter to Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had commended Spain “for adopting, on 22 July, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism”... Nevertheless, “Sadly, this endorsement is now to be betrayed by the Public University of Navarra (Universidad Pública de Navarra - UPNA) and satelite campuses, in an 'online course' to be held from 9 September until 7 October, entitled 'Apartheid in Palestine and the Criminalization of Solidarity'.” (see programme in attachment)

“If there had only been the kosher supermarket attack, would millions have marched and over fifty world leaders convened in Paris?”

“On the ground floor of the Hyper Cacher supermarket, there were young Islamists killing four Jews. In the basement, a young Malian Muslim paperless migrant was hiding 15 Jews in the huge refrigerator. Lassana Bathily then got out of the building to help the police in their rush on the terrorists.”

Paris, 2 September 2020 

Today begins the trial in Paris of 14 accomplices in the 2015 murderous assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly along with the kosher supermarket which resulted in 17 dead over three days. Most of the perpetrators perished in the ISIS Caliphate or are in hiding.