in the garden

 

Extracts from the Oct 2007 Journal

A legacy for posterity

One of the most remarkable features of the AJR is its sheer longevity. Founded in 1941, it is still energetically preserving and promoting the history and heritage of the community it represents. Unlike its sister organisations, the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe and the Irgun Oley Merkas Europa in Israel, the AJR is very much alive and kicking: our members have the great good fortune to be able to read this journal, but Aufbau, its American equivalent, ceased publication in the USA some years ago. The exhibition ‘Continental Britons’, which ran for six months at the Jewish Museum in Camden Town in 2002, generously funded by the AJR, demonstrated the Association’s commitment to memorialising the past of its membership. [more...]

Point of View series: Too few Jews

I read the other day that the last census counted 270,000 Jews in this country. Is that all? But then these are self-declared, tick-box Jews and one wonders about the psychology of self-definition. Are they the sons and daughters of Jewish mothers? What about half-Jews and their offspring? What about closet Jews? No one knows the answers. Is there a better way of counting who should be in and who out? [more...]

Enemy Aliens – ‘Collar the lot!’

Part one: My internment
The recent literary output on internment prompts me to write my personal account as an internee to ensure that this chapter of British history is chronicled and preserved for posterity, rather than erased as an uncomfortable reminder of gross misjudgement. It records the fate of thousands of refugees who owe their lives to this country and of those who worked ceaselessly to rescue us from the clutches of the Nazis. This article is no more than a thumbnail sketch of an episode. This literary output represents my own experience rather than stating an opinion. [more...]

Reunion of refugees from Nazism who served with the British forces in the Second World War

In September, a reunion of refugees in the British forces was hosted by the Imperial War Museum and attended by some 200 veterans and their families. The occasion, sponsored by the AJR, the Leo Baeck (London) Lodge and the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, also served to launch a book by Dr Helen Fry entitled The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens. [more...]

Letter from Israel: The Jewish ‘priest’

In the framework of the Israel Translators’ Association, I belong to a group of translators living in the Jerusalem area. Although we have monthly gatherings and lectures, most of our activity consists of almost daily online discussions about translating expressions, information about research resources, and offers of work. Many of the individuals involved are very knowledgeable, particularly about Jewish subjects, while sometimes the queries are more technical. Thus, when one unfortunate member suddenly lost her ‘spellcheck’ and ‘thesaurus’ functions - both essential for translators - another member told her (and the rest of the group) how to overcome the problem. [more...]

The legacy of Anna Essinger

The last few years have seen a remarkable revival of Anna Essinger’s reputation as an educationalist and headmistress of avant-garde co-educational boarding schools for (mainly) Jewish children in Ulm and Kent. As early as 1933, she transferred her school in Herrlingen, near Ulm, to Bunce Court, a manor house on the Kent North Downs. When the Kindertransports arrived, she expanded her school, which became home to hundreds of refugee children, although there was always a minority whose parents valued her progressive educational ideas. In 1940 she was forced to leave what had become a military zone and she transferred the school to Trench Hall, in Shropshire. After the war, she returned the school to Bunce Court but was obliged to close it for financial and other reasons in 1948. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Life certificates [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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