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

80 Years Ago: Erwin Rommel and Jews in the Middle East

Eighty years ago, Passover 1941, the festival of freedom was clouded for Jews in the Middle East with a deep fear for the future. British forces were being pushed back from Libya as German forces advanced — the conquest of Egypt became more important than the exodus from Egypt. Two German academics, Klaus-Michael Mallman and … Read more

The Jews, the Muslims and the Uighurs

WHEN THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, Dominic Raab, was asked last month about the plight of the Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China, Raab invoked the odyssey of his father, a Czech Jew who came to the UK in 1938. Similarly, Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, argued during his recent confirmation hearings in the Senate … Read more

Survival on the Margins

Review of Eliyana R. Adler’s Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union. Published by Harvard University Press This book tells the story of the tens of thousands of Polish Jews who were forcibly deported to special settlements and camps in the interior of the Soviet Union in 1940. They had … Read more

The Banality of Evil

Review of Review of Daniel Lee’s The S.S. Officer’s Armchair: Uncovering the Hidden Life of a Nazi, published by Hachette (New York 2020) PP.303 It all began at a dinner party in Florence. A guest related how a collection of documents, bearing the Nazi insignia, had fallen out of an old chair that her mother had … Read more

The Hitler Conspiracies

Review of Richard J. Evans’s The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination Published by Allen Lane, London 2020, pp. 276, price £20 This a compelling book about ‘fantasies and fictions, fabrications and falsifications’ — an excursion through five episodes of the Nazi period by the celebrated Cambridge historian, Sir Richard Evans. It … Read more