Extracts from the Jan 2003 Journal

Of ballots and bullets (editorial)

Although predictions are always hazardous one can safely say that 2003 will be the sort of year alluded to in the Chinese phrase ‘interesting times’. Three issues – two of them interrelated – dwarf all others and cast long, dark shadows over the coming year. The freestanding issue, so to speak, relates to domestic affairs. It is the face-off between HM Government and the resurgent trade unions. Should Prime Minister Tony Blair seem to be following in the footsteps of his last Labour predecessor, Jim Callaghan, the perception alone will have gone a long way towards making the country ungovernable. [more...]

New Year Letter from the Editor

The year 2002 has been – to quote Her Majesty the Queen – quite an annus miserabilis. This description holds good, as the Pope would say, both in orbe et urbe (in the world and the city or shtetl). During my 15 years’ editorship to date, I have rarely been subjected to as much opprobrium as during 2002. [more...]

Refugee Voices: AJR oral history collection launched in the north

The AJR has launched a successor project to the Continental Britons exhibition, which closed in November 2002 after a run of five months at the Jewish Museum in London. The exhibition was a remarkable success, attracting an estimated 8,000 visitors. [more...]

Germany and Austria send out mixed signals

Since 1945 the paths of Austria and Germany – two countries which had merged ecstatically seven years earlier – have diverged quite a lot. The Austrians, building on the wartime fiction manufactured by the Allies that they had been Hitler’s first victim, largely managed to shuffle off co-responsibility for Nazi atrocities and pillage. The Germans – for all that they made adroit use of the Cold War to blunt the impact of Allied punishment for their crimes – were more thoroughly denazified. [more...]

Continental Britons: Cosmopolitan Jews: identity and assimilation

Dr Marion Berghahn, social anthropologist, publisher and originator of the name Continental Britons, the title of her book published 20 years ago, spoke on ‘Identity and Assimilation’ at the Jewish Museum, Camden Town. She based her findings on interviews conducted in the 1970s and 1980s with several hundred German-speaking Jewish refugees living in Britain. [more...]

Continental Britons: Churches’ muffled voices

Dr Margaret Brearley, special adviser on Holocaust matters to the Church of England, addressed the question of ‘Protest and Passivity: The British Churches and National Socialist Persecution of Jews, 1933-1945’ at the Jewish Museum. [more...]

'The Pope’s daughter’ (profile of Judith Kerr)

Like Caesar’s Gaul, refugee lives tend to divide into three parts: the old country, uprooting and war, and the new beginning. This tripartite division underlies Judith Kerr’s autobiography in novel form, the first – and best-known – part of which is entitled When Hitler Stole White Rabbit. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Austrian pensions breakthrough

Following the success of the British banks’ guidelines on the removal of charges levied on Holocaust reparations, the Department for Pensions in Austria is introducing a new system to forward payments to refugees and survivors from Austria. [more...]

Reaching out to the next generation - Beth Shalom Web Centre

‘I cannot start to sum up my thoughts on the Holocaust’, says Shaun Maskney, a 15-year-old student from Derby. ‘I found the truth, facts and stories both shocking and horrific, but I think by studying this we are learning how to prevent such dreadful events happening again.’ [more...]