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Reflective nostalgia dwells on the ambivalences of human longing and belonging and does not shy away from the contradictions of modernity. Boym, , xviii. While disillusionment with the present certainly fuels ambivalence towards the legacy of [7], this analysis suggests that ambivalence in the commemoration of the events of has another side, one in which distance has preserved intimacy and critical engagement.

As with all memory, it is those who create it that shape it, but in order to shape it the activists must draw upon mutually-understood cultural meanings and codes. Young, , The focus brings into relief the work of memory activists, in the case of in Czechoslovakia includes especially students, whose collective identification with November 17 and the beginning of the revolution is multi-valenced and intimate. Gillis, , There are still frameworks that condition the form and content of memory being passed down, as collective memory is produced through shared reservoirs of cultural meaning that set parameters for when remembering is considered correct and appropriate.

Collective memory cannot simply appear out of thin air; how we remember is as much part of the labor to faithfully render past experience as what we remember. In order to be considered genuine, collective memories must retain some sense of fidelity to an experience or narrative of the past; and the trope of ambivalence, as is argued here, has emerged in the past two decades as central components to public efforts to authentically come to terms with the end of communism. Here, poetics and performativity help engage the subtle contradictions and interstices of meaning that characterize the historical consciousness of the events of , which in turn shape the contours of the broader symbolic meaning within collected memories.

In that sense, their importance goes beyond the immediate results at hand, as memory projects reclaim more than a past, they reclaim the power to define it. Rather than considering narratives as articulations of the past, the analysis of ambivalence leads us to investigate the politics of appropriate commemoration. Commemorations emphasize the process of constructing the past, not just in relation to present concerns but also to previous cultural understandings of the politics of memory.

The level of attention to public remembrance has become a standard barometer for measuring the importance of the revolution in Czech collective memory; among other things it was the paucity of organized remembrance during the s, reaching a low point at the end of the decade when the anniversary was marked by only few routine commemorative acts.

Official representations of the past transmit the dominant values and shared identity through national memory. The politics of memory under communism thus engaged personal memory in the public sphere through a particularly polarized division of official and unofficial or collective memory. Anti-monumentality, in contrast the monumentality of communism, was small, human in scale, and made no attempt to freeze time in space.

The monument at Narodni trida was constructed in as a perfect example of the mnemonic will towards anti-monumentality protipominkove : built in , the small, unassuming plaque contained just bronze reliefs of the hands representing the unarmed students on the street who were beaten by police and the date. This was not problematic at the first month anniversary, however. Happenings as memory practices here mirrored the values of the revolution itself, as seen at the first month anniversary.

Other happenings were more informal and invoked a number of themes, including Czechoslovak nationalism as well as a public sense of ownership for the revolution. V nedeli, The motif of bringing people out onto the streets manifested itself in several forms, playing in particular on the themes of tolerance and understanding.

Perhaps the most obvious example of using the first month anniversary to create a new historical record can be seen in Prague, where students organized a memorial march of their journey from the month before, making their way from Albertov to Narodni trida National Street to Wenceslas Square. Stepanek, , 1 The procession followed the same track only this time, unlike on November 17, , the demonstrators made it to their desired destination, Wenceslas Square, where the atmosphere was completely different from one month before.

On Narodni trida people had already converged and were laying candles and flowers at spots where the demonstrators were beaten. This unambiguously — and unashamedly - heroic narrative did not outlast the first few post-revolutionary months. The crisis of representation emerged in autumn through public debates about how to commemorate as well as what to commemorate.

Debates over commemoration were embedded in competing interpretations of the revolutionary mandate. But the trope of ambivalence extended beyond discussion of what had actually happened; it also enveloped how to best remember what happened. In his study of young people in post-communist states during the s, Henri Vogt found two types of ambivalence that characterized their experiences after communism: post-revolutionary ambivalence, in which the old and the new systems co-existed side by side, and post-modern ambivalence, in which uncertainty became sedimented as a permanent feature of life.

Vogt, , For the early commemorations of November 17, the concept of Ungleichzeitigkeit non-synchronicity , the different paces of change coinciding during the early period of transition. The question of ownership here seems to be less who owns the story of the past - the narrative of memory - but who owns the right to remembering? The reaction of the Czech public to the first anniversary of November 17th reflects this ambivalence. Part of defining the event of was defining the language within which it would be described; this necessitated a discursive subverting of communist language in which to remember Their collective memory was tied to the events of through their mobilization especially during November and December , in particular their direct connection to the foundation event of the police crackdown which in the narrative of acts as the beginning.

The desire to safeguard November 17 from being commercialized or tainted by communist commemoration was also implored by those who held no such irony towards it. In addition to commercializing the events, the student says,. From the poem the misappropriated word penetrates our ears without us realizing its meaning. It is becoming common, so common that it loses its power.

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It has lost so much strength that songwriter Michal David, and not a poet, reaches for it as if for an ordinary word. In addition to naming, a particular commemorative vocabulary associated with the Great October Socialist Revolution in Czech Velka rijnova socialisticka revoluce , or VRSR had been disseminated throughout all East European satellite societies through commemorations, education, speeches, etc.

The association of November 17 and with a discredited idea of Bolshevik-style revolution in the grand European tradition - which the Bolsheviks had appropriated and transposed to their Eastern European satellites — was in itself problematic. In order to create a viable collective and public memory of , one that could be commemorated in a separate way from the previous regime, an entirely new vocabulary had to be created, and this would not be an easy task.

These various trends converged at the first anniversary. A number of student groups also came out with calls not to celebrate November 17 in the weeks leading up to the anniversary, culminating the in petition Vyzva ke spoluobcanum III. The Student Parliament announced that it would not celebrate a "Great November Velvet Revolution" and left it up to individual university faculties to arrange their tribute.

The petition called upon citizens not to celebrate November 17 because the revolution had been stolen - reform had not gone far or quickly enough and communists remained in prominent positions of power. This was no time to congratulate the nation, it was time for a renewed emphasis on pushing forth the revolution. Vyroci bez oslav, ; Zadne oslavy, ; Wooley, Instead of reflecting the clean break with the past argument that had been adopted by others, the proclamation adopts the Havelian line that the line of totalitarianism runs through everyone in explaining why the transformation would be harder than expected.

What is important is the spirit that bound us together back then. Martin Mejstrik…, , 7 The students met with government leaders and persuaded them to hold a public ceremony on Wenceslas Square to guarantee that the anniversary would not be "politically abused", in the words of student journalist and leader Pavel Zacek. It is worth considering exactly what apolitical means in this context, as on November 17, , Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel and American President George Bush presided over the first anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

The several hundred thousand people who had convened at Wenceslas Square that cold Saturday afternoon were treated to a number of challenges to the official narrative. Anarchists delayed the ceremony half an hour by blocking the passage of the presidents to the speakers' podium. These conflicts paint early political challenges to the official appropriation of the Velvet Revolution by Civic Forum, one that the Republicans would continue to exploit in narrative form through various claims to a stolen revolution.

Bush, do you know that you are supporting the communists? Neomaleny protest, , 2. Havel first responds to the trope of public disillusionment with defensive statements such as his response to the Vyzva ke spoluobcanum III , in which he said that despite the widespread feelings of disappointment, most people were ignoring the things that had been done, such as negotiating the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Schoedlebauer, , 2. The first anniversary of is immersed in the politics of coming to terms with the past, lustration and dealing with communist property and personnel, and securing a viable political and economic program for the future.

The first year anniversary is also the first major conflict during the commemoration that challenges the interpretation being put forth during the ceremony itself. Although in rhetoric there had been battles between radicals and gradualists, students and Civic Forum, etc. This pattern of conflict during the revolution would continue throughout the first years of the revolution as a large amount of political turmoil kept the anniversary a symbolic point of protest, but at the first anniversary the unofficial narratives in the anniversary held great sway.

When discussing early commemorations of November 17, what is striking is not so much the conflicts over interpretations of meaning and content - which do exist - but the consistent effort by many to delay the final interpretation until the time is more ripe. A great deal changes in the contemporary political and social context between the one-month and one-year anniversary in and , and discourse concerning the public memory of the revolution reflects both these changing immediate priorities as well as a shift in attitude towards its mnemonic function.

The problematizing of memory reached a critical point at the first anniversary, which set a standard debate that would occupy commemorations of November 17 throughout the s: how to commemorate the event properly , which included a set of arguments that the anniversary should not be commemorated at all, with the inference that the revolution itself was not finished and thus the time to begin memorializing - or historicizing - the memory had not yet occurred.

Arguments for or against commemoration played out in a transforming discursive plane. One main forum in which this played out being newspaper discussions about whether or not to commemorate the anniversary. At this time newspapers were experiencing an enormous upsurge in readership, and the focus on popular attitudes towards the anniversary is notable.

One of the most widespread themes was that there was nothing to celebrate. A year which has gone by so quickly, that has been so incredible, that maybe only with the passage of time will we manage to separate out everything correctly, to evaluate and judge. After the November and December euphoria there necessarily had to come disappointment rozcarovani , dissatisfaction nespokojenost with the slowness of change, intolerance and disillusion.

Josef Sr. Josef Jr. Through a burst of spontaneous, completely unchecked but still collective emotion, she and her friend create a new collectivity that opens up space to redefine the official calendar, if only on a personal level. And the use of birthday as the metaphoric parallel is significant, because it is at once a highly symbolic and personal event, but also the way in which many people experienced the events of November and December In particular the communist practice of combining sports events with commemorations - thus creating a healthy national history and body- suffered from direct assault.

The co-optation of communist forms of commemoration could have different symbolic meanings. There was nothing particularly new about this - memorial marathons, swim meets, academic competitions, and other contests had been held as part of the official communist November 17 holiday for a number of years. Memorial However, in Prague the planned November 17 marathon, which was specifically designed to commemorate the events with the starting and ending point at Albertov, retracing the original student march, was the subject of a number of articles condemning its connection with the anniversary.

While the committee planning the November 17 Marathon Beh Listopadu worked in coordination with both student movement and Civic Forum leaders, not all in the student community were happy. For forty-one years we celebrated February and only now are we learning about its background. Therefore, even though I have enjoyed sports since childhood, I will avoid the November 17 run. But what if next year it will be a compulsory event?

In what became a breathless race to stop the runners, business owner Ceslav Vancura managed to catch up with the lead group about two kilometers into the race and, plunging headlong at the head runner, managed to throw him off course so that he began running back towards the start line. Beh s studentstkymi prekazkami, , 1,8; Maji jine mineni, , Reading about the battle over the marathon in Olomouc prompted N.

It takes just one mocker to ruin the whole celebration. Hanak, , 2. But is it really possible to avoid this? I think not - every commemoration is in time ossified, every symbol fossilized. It is better to fight for the authenticity of action in the future than the memorials of the past. In order to compose a new story, elements of the old are restructured, rearranged, refigured, left out, put aside, overlooked, dismembered - forgotten. Forgetting an event, like remembering it, makes sense only contextually. Until , commemorations tended to be small, often private affairs — individual politicians laying wreaths at the memorial on Narodni trida, small conferences or exhibits of pictures, sometimes in town halls, and often at universities or theaters where the activists of the revolution reunited.

By the immediate post-communist period has become somewhat normalized. Poduskova, Setting a trend that would be replicated in the s, civic, non-governmental organizations spearhead the commemorations. This civic organization consisted of an honorary committee including the heads of state Havel, Klaus, Zeman , top political leaders, and the mayor of Prague along with prominent dissidents and personalities; their organization was affiliated with the EastWest Institute and had as media partners Czech TV and Czech Radio; and they had a special committee for former student leaders to plan the anniversary.

Wooley, Above all their focus was on recreating the euphoria of November and the emotions that brought everyone together to reinvigorate civil society. It was also aimed at stimulating positive changes in society; not, however, at delegitimizing the government. A conference representing the international sphere included most notably the Ten Years Later conference inaugural panel.

On the evening of November 17, the main political leaders from each side of the Cold War conflict commemorated together. Not only did this raise the prestige of the commemoration overall, but it also located Czechoslovakia as a key player in the wider global changes in The events aimed at the general public were the culmination of the commemorative week. In addition to laying flowers and lighting candles at Narodni trida on 17 November, an event open to the public in any case, and a photo exhibit hosted by Mlada fronta Dnes of the society-wide events in , there were several events which specifically were designed to show society to itself.

On the one hand they were designed to recreate the euphoria of November and December, as with the Concert for All Decent People on November This group included both the day of Czech communist television, which also occurred on November 20, and the "open-air museum" on Wenceslas Square, the site of the original protests, was the site of key chains being handed out with " 10 let pote " Ten years later stamped on them in recognition of the spontaneous key-jangling during the demonstrations in both Wenceslas Square and Letna field. The public was framed as civil society - it was civil society that Jan Bubenik wished to reinvigorate.

The skanzen totality represents an interesting facet of ambivalence. The musealization of communism in this instance worked not to isolate but to congregate; the entire bottom portion of Wenceslas Square transformed overnight into its mirror image from the last days of the communist regime, complete with students from local universities acting out the roles of police, merchants, and demonstrators.

A number of other official and non-official actions remembering November 17 were connected to individuals or private groups. The main commemorative site was Narodni trida, where commemorative activities involving lesser luminaries from the Czech government, including the Senate memorial service, the other political parties laying flowers at the Narodni trida memorial, and the feting of the former world leaders by the Prague Mayor and the Senate Chairwoman.

Pravo, , 2 As part of the ritual of November 17, these commemorations did not necessarily make a statement about the contemporary political situation. However, active contestation of these narratives did occur.

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During the candle-lighting ceremony the ex-communist boss of Prague Miroslav Stepan showed up at the Narodni tride memorial to the student demonstrations of with Ludvik Zifcak, the StB Czechoslovak communist secret police agent who had acted as the dummy "dead student" during the revolution, holding a mini-rally for the " obety kapitalismus ", the victims of capitalism.

Na narodni znovu horely svicky, , 2; Oslavy svobody…, , Even non-communist hecklers showed up to the candle-lighting, flower-laying ceremony attended by Zeman, Klaus, Benesova and Havel to heckle " Milosi, koncime " Milos [Zeman], we're finished and " Klaus ". Na Narodni znovu horely svicky, , ; Zklamani a poboureni, , 5. Both of these protests, in different ways, called into question the positive interpretation of Unlike these open contestations of the victorious post-communist narrative of democratic change, some young people in found ways of distancing themselves from the official narrative through happenings.

For example group of students from the School of Economics staged a mock Socialist Youth Organization medal-awarding ceremony as a happening. When I asked student organizer Martin Moravec why the students had planned a parody of a communist-era collective event for the commemoration, and what they wished to gain by this, he said that the parody was one of the few ways that they could legitimately commemorate 17 November in the post-communist environment:. But that form of making a joke was what made it possible to organize anything at all.

Another example the student march at the fifteenth anniversary in , which juxtaposed a strange amalgam of lived and interpreted experiences, and official and unofficial narratives on Narodni trida. There was a moment of tension, however, when the procession arrived at National Street Narodni trida and found their way blocked by the anniversary concert sponsored by then-Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, who had placed a large performing stage in the middle of the street.

The concert, which was already underway, was briefly interrupted as the marching students shouted for passage through the throngs of spectators which had gathered around the stage. Although the students were finally allowed through and the tension subsided, the recreation of the march is an important means of transmitting a particular legacy. This petition, which should be understood as an outgrowth of the original first anniversary petition, is less important for its immediate political impact and more important for the fact that , people had signed it in the space of a few weeks - a signal that the potentials for an alternative reading of the events of were not only still possible, but politically had mobilizing force.

By the call to remember had become part of the legacy itself, and one that looks to society rather than the state. But its legacy is for us current and alive - and we will work so that it is not forgotten. Apathy, then, need not only be interpreted in the collective memory as the turning away from the past; in student activists the perceived apathetic society can reignite the relevance of the past by keeping at bay the final victory of democracy.

Another aspect of a constant anxiety of apathy in society is the need to mobilize to address the problem. We return now to the twentieth anniversary and the invocation to remember as a guiding theme of the commemorations. Without the apathy and political discontent, perhaps these organizations would never have emerged. In that case, of course, the lessons of being transmitted across the generations might have been different. Groups displaying this reflectively nostalgic relationship with the memory of are pragmatic, yet ambivalence towards the present allows them to retain a little utopian hope that the future can be better through their own actions.

Perhaps a glimpse of the reclusive anamnesis annus mirabilis , at least for the first two decades of its life, is best captured not by looking up at the sky for a transcendent mythic story, or down on the ground at the ashes of destroyed revolutionary ideals, but sideways at the unfulfilled potentialities of the present. However, I am not saying that my analysis of ambivalence only applies to the Czech lands, only that the scope of this article limits itself to that region of the former Czechoslovakia. Lyons and Bernardyova, November 17, witnessed the student demonstration in Prague, whose crackdown precipitated the popular mobilizations against the communist state in Czechoslovakia.

See Keller, , Vogt references one of the best-know theorists of non-synchronicity, Claus Offe, whose triple transition political, economic and societal conceptualized multiple tracks of change after communism. Additionally, Vogt points to inter-generational discontinuity in terms of how different age groups experienced the transformation. Additionally, there were a number of opinion polls with both the actors in the revolution and "ordinary people" who had been on Narodni trida.

November 17 was seen as a time of bilanz, or of evaluating the past year, and this connected the revolution with the aftermath of the revolution and the problems of transition. I suggest that one of the reasons that ambivalence becomes a durable framework for memory, at least for some people at the time, is because it allows for a balance between the violence done to the raw data of memory, or the recollection of lived experience, by remembering, or the rethinking of that experience in understandable terms.

Deanna Wooley is a Ph. Coliseum Blvd. The project is organised by European Network Remembrance and Solidarity with the support of ministries of culture from Central European countries and in cooperation with many institutions dealing with the history of the 20th century. The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw was probably the only research institution in the Soviet Bloc and one of very few that undertook research on the Shoah during the s.

It argues that despite sometimes heavy-handed political biases in its publications, the institute made an important contribution to research on the Shoah. Its work also came to the attention of Jewish centres outside the Soviet Bloc, though it was seen through the prism of the Cold War. Das Amt und die Vergangenheit [The Ministry and the past] summarizes the work of an international research group, which studied the involvement of the German Foreign Ministry in the mass murder of European Jews over several years.

Instead, it exposed the active participation of the Foreign Ministry in preparations for and its conduct during the Holocaust Conze et al. In Artur Eisenbach had revealed the involvement of the Foreign Ministry in the Holocaust in the Nazi policy of extermination of the Jews though this work was not as comprehensive Eisenbach His study is also one of the first monographs ever published on the Shoah.

The reasons for this are many. Also, interest in the Holocaust had been fading after an initial phase of intense interest in the late s. In this article I provide such a contextualization and discuss the potential and boundaries of research on the Shoah in Stalinist Poland. I begin with a short introduction on the JHI and its formation in the early post-war years. Then I shed light on the Stalinization of the institute in —50 and analyse the impact Stalinism had on the activities and the publications of the JHI, against the background of general developments in Poland and how this was perceived in the West, especially in the Yiddish context.

Finally, I examine the repercussions of anti-Semitism in the late Stalinist period for the JHI researchers and publications. Its purpose was to document and research the mass murder of Polish and European Jewry. Today, more than 7, testimonies are stored in the JHI archive. The best-known and most valuable collection is the secret archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, produced by the Jewish historian Emanuel Ringelblum and his underground Oyneg Shabes group. It is in two parts; the first was unearthed from the ruins of the Ghetto in September Many Jewish institutions, such as Yiddish theatres and schools, newspapers and a printing house, were established at that time.

As such it would research the whole history of Polish Jews from the early Middle Ages onwards. However, the central topic of the work would remain the documentation of the Shoah. The first public opportunity for the JHI to present itself was the fifth anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in April The anniversary was an international event, attended by many Polish, Polish-Jewish and international officials as well as by delegations from Jewish institutions.

However, in the second half of , the political situation became tense. Other active Jewish parties were marginalized and subsequently dissolved Grabski , —, — As the Stalinist grip on Poland tightened including within the Jewish sphere, Mark speeded up the ideological redirection of the institute. Mark quickly steered the institute on to a course that clearly followed the party line. This was characterized by an open adherence to Marxist-Leninist theory in historical research as well as the use of history as propaganda — especially of the Second World War and the Shoah — to legitimize communist rule in Poland and the position of the Soviet Bloc in the confrontation with the West.

To underscore his commitment to communist ideology, Mark published a programmatic statement in the newly established Yiddish information bulletin of the JHI. However, although it was certainly a break, it was not especially radical. All staff members, including those who chose to emigrate, were allowed to keep their positions until they left and they remained on good terms with Mark after their departure. When they informed him of their plans to continue their research work in Israel, Mark congratulated them and assured them of his willingness to cooperate.

It is also worth noting that although Mark had been a member of the Communist Party of Poland KPP; Komunistyczna Partia Polski since , he had never been considered among the ideologically unimpeachable Jewish Party activists. Especially in the Soviet Union, where he spent the war years, he had been treated with suspicion by the authorities and also by some of his Jewish comrades. For Mark, however, it was a chance for probation; he certainly did not want to fail. So it is natural that tight limits were imposed on Jewish — and not only Jewish — historians.

But not only were certain limits imposed, which one was not allowed to exceed, there was also a certain language and methodology [ Another method was to simply force historians to falsify history and accept certain non-existent facts in order to exaggerate the importance of the Communists. The elements mentioned by Krakowski were typical of Polish — and not only Polish —historiography during the Stalinist period.

Notably in works on the Second World War, the Soviet Union and especially the Red Army had to be praised as liberators and the Communists as the main pillars of resistance. Typical of the intensifying confrontation between the two power blocs were also commentaries on current political developments, such as the Korean War and the colonial conflicts. In its scholarly publications the JHI under Mark was under pressure to meet the political requirements.

This was demonstrated in several ways. Both had been members of a delegation to the Congress of Polish Historians in Another emphasized the role of the KPP in the defence of Polish independence Zakhariash and Neither article was related to Jewish history. However, the translations from Soviet scholars constituted a basic feature of East-Central European academia under Stalinism.

They had also been published in Polish and many other languages spoken in the Soviet Bloc. Equally, it was surely a concession by Mark to his critic Zacharisz. The communists in the ghettos were portrayed as the driving force of Jewish resistance.

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The situation in the ghettos was described as a specific form of class struggle where the collaborators of the Judenrat suppressed the working masses and the resistance movement. There was [ Referring to members of the underground movement, Betti Ajzenstajn described the situation somewhat differently. The mentioned organizations [Akiba and the PPR] cooperated in a number of anti-German actions, despite the fact that there was huge ideological gap between them which more than once produced frictions and disharmony Ajzenstajn , The corrections, which aimed to harmonize history with the ideological foundations of the PZPR, also affected source editions, which made up a large part of Bleter far geshikhte , the Biuletyn and other JHI publications.

They appeared in a Yiddish edition in and as a Polish translation in the Biuletyn Ringelblum a. What was omitted, however, differed in the Polish and the Yiddish versions. This was especially true of what Ringelblum wrote about Poles attacking Jews, which was included in the Yiddish paper but not the Polish. But similar differences can also be found in cases that might have been disadvantageous from a Jewish perspective. While in the Yiddish version the collaboration of certain Jews with the Gestapo was noted, it was left out in the Polish version. Another publication from the second part of the Ringelblum Archive, unearthed in December , sparked a fierce debate within the Yiddish community and across the Iron Curtain see below.

Perle described the situation in the Warsaw Ghetto during the mass deportations in summer and harshly criticized the Judenrat and the Jewish police for assisting the Germans. Such comments can be found in many JHI publications, as well as in other scholarly journals in Poland between and As we have seen, in the early s JHI publications were punctuated with references to Marxist, and often more bluntly Stalinist, methodology and political biases. They had — especially in the case of sources — undergone a process of censorship in order to make them fit current political needs.

The recent far-reaching changes in the structure of Polish Jewish organizations, now taken over by nominees of the Government, are reflected in the journal of the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw [ The WLB had committed itself never to comment on political matters. It stands to reason that the main intention in criticizing the WLB in Bleter far geshikhte was to justify to the Polish authorities its subscription to the Western press. Distrust of Jewish scholars in communist Poland was deeply rooted on the other side of the Atlantic.

When in December the second part of the Ringelblum Archive was unearthed from the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto, the news soon spread around the Jewish world. It made him especially embittered that, as he wrote, the critics do not even wait for the publication of material in the Bleter far geshikhte before they start to criticize the supposed falsifications of the institute Arkivarius The review gives a good insight into the misconceptions on the part of readers, or rather reviewers, outside the Soviet Bloc, who received publications on the Shoah produced at the JHI.

In the political climate of the Cold War all publications from the other side of the Iron Curtain came under a general suspicion that they were falsified. However, the falsification of sources and the misrepresentation in historical interpretation functioned differently. The publications appeared within a framework of Stalinist academic methods, censorship, self-censorship and political control.

Even so, there were no fixed boundaries on what could be written and published. The aim of such manipulations was not to send a politically correct message, but to get the writing published at all. After the text, published in Bleter far geshikhte accompanied by a strongly politically biased editorial, reached the West, the Yiddish poet and journalist H.

Leyvik bluntly accused the JHI of having fabricated the document. Only a couple of months later, the Folks-sztyme text would play a role in the denunciation of Mark and the JHI. The fear that Warsaw too could become the venue of a show trial against a supposed Zionist conspiracy was escalating among the Polish Jews, and it was not unfounded.

During these investigations, the Polish security service visited the JHI and took articles from the Western Yiddish press, written by high-ranking members of the state administration Rayski , — All these events were not directly connected to the JHI. Nevertheless, Mark, who must have known that many of his former colleagues from the Soviet Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee had disappeared in the late s, was well aware that the Institute and especially he himself could soon become a target in the search for Zionist conspirators.

His worries proved well founded. On 24 November, A. Sztark wrote that after lengthy consideration, he had decided it was his duty as a party member to inform him about the ideological transgressions of the JHI. The dispute between comrade Mark and the American Jewish reactionary H. Leyvik is limited to the following: while the reactionary Leyvik embraces all Jews murdered by the Nazi occupants with a holy Tallit [prayer shawl Sztark thus accused Mark of adopting only a slightly modified model for interpreting the Shoah than Leyvik.

In his view, a proper analysis of the class struggle in the ghettos would include the role of other bourgeois Jewish parties and non-communist actors. They prepared the ground among the Polish Jews before the occupation and during the occupation they made millions of Polish Jews walk to the slaughter with their wives and children under the guidance of the Yidn-rat and without offering resistance, despite the heroic fight of the communists and the groups they mobilized.

Sztark accused Mark of being unable to correctly analyse the situation in the ghettos from a Marxist point of view and even more dangerous for the latter, of Jewish nationalist views and pro-Zionist sympathies. There is no doubt that he was aware of the serious implications this could have for Mark during a show trial against alleged Zionist conspirators in Prague. He replied to Sztark in a long letter, dismissing his critique in detail.

It is unclear how much Zachariasz told Mark about what was going on. The publications of Mark and the JIH, which appeared in spring , however, are proof that he at least passed on the reality of a serious threat. One article in the journal, F. From the correspondence between Mark and Szymon Datner, it becomes clear that Mark put pressure on his employees to introduce such phrases into their articles, 65 just as he was under pressure from Zachariasz and recent developments. Its lengthy introduction not only contained portrait photographs of Stalin and Bierut, 72 it is also full of praise of Stalin, who, as the text suggests, almost single-handedly defeated Nazi Germany.

At the same time it vehemently condemned Israel and Western Jewish organizations, especially the Luxembourg Agreement:. One of the most disgusting scenes [ The leaders of global Zionism and the reactionary government of Israel desecrate the memory of six million victims, murdered by the genocidal Nazi murderers and disgrace the holy memory of the Ghetto insurgents, acting as lackeys of the American imperialists Mark , 12 f. Throughout the text all references to Zionist activists in the underground movement were deleted, even though they were known to Mark. In the Yiddish edition of the book, which appeared in and which has an identical structure, their names do appear, while the strident attacks on the Israeli government and the Joint, as well as the many references to Stalin and his character, disappeared from the Yiddish edition.

It contains only one insignificant quotation from Stalin in the introduction Mark The last issue of Bleter far geshichte of does not contain any such statements. The article was obviously added to the issue only after typesetting had begun, since it uses Roman numerals in its pagination. He described his tour of the museum for the Jewish Chronicle :. At the moment the two top floors at the Jewish Historical Institute are occupied by a magnificent exhibition recounting the story of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Uprising.

When you get to the end of it there is a series of panels which the director did not appear anxious for me to see based on the theme that the post-war warmongers are behaving in exactly the same way as the pre-war warmongers. There is surely no period in the history of Socialist Poland when history — and scholarly research in general — were more politicized and politically exploited than during Stalinism.

Many of the writings that appeared in this period contained severe political distortions, which from the outside can even seem absurd. Even after Stalinism ended, Polish researchers knew how to handle texts written in this period. In the historian K. However, since he suspected that Eisenbach would have written this passage differently now, after the end of Stalinism, he decided to ask him to, removing the strong political bias.

For that reason, the reputation of the JHI had been severely undermined by its publications of this period, which has been reproduced in historiography and even today compromises researchers like Ber Mark. Despite many shortcomings and biases, these works are an important contribution to early Holocaust historiography. Without using classic Stalinist propaganda their works could not have been published.

This is also true for important sources on the Shoah, originating in the Ringelblum Archive and other sources. Furthermore, if Mark and his colleagues had not adapted to the political situation, it would probably have placed the existence of the institute at risk. Without the JHI, however, its archives would have been uncertain and it is doubtful that they would have been made accessible to the public.

The research for this article was supported by grant no. Stephan Stach is a postdoctoral researcher and member of a research group at the Institute for Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague which is examining the reintegration of Jews into Czechoslovak and Polish society after the Second World War. He is currently preparing a monograph on the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and knowledge about the Shoah between and He co-edited Gegengeschichte. The 3rd Reich and the Jews] Paris, The archive collection of the JHI is currently being reorganized.

The statement is not signed, however, there is little doubt that it was by Mark. IV, no. Quote from the English abstract at XIV. VII, nos. The text appeared in both the journal Bleter far geshikhte and the newspaper Folks-sztyme under the same title.

In Folks-sztyme it appeared in four parts. Pospiechalski, letter to Eisenbach, 16 February , n. Ajzenstajn, Betti Ruch podziemny w ghettach i obozach. Materials and documents]. Dawidowicz, Lucy S. Varshe: Yidish bukh. A political history]. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Gruner, Frank Patrioten und Kosmopoliten. Juden im Sowjetstaat — [Patriots and cosmopolites. Jews in the Soviet State —].

Jockusch, Laura Collect and Record. XXXVI, — Political aspects of anniversary celebrations of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising —]. Kupfer, F. A contribution to the problem: Zionism in the service of imperialism. Geneza i przebieg [The uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto against the background of the resistance movement in Poland.

Origin and course]. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej. Documents from the Archive of the Bialystok Ghetto —], ed. Warsaw: Neriton. Studies and Materials. Journal of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, vol. Pankratova, A. Research and political Instrumentalization], in Umdeuten, verschweigen, erinnern. The late coming to terms with the past in Eastern Europe], ed.

Karol Sauerland and Micha Brumlik. Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag, — The 3rd Reich and the Jews]. Rayski, Adam Zwischen Thora und Partei. Life stages of a Jewish communist]. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder Verlag,— Roskies, David G. Challenging the Myth of Silence, ed. David Cesarani and Eric J.

Sundquist 82— London and New York: Routledge. Rubenstein, Joshua and Vladimir P. In the Shadow of the Past, and of the Soviet Union. Schwarz, Jan Survivors and Exiles. Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Stalin and historical science], Bleter far geshikhte, vol.

Saved from the destruction. Stalin, Yosif V. Warsaw: Trio. The article focuses on the importance of work in the supply of food into the ghettos of Lithuania. Files of the ghetto courts and police reports used in this paper shed light on the reality of ghetto life and illustrate how individuals dealt with the situation and tried to get additional food. It is obvious that micro-networks family, neighbourhoods and co-workers were an important means of support for the individual within the context of ghetto societies.

Normality and everyday life therefore reflect the reality of a forced society whose social differentiation was primarily based on a single criterion: access to food. The idea of a ghetto still connotes the idea of a zone hermetically sealed off from the outside world, where people are fully separated from their previous environment. It has been repeatedly pointed out in recent decades that a special form of everyday life and normality existed in this extreme situation Dieckmann and Quinkert , 9— The following may prove the potential of addressing such everyday issues and once again show that the history of the ghettos in Eastern Europe still has certain gaps that need filling.

The genesis of this particular form of normality is closely tied to work of the Jewish population provided for its German masters. This development also took place in the three major ghettos in Lithuania. Deep insights into ghetto life can also be found in the diaries of Herman Kruk in relation to Vilnius Kruk and Avraham Tory with regard to Kaunas Tory In addition, early reports and accounts Fun letztn Churbn 7 and 8; Gar ; Balberyszki ; Dworzecki ; Shalit have particular significance and contributions in a two-volume memoir Sudarsky are also important.

They contain research on the ghettos in Lithuanian, Israeli and German e. The histories of the Jewish councils by Isaiah Trunk Trunk and the emergence of the ghettos by Dan Michman Michman remain the seminal works on this subject. Work also offered a way for those in forced labour to improve their own wretched living conditions. Naturally everyone was interested in obtaining more food or goods for their families or themselves through official allocations in order to relieve their misery.

Inevitably activities clashed with the regulations of the occupying forces; sometimes they involved fraudulent behaviour or sparked conflicts with Lithuanians or other ghetto residents. Such incidents are evident in the criminal investigations of the ghetto police or in the files of internal ghetto courts that meticulously documented their inquiries and judgements in German, Lithuanian and Yiddish.

These materials, which are now housed in the Lithuanian Central State Archive, shed light on the reality of ghetto life and illustrate how individuals sought to cope with the situation. Here I present some of these files, supplemented with memoirs and documents, and place them in a broader context. Especially desirable were positions in work brigades that allowed you to leave the ghetto because you could then transact with locals.

However, it did not always go as planned. Baruchas Kovenskis, a member of a work brigade in Kaunas, reserved 5 kilograms of butter with a Lithuanian woman and wanted to pay and take it the next day. When he appeared on 1 May she stated that his colleague, who she believed had come on his behalf, had already picked up the butter. The Lithuanian woman believed the claim of the man because he personally knew Kovenskis and his statement that Kovenskis could not come because he had to work that day at Aleksotas airport was a commonplace occurrence in the assignment of brigades.

Often, people from city brigades were indeed divided up at short notice for hard work at Aleksotas outside the city Tauber , — Having failed to force down the price, he left. However, he was only able to sell 2 kilograms in the ghetto and make a profit of RM 40, which he donated to a good cause. The investigator recorded his findings and conclusions. Kovenskis had bought a total of 15 kilograms of butter in Kaunas, but only took 10 kilograms and wanted to pick-up the remaining 5 kilograms the following day despite bribable German, Lithuanian and Jewish ghetto guards, the smuggling of food into the ghetto was officially forbidden and entailed considerable risks, as discussed below.

This assumption is also supported by the fact that it was very difficult to find food in the city in the week of the incident between Easter and 1 May. The fraudster also made a profit. These events provide initial insights into ghetto reality. The fact that the Lithuanian seller was not prepared to budge from her price showed there was a demand. Finally, it seems that Kovenskis was able to smuggle 10 kilograms into the ghetto in a single day, even though returning work gangs were searched at the ghetto gate.

The regularity of purchasing additional food is also clear in memoirs written after Early in the morning, after the night shift, they ordered us to walk back to the ghetto [ I used the lunch break or other free moments to make purchases. For this purpose, we ran into the next Polish huts. We bought bread, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. We gradually got to know the guards and they allowed us to buy something EK 3 Legal Proceedings, vol.

In the summer, there was another option, as work in the countryside gave opportunities to forage for food and procure fresh vegetables and fruit Gar , While such procurement practices were commonplace, they could quickly lead to trouble. Even when Salomon Baron had permission to make purchases from the Local Commissioner of Kaunas, something soon went wrong:.

On my arrest on 12 December the [ On my release from prison on 20 December, these things should have been returned to me, but the officer was not there at the time and I could not have them. Such family networks were an important structural feature of the ghettos, as only cooperation and loyalty within a narrow family circle gave people the strength to cope with life in the ghetto. Tight communities were also formed through forced cohabitation with others in crowded houses or working closely in a brigade. Meticulous findings of the ghetto police eventually led to the following conclusion:.

I established that she is engaged in clean-up work at the airfield. Above all, this is laundry work for workers or general construction foremen [ The woman questioned by the ghetto police had four children, the youngest an eight-year-old boy, a fourteen year old, and two over the age of sixteen who were obliged to work. Access to food and trade with the local populace were directly linked. Another way of food procurement associated with work in cities was particularly dangerous.

In his interrogation, Rubinas outlined the reasons for what he did:. I have worked at the army-catering store for about two weeks. I previously worked at the airfield. During my entire time at work I have never done anything wrong. I have performed heavy work the whole time and had to support myself with my primary and supplementary rations. Today, I worked at my job as usual [ Given the poor nutrition of my family, I succumbed to the temptation to take two tin cans from the load. I did not know what was in them.

Nothing more is known about the punishment of Rubinas, but in similar cases beatings, additional work and the temporary withdrawal of reference cards were imposed Tauber , — Finally, the attempt to provide food could also prove fatal as in the case of Nachmanas Srokas aged twenty-six and Joselis Fridas aged forty-five , who were shot at Aleksotas airport by German guards on 23 May It was also life threatening to smuggle food through the ghetto fence, and not through the ghetto guard post.

However, a contact zone at the ghetto fence was soon created. The situation in Vilnius was especially pragmatic because here the ghetto was in the middle of the city:. Initially, this trade was very simple: a noose was lowered from a window and ghetto inhabitants tied money, valuables or clothes to it. The neighbours took it on themselves and lowered goods [meaning: food] on the same rope into the ghetto [ Dozens of loads were smuggled night after night with all kinds of goods through the attics of 21 Dajtsche Street [ Also, in Kaunas, a kind of professional trusteeship evolved: anyone who wanted could give goods to middlemen, who then sought to sell them to the Lithuanian population at the fence.

Berelis Migancas was one of the negotiators. He was sentenced in the autumn of The German masters punished such offences less than the ghetto authorities. In the case of Migancas, the ghetto court gave a harsher punishment, since the young man lived alone and did not have to provide for a family.

Shalom Eilati, born in , watched in Kaunas as his mother traded with a Lithuanian woman:. My mother would wave her hand or flap a woollen skirt or a colourful towel up and down to arouse her interest [ Then the vocal transaction would begin. They haggled over the terms of exchange. When they agreed, both would look hastily left and right, spring simultaneously to the fence, trade the goods in their hands in an instant and retreat to their starting corners. Sometimes the lengthy bargaining would end without a result Eilati, River 32 f.

It was based on demand for most basic commodities, such as headscarves, aprons and hats that the Lithuanian population lacked. Bed sheets or white linen, which had often been dyed to make them more attractive, were sought after. Repairs and alterations were also common Tauber , f. Another possibility was the skilled craft works of German and Lithuanian masters, which led to a warning sign being posted in the ghetto on 13 May Lately, Jewish workers have taken various items from their work posts such as shoes, watches and other items for repair in the ghetto [ If such repairs are proposed, Jewish workers are to be politely told that the acceptance of such work is strictly prohibited LCVA R, ap.

The early involvement of young people in the work process had special strategic importance. It was crucial that also one half of these children received additional food as workers. No one was immune to terrible consequences, even those who supposedly had easier access to food. This was the case of the Jewish cart-driver Jankelevitz, who on 1 May was reported missing by his wife after being arrested fourteen days earlier in the courtyard of the Lithuanian meat cooperative Maistas.

The year-old, as told by a ghetto resident who accompanied her husband, reported that the stolen meat was discovered during a cart search and that her husband was then arrested. In reality, the other riders wanted to exchange the meat for a dress and that her husband had nothing to do with the entire affair.

However, interrogations of the Jews involved in the ride to Maistas painted a rather different picture. The meat was bought from an unknown Lithuanian, who was also at the court with his team. Three kilograms were traded, as there was not enough money for more. Jankelevitz and his colleagues were in a privileged position because they were officially allowed to leave the ghetto regularly and move about to provide social welfare for the ghetto, with the permission of the German ghetto guards.

It was certainly part of their regular activity to procure additional food by visiting Maistas, especially to meet Lithuanian farmers, who were not averse to trade, in the courtyard. Also interesting in this context was the task of the Jewish drivers. They brought feathers to Maistas there was a feather-sorting section at the ghetto and exchanged them for bones, which were then brought into the ghetto to make soup for the needy LCVA R, ap.

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Subject: Memorandum of Understanding for Cyprus — lack of measures to promote growth. Subject: Destruction of the Cypriot international financial centre. Subject: Optimal size for the Cypriot banking sector. Subject: The sale of the Greek branches of Cypriot banks. Subject: The shrinkage of the banking system of Cyprus. Oggetto: Bonifica della discarica di Borgo Montello Latina. The Borgo Montello landfill in the province of Latina is the third largest in Italy.

It also appears that the oldest part of the landfill has, since the s, contained toxic drums that are the result of waste trafficking and that the investigation launched by the Lazio regional authorities has ground to a halt due to the failure to identify a site that could treat any hazardous waste that might be found. The Commission is not aware of the press article mentioned by the Honourable Member and will ask the Italian Government for further information, including on any measures the competent authorities may plan to take to address the problem referred to in the question posed by the Honourable Member.

The Commission notes that there is an ongoing judicial investigation concerning the alleged illegal disposal of hazardous waste mixed with municipal waste in the landfill of Borgo Montello, as well as contamination of ground waters in the area where the landfill is located. Pending the conclusions of the investigation by the Italian Authorities, launching a parallel investigation by the Commission would not bring any real value added. Due to its proximity to Israel and its geographical location, Cyprus is well placed to act as a transit point to Europe.

What are the possible implications for the European Union of this decision by the Israeli Cabinet and of possible cooperation between Israel, Greece and Cyprus in respect of natural gas? The Commission is closely following the exploration activities in the East Mediterranean basin. The East Mediterranean gas finds could play a very important role in helping both producing and neighbouring countries including Greece to address their energy security problems.

The issues raised by the Honourable Member underline the need for a rapid comprehensive settlement in Cyprus between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities under the auspices of the United Nations. A settlement would open up a range of options for the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the economically most advantageous way for the benefit of all Cypriots.

Betreft: Illegale subsidie voor hernieuwbare energie. Het Hof heeft in dit arrest bepaald dat huishoudens die elektriciteit opwekken via zonne-energie en stroom toevoegen aan het net volwaardige ondernemers zijn. Welk advies geeft zij in verband met de plotselinge toename van het aantal ondernemers als gevolg van dit arrest, op grond waarvan huishoudens verplicht zijn zich te laten registreren als ondernemers? Stelt zij een herziening van de regels inzake subsidieverstrekking voor?

In this ruling, the ECJ declared that households generating electricity from solar energy and delivering power to the grid were fully-fledged entrepreneurs. When applied in the Member States, this could open the way to millions of VAT claims from households that have already installed solar panels. Will it suggest a revision of the rules on granting subsidies? ISS is a member of trade associations in the cleaning and catering sectors, which are formally recognised parties to the official sectoral social dialogue committees, for which the Commission provides support and the secretariat.

The Commission fully respects the autonomy of the social partners, who are responsible for deciding on their representatives attending sectoral social dialogue committee meetings and for setting the agendas. No European legislation specifically provides for the right to strike or governs the conditions for its exercise. It is for the competent national authorities, including the courts, to ensure that the national legislation transposing that directive is correctly and effectively applied by the employer concerned, having regard to the specific circumstances of each case.

Oggetto: Segnalazioni del Sistema di allerta rapido per gli alimenti e i mangimi nel Cina, India e Turchia. Fra queste notifiche rientrano rischi dovuti a contaminazioni da aflatossine, formaldeide, cromo, manganese, nickel e altri. Intende procedere a una revisione degli accordi commerciali, per quanto riguarda gli alimenti, con questi tre paesi terzi, con l'intento di ottenere una maggiore garanzia per la sicurezza dei cittadini europei?

La Commissione non ha accordi commerciali con questi tre paesi. If the notifications from these three countries alone are added together, they account for more than a third of the total notifications from all countries. Another cause for concern is the fact that the number of notifications for these three countries shows no sign of decreasing — on the contrary, in , the number of notifications rose from to , i. These notifications were for hazards such as aflatoxins, formaldehyde, chromium, manganese, nickel and others.

In light of the above, can the Commission say whether a Food and Veterinary Office inspection has been conducted with a view to analysing the problems that are compromising the safety of food products from these three third countries and the effectiveness of Member State official monitoring systems? Does it intend to revise trade agreements concluded with these three countries, which cover food products, with a view to improving food safety in the EU?

Does it intend to liaise with the competent authorities in these three countries in order to boost efforts to tackle cases of contamination? This also may explain the high number of RASFF notifications which have to be viewed in relation to trade volumes. The Commission carries out regular audits both in third countries and EU Member States to verify the compliance of exported products and the efficiency of control systems.

The Commission has no trade agreements with these three countries. The EU already implements such measures for some of the products and countries mentioned. Alhoewel deze uitgave onder de competentie van de Voorzitter van het Europees Parlement valt, zou ik niettemin uw opinie willen vragen over dergelijke praktijken in het algemeen:.

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Het komt op mij over als een zorgelijke ontwikkeling als propaganda van de Europese Unie zich speciaal gaat richten op kinderen. Deelt u mijn mening hierover? Maakt de Commissie zelf ook gebruik van propaganda die rechtstreeks op kinderen is gericht? Bent u van mening dat het ethisch verantwoord is om dergelijke uitingen te richten op kinderen? Indien men zich realiseert dat er allerlei restricties zijn ingesteld op propaganda teneinde kinderen te beschermen tabak, alcohol etc. De Commissie volgt de communicatie-initiatieven van andere instellingen vol belangstelling met inbegrip van initiatieven die het Europees burgerschap en de Europese Unie in scholen helpen toelichten.

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Hoewel de leerplannen een zaak zijn van de lidstaten, vindt de Commissie dat het belangrijk is dat schoolkinderen onderricht krijgen over democratie, politieke geschiedenis en regeringsvormen onder meer over de vraag waarom de Europese Unie is opgericht en hoe de Unie functioneert. In fact, it appears to be an embarrassing self parody in which MEPs are depicted as dashing from office to office, being picked up by limousines and needing the help of whole armies of assistants to perform the simplest tasks. While this publication was the responsibility of the European Parliament President, can the Commission nevertheless give its views on such practices in general?

Does the Commission agree that EU propaganda aimed specifically at children is a matter for great concern? If not, why not? Does the Commission itself direct propaganda specifically at children? If so, what purpose does this serve? Does the Commission consider it ethically justifiable to target children specifically in this respect?

If so, can it give its reasons? The Commission follows with interest the communication initiatives of other Institutions, including those contributing to explaining European citizenship and the European Union in schools. While recognising that the school curriculum is a matter for individual Member States, the Commission is of the view that it is important for school children to learn about democracy, political history and systems of government, including why the European Union was set up and how it functions.

Volgens hem moeten de politieke partijen maar hard genoeg werken om de kiesdrempel te overschrijden. Het Europees Hof voor de rechten van de mens oordeelde in dat deze kiesdrempel geen schending vormde van het Europees Verdrag voor de rechten van de mens. In his view, political parties simply need to work hard enough to exceed it. De klacht betreft het mogelijk schenden door JTI van de Europese sancties tegen het Syrische regime, door grote hoeveelheden sigaretten te verkopen aan een bedrijf in handen van familieleden van de Syrische president Bashir al-Assad.

In mei waren reeds Europese sancties tegen deze familie van kracht. Het baart ons zorgen dat in tegenstelling tot de Dalli-zaak het belangrijke JTI-onderzoek bijzonder traag verloopt. Wanneer heeft OLAF beslist om de klacht ontvankelijk te verklaren en het onderzoek gestart? Heeft de directeur-generaal van OLAF in het verleden direct leiding gegeven aan of was hij direct betrokken bij het onderzoek naar JTI? Wanneer is de inhoud van de klacht doorgestuurd naar de Cypriotische autoriteiten voor verificatie van de aantijgingen?

Wanneer zullen leden van de Commissie budgetcontrole van het EP, officieel op de hoogte worden gesteld van de inhoud van het onderzoek jegens JTI? Voert de Commissie onderhandelingen met JTI om een eventuele strafrechtelijke klacht te voorkomen, zoals eerder juridische akkoorden werden gesloten met bedrijven als Philip Morris en BAT? De Cypriotische autoriteiten hebben op de beschuldigingen gereageerd.

The complaint concerned a possible breach by JTI of European sanctions against the Syrian regime by selling large quantities of cigarettes to a business owned by relatives of the Syrian President, Bashir al-Assad. The Syrian company was involved in financing military operations against the Syrian rebels. We are concerned that, unlike in the Dalli case, the important investigation into JTI is proceeding extremely slowly.

When did OLAF decide to declare the complaint admissible and when did it launch the investigation? Is the Director-General currently still involved in this investigation? When was the substance of the complaint forwarded to the Cypriot authorities for verification of the accusations? Is the Commission conducting negotiations with JTI in order to avoid possible criminal proceedings, in the same way as legal agreements were previously concluded with such companies as Philip Morris and BAT?

The Cypriot authorities have responded to the allegations. Threats have been made against leading members of the Portuguese association set up to defend franchise holders rights, and also against franchise holders in general. Contrary to the provisions laid down by law, this group uses a system that is inaccessible to franchise holders, which means that they cannot manage their own stocks, set prices, or determine the quantity of articles available and their profit margin.

Franchise holders are also prevented from stocking brands other than Dia, even when they are not in competition with the Dia brand, and are obliged to accept products sent to them even though they have not ordered them. What comments would it make on the allegations of systematic breaches of the law, including European directives on competition and the internal market?

If so, what action has it taken? If a complaint is made, the Commission will carefully assess whether it provides sufficient evidence of concerns about possible anticompetitive behaviour by market operators and may start an investigation of an alleged infringement if the complaint presents sufficient European Union interest. Indeed, certain behaviour such as limiting franchises' freedom to price their products could constitute a violation of competition law.

However, it is also possible that this might best be addressed at national level by National Competition Authorities NCAs. UTPs can be understood as practices that significantly deviate from good commercial conduct, are contrary to good faith and fair dealing and are unilaterally imposed by one trading partner on its counterparty. The Commission is currently analysing the responses to its public consultation on the Green Paper on Unfair Trading Practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe and is preparing an impact assessment to determine if there is a need for further action on this issue by the European Union.

In den letzten Monaten zeigte sich die Ukraine jedoch zunehmend unzufrieden mit den Handlungen, bzw. However, in recent months Ukraine has appeared increasingly unhappy with the action, or inaction, of the Energy Community. Did the Ukrainian Government approach the European Energy Community with a request for an opinion in the gas dispute with Russia? Please provide a detailed summary of the individual projects and the amount of funding involved.

The Energy Community Treaty does not foresee any competence for the Energy Community to arbitrate between or to intervene in the discussion of a private law contract of a Contracting Party and Third Countries. The European Commission has been closely working with Ukraine with a view to diversifying Ukraine's energy sources whilst ensuring that its gas transmission system remains a key part of the pan-European energy network.

In the medium to long-term this should constitute the most effective way of assisting Ukraine, as far as energy issues are concerned. According to the latest figures for the sector, the difference between the average interest rate paid by small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs and large companies in Spain is the widest it has ever been. Bearing in mind that the SME sector generates the most new jobs in the country, these high interest rates are an unacceptable barrier to the development of small companies and to job creation. Despite the rescue package which the European institutions are implementing in the banking sector and their plans to deepen banking union in the coming years, the European financial market is increasingly fragmented.

The interest rate paid by SMEs is on average more than double 5. The disparity between the two interest rates is evidence that the reforms currently being implemented are failing. Spanish SMEs are being hobbled by interest rates which are almost double those paid by large companies and 1. This is further evidence that austerity is economic nonsense, serving only to tighten the straitjacket on firms.

How will it ensure that SMEs and large companies can take out loans on equal terms? The spreads at which Spanish companies borrow relative to their counterparts from other countries have increased and represent one element of competitive disadvantage for some Spanish companies, though not the main driver of the current economic fragility. Since the onset of the crisis, average lending rates for Spanish non-financial corporates have been above the euro area average.

This reflects higher risk premia from the perceived risk from the imbalances accumulated by Spain over time, including the loss of international competitiveness and a very large international debtor position, as well as some fragmentation of euro area financial markets, whereby low official interest rates have not been fully channelled to Spanish corporations.

Several initiatives have been taken or are underway to alleviate credit and liquidity constraints for companies, in particular SMEs, in Spain. For more information, the Honourable Member is referred to the Reviews of the Financial Assistance Programme for the Recapitalisation of Financial Institutions in Spain, and the Commission Staff Working Document assessing the national reform programme.

Las reformas necesarias para alcanzar estos objetivos, por lo general, exigen enfoques conjuntos respecto de la fiscalidad. The report, which concerns , shows that the number of rich people in the world has risen to record levels. One of its focal points is the growth in the number of millionaires in Spain: this country, beset by enormous economic and fiscal difficulties, has seen a 5. The austerity policies that the Commission is imposing on Member States with fiscal imbalances are intended to make their economies and public sectors more efficient and to put an end to the profligate spending of the past.

The Spanish Government, by making such swingeing cuts, is placing a straitjacket on the economy, stifling domestic demand, and thus preventing job creation, whilst destroying basic social services for the vast majority of the population and imposing regressive indirect taxes which yield less revenue for the public purse. It is against this background of a failed economy that the number of millionaires — people who, the prevailing neoclassical economic dogma argues, should not be taxed directly — is skyrocketing, leading to the inefficient distribution of wealth.

In its Annual growth Survey , the Commission calls for more efficient, competitive and fairer tax systems. The reforms needed to achieve those objectives generally require package approaches to taxation. In accordance with the subsidiarity principle, it is up to the Member States to determine the degree of redistribution they want their tax system to achieve and the tools they want to mobilise.

The Commission does not specifically collect data on the number of millionaires in the Member States. The Gini coefficient — a common measure of inequality in incomes — shows an increase in Spain between and last available year both when measured in terms of market income or disposable income. This is not unique to Spain however. The shift from unsustainable domestic-demand-driven growth to a more balanced, export-oriented growth model has led to an erosion of previous tax bases in Spain.

As a result, Spain has to reinforce the revenue base of its public finances in a structural way. Through this Written Question, we request information about the European funds made available to the Autonomous Community of Valencia, Spain, and the type of control the European institutions have over them. We need this to be able to crosscheck the information available in Spain and, in turn, ensure greater transparency in how EU projects are funded in the region. How much money has the Autonomous Community of Valencia received from the European Investment Bank or the European Investment Fund between and the current financial year ?

Which bodies received these funds? What control mechanisms has the EIB put in place to manage these funds and to monitor the completion of the projects? The EIB monitors the projects that it finances from the signature of the loan contract through the project implementation and operation phase until the loan is paid back. Monitoring requirements are determined according to the characteristics of the project. An annex with a table with the transactions signed with CAV and its public companies since is sent directly to the Honourable Member and the Parliament.

We must be smart, not just right. This policy — a flagrant breach of international law and the biggest obstacle to any peace plan proposed to end the conflict — is advocated and implemented at all levels of the Israeli Government. We have spoken out against this criminal behaviour by the Israeli Government each time it has planned settlements on the Palestinian territories.

Between and , more than 24 settlements have been built in the occupied territories, demonstrating that Israel has no desire to end this policy. The association agreement with Israel is, however, contingent upon political cooperation at all levels in upholding international law.

In view of these statements, would she consider suspending the EU-Israel association agreement until such time as Israel complies with international law and demonstrates the political will to do so? The EU continues to monitor this issue very closely. The EU remains firmly opposed to Israeli settlement activities in Palestine and conveys this message to its Israeli counterparts at all levels as well as in various international fora. This is a crucial step towards achieving a lasting resolution to the conflict.

De Organisatie van Islamitische Samenwerking OIC beschouwt zichzelf met haar 57 leden als de op een na grootste intergouvernementele organisatie, na de VN. Zij is verspreid over vier continenten en streeft ernaar de collectieve spreekbuis te zijn van de moslimmeerderheden in de wereld. De OIC is in het afgelopen decennium aanzienlijk veranderd. Zij heeft zich meer ingezet voor de vrijheid van meningsuiting en de vrijheid van godsdienst en overtuiging en heeft het democratische overgangsproces in de Arabische wereld ondersteund. Voorts heeft de organisatie haar samenwerkingsagenda uitgebreid naar de gebieden van economie, cultuur, wetenschap, ontwikkeling en humanitaire kwesties.

Zij blijft ook ernstig bezorgd over daden van religieuze onverdraagzaamheid en geweld in de wereld. De overeenstemming die in de afgelopen twee jaar in opeenvolgende VN-resoluties werd bereikt over hoe religieuze onverdraagzaamheid overeenkomstig de normen op het gebied van de mensenrechten kan worden bestreden, was een belangrijk signaal. Dialoog is essentieel om misvattingen en meningsverschillen te overwinnen. De EU en de OIC kunnen samenwerken en kunnen over talrijke belangrijke kwesties overeenstemming bereiken, ondanks de huidige verschillen die op dit moment tussen hen bestaan.

Het is belangrijk te benadrukken dat betrokkenheid geen goedkeuring inhoudt en dat er ruimte is voor een betere verstandhouding. De nieuwe permanente observatiemissie van de OIC in Brussel kan hier ook toe bijdragen. It spreads over four continents and strives to be the collective voice of the Muslim majority world. The OIC has undergone important changes during the last decade. It has made advances in support of both freedom of speech and freedom of religion or belief, and supported the democratic transition process in the Arab world.

It has also enlarged its cooperation agenda to encompass economic, culture, scientific, development and humanitarian areas. A key signal was the agreement found in the past two years in successive UN resolutions on how to address the fight against religious intolerance, in line with human rights standards. Engagement and vigilance are both required with partner countries and organisations, such as the OIC, in order to maintain and develop this common understanding.

Dialogue is the only way to overcome misperceptions and differences of opinion. The EU and OIC can work together and find common understanding on many important issues, even if there are current prevailing differences. But it is important to stress that engagement is not endorsement, and that there are scope for fostering better understanding. The EU-OIC relations can go beyond the religious, humanitarian and assistance fields, and could be engaged on a number of important issues. O Regulamento CE n.

Recent news reports indicate that as a result of the crisis and the attendant austerity measures, some Member States have not been carrying out all the food safety checks required under Community law. Is the Commission aware of this situation and, if so, what steps does it intend to take? The responsibility for enforcing food chain legislation lies with Member States, which are required to establish a system of official controls to verify compliance by operators with requirements deriving therefrom.

The Commission constantly monitors delivery by the Member States of their control duties, including through on-the-spot audits by its Food and Veterinary Office, and is aware of difficulties with the organisation of official controls which may arise as a result of the financial crisis and the growing lack of resources. Moreover, the proposal calls for adequate financial resources to be made available to the competent authorities performing official controls and requires mandatory fees to be charged on a wider array of operators to recover the costs incurred by the said authorities as a result of the performance of official control activities.

Figures produced by the World Health Organisation WHO show that, in Europe, one child in three between the ages of six and nine is overweight or obese. Various different studies have confirmed the correlation between exposure to advertising for unhealthy food products and child obesity, and it is on overweight children that such advertising has the greatest impact. What action will the Commission take to monitor these developments and guarantee that children are not exposed to advertising for unhealthy foods?

The risks associated with aquaculture stem mainly from the use of chemicals, particularly antibiotics and disinfectants. What action is the Commission taking to guarantee checks on and the safety of farmed fish produced in Europe, and farmed fish imported from other parts of the world? Those rules are a set of specific hygienic requirements for the safe production of fishery products including health standards to be ensured. Such requirements and standards are also to be applied to fishery products imported from third countries.

On this aspect, the regulation lays down detailed import conditions including the obligation to import fishery products only from approved establishments in authorised third countries. The verification of compliance of the operators with the requirements is a competence of the Member States through the appropriate official controls. That includes the verification and assessment that the objectives of the legislation are achieved.

In the same letter, you stated that the large differences in youth unemployment between the various Member States demonstrate that national situations and policies matter. As regards participation in parliamentary debates, established practice, as agreed with the Parliament, is that the President of the European Council reports to Parliament after each meeting of the European Council and after Eurozone summits , whereas the President of the Council, and the Commission, participate in any debates ahead of the meeting of the European Council.

This illegal clampdown by the Colombian Government is totally unacceptable and disproportionate, striking at the most fundamental democratic principles and human rights. The introduction of marshal law will undoubtedly make it very difficult to establish the identity of the perpetrators or those bearing criminal responsibility for the violent actions of the police and military.

The circumstances of the clashes and possible responsibilities are now being investigated by the General Prosecutor office. Betrifft: Transatlantische Expertengruppe zum Datenschutz. Juni im Innenausschuss eine solide Datenschutzreform. Welche konkreten Themenbereiche werden von der Expertengruppe behandelt? Wo sieht die Kommission die besonders kritischen Punkte, die Frau Kommissarin Reding angesprochen hat? Wenn nein: warum nicht? It is not acceptable that US authorities should spy on EU citizens. Commissioner Reding announced that a transatlantic group of experts on data protection was to be set up to address the critical issues.

What specific areas will the group of experts discuss? What does the Commission see as the critical issues here? Will the transatlantic group of experts announced by Commissioner Reding play a part in negotiating the transatlantic free trade area or will its deliberations following the PRISM scandal be separate from that?

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  8. Two years later, the Commission had noted that many Member States had not yet done so. Have all Member States complied with the provisions of the framework Decision? Can the Commission state whether Greece has done so? The Commission intends to adopt it by the end of The vast majority of these workers are EU nationals, 3 of them Spanish. Every day these workers are subjected to delays and checks at the borders that last for hours when returning home from work in Gibraltar, which as a British Overseas Territory lies outside of the Schengen area and the customs union.

    Spain of course has every right to conduct checks on persons and goods passing through this border. However, such checks must not be so disproportionate as to undermine the fundamental right of EU nationals to freedom of movement through an EU border. Currently there are many days where the delays still last an average of two hours. Can the Commission commit to monitoring the situation at this border, report on whether the delays are disproportionate, and advise on any appropriate action it will take if it finds the delays to be inconsistent with the right of the Spanish Government to conduct checks or with the right to freedom of movement?

    Gibraltar is not part of the area without internal border controls. Checks on persons are therefore carried out at its border with Spain. Under the Schengen Borders Code, all people entering and exiting the Schengen area, including those enjoying the Union right of free movement, should undergo a minimum check to establish their identities on the basis of the production or presentation of their travel documents. Third-country nationals should be subject to thorough checks, involving a detailed examination verifying that they fulfil all entry conditions.

    In addition, Gibraltar is not part of the customs territory of the European Union and is thus treated as a third country for customs purposes. Customs controls are performed by the national customs authorities in order to ensure the correct application of customs legislation. The modalities for these controls are determined by the Member States and may include inspecting means of transport, luggage and other goods carried by or on persons.

    Their reply is now being assessed. Can the Commission confirm that the assistance has reached its intended destination? Assistance has been targeted to improve sectorial competitiveness and, in some instances, to diversify operations. Activities, focus for example on. Improvements in competitiveness and export capacity in Belize, Fiji, Guyana and Mauritius.

    To withdraw from sugar production and aim at diversification of the economy in Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. Oggetto: Monitoraggio del fisco sui conti correnti delle famiglie italiane. Saranno sottoposti a controllo i depositi di titoli azionari, le gestioni patrimoniali, le carte di credito, le operazioni sul mercato dei metalli preziosi, le cassette di sicurezza, le movimentazioni e i saldi di inizio e fine anno. I dati permetteranno di ricostruire le spese effettuate dal contribuente e, nel caso di incongruenze tra quanto dichiarato al fisco e quanto speso, saranno avviati i controlli.

    Il Garante per la privacy ha assicurato che il Sid Sistema Interscambio Dati tra gli intermediari e l'Agenzia delle Entrate previsto dal provvedimento per la raccolta e l'invio delle informazioni garantisce adeguate misure di sicurezza di natura tecnica e organizzativa a tutela dei dati dei cittadini. Italy is the only EU Member State to have such a law. The monitoring will cover share portfolios, asset management, credit cards, operations on the precious metals market, the contents of safety deposit boxes, account movements and account balances at the beginning and end of each year.

    The Italian Data Protection Supervisor has given assurances that appropriate technical and organisational security measures have been incorporated into the SID, the system for the exchange of data between intermediaries and the Revenue Office, which will be used to collect and forward information. Each Member State is free to establish its own policy for gathering information from its financial institutions and other intermediaries for tax purposes.

    Without prejudice to the powers of the Commission as guardian of the Treaties, the compliance with these provisions is supervised by the national data protection supervisory authority. The Commission is therefore not in a position to comment on questions regarding the possible volume of sensitive data concerned and the potential risks of interception of private data.

    The Commission would like to stress that it considers the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion as one of its key priorities. One of the initiatives included in the action plan is the promotion of the automatic exchange of information AEOI as the future European and international standard of transparency in tax matters. Oggetto: Costi eccessivi dei servizi bancari a carico dei cittadini italiani.

    A tale sproporzione si aggiunge la mancanza di chiarezza di informazione sulle tariffe, che in molti casi sono incomplete o di difficile comprensione. La Commissione ritiene che l'incremento delle commissioni applicate dalle banche per i servizi di pagamento collegati ai conti possa avere un impatto rilevante sui costi complessivi sostenuti dalle famiglie, specialmente da quelle con minori risorse economiche. Alla luce di quanto precede, le misure adottate nella proposta della Commissione di direttiva sui conti di pagamento mirano ad accrescere il livello di concorrenza sul mercato dei prodotti finanziari al dettaglio in tutta l'Unione europea, migliorando la trasparenza delle condizioni offerte dai prestatori di servizi di pagamento e semplificando il processo di trasferimento del conto.

    Inoltre, la proposta introduce il diritto per tutti i consumatori di accedere a un conto di pagamento con caratteristiche di base, gratuitamente o a un costo ragionevole. The disparity between the interest rate paid by banks and that which they charge on loans has risen to In addition to this disproportion, the information provided concerning rates is unclear, in many cases being incomplete or hard to understand.

    The Commission considers that increases in the fees charged by banks for services offered on payment accounts are likely to have a relevant impact on the overall costs borne by families, especially those with fewer economic resources at their disposal. This is all the more the case in the current economic situation. In this light, the measures adopted in the Commission proposal for a directive on payment accounts aim to enhance the level of competition in the market for retail financial products EU-wide by increasing the transparency of the conditions offered by payment service providers and simplifying the process for account switching.

    This will allow consumers to make a more informed choice and be more aware of the most convenient products on the market. Moreover, the proposal introduces the right for every consumer to access a payment account with basic features, which will have to be offered either free of charge or at a reasonable fee. The Commission believes that measures contained in its proposal will substantially improve the competitive process in the market for payment accounts therefore lowering the prices of the products on offer to the benefit of consumers.

    Secondo la prassi abituale, la Commissione non si esprime in merito a situazioni ipotetiche. Can the Commission say what the implications would be if the treaty were declared unlawful by a Constitutional Court in one of the Member States? It has not been declared unconsititional by any national constitutional court. The question about the possible implications of a national constitutional court declaring the TSCG unconstitutional is therefore of a purely hypothetical nature. In line with established practice, the Commission does not express itself on hypothetical scenarios.

    Above this threshold, support programmes for disabled persons would be subject to compulsory notification. This regulation is an attack on the interests of disabled persons and deepens the divergences between Member States. In effect, it will mean a significant reduction in access to support for people from countries with lower GDP. A limit formulated in such a way is not a good means of avoiding distortions of competition, since it is not the value of the programme, but the amount of support paid to the beneficiaries or projects which reflects its impact on the market.

    This restriction is therefore in violation of the principle of equal treatment for all Member States in the internal market, as it discriminates against countries with lower GDP. The threshold proposed in the draft General block exemption Regulation GBER for notification of very large schemes might trigger the need to notify certain Polish schemes for employment aid for disabled persons.

    However, the draft GBER constitutes a document on which the Commission services are collecting views during the public consultation and in discussions with Member States. The Commission has received feedback on it from many citizens and disabled people's organisations as well as from the Polish authorities. It will now analyse this feedback and consider how best to address the concerns expressed to the benefit of disabled persons. The Commission certainly does not intend to make the compatibility conditions in the GBER relating to the support of disabled workers stricter than the existing rules.

    Job creation for disabled people, special support to promote their entrepreneurship and awareness raising campaigns to combat discrimination are examples of measures aiming at integration of disabled persons in the labour market, which will remain priority also in the programming period Does it not think that the French Government's decision could seriously harm the development of the Mediterranean-Pyrenees Euro-region and damage Spain, which constructed the high-speed rail line with a view to linking it to the French network in order to ensure that the infrastructure is profitable and recoup its investment?

    Does the Commission not think that the French Government can easily justify these projects? A formal position by the French Government is still awaited on the new line Montpellier-Perpignan and on the interventions to be scheduled on the existing line. I have been contacted by a constituent who has recently visited Bequia in the Grenadines. The relevant mechanisms include Steering Committees, in which Delegation representatives are present as observers, independent mid-term reviews or evaluations, and expenditure audits.

    No recently audited SVG projects have unveiled any financial problem.