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

Hitler’s First Hundred Days

At exactly 11:15 a.m. on Monday, January 30, 1933, representatives of the German political parties gathered in the Chancellery Building in Berlin to renounce the German republic. The Left, the Social Democrats and the Communists, were not invited, nor was the Catholic Centre Party.   The Right had decided to “hire” Hitler and thereby put him on … Read more

Lessons from Yesterday

One hundred years ago in 1922, the Nazis were just another fringe nationalist group, wallowing in the humiliation of sudden defeat in World War I. Under the terms of the Versailles agreement, Germany lost territory to Poland, Belgium and France, its colonies, its foreign investments — and owed reparations of 132 billion goldmarks. Defeat spawned … Read more

Eric Le Grand

LAST WEEK, THE killer of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll was sentenced by a French court to 22 years without parole. The courtroom was told that the assault in March 2018 on this aged Jewish woman started out as a petty robbery but was transformed into a frenzied attack — and that this was fuelled by “a … Read more

When Hitler turned on Stalin

Eighty years ago, at precisely 3.15 a.m. on the night of 22 June 1941, General Heinz Guderion moved his Panzers across the bridge, spanning the River Bug. This was the beginning of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union — an invasion which took the lives of over 20 million Soviet citizens including over two … Read more

Driving the Nazis from the Middle East

Review of Gershom Gorenberg’s War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East. published by Public Affairs (New York 2021) pp. 476 Eighty years ago, the North Africa campaign pitted Reichsmarschall Erwin Rommel — the Desert Fox — against British forces. This resulted in a year later … Read more

Eichmann in Jerusalem

Sixty years ago, on 11 April 1961, a pale, bespectacled, balding man stepped into a glass booth in a courtroom at Beit Ha’am in Jerusalem. Standing stooped before three judges, he was asked: ‘Are you Adolf Eichmann?’ The diminutive figure answered without emotion: ‘Jawohl!’ — and so began the trial of a central figure who … Read more