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Extracts from the Nov 2004 Journal

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité - et Vérité? (editorial)

France occupies a special place in the collective Jewish psyche. It does so for several positive, and one salient negative, reason: it was the post-revolutionary Convention (parliament) of 1790 that issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Decree of Jewish Emancipation. There too Heine and Börne found asylum, Meyerbeer and Offenbach gained more fame than in their native narrow-minded Germany, Sarah Bernhard became the world's first drama queen, and Léon Blum was the first ever (unbaptised) Jewish prime minister in Europe. [more...]

Home is where Herts is

'London Jews head north', proclaimed the Jewish Chronicle's front-page headline earlier this year. Although 'north' in this instance meant Bushey rather than Burnley, I consider this just another typical instance of Jews swimming against the tide, the universal direction of which is southward. [more...]

World War II: French collaboration cover-up?

French officials and guards of French-run concentration camps in South West France continued to deport inmates of all nationalities to a near-certain death in Germany even as the country was being liberated, according to an exclusive report in The Guardian newspaper. Other internees continued to be held in those camps by French guards when the war was over until 1949 - proof, the paper alleges, that France went to extraordinary lengths to conceal evidence of collaboration. [more...]

Time frames and place names

Jews count time from the Creation, Christians from the birth of Jesus, and Muslims from Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina. Roman chronology began with the foundation of their city. Finally, because the French Revolutionaries claimed they were restarting the evolution of society from scratch, they declared the overthrow of the king their year Zero, and even renamed the months, turning February into Pluviose (rainy), August into Thermidor (hot), and November into Brumaire (foggy). [more...]

Forgotten veterans

On a recent motoring trip through France we passed a German military cemetery near Arras. Looking at the graves, we found that interspersed with the large number of crosses there were some tombstones. On further examination, we discovered that they were inscribed with both Hebrew and German names as these fallen soldiers were obviously Jewish. [more...]

Jewish Military Museum opens in London

The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, AJEX, has opened a new and enlarged military museum in Hendon, North London. Its premises at AJEX's head office in Stamford Hill were far too restricting to do justice to a collection which documents, illustrates and records the outstanding contribution made to the British military by men and women of the Jewish faith, of all ranks. [more...]

Letter from Israel

They came in their hundreds, in full force, fighting fit and in fine fettle. The Yekkes were attending an international conference devoted to themselves, held recently in Jerusalem. Its purpose was to examine the heritage of the Jews of Central Europe to various aspects of Israeli society and culture. Jokes were told about Yekkes and by Yekkes and, above all, every session started on time (most unusual for Israel). [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Additional Austrian payments

Following an agreement reached at the beginning of September, recipients of the $7,000 award from the National Fund in respect of confiscated rental apartments, household belongings and personal possessions will receive an additional compensation of $1,200 (approx. £660). The awards are made from the residual monies already allocated to the National Fund. [more...]