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Extracts from the Oct 2006 Journal

An odious comparison: an open letter to Anthony Howard

Dear Anthony Howard
I was dismayed to hear you draw an explicit comparison, on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions of 21 July 2006, between Israel's military operations in Lebanon and the systematic murder of hostages by the armed forces of the Third Reich, in retaliation for the killing of German soldiers in occupied countries. I feel bound to respond because of the respect in which you are held, not least by me. [more...]

How to be a Technophobic VEP

Let me tell you at once that anything remotely mechanical, technical or scientific terrifies me. Even back in the 1950s, when I was learning to drive a car, I wished the wheel had never been invented. That my marriage survived my L-plated months is nothing short of a miracle. [more...]

A Stolperstein for Irma Zancker

In a number of German towns you can find, embedded in the pavement in front of blocks of flats, concrete blocks as tiny as cobble stones, capped with brass. Inscribed on these stones are the personal details of Jewish individuals who lived here under the Nazis until they were deported and murdered. The stones are called Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks). They are the brainchild of the German artist Gunter Demnig and are paid for by sponsors. Here is the story of one of these 'stumbling blocks' in Hamburg. [more...]

Critical Moments

Most people can remember where they were at the time of major world events. In 1939, when I was 13, Gwen Clarke, the wife of the geography master at Bradford Grammar School, of which I was a pupil, invited us to spend a few days' holiday with her at Cleveleys. At 10 am on Sunday 3 September we huddled round the radio to hear that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had issued an ultimatum to Hitler. At 11 am Chamberlain came on the radio personally to give his famous speech, ending 'No such assurance has been received and therefore this country is in a state of war with Germany' - at which Gwen burst into uncontrollable weeping as well she might, as if she had prescience of the horrors to come. The announcer said 'Please stand by for further announcements', but we switched off. We had heard enough. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

Few artists achieve such a range of expression within so limited a scope as Amadeo Modigliani. The Royal Academy exhibition Modigliani and his Models gives us the artist's trademark - the pared-down symmetry of long neck, almond eyes and sensual body. Poets, peasants and sometimes rapacious art dealers - several made a mint out of him on his early death from tubercular meningitis - are all treated with a light touch and a sharper perception. It is almost caricature but for the vivid empathy. [more...]

Letter from Israel

About twenty years ago my family lived for a year in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. The area of the Great Plains is renowned for its wheat fields and flat topography. What we were not told in advance is that the climate is catastrophic, with blazing, humid summers and arctic winters. The experience gave us a new appreciation of Israel's climate. Even Tel Aviv seemed an attractive proposition to us Jerusalemites. [more...]

Glaser, Maximilian

born 11.08.1886 in Saaz. Lived in Vienna at 19 Reithleg 6/2/3 from 31.12.1928 to 8.9.1938. Office at 1 Schullberg 5. Married Anna Glaser (née Sachs) born 1.10.1933. In 1938 Dr Glaser apparently emigrated to England.
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Letters to the Editor

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