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Broken Lives

Filed in Books by on October 18, 2019 0 Comments
Broken Lives

The 20th century brought calamity and renewal to Germany, transforming it from a military aggressor into a pillar of European democracy. Germany suffered territorial losses and hyperinflation following its defeat in World War I. The Weimar Republic was a time of hope, but the Depression paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s racist regime, which persecuted its […]

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Tolerance Trumps Bigotry In Toronto

Filed in Commentary by on October 16, 2019 0 Comments
Tolerance Trumps Bigotry In Toronto

Soufi’s, a Syrian restaurant in Toronto, shut down on October 8 after receiving a barrage of hate mail and threatening phone calls. On October 11, the popular restaurant reopened and its nine employees were back at work, serving up Syrian food like Maneesh, a savory flatbread slathered with various toppings; Knaffeh a shredded phylo pastry […]

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Turkey’s Invasion Of Syria Brings Chaos

Filed in Middle East by on October 14, 2019 0 Comments
Turkey’s Invasion Of Syria Brings Chaos

President Donald Trump’s momentous decision to pull more U.S. forces out of Syria has unleashed a chaotic and confusing roller-coaster of events in the Middle East that could well be detrimental to American interests in the region. Trump, after phoning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, withdrew some 50 U.S. troops from outposts in […]

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The Specter Of Neo-Nazism In Germany

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on October 12, 2019 0 Comments
The Specter Of Neo-Nazism In Germany

The reconstituted Jewish community in Germany is rightly shocked and appalled by the news that a heavily-armed neo-Nazi terrorist almost succeeded in murdering scores of Jews in the eastern city of Halle on Yom Kippur. In what could have been the most heinous assault against Jews in Germany since the nation-wide Kristallnacht pogrom of November […]

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#Anne Frank: Parallel Stories

Filed in Film by on October 10, 2019 0 Comments
#Anne Frank: Parallel Stories

Anne Frank, the inspirational Dutch Jewish diarist, would have been 90 this year had she lived through the Holocaust. Anne, of course, was not the only Jewish adolescent whose precious life was snuffed out by the Nazis and their collaborators. Lest we forget, one million Jewish children were murdered during the Shoah, a tragedy that […]

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Undercover In The Jungle

Filed in Television by on October 8, 2019 0 Comments
Undercover In The Jungle

I wish I could have joined Will Benson and his intrepid crew in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. They spent almost a month in one of its wildest, most inaccessible areas, installing about 50 remotely-operated cameras to trees, at nesting sites and on animal trails to film its exotic wildlife in real time. Benson’s documentary, Undercover […]

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The Threat Of White Supremacist Terrorism

Filed in Commentary by on October 7, 2019 0 Comments
The Threat Of White Supremacist Terrorism

The first anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American Jews in U.S. history is approaching. On October 27, a heavily-armed, middle-aged antisemite named Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and, in a frenzy of untrammelled hatred, fatally shot 11 of its congregants. Exactly six months later, John Earnest, 19, […]

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Intimate Violence

Filed in Books by on October 5, 2019 0 Comments
Intimate Violence

During a tumultuous six-week period in the summer of 1941, following Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union and the retreat of Soviet forces from Poland’s eastern borderlands, a wave of pogroms swept over hundreds of cities, towns and villages in a vast region stretching from the Baltic states in the north to Romania in the […]

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Dolce Fine Giornata

Filed in Film by on October 4, 2019 0 Comments
Dolce Fine Giornata

Jacek Borcuch’s drama, Dolce Fine Giornata, which opens in Toronto on October 11, oscillates between the sylvan splendor of Tuscany and the hard world beyond its soft, rolling green hills. Maria Linde (Krystyna Janda), a Nobel Prize laureate of Polish Jewish descent, lives in a rustic farmhouse with her Italian husband (Antonio Catania), her single […]

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The Tobacconist

Filed in Film by on October 2, 2019 0 Comments
The Tobacconist

Nikolaus Leytner’s The Tobacconist, a German-language feature film set in late-193os Vienna, fleshes out an imaginary friendship between a young Austrian man and the celebrated psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Unfolding against the Nazi takeover of Austria, it is a jolting reminder of how easily a tolerant society can accommodate itself to totalitarianism and racism. The main character in The […]

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