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Extracts from the Jan 2010 Journal

The threat from the far right

The BBC’s invitation to Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, to appear on Question Time last October understandably raised concerns among the Jewish refugees from Hitler in Britain about a potential upsurge of support for the extreme right. Might we not be going back to the 1930s, when Fascism and Nazism were on the crest of their hideous wave, the streets of European cities resounded to the tramp of marching jackboots and anti-Semitism was in full flood? [more...]

A Sandwich resident remembers the Kitchener Camp

Clare Ungerson writes: As AJR members will know, there was a refugee camp for Jewish men funded and organised by the Central British Fund for German Jewry just next to the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich in East Kent. In 1939 about 4,000 men were housed in an old First World War army camp, known as the Kitchener Camp after Lord Kitchener, Commander in Chief of the armed services at the turn of the nineteenth-twentieth centuries. [more...]

Art notes

At the age of 96, Elisabeth Tomalin, ‘A Searching Journey in Colours’ at Kentish Town Health Centre until 15 December, can reflect on an astonishing career. The Dresden-born refugee came to Britain in the 1930s and, as war with Germany edged nearer, she joined the Ministry of Information to design propaganda posters with Abram Games. She became a successful architectural and, later, textile designer. [more...]

Berlin’s other commemoration

The world’s media went into overdrive on 9 November 2009 with its coverage of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the celebrations in Germany. The commemoration of another key German event on this day seemed all but forgotten.
Yet only six days previously Chancellor Angela Merkel had given a major speech before both Houses of Congress in Washington with the Wall as its principal theme. She had referred early in her speech to ‘the catastrophe that was the Second World War, to the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, to the hate, destruction and annihilation that Germany brought upon Europe and the world. November 9 is just a few days away. It was on November 9, 1989 that the Berlin Wall fell and it was also on November 9 in 1938 that an indelible mark was branded into Germany’s memory and Europe’s history. On that day the National Socialists destroyed synagogues, setting them on fire, and murdered countless people. It was the beginning of what led to the break with civilisation, the Shoah. I cannot stand before you today without remembering the victims of this day and of the Shoah.’
Later in her speech, Merkel stated: ‘A nuclear bomb in the hands of an Iranian president who denies the Holocaust, threatens Israel and denies Israel the right to exist is not acceptable.’ And, in an interview with Bildzeitung a few days later, she was asked ‘9 November is the anniversary not only of the fall of the Wall, but also of the burning of the synagogues in 1938 – how can you explain that Germans as a people were capable of both?’ She simply replied: ‘For burning synagogues and the Holocaust which followed I have no explanation. It was and remains incomprehensible.’ [more...]

Letter from Israel

A refreshing pro-Israel voice [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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