The Night of the Murdered Jewish Poets

‘I am a Russian writer. Like all Russians, I am now defending my homeland. But the Nazis have reminded me of something else; my mother’s name was Hannah. I am a Jew. I say this proudly.’ So spoke the noted writer, Ilya Ehrenburg, at a Jewish rally in Moscow in August 1941 as the Nazi … Read more

A Riddle wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called a meeting of ministerial colleagues and interested parties to discuss the threat from the Kremlin to close down the Jewish Agency for Israel in Russia – a body which facilitates the emigration of Jews from that country. Many were unsure whether the Kremlin’s move was merely intimidatory … Read more

Sergei Lavrov’s Words

A few weeks ago, the urbane Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, came out with a bizarre statement to Italian television that Hitler was of “Jewish blood” and that “the most ardent antisemites are, as a rule, Jews”. Jews, therefore, only had themselves to blame for millennia of persecution and extermination. They had brought it upon … Read more

1982 Revisited

‘No more silence; no more compromise, no more acquiescence; no more vacillation, no more appeasement’. So spoke a young deputy at a Board of Deputies meeting in September 1982, defiantly challenging its leadership. It was directed at the Board’s Israel policy in the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Lebanese … Read more

Sergei Lavrov and Jewish Neo-Nazis

The remarks of Sergei Lavrov to Italian television last Sunday that Hitler was of ‘Jewish blood’ and that ‘the most ardent antisemites were Jews’ shocked Jews around the world. Deliberate or not, they caused a rupture between Moscow and Jerusalem. Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid reacted personally — as Jews. The late father of the … Read more

Come to the Cabaret

LONDON THEATRE-GOERS have been flocking to see the revival of Cabaret and marvelled at the decadence and hedonism of the famed Kit Kat Klub in Weimar Germany. The production was, of course, characterised by the rise of Nazism and dark visions of an impending doom. Yet in the minds of many a mesmerised audience during recent weeks, … Read more

Realpolitik, Morality and the Ukrainian Tragedy

AS THE WAR in Ukraine enters its second month, it is clear that Russian forces have been unable to secure a quick victory. The Ukrainian population, including its 30% Russian speakers, have fiercely opposed the invaders and united most of the international community behind it. Five Russian major-generals have been killed, together with thousands of … Read more

Munich 1919

In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution and the Rise of Nazism by Michael Brenner, translated by Jeremiah Riemer, published by Princeton University Press 2022, pp.392 In the immediate aftermath of the sudden defeat in the First World War in 1918, Munich — before the appearance of Hitler on the political stage — emerged as ‘the … Read more

The Jewish Comedian and the Great Dictator

“PUTIN IS ABSOLUTELY insane! He is the super villain of today!” So spoke Volodomyr Vysotski of the Jewish Social Initiative in the Ukraine in a recent interview with the BBC. This is a blunt assessment with which the vast majority of Jews will agree. The threat to use tactical nuclear weapons and the presence of … Read more