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Extracts from the May 2007 Journal

How the Jewish refugees thanked Britain

One of the most striking initiatives ever mounted by the AJR was the ‘Thank-You Britain’ Fund, which evolved out of a proposal in 1963 that the Jewish refugees from Central Europe should make a public gesture of thanks to their adopted homeland. The idea was the brainchild of Victor Ross, a former refugee who had worked in publishing and journalism and had written a humorous account of the refugee experience, Basic British; as readers know, he still wields an elegant pen today. The AJR, and in particular its chairman, Hans Reichmann (who died in 1964), had been thinking along similar lines. After the AJR took on the administration of the fund-raising, Ross became co-chairman of the Fund’s organising committee, alongside Werner M. Behr, Vice-chairman of the AJR. [more...]

A salute to Wolf Suschitzky

The appearance of a handsome volume, Wolf Suschitzky Photos, edited by Michael Omasta and Brigitte Mayr of SYNEMA, the society for film and media, and Ursula Seeber of the Österreichische Exilbibliothek at the Literaturhaus in Vienna (Vienna: SYNEMA, 2006, ISBN 3-901644-18-0), reminds us of the impressive contribution Wolfgang Suschitzky has made to the art of photography in Britain. Born in Vienna in 1912 to a bookseller father – his cousin was Joseph Suschitzky, who ran the fabled Libris bookshop on Boundary Road, London NW8 – Wolf Suschitzky now lives in Maida Vale. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

For 25 years Polish-born artist Roman Halter held in his memory the faces he saw on the transports to Auschwitz. The face of an angelic young girl in her mother’s arms. The mothers who accompanied their children rather than relinquish them to the Nazi murderers. The face of his mother looking down from the synagogue beneath the fine veil of her mantilla. The face of his brother who was hanged. The face of the man who died on the electrified fence because he had lost his children. The faces of starvation. And, most symbolically perhaps, the face of Moses the Prophet. [more...]

Letter from Israel

Israel possesses many places of archaeological, historical and religious significance for all mankind. The modern state has constructed buildings and established sites with meaning of a more contemporary and/or national character. But there can be few spots which combine so many levels of significance for so many people as the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. [more...]

A restoration comedy

It’s a good thing we weren’t rich. It cut our losses when the Nazis robbed us. They came to take my father, but he had left an hour earlier, so they killed his dog instead. My father was a forgiving man, but that was one murder too far. Like the Nazi big shots deciding who was a Jew, he had strong views on who was a Nazi. His life-long allegiance to Wagner and his circle tested his faith but he came through with flying colours, holding aloft his friendship with Wagner’s grandson Wieland and the medal that proclaimed him A freeman of Bayreuth. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Insurance Commission winds up its work

Having made payments totalling more than US$300 million to settle 48,263 claims, the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) was wound up at the end of March. [more...]

AJR Annual Report 2006

Highlights of the year

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Letters to the Editor

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