Nakam: The Holocaust Survivors who Sought Full-Scale Revenge

Nakam: The Holocaust Survivors who Sought Full-Scale Revenge By Dina Porat, translated by Mark L. Levinson, Published by Stanford University Press 2023, pp. 365 Nakam is the Hebrew for ‘revenge’ — and the fifty men and women who planned mass poisonings of Germans in the immediate aftermath of World War II were the Nokmim, the … Read more

On Bruno Kreisky

Kreisky, Israel and Jewish Identity by Daniel Ashheim Published by University of New Orleans Press, 2022, pp.225 Bruno Kreisky was the longest serving Chancellor of Austria (1970-1983). He was also a Jew who had fled to Sweden when Hitler annexed the country to the Third Reich. More than 20 family members perished in the Shoah, … Read more

On Eleanor Roosevelt

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt Published by Bloomsbury 2022, pp. 557 Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was a leading liberal voice in post-war America. She had been a committed advocate of womens’ suffrage, an architect of the welfare state, a diplomat, a journalist and a social activist committed to the ideals of the newly established United Nations … Read more

Benjamin Netanyahu: His Story?

Bibi: My Story Benjamin Netanyahu Published by Threshold Editions, 2022, pp.726 When he was asked by a student in 2018, what is the most important subject to study for a political career, Benjamin Netanyahu replied that there were three answers: ‘History, history and more history’. In writing his own history during the Bennett-Lapid interregnum, dictated … Read more

The Story of Russia

The Story of Russia by Orlando Figes Published by Bloomsbury (London 2022), pp. 348, price £25.00 Reviewed by Colin Shindler Why is Russia as it is — from holy Tsars to Soviet commissars to Putin’s nationalists? The historian Orlando Figes’s latest book provides fascinating insights into this contemporary conundrum. All countries are embedded in national … Read more

On Józef Piłsudski

Józef Piłsudski, the founder of modern Poland after World War I, is hardly known today — and many Jews have previously regarded him pejoratively as just another one-dimensional strongman figure in an anti-Semitic inter-war Eastern Europe. This excellent biography by the American academic, Joshua Zimmerman, presents a far more nuanced account. Piłsudski grew up in … Read more

King Boris of Bulgaria

Many believe that Bulgaria, like Denmark, saved its Jews from the Nazi death camps. The book The Stolen Narrative of the Bulgarian Jews and the Holocaust (Rowman and Littlefield) by Jacky Comforty, together with Martha Aladjem Bloomfield, tells a different story. It is a narrative that recalls Bulgaria’s alliance with Hitler to regain territory in … 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

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