Extracts from the Nov 2010 Journal

A Jewish intellectual

The historian Tony Judt, who died in August aged 62, was an academic who was also an influential intellectual, one of those widely recognised figures who set the agenda for public discourse and debate, helping to determine the course of ideas far beyond the groves of academe. His towering achievement was his history of Europe since 1945, Postwar, which was first published by Penguin in the USA in 2005 and has since received widespread acclaim. [more...]

A call to the Third Generation

3G is not just a mobile network! I am a member of 3G - by which I mean I am a member of the Third Generation of those born after the Holocaust. My late grandfather was a survivor; neither of my parents experienced the Holocaust. Although I have not chosen this identity, it is one I am now beginning to embrace more than ever. This is a label I wear with mixed feelings: pride, anxiety, guilt and a sense of duty. It is this last category that I wish to expand on - this consciousness that I am in some way, together with other 3G members, bound to continue the work of the First and Second Generations. They have built for us the foundations we need to develop. They depend upon our generation to continue their important work in the fields of Holocaust testimony, education and the fight against racism, as well as providing a support network for those directly or indirectly affected by the Holocaust. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

Paul Gauguin liked to regard himself as an artiste-sauvage, a painter who preferred the South Sea islands to the salons of Paris. He loved myth, despised the church, but often painted himself as a red- or green-haired Christ figure, an artist reviled and misunderstood by his peers. In one work, his body is held up by three Tahitian women wearing Breton hats – a clear symbol of freedom versus restraint. He also portrayed himself as a fox, implying wisdom in Maori lore. A proto-hippy, his rounded and squat portraits of women are filled with symbolism; his Breton landscapes contain the wistful glimpse of a ship ready to take him away, back to the South Seas. [more...]

Bringing war criminals to justice (review)

by Herman Rothman
edited by Helen Fry
The History Press (tel 01453 883 300; www.thehistorypress.co.uk), 2009, 192 pp. hardback, £18.99 [more...]

A nice Jewish refugee boy

Bookish, left-wing and fervently agnostic, the Feiths, my mother’s family, more than anyone else shaped my future attitudes. [more...]

Letter from Israel: Self-defence comes at a price

The Punic Wars, the Roman Empire, the migrations and conquests of the Germanic tribes, the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Barbarians, the split between the Roman and Byzantine churches, the Islamic conquest of Spain, Charlemagne, the Wars of the Three Brothers, which ended with the treaty of Verdun in 843, the Magyar pillages, the Norman conquest (1066 and all that), the Crusades, the Hundred Years’ War between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Wars of the Roses in England, the Reconquista in Spain, the Mongol-Tatar invasions of Poland of 1241, the Fall of Constantinople, the defeat of the Crusader Kingdom in the 13th century, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, alliances and unions that changed the borders of Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, all the countries of Eastern Europe, Russia, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and Italy (the latter two not actually existing as sovereign states until the 19th century), the conquest of the Low Countries by Spain, the War of the Spanish Succession, the battle of Lepanto in 1571, when the combined forces of Spain, Genoa and Venice crushed the Turkish invaders, the Wars of Religion (cuius regio, eius religio), the Huguenots, the War of Jenkins’ Ear, the British defeat of the Spanish Armada, the first Schmalkaldic war in 1547, when Duke Maurice of Saxony assisted Charles V, the second Schmalkaldic war in 1552, when the French secured bases in Alsace, the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, Henry of Navarre’s blood-soaked path to the throne of France, the Thirty Years’ War, the Cromwellian Revolution and the execution of King Charles I, the French Revolution and the guillotining of King Louis XVI, the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, the First World War, the Second World War, occasional Balkan wars. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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