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The Cigar Factory Of Isay Rottenberg

What was life like for a Jewish businessman in Adolf Hitler’s Germany? Hella Rottenberg and Sandra Rottenberg provide the answer in their intriguing book, The Cigar Factory of Isay Rottenberg: The Hidden History Of A Jewish Entrepreneur in Nazi Germany, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. The man they have chosen to profile is none […]

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Belonging And Betrayal

European Jews on a fairly considerable scale drifted into the visual arts world as collectors and dealers in the 19th century and became, against all odds, arbiters of taste. Once regarded as outsiders on the margins of high culture, they were suddenly thrust into positions of prestige and influence. Charles Dellheim, a professor of history […]

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Hitler’s American Gamble

The five momentous days from December 7 to December 11, 1941 were game changers, starting with Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor and ending with Germany’s reckless and self-defeating declaration of war against the United States. These events transformed World War II into a truly international conflict, write Brendan Simms […]

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The Betrayal Of Anne Frank

Who betrayed the celebrated Dutch Jewish diarist Anne Frank? That’s the burning question Canadian historian Rosemary Sullivan addresses in her deeply-researched, probing book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation¬†(HarperCollins). Anne and her family, along with four other Jews fleeing Nazi genocidal tyranny, lived in a claustrophobic attic in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district during […]

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Madam: The Biography Of Polly Adler

When Pearl (Polly) Adler disembarked at Ellis Island in 1913, she was among 13,588 “unaccompanied Jewish girls” from Eastern Europe who had landed in New York City in that year, according to the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society. On the day she left her home in Yanow — a sleepy and changeless village of […]

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The Pogroms of 1918-1921

When World War I ended in 1918, a wave of antisemitic violence erupted in about 500 cities, towns and villages in territory contested by Ukrainians, Russians and Poles. During the course of this blood-soaked era, which coincided with the outbreak of a civil war in the newly-created Soviet Union, almost two-thirds of all Jewish homes […]

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Ukrainian Nationalists And The Holocaust

Canadian historian John-Paul Himka has written an illuminating, important, ground-breaking and grim book about an exceedingly dark chapter in Ukraine’s history. It goes without saying that most Ukrainians would probably prefer to shove this terrible, blood-soaked interregnum under the carpet, all the more so since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Himka, a professor […]

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Sledgehammer: Memoirs Of A U.S. Ambassador To Israel

David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2017 to 2021, is a true believer. A committed Orthodox Jew, he fervently believed that U.S. policy toward Israel was insufficiently supportive. A hardliner, ¬†he thought that Israel was entitled to build settlements in the West Bank, annex parts of it, and block the creation of an […]

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The Christian Front In America

Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest, was the voice of the Christian Front, an extreme right-wing organization dedicated to cleansing the United States of Jews and communists. One of the most popular American broadcasters of the 1930s and 1940s, he was also the editor of Social Justice, a widely read newspaper that disseminated […]

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Building Democracy On Sand

The biggest threat to Israel’s long-term stability is its lack of a formal constitution, says Arye Carmon, the founding president of the Israel Democracy Institute, which is dedicated to promoting and strengthening democratic values in the Jewish state. Carmon, a philosopher and historian, expounds on this theme in Building Democracy On Sand: Israel Without A […]