Extracts from the Mar 2007 Journal

Two faces of a German city: Munich

Before German reunification, Munich and Hamburg were the two largest cities in West Germany. They remain prominent centres of German public life, not least in the area of relations between Germans and Jews. Munich has been in the news recently with the inauguration of its new Jewish community centre and synagogue on the Jakobsplatz on 9 November 2006, the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom. But the city has also been embroiled in an unpleasant controversy concerning the laying of Stolpersteine in memory of its former Jewish citizens deported by the Nazis, which ended with the city council removing those Stolpersteine that had been laid and banning the laying of any more. [more...]

Two faces of a German city: Hamburg

Hamburg, the proud Hanseatic city looking out north-west towards Britain and the Atlantic, boasts a liberal, Protestant outlook as far removed in spirit from Catholic Munich, away to the south-east, as it is by geography. But Hamburg's reputation as a bastion of opposition to National Socialism has led it to brush the less savoury aspects of its past between 1933 and 1945 under the carpet, as if its vaunted liberalism absolved it of complicity in the persecution, expulsion and extermination of its Jewish citizens. Of all the major concentration camps in Germany, Neuengamme, outside Hamburg, is, typically enough, probably the least known. [more...]

Point of View

The pen - mightier than the sword? [more...]

Out of love

I have fallen out of love with the English. Not overnight of course - it's been coming a long time. Our affair started as a forced marriage, neither side knowing what it was in for. I arrived in England as a teenager, not by choice but because England would have me. Gratitude put me on my best behaviour: I had been saved and I would love my saviour. Three early encounters won me over. I was taken to a posh club and allowed my first breath of all-male privilege. Next, an English acquaintance, having just gone to Cambridge, invited me to spend a day in Magdalene College. I was intoxicated by the autumnal harmony of stone and nature as we walked among the deer and planned to write a masterpiece. Then my mother, to top it all, arranged for me to join a county family on a shooting holiday in Yorkshire, where I was taught a new kind of ritual slaughter. I drank in everything: the clothes, the accents, the smell of the gun room, the tipping of the beaters, the brace of pheasants put in the cars of the departing guests. It was a world I didn't know existed, but I was determined to become part of it, to become one of 'them'. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

The political turbulence of eighteenth-century Europe, with the overthrow of the French monarchy and its eventual reinstatement after the fall of Napoleon, is the backdrop to the Royal Academy's current exhibition, Citizens and Kings: Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760-1830. As crowned heads rolled in France, Europe, Britain and America were caught in the turbulence of war, a clinically insane king, George III, was deposed, and the rising bourgeoisie challenged traditional concepts of absolute monarchy with radical new ideas. [more...]

Letter from Israel

Only in Israel [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Briefing by Hannah Lessing [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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