Extracts from the May 2012 Journal

Lotte Kramer’s collected poems

Lotte Kramer, born Lotte Wertheimer in Mainz in 1923, started writing poetry only relatively late, in 1979, when what she calls ‘the ice-break of words’ induced her to confront the traumatic experiences of her childhood: the humiliation and suffering inflicted on her as a Jew, the parting from her parents when she left for Britain on a Kindertransport train in July 1939, and the loss of many family members in the Holocaust, including her parents, who were deported to Piaski, near Lublin in Poland. These experiences are central to the substantial volume of her New and Collected Poems, published in 2011 by Rockingham Press of Ware, Hertfordshire, priced £9.99. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

The shifting demographic of British art is explored by Tate Britain in Migrations: Journeys into British Art, an examination of the multi-culturalism influencing home talent. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, the experience of European immigrants, including Dutch painters and later those in flight from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, may have some resonance with today’s refugees. But many 17th-century artists came here to seek British patronage. We can reflect on Holbein’s Henry V111 or Anthony van Dyck’s Charles 1, while 19th-century artistic ideas flowed through France, Britain and America. [more...]


When I first met Gerda Hoffer, who had been recommended to me as a teacher of German, she was living in a pleasant flat in Jerusalem’s Rechavia quarter. A slight figure with a sharply intelligent face and long, white hair which she wore piled high in an elegantly bouffant coiffure, she set me to work almost immediately. To my surprise, I soon found myself writing little weekly essays in German as she tried to expand my vocabulary, guide me through the intricacies of German grammar and find subjects of mutual interest to discuss. She soon became a fixed part of my weekly routine. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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