Review of Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, published by Harvard University Press, pp.354 In August 2017, white nationalists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting ‘Jews will not replace us!’ They espoused a depressing, if familiar world view: that it is Jews who control the banks and the media, imposing their morality … Read more

An Interview with Alice Shalvi

Colin Shindler: In your book, Never a Native, you recalled that your parents went to see The Merchant of Venice in Essen in 1932 and were so appalled by the antisemitic comments in the audience that they left halfway through. What do you remember about the rise of Nazism in Germany at that time? Alice Shalvi: I very … Read more

The Vatican and the Jews

Pope Francis’s announcement that the Vatican will open the archives on the life and times of his predecessor, Pius XII (1939-1958) – some 16 million pages – has answered the call of historians over many decades. The attitude of Pius towards Jews, anti-Semitism and Nazi atrocities has remained a matter of controversy for Jewish and … Read more

The Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Eighty years ago, synagogues in Germany burned. It was Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass — a turning point in National Socialism’s war on the Jews, when Hitler ordered a state-sponsored assault on its Jewish minority, the first step on the road to Auschwitz. A powerful JC editorial commented: “It is the culmination of a process which … Read more

Saving Denmark’s Jews: Seventy Five Years On

75 years ago, Hitler sent a message to his representative in Copenhagen instructing him to rid Denmark of its 8,000-strong Jewish community. “The Jewish Campaign” was scheduled to begin on Rosh Hashanah 5704 — 1 October 1943. Danish Jews would be rounded up, incarcerated and “deported to the East”. Danish resistance to the German occupation … Read more

On the Kasztner Affair

  Review of Paul Bogdanor’s Kasztner’s Crime (Transaction 2016) pp. 323 Paul Bogdanor has penned a well-researched book on the contentious Kasztner affair – a controversy that commenced in wartime Hungary and has continued until the present day. In the summer of 1944, a minor Jewish figure, Rudolf Kasztner, negotiated with Adolf Eichmann in the … Read more

Britain’s Moment in Palestine

Britain’s Moment in Palestine: Retrospect and Perspectives 1917–1948, Michael J. Cohen (New York and London: Routledge, 2014), isbn 978-0-415-72985-7, pp. 518, £90.   This is a revelatory book, which comprehensively details Britain’s contentious and anguished moment in Palestine as ruler and colonizer. In one sense this is a solid “old-fashioned” factual overview of British policy during the thirty … Read more

The “Thunderer” and The Coming of The Shoah: The Times of London, 1933-1942

  The Times and “Englishness” In May 1784, John Walter, a bankrupted Lloyds underwriter wrote to is patron, Benjamin Franklin, the American Minister in pre-revolutionary Paris, to inform him that he intended to publish a newspaper. On 1 January 1785, Walter’s project appeared as The Daily Universal Register. Three years later, the title was changed … Read more

Alexander Bernfes

A few months ago, in London, Alexander Bernfes—a pitiful and tragic figure, known to any as a collector and archivist of photographic cords of the Holocaust, died at the age of seventy-six. His body was found, weeks after his death, in a state of decomposition, on a pile of papers in the room which served … Read more