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Anti-Semitism

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A Montana real estate agent who secured a 14 million dollar judgment against the operator of a Worthington-based neo-Nazi website for orchestrating an anti-Semitic harassment campaign against her Jewish family is seeking a court order compelling the man to disclose information about his assets and finances.

Johnny Roman Garza, 21, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for his role in a Neo-Nazi group's plot to threaten and intimidate journalists.

Garza, who is from near Phoenix, admitted in September to conspiring with three other members of the Neo-Nazi group the Atomwaffen Division to identify journalists and others whose work exposed anti-Semitism.

Hate crimes rose to their highest numbers in a decade, with a record-breaking 51 fatal attacks, according to an FBI count released Monday.

The FBI's annual hate crimes report for 2019 shows that the overall increase was slight – not quite 3% - but the offenses were more violent than in previous years. It was also the third consecutive year with more than 7,000 hate crimes reported – a trend not seen since 2008.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Facebook is banning all content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust," in a policy reversal that comes after increased pressure from critics.

Updated at 7:06 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and six people are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, Michigan is pursuing state felony charges against seven people with ties to a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen.

In a statement early Thursday, Whitmer said two militia groups "were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me."

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A Montana real estate agent's attorneys are eyeing the assets of a Worthington-based neo-Nazi website operator to collect a 14 million dollar judgment against him for an anti-Semitic harassment campaign that he orchestrated online against the Jewish woman and her family. 

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL

South Carolina’s public health director appeared to be on her way to a new job in Ohio before abruptly withdrawing, saying a day later she was concerned because the previous director’s family was harassed including protests at her home.

Joan Duwve said she isn’t returning to her job in South Carolina either.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah responded to NPR's request for comment on Elizabeth Neumann's charges that the White House has not addressed the threat of domestic extremism, particularly what Neumann referred to as "right-wing extremism."

In an email, Farah dismissed Neumann's concerns as those of a "disgruntled employee."

Vatican officials have always insisted Pope Pius XII did everything possible to save Jewish lives during World War II. But many scholars accuse him of complicit silence while some 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Andy Chow

Doctor Amy Acton, the chief health adviser to Governor Mike DeWine, is officially leaving the administration.

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Two Little Ceasar's pizza shop workers in Brook Park have been fired after making a racially-charged statement on a customer's pie.  

Updated at 9:54 p.m. ET

Facebook on Thursday said it removed campaign posts and advertisements from the Trump campaign featuring an upside down red triangle symbol once used by Nazis to identify political opponents.

The posts, according to a Facebook spokesperson, violated the social network's policy against hate.

"Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol," the spokesperson told NPR.

American Jews are finding themselves in a historically familiar position: Scapegoated for a plague.

ohiosenate.gov

Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says comments from a Republican state senator and his wife comparing COVID-19 actions  made by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton to rules from Nazi Germany must be condemned. 

Alina Dabrowska was 20 years old when she first heard about Auschwitz. She was an inmate at a prison in Nazi-occupied Poland — incarcerated for helping Allied forces — and one day in 1943, while walking the grounds, a new arrival warned her about it.

"She said, 'You're all going to Auschwitz! Do you know what kind of camp that is?' " Dabrowska recalls. "She told us that if someone is out of strength, they were immediately killed. She told us many horrible things. None of us believed her."

Vladimir Munk remembers the day he walked free from Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz in eastern Germany.

"I was happy," Munk says. He was sick and starving, but he had survived.

The Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. The concentration camp in Poland is where more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered during the Holocaust. This Monday, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation, Munk is traveling back to Auschwitz for the first time since he was imprisoned there.

Police have arrested three men in northern Georgia who are suspected of belonging to a violent white supremacist group called The Base, saying that they were plotting to commit murder and that they belonged to a criminal street gang.

They're the second trio of suspected Base members to be arrested this week; the FBI announced Thursday that it arrested three other men in Maryland.

A top Trump administration official has been criticized for saying on Monday that the man charged with stabbing five people at a Hanukkah celebration in New York was the son of an "illegal alien" and came from a family that lacked "American values."

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, made the comments in a now-deleted tweet about suspect Grafton Thomas.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors in New York have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of carrying out a stabbing rampage north of New York City over the weekend that wounded five people as they celebrated Hanukkah.

Updated 4:35 a.m. ET Monday

A man accused of stabbing and wounding five people at a rabbi's home in an Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, New York, just as they were lighting candles for Hanukkah, pleaded not guilty on Sunday to five counts of attempted murder.

Police have identified the alleged attacker as Grafton E. Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. He is currently in custody on attempted murder charges and one count of burglary.

Since a pair of shooters opened fire Tuesday in Jersey City, N.J., the state's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, had been reluctant to label the assault on a local kosher market specifically as an anti-Semitic act. As recent as Wednesday afternoon, even after identifying the shooters, Grewal said authorities were still not in a position to definitively assign a motive.

By Thursday, though, he was ready to say it.

Bogdan Bartnikowski recalls occasionally asking older inmates, out of innocence or desperation, when he would be released from Auschwitz. He recalls, too, the answer that inevitably came back.

"You want to be free?" they would tell Bartnikowski, who was 12 at the time. After a mirthless laugh, they would point to the chimneys. "This is how you get out. There is no other way out."

cbsnews.com

A northeast Ohio man has pleaded not guilty to threatening a Jewish community center in a video police say shows him shooting a rifle. 

cbsnews.com

New Middletown police say a man accused of making a threat to a Jewish center on social media has been arrested on telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing charges. 

Beachwood police are investigating a poster denying the Holocaust that was placed on a sign outside a Jewish museum last week. 

cnn.com

A Montana woman estimates she will have lost at least 1.3 million dollars as the result of a Worthington-based neo-Nazi website publisher telling his followers to unleash an anti-Semitic "troll storm" against her in 2016. 

A series of photos featuring a group of teenagers crowded around a swastika made of red plastic cups – laughing, toasting and Sieg Heiling over the Nazi symbol – is shaking swaths of predominantly white and affluent communities across Orange County, Calif., where at least some of the teens are enrolled in high school.

A leading organization representing Jewish Americans says the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh area synagogue over the weekend has prompted synagogues to step up safety. 

Hundreds of people attended a prayer vigil at the Jewish Community Center of Columbus Sunday night to mourn the 11 victims of a gunman at a Pittsburgh synagogue.  

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