Extracts from the Apr 2003 Journal

Proportionate response (editorial)

The phrase proportionality of response, which is much bandied about these days, connotes that if one party to a conflict uses a certain class of weapons, the other ought not to raise the ante by retaliating with more advanced – and therefore more devastating – armaments. [more...]

Mock-profound punditry

Late on Friday evenings Arts Review follows BBC Two’s Newsnight – the latter programme being about politics, and the former about culture. Frequently this demarcation guideline is followed more in the breach than in the observance – which seems unavoidable, since the Israel-baiting academic Tom Paulin is a regular contributor (as is the Afro-American playright Bonnie Greer). [more...]

Hitler’s willing victim

An Austrian Government commission of independent historians which has examined the country’s wartime role - the first such investigation since 1945 - confirmed that between 1938 and 1945 the Austrian people commonly plundered Jewish property, motivated by antisemitism, social factors and greed. It also denounced Austria’s lack of generosity to Jewish victims and concluded that restitution had been made grudgingly. The commission’s work took four years to complete and involved 160 historians and other experts on the Nazi persecution of the country’s Jewish population and the expropriation of its property. [more...]

Noses – from the toffee to the hook variety

Recently the late Virginia Woolf has had more attention paid to the dimensions of her nose than any other woman since Queen Cleopatra, consort of Caesar and Mark Anthony. (‘Had Cleopatra’s nose been shorter’, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in his Pensées, ‘the whole face of the earth would have changed.’) [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Austrian Fund deadline

Applicants to the Austrian General Settlement Fund are reminded that the deadline for filing claims is 28 May 2003. The fund will pay compensation in respect of properties and other assets owned in Austria before the Second World War. Claims for loss of education for Austrian survivors can also be submitted through the programme. [more...]

Art Notes

In the late 1920s Max Beckman (Tate Modern until 5 May 2003) was regarded as the most important figurative German artist of his generation. He did not flinch from offering compelling and disturbing insights into the human mind during the horrors of the First World War. By 1933, captivated by the modernism of Picasso, Matisse and Braque, he fell foul of the Nazis, who branded him a ‘degenerate’ and dismissed him from his teaching job at the Frankfurt School of Art. In 1937 he heard a broadcast of Hitler’s speech to the House of German Art in Munich, and the following day he left for Holland, where he spent the next ten years working on a series of triptychs that became his life’s work. [more...]

Out-of-focus masterpiece

THE PIANIST
Directed by Roman Polanski
On limited release [more...]

Unsettling scores

LIVES, WIVES AND LOVES OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS
Maryon Boyars Publishers [more...]

Obituary - Helmut Rothenberg

A founder member of the AJR, Helmut Rothenberg believed strongly in making way for new people to come forward and play their part. [more...]

Obituary - Felix Huttrer

Vienna-born Felix Huttrer, who has died aged 77, made a success of his life after beginnings shadowed by tragedy. Losing his father when he was eight, he attended the prestigious Chajes Gymnasium; in the Anschluss year of 1938, burning synagogues put an end to his preparations for barmitzvah. [more...]

Legacy of the Jews of Leipzig - Part 2

The development of Leipzig into a great city owed much to the achievements of the city’s Jews. Jewish entrepreneurs erected imposing, modern commercial buildings, often on the sites of the small shops where they had begun their business careers. [more...]