Obama in Germany; Brazil custody battle

June 5, 2009 1:33:46 PM PDT
What an amazing sight and what amazing timing. One day after issuing a clarion call for Muslims and Jews to turn their swords into plowshares, President Obama today visiting Buchenwald concentration camp - with one of its most famous survivors. And refuting those who would dare say - the holocaust never happened. Mr. Obama - the first U.S. President to visit Buchenwald - was clearly moved by seeing the grounds that had been soiled by hate, and drenched with death. He saw the ovens and the guard towers, the barbed wire fences and the barracks.

He has a connection to it all. His great uncle was an infantryman in World War II, and helped liberate one of Buchenwald's nearby satellite camps.

There were more than 56,000 killed at Buchenwald. One of them was Shlomo Wiesel. And today, his son returned, along with Pres. Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Price winner, survived this camp. His father, while he was dying, called his son's name. But young Elie was too scared to move. And so he didn't. And his dad died alone.

Today, Wiesel, now a New Yorker but something of a Holocaust survivor ambassador to the world, said that his presence "was actually a way of coming and visit(ing) my father's grave. But he had no grave. His grave is somewhere in the sky. This has become, in those years, the largest cemetery of the Jewish people."

Tonight, Mr. Obama is in France, where tomorrow he will commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. We'll have the latest on the President's trip - and today's remarkable visit to Buchenwald, tonight at 11.

We're also following the sad journey of David Goldman, the father from New Jersey who's locked in a bitter international custody battle over his young son, Sean.

Goldman has returned home, empty handed. He had thought he would be bringing his son back, but a Brazilian judge reversed a lower court order and wouldn't allow it. Some say the judge bowed to pressure from a political party to keep the boy with his step-father, a Brazilian citizen.

The man has had custody of Sean ever since the boy's mother died more than a year ago. She left the U.S. with her son, then divorced David Goldman. For Mr. Goldman, the battle to win back his son appears far from over. Jeff Pegues is on the story for us, tonight at 11.

And we're looking into a letter that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has sent to several elected officials - outlining what he's doing to avoid in the future friendly fire incidents like the one that killed Officer Omar Edwards last week in East Harlem.

One of the proposals: "recognition technology" for police handguns. There is apparently technology being developed that would give weapons radio frequency tags; the technology would send a signal between officers' weapons. Could it work in New York, a vertical city? It's one of the questions folks are asking tonight.

And Tappy Phillips tonight has the story of a man from Queens who paid his property taxes twice. He didn't like that, and when City Hall wouldn't help, he called Tappy and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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