Extracts from the Feb 2008 Journal

All Our Yesterdays – the 1960s

Ah, the Sixties! Sex, drugs and rock ’n roll, all enveloped in a heady haze of reefer smoke. ‘If you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there.’ Seriously speaking, though, the Sixties were a decade of fast-moving change, during which entire areas of British society underwent a fundamental transformation. How did the refugees from Nazism react to the ‘decade of revolution’? After all, they had mostly arrived in Britain in the late 1930s; the society into which they had integrated and with which they had become familiar was that of the Second World War, late 1940s austerity and the cosy consumerism of the 1950s. The explosion of youth culture, of radical anti-establishment politics and of challenges to authority and convention across the board, exhilarating though it was, would have aroused mixed feelings in them, as it did in the over-30s generally. [more...]

Second World War internee records for the Isle of Man

As is well known, the Isle of Man (IOM) was used as a centre for holding enemy aliens during both world wars. The Manx National Heritage Library, located in the Manx Museum in Douglas, receives a steady stream of enquiries on this topic. An exhibition on internment held in 1994 with an accompanying booklet entitled Living with the Wire and the libraries’ selected bibliography Internment during World Wars 1 & 2 increased the number of enquiries received and led to the decision in October 2000 to establish a project to reconstruct as complete a list as possible of men, women and children interned or detained on the IOM in 1940-45. [more...]

Art notes

Milein Cosman and her sketchbook are rarely apart. Even now, when the diminutive artist’s eyesight is failing, it is an opportunity to discover the ‘abstraction’ – or essence of the person. Her pen-and-ink drawings of the many writers, artists and musicians she has met, who include Iris Murdoch, Francis Bacon and Igor Stravinsky, demonstrate this economy of line in order to capture the intellectual intensity of her sitters. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

We have received the following statement from the Claims Conference in connection with the proposed litigation in the United States against the Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. [more...]

Statement by the Claims Conference on Holocaust-era insurance
The Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act (H.R. 1746) proposed legislation currently pending in Congress would reopen processes that were established to deal with Holocaust-era insurance policies through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (‘ICHEIC’). [more...]

Letter from Israel

When I contemplate my time at the Jewish primary school I attended in north-west London some 50 years ago, there are few incidents of note that remain in my memory. Dull lessons, stultifying routine and hackneyed custom are all that swim into my ken. I do not recollect a single outing to any of the myriad sites of interest or cultural enrichment in which London abounds. I hope things have improved today. [more...]


Sir – Memorials can take different forms. In my case, it is my clothes hanger. It has lived quietly in my wardrobe for many, many years, among all the wire and plastic hangers. This one – for me a very special one – is made of wood with a faded pink silk cover with black lettering saying: Richard Brill, Praha 1, Celetna ul. 18. Richard and his wife were my mother’s uncle and aunt. As the hanger says, they had a ready-made ladies’ dress shop in Celetna Street, near the Old Town Square in Prague. They worked hard in their little shop to make a living and to bring up their daughter Rose well. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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