Extracts from the Mar 2002 Journal

A sense of déjà vu (editorial)

It seems only a little while ago that we celebrated the onset of a new century (and millennium) and already the sensation of déjà vu is overwhelming. On recent Mondays and Tuesdays the deserted station concourse at Waterloo has evoked the Winter of Discontent, and the sight of yellow-armletted RMT pickets on TV stirred memories of Scargill. The other Friday night the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed John Adam's The Death of Klinghoffer, an opera about PLO terrorists' hijack of the cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985. This work, in the words of the New Statesman, 'refuses to dehumanise the hijackers who present themselves as idealists and not vandals'. [more...]

Leftwing antisemitism - an idea whose time has come

Pierre Joseph Proudhon was a nineteenth-century French socialist (with anarchist leanings) best remembered for coining the slogan 'Property is theft!' In reality, he did not want all property abolished, drawing the line at peasants' small holdings and artisans' workrooms. The property owners he had in his sights were the entrepreneurs who set up factories staffed by ill-paid proletarians. [more...]

'Resistance and Rescue' theme for University's Holocaust Memorial Day

For the second year in succession, the support of the AJR enabled the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex and its director, Professor Edward Timms, to promote a specially devised programme of survivor testimony, lectures and film with which to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. This year's theme was 'Resistance and Rescue, then and now'. Students and members of staff participated from Sussex and the neighbouring campus of the University of Brighton, as well as sixth-formers and teachers from the city. [more...]

Eros in exile

We live in an age where anyone wanting to publicise something new - whether it be a mobile phone, a cookery book or an arts event - is well advised to envelop it in a sexual ambience. Bikini-clad lovelies draped over shiny new cars at the Motor Show are one example of this; another was the publicity for the launch of Amanda Foreman's biography of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire. Posters showed the apparently naked young author standing behind a chest-high pillar formed by stacked-up copies of her book. [more...]

Combating the 'Big Silence': Hitler and the man-in-the-street

'How was it possible for Hitler and the Nazi movement to win the "hearts" of millions of ordinary Germans?' This fundamental question remains unanswered despite the enormous volume of research on the Nazi era, Stephan Marks told a well attended international conference on genocide organised by the Wiener Library on Holocaust Memorial Day. [more...]

A child refugee in England

Many who came to England on the Kindertransport have horror stories to tell of winters spent in cold chalets or of being treated as servants by the host family. Theirs are not emotions 'recollected in tranquillity' but are of a bitterness which seems to include all British Jews who fostered children. I don't doubt the reality of their stories, but I feel it's only fair to explain that my experiences were rather different. [more...]

The ultimate conspiracy

The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution
by Mark Roseman
Penguin, £9.99 [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Austrian General Settlement Fund

In addition to the individual awards of $7,000 made to Holocaust victims who lived in Austria before the war, the General Settlement Fund (GSF) provides payments 'to acknowledge the moral responsibility for losses and damages inflicted ... and to settle comprehensively unanswered questions of restitution and compensation'. [more...]