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A Jewish Refugee And A Nazi Sympathizer

Otto Ullmann, a 13-year-old Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied Austria, bid his parents farewell in Vienna in 1939, just months before the outbreak of World War II. He was bound for Sweden, where he would live the rest of his life. Ullmann spent a year in a Swedish orphanage and then obtained work as a farm […]

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All The Horrors of War

Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes, a British army doctor, and Rachel (Ruth) Genuth, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, never met, but their paths crossed in the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945. Hughes was one of the first British officers to enter Bergen-Belsen. “I have been a doctor for 30 years and seen all […]

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A Village In Germany

Kippenheim, a village in Germany’s southwestern Baden region, is nestled in the foothills of the picturesque Black Forest. On the eve of World II, Kippenheim’s population was 1,800. Fifty eight percent of its residents were Catholics and 33 percent were Protestant Lutherans. Only 144 of its inhabitants were Jewish. Jews arrived in Kippenheim in the […]

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The Arab Winter

The grassroots revolts that erupted in the Arab world from 2010 onwards, widely known as the Arab Spring, held out the tantalizing promise of positive transformation in the Middle East. “For the first time, mass movements of ordinary people sought to take their political fate into their own hands and shape a better future for […]

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Bound In The Bond Of Life

Two years have passed since a neo-Nazi thug burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 congregants in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history. Eighty three minutes elapsed from the moment Robert Bowers entered the shul until he was apprehended by the police on that cloudy Saturday morning on October […]

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Yiddish Poet/Novelist Chava Rosenfarb Remembered

Chava Rosenfarb was a major twentieth century Yiddish poet and novelist who remains largely unknown outside the tight circle of Yiddish literature. The lot of a Yiddish writer can be difficult, her daughter, Goldie Morgentaler, suggested at a webinar on November 5 sponsored by the University of Toronto’s Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and the […]

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An Important Footnote In Spanish-Jewish History

La Gloriosa, the liberal revolution that rocked conservative Spain on its heels in 1868, forced Queen Isabella II to leave the country and ushered in an age of religious freedom. During this hopeful period, when only a smattering of Jews lived in Spain, European Jewish notables commended the Spanish authorities for having been open to […]

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Trump And The Holy Land: 2016-2020

When Donald Trump assumed the American presidency on January 20, 2017, he declared, “I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. That would be such a great achievement.” Nearly four years on, with the presidential election less than a week away, Trump has yet to implement his fondly-held […]

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A Century Of Jewish Life In Shanghai

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Chinese city of Shanghai was home to more Jews than any other metropolis in Asia. Congested, cosmopolitan and utterly exotic, its population exceeded three million, of whom 49,000 were foreigners, including about 20,000 Jews. Shanghai’s Jewish community was extremely diverse, consisting of Middle Eastern, Russian and Central […]

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In The Name Of Humanity

The rescue of Jews in Nazi-occupied countries is an oft-repeated story in Holocaust literature. Max Wallace’s impassioned book, In The Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal To End The Holocaust (Penguin Random House), is the latest addition to that list. Wallace focuses on the efforts of three Swiss nationals, a Swedish-based German Jew and a […]