Extracts from the Mar 2006 Journal

Peoples, cars and people's cars

The 70th anniversary of the production in 1936 of the VW3, the prototype of the Volkswagen, underlies the historical irony that an industrial product so closely associated with National Socialism and Hitler personally should have become an icon of the anti-war left in 1960s America. Readers of a mawkish disposition will recall that it even metamorphosed into the 'Love Bug' in the Disney film Herbie. [more...]

Poor Bert Brecht

The title of Bertolt Brecht's autobiographical poem 'Vom armen B. B.', with its memorable opening lines 'Ich, Bertolt Brecht, bin aus den schwarzen Wäldern./ Meine Mutter trug mich in die Städte hinein/ Als ich in ihrem Leibe lag. Und die Kälte der Wälder/ Wird in mir bis zu meinem Absterben sein', came to mind when an article in The Times compared Brecht unfavourably with - of all people - Max Beerbohm. To compare one of the giants of modern theatre with the author of Zuleika Dobson is a masterpiece of blinkered insularity, even by the standards of the Murdoch press [more...]

Point of View

My love-hate relationship with Vienna

It was in the late forties that they put words to Johann Strauss's Emperor Waltz. There I was, in my teens, living in a market town called Banbury, when up swelled the words 'I was born in Vienna'. My wife is puzzled that the Emperor Waltz is so meaningful to me. 'How can you feel anything for a town, a country, a people, that threw you and your family out?', she asks. I haven't a clue, but I do. [more...]

Letter to my brother

You are nearly 10 years older than I. That doesn't make much difference now we are over 70 but it is a big difference whether you were only 10 in 1945 or already 20. When we last met in Germany we talked about the past. That is what I want to write to you about. [more...]

Letter from Israel

Catching the last night of the proms on television on New Year's Eve, I found that the final chorus was neither Land of Hope and Glory nor Henry Wood's sea shanties but Parry's setting of Blake's Jerusalem. To hear it sung with gusto by the thousands-strong audience was very touching. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Restitution of stolen Jewish property

The City of Vienna is searching for the former owners of art and cultural items stolen during the Nazi era so that the objects, owned by the City, can be returned to the rightful parties. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

[more ...]