News Releases 2020
“Malicious hatred can kill and is not ‘freedom of expression’.”
Paris, 22 September 2020
In a letter to YouTube CEO for Europe and Middle East, Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “consternation at the YouTube posts by Freeze Corleone (a.k.a. Issa Lorenzo Diakhaté) inciting to antisemitic hate. Even more disturbing are the more than one million hits on the eve of the Jewish New Year, and the sale of 15,000 albums deliberately issued on the anniversary of 9/11... Freeze is inspired by the so-called ‘comedian’, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, considered publicly as an inveterate antisemite... His raps have just been condemned by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.”
Response to Wiesenthal Centre from the Mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane to our letter and press release of 23 August “Wiesenthal Centre Shares the Pain of the Revisionist Denial Desecration of Oradour-sur-Glane”
Paris, 21 September 2020
On 23 August, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote a letter of condolences and solidarity to the Mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane, Philippe Lacroix, in which the Centre denounced the Holocaust denial and desecration of his town’s Martyrs Memorial site... built to commemorate 642 children, women and men massacred by the Nazi Waffen SS in 1944.
Samuels recalled: “to desecrate this hecatomb is to murder the villagers for a second time. This has been the fate of many Jewish communities throughout Europe. Thus, we share your pain..."
The Mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane sent the Centre a warm response last week, on the eve of the Jewish New Year:
We would like to sincerely thank you for your message of support that you sent us following the revisionist tags at the entrance of the Centre de la Mémoire [the Memorial Museum of Oradour-sur-Glane] on August 21.
This unspeakable act obliges us to be vigilant at all times, to respect historical truth and to pass on the duty of memory, in particular to the younger generations.
You can count on our determination.
With our renewed thanks. Best regards to you.
Mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane
“He has evaded justice for 38 years... longevity is not an excuse for impunity... as families of victims and survivors deserve closure.”
Paris, 11 September 2020
In a letter to Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended “the Norwegian Police for the arrest of one of the three suspects in the ‘Abu Nidal Organization’ terrorist attack of 9 August 1982 on the Goldenberg restaurant of Rue des Rosiers, in the Jewish quarter of Paris, leaving six dead and twenty-two wounded.”… “The attack with machine guns, pistols and grenades came at 1.15 pm in a restaurant seating over fifty diners… Recent attempts to extradite to France the two other suspects were rebuffed by their Jordanian sanctuary.”
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.