Hungary. Germany awarded the Hungarian Jewish leader Erno Lazarovits. The German Ambassador in Budapest rewarded him at a solemn ceremony last week with the Big Cross of Honor for his service, for his great contributions into the development of respectful relations and mutual understanding between Jews and Christians, and creation of a positive image of present-day Germany.
Poland. Polish investigators did not find any proofs of participation of Nazi German troops in the mass execution of Jews in the town of Edwabn on July 10, 1941, as it was reported on December 19. That day several hundreds of Jews were driven together into a barn and burnt alive. The investigators' statement confirms the information that local Poles were responsible for the massacre.
According to the investigators, there is no information that German troops were quartered within this area.
The authorities of Communist Poland blamed the Nazi for this crime. In July 2001 the President of Poland Alexander Kwasnewsky publicly apologized for the atrocities of the Poles in Edwabn.
Romania. Adrian Nastasa, Head of the Romanian government, Sando Mazor, Ambassador of Israel in Romania, deputies of the Romanian parliament, Romanian and Israeli businessmen and representatives of the Jewish community of Bucharest participated in the meeting of solidarity with Ron Arad.
In the course of the ceremony the Chief Rabbi of Romania Menakhem A-Koen and the Romanian Patriarch together lit a candle symbolizing hope for Ron Arad's soon release.
The ceremony was organized after the meeting of Batia Arad, Ron's mother, with the Prime Minister of Romania this July. The meeting hall was decorated with three hundred blue balloons with white inscriptions on them saying "Free Ron Arad!".
Latvia. The book about the Holocaust, written by the well-known Latvian writer Leonid Koval, was nominated for the Nobel Prize by a group of German scientists on December 18. Yanis Stradinsh, President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, takes a great interest in the writer's works. He highly appreciated "The Book of Salvation" and "The Book of Rescuers" and made a proposal to the Soros Foundation and the Foundation of Cultural Capital to fund the translation of Koval's book in Latvian. The books are being prepared for print.