Categories
Books

Palestine 1936

The first Palestinian Arab rebellion in Palestine broke out in 1936 and flickered out in 1939. It would be the final revolt of its kind during the British Mandate era, but hardly the last Palestinian uprising. Two more revolts erupted long after the birth of Israel, the first in 1987 and the second in 2000. […]

Categories
Books

The Dressmakers Of Auschwitz

It was, as author Lucy Adlington aptly observes, a “hideous anomaly.” Tucked into a building at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland was the Upper Tailoring Studio.¬†Established by Hedwig Hoss, the camp commandant’s wife, and staffed mainly by European Jewish women who had been deported there, it catered exclusively to the wives of SS officers […]

Categories
Books

Socialism Of Fools

A new variant of antisemitism, taking the form of a hostile Christian reaction to the legal emancipation of Jews in France and other Western countries in the 18th and 19th centuries, virtually supplanted the religious-based animus toward Jews that had been shaped and promoted by the Catholic church since time immemorial. This transformational shift was […]

Categories
Books

The Watchmakers

A useful skill could be the difference between life and death for a Jewish person during the Holocaust. This was certainly true for the Polish brothers Khil (Harry), Mailekh and Moishe Lenga, who owe their survival to an ability to repair watches, a talent they inherited from their father. The Lengas, hailing from a Chassidic […]

Categories
Books

Moises Ville — The Jerusalem Of South America

In 2009, Javier Sinay, a journalist in Buenos Aires, received an email from his father alerting him to a 1947 newspaper article written by his great-grandfather, Mijl Hacohen Sinay, concerning the murders of 22 European Jewish settlers in Moises Ville from 1889 to 2006. The email piqued his interest in Moises Ville, one of the […]

Categories
Books

How The Soviet Jew Was Made

From the end of the 18th century to the second decade of the 20th century, virtually every Jewish person in the Russian empire was required by law to live in the Pale of Settlement, a vast region comprised of modern-day Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania. Starting in the 19th century, liberalization set in as […]

Categories
Books

Hal Wallis: Producer To The Stars

Hal Wallis, the prolific American producer whose movies ran the gamut from Casablanca and The Life of Emile Zola to The Adventures of Robin Hood and True Grit, was an accidental Hollywood luminary, as we learn in Bernard F. Dick’s thorough biography, Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars, published by University Press of Kentucky. Wallis, […]

Categories
Books

The Spanish Blue Division On The Eastern Front, 1941-1945

Spain was supposedly a neutral power during World War II, yet the Spanish government was resolutely in Germany’s camp. In the summer of 1941, Spain dispatched a largely voluntary expeditionary force, known as the Blue Division, to fight alongside Germany in the Soviet Union. Recruited by the Spanish army and the Fascist Party, or the […]

Categories
Books

One Hundred Saturdays

Sunday,¬† July 23, 1944 was the blackest of days for the Jews of Rhodes, a mountainous island in the Aegean Sea eighteen kilometres off the coast of Turkey. On that catastrophic day, during the final ten months of World War II, the German occupiers set off air raid sirens to keep its residents indoors so […]

Categories
Books

Saving Freud

From the moment German troops violated Austria’s territorial integrity on March 12, 1938, the prelude to Germany’s annexation of Austria, Austrian Jews were doomed. Three days later, as German Chancellor Adolf Hitler addressed 250,00o delirious Austrians from the balcony of the Hofburg palace in Vienna, a wave of antisemitic violence washed over the city and […]