Extracts from the Apr 2002 Journal

The mukhtar of London (editorial)

With the fall of Kabul and then Kandahar, the current War on Terror entered a new phase. At that point, a debate started about how HM Government should treat those UK Muslims who, having gone to Afghanistan to fight in the ranks of al-Qa’eda, were now in prison camps or in Guantanamo Bay. None has yet been returned to Britain, thus postponing the day when the UK authorities will have to take the bull by the horns and institute proceedings for treason - or some other criminal offence - against them. [more...]

Maz Perutz dies at 88

Max Perutz, one of the giants of twentieth-century science, has died. Born into Vienna’s haute juiverie involved in the textile trade (cf. Hofmannsthal, Hermann Broch and Stefan Zweig), he opted for scientific study. In 1936 he arrived in Cambridge to research haemoglobin. During wartime internment in Canada, he lectured at a ‘camp university’ alongside Hermann Bondi and Klaus Fuchs. Released, he worked on a hush-hush project for a floating airbase in mid-Atlantic, which proved impracticable. [more...]

Incarnation of the nation

The French presidential elections are due later this year, which also happens to be the bicentenary of the birth of Victor Hugo. This coincidence has given the contenders for France’s highest office of state – the right-of-centre Chirac, the left-leaning Jospin, and the unclassifiable Chevènement – an opportunity to drape themselves in the mantle of the great writer. [more...]

Fascism in Hampstead, 1945-1949

The HONOURABLE PETITION of the undersigned inhabitants of the RESIDENTIAL Borough of Hampstead asketh for HAMPSTEAD HOMES for HAMPSTEAD PEOPLE and prayeth for the prompt repatriation of the thousands of Austrian and German refugees who have taken up residence here and have turned so many of these houses and flats into factories and workshops, which same houses and flats are now sorely needed for our returning daughters and sons and for our evacuated daughters and their children. [more...]

Identifying and recovering works of art

The looting of art during the period 1934–1945, particularly from Jewish people, was carried out on a massive and systematic scale (it is believed that almost a third of all privately owned art in France in 1938 was looted during the subsequent six years). Most looted art was, at the end of the war, restored to its owners – where they could be identified. But where families had lost whole generations, or where families had emigrated leaving their possessions behind, or sold in dubious circumstances, this identification and follow-up by the authorities was inevitably less than perfect. [more...]

Rescuer sans-pareil

Nicholas Winton and the Rescued Generation
Muriel Emanuel And Vera Gissing
Vallentine Mitchell [more...]

‘Playing the game’ (profile)

Sigi Faith, born Siegfried Samuel Feitlowitz in Hamburg in 1928, was brought up an only child in the well-protected environment of a comfortable home, yet surprisingly he suffered few qualms when joining the Kindertransport for England in December 1938. [more...]

Continental Britons

Full programme of lectures, concerts and events [more...]