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Extracts from the Sep 2003 Journal

The BBC, PC and the PM (editorial)

Great institutions, after a period of glory, slip into decline. In this they resemble great men. After all, in the 1930s Mahatma Gandhi advised German Jews to adopt a strategy of passive disobedience vis-à-vis the Nazi state, and last year Nelson Mandela warned that a war on Iraq would turn into a 'holocaust'. [more...]

Berlusconi's outburst

The Italian Prime Minister is hardly a good advertisement for the democratic process (nor, for that matter, is President Chirac). He proves that the deformation of the Italian body politic, due to such entrenched forces as the Catholic Church, feudalism, bureaucracy and organised crime, is long-lasting and still awaits drastic surgery. [more...]

Displaced placenames

'After a lifetime of referring to the place as Leningrad', my friend grumbled, 'I can't get used to calling it St Petersburg.' I tactlessly pointed out that at the time of its birth the city had actually been re-named Petrograd. The Bolsheviks finally renamed it after Lenin and, to emphasise the break with the Tsarist past, they also renamed Yekaterinburg (commemorating Catherine the Great) Sverdlovsk, and Tsaritsyn Stalingrad. [more...]

Stamford Hill Tannhäuser

The above heading most emphatically doesn't refer to an actual staging of Wagner's opera in N16. Those familiar with the work will know now that its full title is Tannhäuser and the Song Contest on the Wartburg. What I want to write about is a song contest - or, to use Wagner's term - Sängerkrieg (singers' war) that took place at a Stamford Hill youth club just over 60 years ago. [more...]

Jewish immigration featured on national website

'Moving Here', a new website recording and illustrating the history of immigrant groups settling in Britain in the last 200 years, gives prominence to the Jewish community which was established prior to and during the twentieth century. Sponsored by the National Archive, and the result of two years' research, the website also features the Caribbean, Irish and South Asian immigrant communities. [more...]

A culture brought vividly to life (book review)

THE PITY OF IT ALL: A PORTRAIT OF JEWS IN GERMANY 1743-1933
Amos Elon
Allen Lane, 2003 [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Insurance claims final deadline

The closing date for submitting applications to the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims is 30 September 2003. The Commission was established in November 1998 to settle unpaid life insurances bought in pre-war Europe from a range of insurance companies. To date, more than 90,000 claims have been filed and more than $30 million (approximately £20 million) has been awarded. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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