Extracts from the Sep 2009 Journal

Jews in double jeopardy

The Nazis reserved a particularly vicious brand of hatred for Germans who were both left-wing political activists and Jews. When such people fell into Nazi hands, they were habitually treated with exceptional and systematic brutality. One of the first was the writer and left-wing anarchist Erich Mühsam, a colourful figure on the Munich literary and political scene. He was arrested within a few hours of the Reichstag fire, on the night of 28 February 1933, and incarcerated in a concentration camp, where he was subjected to appalling treatment. The beatings and torture continued after he was transferred to Oranienburg concentration camp, and in July 1934 his battered body was ‘found’ hanging in a camp latrine; he had been murdered by his guards. [more...]

Confused as never before (Point of view series)

My feelings are confused as never before. I have always been a fervent Zionist, like my father before me. For my barmitzvah he gave me the biography of Theodore Herzl by Alex Bein – translated from the German. The same year, came one of our happiest moments when the State of Israel was proclaimed. We closed our eyes to the terrorist acts of the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvai Leumi. We hated Ernest Bevin, considering him an anti-Semite. We were shocked about what happened to the Exodus. We defended the killing of the two British sergeants, the blowing up of the King David Hotel, the assassination of Count Bernadotte. Our new heroes were David Ben-Gurion and the Haganah. [more...]

Kindertransport Survey completed

Going public [more...]

Art Notes (review)

With remarkable vigour and dedication, two Russian-born women have brought new life to the work of gifted Czech painter, poet and librettist Peter Kien, who died in Auschwitz aged 25. A poignant exhibition celebrating his work continues this month in the grim setting of the Czech former ghetto and Nazi transit camp, Terezin, in honour of what would have been Kien’s 90th birthday. The exhibition, Franz Peter Kien – I Think, Love and Hate in Colours, in Forms!, is curated by Elena Makarova. An extensive catalogue, detailing Kien’s early life in the former Sudetenland town of Varnsdorf, was written by Ira Rabin to accompany the exhibition. [more...]

AJR Report

In July, the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism (GSF) began the disbursement of the closing payments from the Fund along the lines of the final quotas agreed by the Fund’s Board of Trustees. The GSF was established as part of the Washington Agreement signed in January 2001. [more...]

Letter from Israel

One Friday morning I joined my husband on a trip to Haifa to meet others like him whose parents were originally from a place called Chortkov. Unlike myself and many others, my better half has never paid much attention to his family history, and it was more because of my insistence than his own interest that he agreed to attend the meeting. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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