Report: Original Schindler’s List to be sold on eBay for $3 million


A list of names of 801 Jews rescued by German industrialist Oskar Schindler are set to be auctioned off on eBay.

The New York Post on Friday reported that the 14 pages containing the original Schindler’s List will be auctioned off Friday by California collectors Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin, who set the reserve price at $3 million but are hoping to sell it for $5 million.

The date April 18, 1945 is written in pencil on the first page. Only male names appear on the German-language list, as well as each person’s date of birth and profession.

The list was named for Oskar Schindler, a German businessman credited with saving more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazis by deeming them essential workers for his enamel works factories.

His story reached worldwide attention after the release of the 1993 feature film “Schindler’s List.” Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie was based on the Booker Prize-winning novel “Schindler’s Ark,” which Australian novelist Thomas Keneally published in 1982.

Of the seven original versions of the list, only four are known to still exist — including two at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Museum, and one at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Post reported.

The sellers said the copy being offered for sale on eBay is located in Israel, according to the paper.

“It is extremely rare that a document of this historical significance is put on the market,” Zimet said. “Many of the survivors on this list and their descendants moved to the United States, and there are names on this list which will sound very familiar to New Yorkers.”

Sara Netanyahu ranked Israel’s most powerful woman by Forbes


Sara Netanyahu was ranked Israel's most powerful woman in a list published by Forbes Israel.

Netanyahu beat out international CEOs, and politicians on the list of the Israel's 50 most powerful women, which was published earlier this week.

“Netanyahu has been placed ahead of impressive women who lead huge companies,” the magazine wrote. “While she does not decide about operations against Iran, lowering the interest rate or real estate reforms, her influence stems mainly from her involvement in the main appointments around the prime minister. Some sources interviewed by 'Forbes' say that her involvement in appointments does not stop at the prime minister's office but includes major positions in the state service. 'She is involved at all levels senior and junior,' one source said.”

She was followed by Rakefet Russak- Aminoach, CEO of Bank Leumi, at number 2; Shari Arison, head of The Arison Group, at number 3; Ofra Strauss, head of The Strauss Group, at number 4; and Karnit Flug, deputy governor of the Bank of Israel, at number 5.

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was ranked at number 11; and opposition leader and head of the Labor Party Shelly Yacimovich was ranked 13.

Youngest person on Schindler’s list dies


The youngest person saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler has died.

Leon Leyson, who Schindler called “Little Leyson,” died of lymphoma on Jan. 12 in Whittier, Calif., at 83, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Leyson was 13 when he went to work at Schindler's factory in Krakow, Poland, where he had to stand on a box to operate the machinery.

He was a high school educator for nearly four decades and rarely spoke about his Holocaust experiences until the 1993 release of the Academy Award-winning film “Schindler's List.” Following the interest generated by the Steven Spielberg movie, Leyson traveled throughout the United States telling his story.

Two of Leyson's brothers were killed in the Holocaust, including one that Schindler added to his list but who refused to get off the train to Auschwitz because his girlfriend was not on the list, according to the Los Angeles Times. Schindler placed Leyson's mother and two other siblings on the list of 1,100 Jews along with his father, making it one of the few families that he protected.

Leyson's siblings later immigrated to Israel.

Leyson criticized the film for emphasizing Schindler's womanizing and profiteering as opposed to his decency and compassion, the newspaper said.

In 1949, Leyson immigrated to America and later fought in the Vietnam War. He taught machine shop and was a guidance counselor at Huntington Park High School, retiring in 1997.

He was the father of two and grandfather of four.

State to decide on Mujahedin-e Khalq terror delisting in 4 months


The State Department plans to comply with a court’s order to decide the status of a group that opposes the Iranian regime and that it lists as terrorist.

In an unsigned statement issued June 1, the spokesman’s office said that it “intends to comply” with a ruling earlier that day by the D.C. Circuit’s Court of Appeals ordering the State Department to decide within four months whether Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, should be removed from its designated terrorist group list.

The court, which had first issued an order in 2010 demanding a decision within 180 days, expressed its frustration with the delay.

“We have been given no sufficient reason why the Secretary, in the last 600 days, has not been able to make a decision which the Congress gave her only 180 days to make,” it said, and ruled that if the department failed to decide within four months, the group would automatically be delisted.

A number of pro-Israel figures in recent years have joined the effort to delist the MEK, saying that it has reformed since its days under the shah when it targeted Americans.

They note also that the MEK base in Iraq has disarmed, per U.S. requests, and say delisting is vital now as the pro-Iranian Iraqi regime consolidates power and the thousands of residents of the MEK camp in Iraq are left defenseless, because removing the group from the terrorist list facilitates travel for its members.

Iraqi forces killed 34 camp residents in a raid last year.

The MEK is reportedly assisting Israel in exposing and sabotaging Iranian nuclear facilities.

Opponents of delisting say it serves no useful purpose, saying that MEK’s alignment with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war has led to it being universally reviled, even among opponents of the theocracy.

They say that delisting would only needlessly provoke Iran during a period of sensitive negotiations over making its nuclear program more transparent.

MEK welcomed the judge’s decision. “The judgment once again demonstrated that maintaining the terrorist designation on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) is absolutely illegitimate and unlawful, and is guided by ulterior political motives,” it said in a statement.

Ohio charity removed from terrorist list


A now-defunct Muslim charity was removed from a U.S. government list of suspected terrorist organizations following a legal battle of more than four years.

KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development Inc., reached a settlement with the Treasury Department on Tuesday that would delete the Ohio-based group from the list and allow it to distribute nearly $1 million in funds raised for humanitarian causes, the Toledo Blade reported. KindHearts must remain dissolved, though its leaders can form a new organization.

The Toledo-based charity, which officially disbanded in February, essentially was shut down by federal agents in 2006 when the government froze its assets because of accusations that it funneled charitable money to terrorist groups, including the Hamas-affiliated Holy Land Foundation and the al-Qaida-affiliated Global Relief Foundation.

KindHearts filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Toledo in 2008 that challenged its inclusion on the list and asked that its assets be unfrozen.

The money raised by the group was collected originally for earthquake relief for Pakistan. Now it will be used to purchase food, school supplies and medicine for the needy in Pakistan, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a charity leader told the newspaper.

Listener, advocate for the dying


Getting old, as Bette Davis famously said, is not for sissies. And developing a terminal illness, as Davis later learned, is no picnic either. Yet while most of us fear sickness, aging and the end of life, hospice volunteer Michael Curtis finds solace and purpose — pleasure, even — in being with the elderly as they face death.

Curtis, 62, has been volunteering for a dozen years with Skirball Hospice in Encino, a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Home. He brings to his hospice work skills honed over many years spent helping people through difficult times — starting with his 28 years at Rancho San Antonio Boys Home, a residential rehabilitation facility for adolescent boys who have been in and out of foster care. While working at Rancho, Curtis became a licensed massage therapist and volunteered with AIDS patients through The Heart Touch Project, a nonprofit that delivers compassionate and healing touch to the ill. He has volunteered for Chernobyl Children International, several times traveling to Chernobyl to help children who still suffer the ongoing effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster. And in 2008, he became an instructor certified by the International Association of Infant Massage; he currently makes his living training others in massage techniques for use with medically fragile infants, including those born premature or drug-exposed.

As a Skirball Hospice volunteer, Curtis is part of a team that can include a doctor, nurse, social worker, home health aide, therapist, counselor and dietitian. Volunteer coordinator Lee Rothman said she asks each volunteer to commit one hour a week to a patient, yet Curtis “will visit every day if he has the time.” But it’s not just the amount of time he puts in that makes him unique, she says: “Because of his training, and just who he is, he brings a sensitivity and maturity to working with patients that other volunteers don’t have.”

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