Extracts from the Nov 2005 Journal

Making a New Life: Education

One particularly vivid memory shared by many of our German interviewees is the receipt of the letter informing their parents that they were no longer to attend mainstream schooling. In some instances, this bitter memory is tempered by recollections of the private regret expressed by individual teachers over the loss of their Jewish pupils. Other interviewees were forced to give up places at university and the hopes of following a longed-for career. This loss of opportunities and the aspirations that rested upon them were, of course, a common feature of the refugee experience. As part of our project we have been examining how refugees in the Yorkshire region adapted to these changes in circumstances as part of the process of 'Making a New Life' (See Griselda Pollock, 'Making a New Life Project: Holocaust survivors in Yorkshire', AJR Journal, October 2005). [more...]

Point of view

A dream gone sour

Following the Anschluss, my family's problem was where to escape to. Having read Herzl's The Jewish State, I became convinced that Palestine offered the solution as a home for all Jews. I was offered a 'certificate' necessary for legal immigration under the British mandate. However, had I accepted it, I would have had to leave my parents behind. My brother was already established in England, working for our English cousin, who was now offering us a home. The resulting British visas thus put an end to my Zionist dream. [more...]

Haunting memories laid to rest

Last June I returned to Austria at the invitation of the Jewish Welfare Service (JWS). I went as one of about ten Austrian refugees. Each of us was expected to talk to Vienna school students about our individual Holocaust experience. The JWS paid our flight and hotel expenses and kindly looked after our general well-being, whereas young volunteers from an Austrian NGO that focuses on Holocaust survivors arranged and guided our school visits. [more...]

A loyal and patriotic German Jew (book review)

by Moses Goldschmidt
ed. Raymond Fromm
Ellert & Richter Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 2004, 208 pp., price unknown [more...]

A letter to the stars (book review)

Vienna: Jugend und Volk, 2005, 320 pp. www.lettertothestars.at (in German) [more...]

Letter from Israel

Weddings in Israel provide endless material for anthropological study. There is no civil marriage; hence all weddings must be conducted in accordance with Jewish law. Since the authorities do not recognise Reform or Liberal Judaism, only the orthodox rite is permitted. This sometimes gives rise to incongruous situations given the very varied character of and level of religious observance of Israelis. Formerly, orthodox rabbis would insist on 'modest dress' for the bride, so that sleeveless wedding dresses were banned. Today, though, bare shoulders are almost de rigeur. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Hungarian Gold Train

The proposed distribution of monies in the $25.5 million (approx. £14m) Hungarian Gold Train Settlement was approved by a Miami-based judge at the end of September. The litigation was brought against the US government by Hungarian Holocaust survivors for the plundering of an estimated $200 million (approx £111m) of their treasures in gold, jewellery, Oriental rugs, fabrics, personal possessions and artworks by US army troops during the Second World War. [more...]