lady painting

 

Jan 2004 Journal

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RG's Interface

Studies in contrast Among the continuing flood of books on the Third Reich John Cornwell's Hitler's Scientists (Viking) stands out. It contrasts the physicist Walter Gerlach's sobs on hearing about Hiroshima - not because of the sufferings of the victims, but because he and his colleagues had failed to develop a German atomic bomb - with the action of Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist at Los Alamos who resigned when he found out that Germany didn't have atomic weapons.

In a lighter vein, Anthony Read's The Devil's Disciples (Cape) deals with the lives of the Nazi top brass. Read quotes the puzzling fact that a few years before her marriage to the arch-antisemite Goebbels, Magda Goebbels had had an affair with the Zionist leader, and emissary to Berlin, Chaim Arlosoroff.

Berlin's Fleet Street The area round the Hausvogteiplatz, the location of the Jüdische Allgemeine editorial office, has traditional connections with the publishing of books and newspapers. Book production was associated with the name of Ullstein, newspapers with that of Mosse. Rudolf Mosse's cousin Theodor Wolff, editor of the influential Berliner Tageblatt during the Weimar years, is commemorated in the name of a local park.

Egocentric thespian Galicia-born Alexander Granach, famous stage star of Berlin's 'golden' 1920s and subsequent Hollywood character actor - Ninotchka, The Seventh Cross - was the subject of reminiscences by his Israel-resident son Gad at a Berlin book launch. The 88-year-old Gad complained that his father had omitted him from his autobiography Da geht ein Mensch, and even stole the show at his barmitzvah by reciting from the Torah as if he were on stage.

Hungarian musical echoes (a) The 1930s hit Gloomy Sunday, banned from radio transmission for allegedly prompting a wave of suicides, provides the title and soundtrack for a new film. Starring Erika Marozsan, this schmaltzy concoction enacts an eternal triangle story against a Holocaust background. (b) The operetta composer Emmerich Kalman died in New York 50 years ago.

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