As memory of Holocaust fades, anti-Semitism is rising in Europe

26256754755_d7c6b04723_o

Attacks on synagogues or other types of manifestations of anti-Semitist attacks are on the rise in Europe. Whatever the driving force is, the longest persecuted nation in history still sits on the edge. Image: Fabrizio Sciami

Article originally published by The Globe Post.

Mireille Knoll was seven years old when Nazi Germany invaded her home country of France. At the age of nine, the Jewish girl narrowly escaped the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv roundup in Paris, where over 13,000 French Jews were arrested and deported. While Knoll could escape many decades ago, her life is still claimed by anti-Semitism – long after echoes of bombs of the World War II have faded. Six weeks ago, the 85-year-old was stabbed to death and then set on fire in her apartment in Paris. The brutal murder is officially described as an anti-Semitic hate crime by French authorities.

The suspects are Knoll’s 28-year-old neighbor and his 21-year-old friend. The latter told investigators that the older one yelled “Allahu Akbar!” when stabbing the senior citizen to death, but the 28-year-old swears the younger one was the instigator of the crime.

Continue reading →

In Macedonia it takes tourism to raise a dying village

Article published by New Eastern Europe.

Many of the 1,733 villages of rural Macedonia face a grave fate. Over a quarter have fewer than 50 residents. More than 150 have been entirely depopulated, according to official data. As families and the youth move to cities, these areas are destined to become little more than a memory. However, for these dying villages, tourism could breathe new life into them.

The sun is high in the sky while the 74-year-old Petko Tošeski toils away. The thudding of his axe echoes throughout the red-roofed village, punctuated by the odd crack of success. Log after log splits, ready to eventually nestle in the stone hearth indoors. Tošeski is the only sign of life in a place that seems to have been petrified for decades. The village of Bonče in southern Macedonia appears on the verge of abandonment.

Continue reading →

Macedonia’s wage crisis: homework for adults

Article originally published by WSI Magazine.

Living in poverty or having less than eight hours a day to sleep, eat, travel, wash and socialise. This is the choice for many Macedonians, residents of a country that dangles at the bottom of European economic rankings. The Balkan state’s economic situation forces its inhabitants to work excruciating hours or take on a second job.

It is six in the morning when the shrill alarm on the phone of a 44-year-old wakes him from a few hours of sleep. The man, who requested anonymity for fear of political reprisals by criticizing the government, shuffles to the kitchen. He makes himself a cup of Turkish-style coffee, lights a cigarette and then settles in at the makeshift desk and logs into one of his two-hundred Facebook alter-egos. This begins the first hour of his day spamming Facebook pages for his Dutch employer – before his regular working day as a security guard begins.

Continue reading →