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Extracts from the Mar 2003 Journal

Entering the lists (editorial)

At the end of 2002 the Independent asked 52 public figures – from Tariq Ali to Michael Winner – to list their heroes and villains of the year. The villains named and shamed in the paper’s columns extended from such transient celebrities as conman Peter Foster and butler Paul Burrell to the likes of George Bush and Ariel Sharon. The last named two received six ‘villain’ nominations each but, since President Bush also figured as ‘hero’ on one entry, the Israeli premier won the villainy stakes by a short head. Not that the 52 ‘movers and shakers’ showed total bias: three actually listed Osama bin Laden as their devil, and one each nominated Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe. Still, the fact remains that Ariel Sharon topped the devils’ league table. [more...]

Schizophrenia under dreaming spires

The other night, BB2’s Arts Review discussed Christopher Hampton’s The Talking Cure (currently showing at the National Theatre). This is a play about the formative stage in the development of psychoanalysis and focuses on the fraught relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. [more...]

Roll of dishonour

The Albrecht Dürer exhibition at the British Museum features a portrait of the artist’s patron, Pirkheimer, who also befriended the great Humanist scholar Johannes Reuchlin. A philosemite, Reuchlin produced the first Hebrew grammar and dictionary widely available in Renaissance Europe. [more...]

Breaking the cycle of violence

’Jihad’ and ‘Amalek’ are terms which reverberate across the centuries. Intrinsic to Islam and Judaism respectively, they also reflect a group dynamic common to many cultures. This is the split between the desire to nurture and protect one’s own and the urge to project all the negativity one refuses to acknowledge onto the other, the outsider. [more...]

Esther Rantzen relives journey of Czech children on TV: AJR phones jammed with calls

Following the broadcast on Carlton Television of Winton’s Children, a moving documentary produced and reported by Esther Rantzen, the AJR received well over 100 enquiries. [more...]

RG’s Interface

Mishpochology (1) The Jewish Museum in Frankfurt is marking the centenary of Carlo Levi with an exhibition of 60 paintings. Although Levi was first and foremost a painter, he had trained as a doctor and gained international fame with the publication of Christ Stopped at Eboli (1948), an account of his internal exile as an anti-fascist. Two cousins of his, similarly involved in resistance activists and famous as writers, were Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg. [more...]

Eric Kaufman: a profile

Eric Kaufman and his wife Gerda live in their comfortable home, tucked away in a northwest London suburb. He had just returned from a visit to Berlin to view an exhibition on the life and work of one of his relatives. Nothing remarkable about that, you might conclude, but this month Eric celebrates his 90th birthday. A sprightly man and dapper dresser, he appears all of 20 years younger, and maintains many interests and a zest for life. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Urgent: Repayment of bank charges

It has been brought to the attention of the Central Office for Holocaust Claims that Holocaust survivors are being targeted and charged for receiving advice on the procedures involved in having bank charges returned. Members are reminded that the Central Office for Holocaust Claims provides this service free of charge and the reason that the banks have now offered to repay charges (which they are not required to do by law), is due to the efforts of this office. We strongly advise that there is no need to pay for money that is in fact owed to you.

Slovak Compensation Fund

A SKK 850 million (approximately £13.5 million) fund has been established by the government of the Slovak Republic to provide compensation to Holocaust victims and to ‘finance projects concerning the social and cultural needs of the Jewish community in Slovakia.’ [more...]

Legacy of the Jews of Leipzig

Virtual reality

Though der Heim – the Yiddish-speaking heartland of Eastern Europe - vanished over half a century ago, it spawned a rich folklore, some of which fed into world culture. Prime examples are the legend of the Golem – the precursor of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – and the notion of demonic possession exemplified in Anski’s Dybbuk. [more...]