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Extracts from the Mar 2001 Journal

Unquiet on the Westminster front.

Reflections on the interaction of politicians, press and public.

Last November Americans cast their ballots. In February Israelis went to the polls. Within weeks we are likely to be doing the same in this country. The US election result looked seriously flawed. The Israeli election was called precipitately to overcome a security crisis compounded by parliamentary gridlock. By contrast, the UK general election looks set to be a routine affair, with nobody challenging the outcome. [more...]

AJR contributes to success of UK’s first Holocaust Memorial Day

As its contribution to the first Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom, the AJR initiated and sponsored events on the campuses of the University of Sussex and Imperial College London, altogether reaching some 2,000 students.

‘Remembrance Through Film’

Lecturers and teachers joined students from Sussex and Brighton Universities, and a number of Holocaust refugees and survivors from the city, to participate freely in a full day of sessions on Holocaust Remembrance Through Film. The opening session was chaired by Professor Edward Timms, Head of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies which developed and organised the day’s programme. University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alasdair Smith, said that one could not be neutral between good and evil and stressed the virtues of tolerance on a campus of cultural and ethnic diversity. He thanked the AJR for their support and anticipated that a rewarding day would carry a wider message. AJR’s Head of Community Relations, Ronald Channing, invited Prof Smith to feature the event permanently in the university’s annual calendar. [more...]

Band of brothers

The US Declaration of Independence states: “We hold this truth to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” In the same vein Kipling wrote: ‘The Colonel’s lady and Julie O’Grady are sisters under the skin.’ Unfortunately neither is the case, as IQ tests and DNA samples prove. People are simply born unequal (and by this I am not referring to their economic circumstances which is a totally different topic). Sometimes this basic inequality is highlighted by the same family producing not just one, but two, or even more, outstanding talents. In painting we had the Caraccis and the Bellinis, in music assorted Bachs and Strausses, and in literature the Mann brothers, as well as Joshua and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Anglo-Jewish literati include the playwriting twins Peter (Amadeus) and Anthony (Sleuth) Shaffer and the brothers Emmanuel and Barnet Litvinoff. Politics has thrown up such diverse types as Otto and Gregor Strasser, John and Robert Kennedy – fraternally united by assassins’ bullets even in death – and Austen and Neville Chamberlain. Among Anglo-Jewish politicians one could mention the ministerial Silkins and the less elevated Silvermans – as well as Leon Brittan and his financial journalist brother. Their Soviet Russian counterparts were the Kaganovitches whom one would rather not mention, whose sister Bella was rumoured to have been romantically linked to Stalin. [more...]

For the record

Paul Yogi Mayer, JDISCHE OLYMPIASIEGER. SPORT – EIN SPRUNGBRETT FOR MINORITÄTEN, AGON Sportverlag, Kassel, 2000, £10. [more...]

Fighters and visionaries

Rich Cohen, THE AVENGERS, Jonathan Cape, 2000 [more...]

Profile – Richard Fry

Even in these days of longevity, a man like Richard Fry, who celebrated his
100th birthday last September, is a rarity. Now living in Balint House, he looks back on a tumultuous century in which he played his part as a distinguished journalist. And he can still give sharp advice and opinion on major contemporary issues. [more...]

The exclusivity of death

The televised Holocaust Day ceremony was so moving and dignified that it ought to have silenced those who criticised the very concept of an annual commemoration. Its success ought not, however, blind us to the fact that the precise nature of the event at Central Hall, Westminster, left several issues unresolved. The most fundamental of them is whether the Shoah was unique or fitted into a broader pattern of mega-atrocities. Here, alas, considerations of what is true, and what is palatable to public opinion, are in conflict. The public would presumably view any insistence on the uniqueness of the Shoah as a form of Jewish exclusivity, re-affirming the much-resented claim to ‘chosen people’ status. [more...]


This column informs and advises victims of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust and their heirs on procedures for claiming compensation for persecution and for the restitution of assets stolen or looted during the Second World War.

Holocaust era insurance policies

Details of more than 20,000 insurance policies taken out by Holocaust victims who originated from Eastern Europe are now available on the website of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims. For further information about the claim procedure call free on 0800 169 8318 and to search the lists visit www.icheic.org.

Belgian compensation claims

Claims for compensation for looted and stolen property in Belgium should be sent to Mr Rudi Van Doorslaer, Scientific Director, Research & Management Division, Commission pour l’Etude des Biens Juifs, 114 Boulevard Bishoffhein, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: 0032 2214 0910. Fax: 0032 2214 0911.

Trading with the Enemy

Applications for assets seized by the British Government under Trading with the Enemy legislation can be filed at the DTI in London. Further information and a database of 30,000 names are posted at www.enemyproperty.gov.uk Written applications should be addressed to Enemy Property, Department of Trade and Industry, 10 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET. The telephone number is 020 7215 3485.

Slave Labour

Holocaust victims used as slave and forced labourers are filing claims for compensation through the Foundation: Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future, established jointly by the German Government and German industry. Those who have not received prior information about the claim’s procedure and wish to submit a claim are invited to obtain an application form from this office.

Further help

Assistance with the completion of application forms is available (by appointment only) from the Central Office for Holocaust Claims at the offices of the AJR in Hampstead. Written enquiries should be sent to Michael Newman, Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), 1 Hampstead Gate, 1a Frognal, London NW3 6AL. [link]