Extracts from the Feb 2011 Journal

Books of interest

Over recent years, the literature on the Holocaust, including the fate of the Jews of Germany and Austria, has become so vast that it is as good as impossible to keep up with it. So perhaps the best that one can do is to bring to readers’ attention a few volumes selected from the many that have appeared. If the sheer quantity of what is being written on the subject is daunting, that does not mean that there is nothing first-rate that remains to be produced. On the contrary, the quality of books published is remarkably high, and they often cover subjects as yet unresearched or offer new and challenging perspectives that go beyond the findings of existing studies. [more...]

Kindertransport leader awarded MBE

Hermann Hirschberger, a longstanding member of the AJR and former chairman of its Kindertransport Special Interest Group, has been awarded an MBE for services to the Jewish community and Kindertransport evacuees in the New Year’s Honours list. [more...]

Business as usual

‘Got your gas mask? Got your torchlight?’ was no longer a joke in September 1940. The ‘phoney war’ was over. At the time, I shared a room with my Aunt Ida in Sutherland Avenue in west London. My aunt worked as a finisher in the rag trade; I kept books in Roehampton in the private home of the managing director, in the accounts department of an insurance company most of which had already been evacuated to Maidenhead. [more...]

Art notes (review)

The Ben Uri has announced new acquisitions with the help of private and public funds. They include Hans Feibusch’s dramatic gouache The Almighty and George Grosz’s highly graphic Interrogation, which depicts a man being tortured by Nazis. Both share a fearsome authenticity. [more...]

Hidden lives (review)

This is a highly unusual work of fiction which is at the same time a thinly disguised and compelling autobiographical novel. [more...]

Letter from Israel

Despite claims to the contrary, Israel is a secular country. There is, however, a modicum of truth in the assertion that the stream of Judaism defined as Orthodox exerts undue influence, both political and social, over various aspects of life in Israel. Notwithstanding, the majority of Israelis remain doggedly secular, preferring to go to the beach, visit scenic beauty spots or frequent shopping centres on the Sabbath rather than attend synagogue. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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