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May 19, 1989 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I NEWS I

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gested she make amends on
camera, in a more emphatic
manner, "to make it plain to
her audience that she regards
all such comments with
revulsion and contempt!'
The program that triggered
the uproar was broadcast
May 1 and watched by an
estimated eight million
households across the United
0_-_ States.
The subject of the program
was satanic killings. It focus-
ed on the ritualistic slayings
that took place recently in
Matamoros, Mexico, where 15
bodies were unearthed from a
mass grave. Guests on the
show discussed ritualistic
killings they claimed to have
witnessed.
"Rachel" described herself
as Jewish and said she had
witnessed ritual sacrifice of
children by her family.
The switchboards of ADL
offices in Chicago, Pittsburgh,
other cities and national
headquarters
in New York lit
0- up immediately,
as viewers
saw the syndicated program,
said Jeffrey Sinensky, direc-
tor of the ADL's civil rights
division.
Barry Morrison, director of
the Chicago ADL office,
which received the first calls
of protest, called the pro-
gram's producers immed-
iately to convey viewers'
distress. Sinensky wrote to
Winfrey and her producers,
who expressed willingness to
convene on the problem.
The Jewish representatives
"felt very strongly that she
intended no harm and was
not maliciously motivated,
did not want to see the Jewish
people portrayed in a
negative light and was sorry
for whatever harm was
rendered or offense taken,"
said Morrison.
Winfrey also interviewed
another panel member, Tina
Grossman, identified as a
counselor of ritual abuse
victims.
Saying she was Jewish, she
described the Passover seder.
Grossman said, "But before
there was Christ and before
there was a system of one
God, there was paganism,
and it still exists in the
world!'
Morrison commented that
Grossman "mentioned the
rituals of Passover in such a
way that it was very easy for
listeners to confuse those
rituals with the rituals of
satanic worship, and that
compounded the problem."
At Tuesday's meeting, the
Jewish representatives ex-

plained the history of blood
libel against Jews, Morrison
said. They then suggested
that in the future the pro-
ducers "use very stringent
standards in judging the ad-
visability of using various
guests on their show. We
recommended not using Jews
or Judaism in an irrelevant or
potentially compromising
•context," he added.

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Critics Blast
Braun Film

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Bonn (JTA) — A 90-minute
documentary on Eva Braun,
companion to Adolf Hitler,
drew sharp criticism before
and after it was televised last
week on the privately owned
channel, SAT-1.
Critics said the film, focus-
ing on the Fuhrer's domestic
life, was calculated to show
him and his intimates as
"just normal people."
Antje Vollmer, chairperson
of the opposition Green Par-
ty's Bundestag faction, charg-
ed that the screening was
"politically dangerous, total-
ly useless and displayed a
cruel lack of sensitivity."
But Wolfgang Grass, a
SAT-1 official, disagreed, say-
ing the documentary was a
"public service" aimed at a
better understanding of
history.
Braun, who has been
described as not too bright by
people who knew her, lived
with Hitler for many years. .
They were wed in the Berlin
bunker in April 1945 and
died immediately afterward
in a double suicide.

THINK
SUMMER!

Poles Oppose
Moving Convent

Jewish Information Service

Brussels (JTA) — More than
a thousand residents of
Oswiecim, the Polish city
near the former Auschwitz
death camp, reportedly have
expressed their opposition to
the removal of a Carmelite
convent from the camp.
In addition, the 1,375
citizens of Oswiecim who
signed an open letter publish-
ed last week in a Catholic
weekly denounced what they
termed the "intolerable
pressures" exerted by "groups
of Jews" to force the nuns to
leave the convent.
The convent building strad-
dles the fence that forms the
death camp's perimeter. The
building itself, a former
theater, was used by the
Nazis to stock the Zyklon B
gas.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

39

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