World Report

VALENCIA, Spain (JTA) — After receiving a complaint from the Anti-Defamation League, the Valencia, Spain-based porcelain company Lladro has removed from its Moses figurine what could be construed as horns on the prophet's head.

The ADL contacted Lladro last January after receiving a phone call from a concerned individual who had seen the company's original 16-inch Moses figurine in a store in Bermuda.

The original Moses featured what Lladro USA Marketing Director Glenn Conciatori terms "not horns, but rather rays of light" on the top of its head.

Ken Jacobson, the ADL's assistant national director, says that after he examined the company's brochure, he "agreed with the individual that one could see it as horns. We're dealing with a centuries-old image of a Jew with horns. We told them [the statuette] perpetuated this pernicious image."

In April, Jacobson received a letter from Conciatori explaining that Lladro would replace the offending model with a new one. The new 21-inch Moses is featured in the company's 1996 line.

Key Australian premier withdraws accusations of colleague's Nazism

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The premier of the Australian state of Victoria has bowed to public criticism and apologized for comments he made linking a federal senator to the wartime Nazi Party.

Premier Jeff Kennett, whose position is equivalent to that of a governor in the United States, set off a controversy when he said a senator in the national Parliament representing the small Australian Democrats Party was a member of Hitler Youth.

"I don't say it lightly: He was," said Kennett, adding that Sen. Sid Spindler "finishes his public career in exactly the same way as he started."

Spindler repeated what he long ago made public: that as a 10-year-old German boy living in Poland during the Nazi occupation he was "automatically enrolled in the youth division of the Hitler Youth."

"My experience during those years has made me a lifelong peace activist, an anti-racist and a strong opponent of totalitarian regimes," he said.

Spindler said unless Kennett withdrew the comments, he would file a defamation suit.

Swiss shoemaker Bally denies seizing Jewish property in '40s

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Swiss shoe company Bally has asked the World Jewish Congress for "general guidance" after being accused of taking over Jewish companies during World War II, said WJC executive director Elan Steinberg.

The WJC will send Bally, a division of Oerlikon-Buehrle Holding AG, information that surfaced as a result of newly declassified U.S. intelligence reports dating from 1945 and 1946, Steinberg said Tuesday.

The recently unearthed files charge that Bally received "millions of square feet of booty leather" in Switzerland.

Steinberg said Bally should recognize and admit the "wrongs that happened" and seek to "make reparations to those who have been harmed."

Oerlikon-Buehrle chairman Hans Widmer reportedly said, "Our archives are fundamentally open for professional historians."

SonntagsZeitung, Switzerland's largest newspaper, has run a series since April claiming that Swiss firms took over Jewish companies seized by the Nazis and that Swiss banks handled Nazi cash and gold.