Extracts from the Feb 2001 Journal

Defence matters

The ‘media control’  libel needs to be as rigorously combated as any other [more...]

1940 and All That

Children in the 1950s were brought up to be proud of Britain, even the children of refugees like myself. Not so much because I revelled in feeling part of the great and victorious empire that had coloured half the globe red – anyone with any sense of history understood even then that, with India independent, Britain had reverted to a smaller, European role. No, it was pride in the imperial power’s last act on the grand stage of world history, when for a year after the fall of France it had stood alone against Germany, had administered the first crucial setback to the all-conquering Nazi machine, and had made Hitler’s defeat at least a possibility. [more...]

2½ Cheers for PC

You may remember the “U (upper class) or non-U” controversy of the Fifties. Today’s most bandied about catchphrase is, of course, ‘PC (politically correct) or non-PC’. And, despite the fact that political correctness offers a sitting target for broad satire along the lines of ‘Where is the wheelchair access on this combat helicopter?’, it is, overall, a good thing. In fact anyone who has experienced racial discrimination must account it a very good thing indeed. [more...]

Central Office to co-ordinate Holocaust claims

An Umbrella Group of six organisations, which co-operate in representing and supporting victims of Nazi persecution, has established a Central Office for Holocaust Claims to co-ordinate Holocaust-era restitution and compensation enquiries in the UK. Michael Newman, previously a researcher at the Holocaust Educational Trust and editor of its authoritative newsletter, has been appointed the first claims officer and is based at the AJR’s offices in Hampstead. He recently completed a project as outreach co-ordinator for the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims. [more...]

Opera uproar

Of late, opera houses in different countries have been much in the headlines – unfortunately largely for non-musical reasons. La Fenice in Venice burnt down, the Bolshoi faced financial ruin, Covent Garden was beset by rebuilding problems, Bayreuth riven by feuds among the Wagner clan and now the cash-strapped Berlin municipality needs to shed an entire opera house. Since opera can never pay for itself, it requires either public subvention or munificent patrons. In Berlin the authorities who, in Cold War days, subsidised the arts to the hilt for propagandist reasons, are currently embroiled in a painful cost-cutting exercise – while captains of industry seem to lack the Maecenas instinct. (One wonders if German musicians sometimes regret the emigration of the likes of Paul Hamlyn.) [more...]


Sir John Krebs and the FSA

His father, refugee biochemist and Nobel laureate Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (Science Notebook, June 2000), was Professor of Biochemistry at Oxford University. He is John Richard Krebs, born in 1945, Royal Society Research Professor in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, and recently knighted. Last year he became much more widely known as the first Chairman of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). [more...]

Thoughts about forgiveness

How easy is it to forgive? For Jews, the answer would seem to be `not at all', particularly with regard to the Holocaust. Even the complex mechanism of seeking and granting forgiveness during the period preceding Yom Kippur belies the impression given by references to the subject in common parlance and biblical allusion that the process is relatively straightforward. [more...]