lady painting


Extracts from the Apr 2001 Journal

Reacting outrageously to ‘days of rage’

In June 1934 the non-Aryan, and therefore prematurely pensioned off, Dresden academic Viktor Klemperer wrote in the diary he meticulously kept during his twelve ‘underground years’: To me the Zionists who want to go back to the Jewish State of 70 AD [destruction of Jerusalem by Titus] are just as offensive as the Nazis with their nosing after blood, and after ancient ‘cultural roots’. [more...]

Remembering Eleanor Rathbone

The sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the AJR is a fitting time to reflect on the work of Miss Eleanor Florence Rathbone, the British MP who devoted much of her political career to helping rescue refugees fleeing Nazi and Fascist Europe. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Swiss banks

A Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT) has been appointed to implement a claims procedure for assets deposited in Swiss banks before WWII. The Tribunal has allocated up to $800 million (£540m) for awards to claimants. While other aspects of the Holocaust Assets Victims Litigation, such as looted assets and the failure of Swiss authorities to help Jewish refugees, continue to be investigated, the deadline for filing a claim with the CRT for a dormant account is 5 August 2001. Relaxed standards of proof will apply when assessing a claim. Claimants are advised to answer questions to the best of their ability. [more...]

Erev Pesach in Munich

A SURVIVORS’ HAGGADAH. (ed) Saul Touster. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 2000. [more...]

Profile – Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Marcel Reich was born in 1920 into a bourgeois family of mixed Polish-German background. He grew up in Poland, but attended a German primary school. Aged ten, he moved to Berlin where his mother had relatives. His teacher’s last words to him were: ‘Du fährst in das Land der Kultur’ (‘You are going to the land of culture’.) [more...]

Obituary: Ilse Wolff 1908 – 2001

I first met Ilse when I was 25. My mother had died – in Berlin - of an acute heart infection when I was 10. Although Ilse was my father’s second wife (I thoroughly approved - my father asked me!), she became, in all respects but her DNA, the much-loved grandmother, great-grandmother and mother in-law of my family, and my friend-in-chief. If, in my eyes, Ilse were to have had no other merit except that of having made my father superbly happy, this would have been enough. However she was a very special person. Having had a distinguished career with the Wiener Library, and having survived a serious illness, she suddenly found herself in the position of an entrepreneurial publisher, having on the sudden death of my father become the owner of Oswald Wolff (Publishers) Ltd. She ran the company for a further ten years. [more...]

From jackboots to Armanis

“In Western Europe there is nowhere where right-wing organisations have a chance of obtaining power,” was the reassuring view of Graeme Atkinson, co-ordinator of an international anti-fascist network and European editor of Searchlight magazine. He was addressing a seminar on ‘The Far Right in Europe’ organised by the London Jewish Cultural Centre. While parties of the far Right had gained representation in government – as had Austria’s Freedom Party – this was not the same as taking full executive responsibility. However, his was not an invitation to complacency about contemporary organisations of fascist groups whose ideology paralleled that of the Nazis.

Increasing influence

Over the past 15 to 20 years Atkinson observed that fascist groups had gained in influence, pedalling the prejudices of racism, homophobia and antisemitism, and racist violence and intimidation had become a daily occurrence across Europe. Marauding bands of skinheads were seen as a youth culture with a capacity for violence and lawlessness, and the extreme Right had attached itself to these youth sub-cultures through sales of CD records, jackets, T-shirts and other merchandise, at the same time propagating the politics of violence. The income generated thereby provided funds for further militant activities, including the purchase of weapons. [more...]