Extracts from the Jun 2007 Journal

Cultural legacy

One of the most distinctive features that the Jewish refugees from Central Europe brought with them to Britain was their culture. This was a legitimate source of pride to them, for the Jewish contribution to the culture of the German-speaking lands had been enormous; one need only cite the names of Heine and Marx, Freud and Einstein to make the point. After 1933, however, the pride that the German-speaking Jews had felt in assimilating into the German-language culture of their native countries turned very sour indeed. [more...]

Amor als Landschaftsmaler

Goethe remains one of the giants of European literature least known and understood in Britain. Is he as a Romantic, as his celebrated early novel Die Leiden des jungen Werther (The Sufferings of Young Werther) and his vividly passionate early poetry suggest? Or the greatest of the German Classical writers (a category none too clear in British minds), creator of the dramas Faust, Iphigenie auf Tauris and Torquato Tasso, the Wilhelm Meister novels and Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities)? The sheer breadth of his production also defies categorisation for, unlike Shakespeare, Calderón or Racine, he is not to be classed primarily as a dramatist, nor, like Cervantes, Balzac or Tolstoy, as a novelist, nor as a writer of verse, like Dante or Heine. [more...]

The Six-Day War: The real story

I remember the Six-Day War vividly because I was supposed to arrive in Jerusalem for a mini-sabbatical at the Hebrew University on 5 June 1967. The 40th anniversary of the war will be seen by historical revisionists as an opportunity to rewrite what happened. What follows is the real story. [more...]

Overcoming trauma: a weekend in Berlin

Berlin was my first Heimat as I was born there in 1935. She and I have spent almost a lifetime apart, yet we connected almost immediately when I visited her for a long weekend earlier this year. This wasn’t my first visit since leaving her in 1939 on the Kindertransport as I have visited her at least half a dozen times in between.Berlin and I have been through our separate trauma and, I think, we have come out the other side in reasonably good shape. [more...]

Let’s try to be fair to the Austrians (however difficult it may be)

When I wrote about my love/hate relationship with Vienna some months ago, many of you decided to attack me. ‘How can you have a love/hate relationship with a city whose citizens threw you and your family out?’, I was asked in the letters pages of the AJR Journal. ‘The relationship must be one of hate’, a reader wrote. ‘Visiting Vienna makes you and your family revolting’, someone else claimed. Well, I don’t hate Vienna and I don’t hate Austria and I think Hannah Lessing, a Jew, who is Secretary General of the National Fund and the General Settlement Fund, is doing a good job on our behalf! [more...]

Letter from Israel

Like migrating birds, they spend every winter in Eilat. Their home is in London, but the winter climate makes their old bones ache and, besides, she’s not too keen on housework. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

The International Tracing Service of the Red Cross
Under the terms of an agreement between the 11 governments which control the archive of the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross, the entire collection of records pertaining to some 17 million displaced victims of the Holocaust and the Second World War are expected to be fully scanned and made publicly available by the end of this year. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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