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No Room For Small Dreams

Shimon Peres, a member of Israel’s founding generation, was one of its most distinguished sons. A wunderkind who was deputy director of the ministry of defence at the age of only 29, he held a succession of ministerial posts from the 1950s onward, the most important of which were the defence, foreign affairs and finance […]

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Kasztner’s Crime

Sixty one years after his untimely death, there is still no consensus among historians and Holocaust survivors whether Rezso Kasztner was a savior or a collaborator. Kasztner, the acting head of a small Jewish rescue committee in German-occupied Hungary, certainly tried to save Hungarian Jews from the jaws of death, his admirers claim. But to […]

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Memoirs Of Life In Israel

Shimon Redlich and Gabriel Shapiro immigrated to Israel as young men. Both have written engaging memoirs about their experiences in the Jewish state, which marks its 70th anniversary on May 14 by the Gregorian calendar. Redlich, a Ukrainian Jew, arrived in Israel in 1950 by way of Poland. In A New Life in Israel (Academic Studies […]

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The Checkered Record Of The Swiss Red Cross

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the oldest humanitarian organizations, emerged from World War II with its reputation stained and damaged. Having come under fire for its failure to condemn the Holocaust or extend substantial assistance to Jews trapped in Nazi-occupied Europe, it attempted to improve its tarnished image by […]

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Stealing Home

From 1942 to 1944, German occupation forces in France sealed off and systematically looted at least 38,000 “abandoned” apartments in Paris that were owned by Jews who had been forced to flee, or who had been deported to Nazi concentration camps. The pillaged furnishings were then shipped to Eastern Europe or Germany. After the war, […]

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Shadows Of Survival

With the 75th anniversary of the April 19 Warsaw ghetto uprising looming, Kristine Keese’s Shadows of Survival: A Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto (Academic Studies Press), is certainly timely. Keese, born into an assimilated Jewish family in the Polish capital, was eight years old when she and her mother were forced into the ghetto. They […]

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Modern Mideast Forged During World War I

The Middle East as we know it today was forged in the crucible of World War. This incredibly destructive war drastically redrew the regional map, sweeping away the sprawling Ottoman Empire and creating a host of new nations ranging from Turkey and Syria to Iraq and Lebanon. It also gave rise to Arab nationalism and […]

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Being Palestinian

What is it like being a Palestinian living outside the homeland? Seventy years after the eruption of the first Arab-Israeli war, which led to the dispossession of some 500,000 Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel and to the intensification of the conflict between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, this question remains very relevant. […]

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A Magisterial Biography Of Hitler

Delivering a lecture in 1979, the German scholar Eberhard Jackel nailed it when he said, “We Germans were liberated from (Adolf) Hitler, but we’ll never shake him off. Hitler will always be with us … He is present — not as a living figure, but as an eternal cautionary monument to what human beings are […]

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Ernest Hemingway: A Biography

From the moment I learned to appreciate fine literature, Ernest Hemingway became one of my favorite authors. I admired his style, his lean, supple, simple, flowing, effortless and evocative prose, which manifested itself beautifully in novels such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and in short stories such as The Killers.   Mary V. Dearborn’s illuminating […]