"More than her actual portraits of Jews, what comes through most clearly is the confused urgency of her emotions about them." -- For Moment, Amy E. Schwartz looks at How Dorothy L. Sayers treated her Jewish characters. Some spoilers, some antisemitic quotes.
Ken Livingstone suspended (again) by the British Labour Party Never a stranger to controversy, Ken Livingstone - former scourge of Margaret Thatcher, erstwhile London Mayor and close friend of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - was yesterday suspended by the Party. In a continuation of an ongoing issue over alleged Anti-Semitism in the Party (and the British Left in general) he defended MP Naz Shah for remarks she had made (on Facebook in 2014) suggesting: 'Relocate Israel into United States'. [more inside]
Following the Christian Reconquest and unification of Spain, concluded with the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the victorious Catholic sovereigns decreed on March 31, 1492 that all Jews convert to Christianity or leave Spain by the last day of July. Whether they stayed or left, many Jewish families continued to practice their faith in secret. Such crypto-Jews passed their traditions down the generations and around the world, some ending up in the Southwest. 500 years later, New Mexico's "hidden Jews" were found among strong Hispanic Catholic communities. Though some were skeptical about the origins of certain family practices, additional research and a pattern of breast cancer lead to genetic testing and confirmation of prior beliefs. [more inside]
Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.
Ben Garrison is the most trolled cartoonist in the world. His trolls love him so much, they recreated him in their own image. [via]
Tom Schweich, Missouri's state auditor and a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary, died in an apparent suicide on Feb. 26. [more inside]
Heidegger in Black. The King is Dead: Heidegger's Black Notebooks. Heidegger's Black Notebooks: Extreme Silencing. Release of Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks’ Reignites Debate Over Nazi Ideology. Is Heidegger Contaminated by Nazism?
In the survey to be released Tuesday, which covered 101 countries plus the Palestinian territories, 26% of respondents agreed with at least six of 11 negative statements—what its sponsor called stereotypes—about Jews. The questions included "Jews are more loyal to Israel than [their home] country," and "Jews have too much power in the business world."[Anti-Defamation League] Poll Says Anti-Semitism Is Global Matter
On the first full day of Passover, Jewish people in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were handed leaflets ordering all Jewish residents over the age of 16 to pay the new pro-Russian revolutionary authorities $50 apiece for individual registration, otherwise “the guilty ones would be deprived of their citizenship and deported outside the republic; their property would be confiscated.” [more inside]
Alexander II was known as the liberator of serfs, because under his rule, in 1861, serfs were granted the freedom to marry without having to gain consent, to own property, and to own businesses. In 1862, Alexander II signed off on the ethnic cleansing of Circassians that began as a simple resettlement, and led to (by official Tsarist documents, more by other accounts) over 400,000 deaths. Circassians in fact protest the 2014 Olympics in Sochi being that it was the supposed site of their final expulsion. [more inside]
Tonight marks the 75th anniversary of the November Pogroms throughout Germany, known as Kristallnacht. @9Nov38 is live-tweeting the events of the night (in German.)
I Married A Jew. Published January 1, 1939 in the Atlantic.
Nike Wagner, the composer's great-granddaughter, puts the question that this raises in these terms: "Should we allow ourselves to listen to his works with pleasure, even though we know that he was an anti-Semite?" There's a bigger issue behind this question: Can Germans enjoy any part of their history in a carefree way?
David Arenberg on being the only Jewish inmate in a state prison.
This is why we can't have nice things. Swedish SAP ousts substitute member of the governing board, over issues stemming from his role as chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association. Media outlets are found to have been fast and loose in their reports concerning the member. [more inside]
On 25 February 1941, less than a year into the nazi occupation of the Netherlands, communist union leaders called for a general strike against the increasing persecution of the Jews. The resulting two day strike in Amsterdam and various other cities in North Holland, the February Strike was the first and only massive public protest against the persecution of the Jews in occupied Europe. [more inside]
I was petrified. They had my address. I reported it to the authorities and hoped for the best. Two days later I opened my front door and there was a bunch of dead flowers with my wife's old Twitter username on it. Meeting A Troll.
"A farming town hid a Jewish-born teacher during the Holocaust. I went to dig up what it had buried."
Though I grew up in America, I have been visiting my family in Poland since I was a child. But it is only recently, since the great debate began two years ago between [Jan] Gross and [Timothy] Snyder over the causes and extent of Polish co-operation with the Nazis during the Holocaust, that I thought to ask the old people of my family village about what happened during the war. My grandparents mentioned bits and pieces of our family’s World War II history over the years, but it often seemed too painful for them to recall, or as though they wanted the memories to simply be forgotten. When I finally decided to broach the topic with them, my grandmother repeated that she didn’t understand why I cared to dig so deep into the past, why I cared so much about Wladyslaw and his story.[more inside]
The 101st Bayreuth Festival opened today with a new staging of Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman. The celebrity audience including German Chancellor Angela Merkel were overshadowed by the sudden departure from the cast of its leading baritone, Evgeny Nikitin, who withdrew from the company four days ago after a German TV program showed film clips of the Russian singer sporting what appeared to be a swastika tattoo. [more inside]
Vidal Sassoon has died at the age of 84. Sassoon, perhaps best known as a hairdresser who opened a chain of salons that spread worldwide and who created Mia Farrow's pixie cut for Rosemary's Baby, was also an anti-fascist in post-World War II London and fought as part of the Haganah in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1982, he founded an organization devoted to the study of anti-Semitism, which is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sassoon was named a CBE in 2004 "for services to the British hairdressing industry." He had been in treatment for leukemia for the past two years.
Joe Eszterhas (writer of The Music Box, Basic Instinct, and many other films) has written a letter to Mel Gibson after the actor neglected to contact him regarding his screenplay for "the Jewish Braveheart," which Gibson had hired him to write.
The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
E is for "Ewwwww!": How Barbara Hyde, spokeswoman for the American Society for Microbiology, reacted to last year’s news that Snyder’s vendors were selling beer in the bathrooms.
The Washington Redskins, with a 6-10 record this season, may not be anywhere near the Super Bowl, but they're still getting media attention this week thanks to unpopular owner Dan Snyder. In November, the Washington City Paper published an A-to-Z guide of Snyder's perceived sins, including bankrupting little old ladies, running scammy fan events, cashing in on 9/11, and selling expired peanuts. The piece was accompanied by a photo of Snyder with scribbled-on devil horns and goatee -- a depiction Snyder decried as anti-Semitic. Snyder also denies several of the claims made in the A-to-Z piece and threatens legal action in letters to Washington City Paper (republished here, along with WCP's shrugging response). Above the Law expresses doubts about Snyder's claims and notes that it's the first time the owner of the unfortunately-named Redksins has ever seemed to care about ethnic slurs. Meanwhile on Twitter, #snyderlibel commences some serious Snyder-mocking.
“Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers." And also, according to an Italian bishop, the culprits behind the Catholic Church's sex scandals. [more inside]
"He had stolen a bound devil from a priest in Franconia, using it to practice sorcery. He later sold in for five guilders."
No collection of Folklore and Mythology would be complete without Anti-Semitic Legends, tales of infanticide and changelings, the Christianizing of Faeries, or incest. (previously, previously)
The day after Kristallnacht, Hitler said: "It was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to explain certain matters of foreign policy to the German people in such a way, that the inner voice of the people all by itself gradually would call for violence." Towards that end, Goebbels commissioned and closely supervised the production of a propaganda documentary titled Der ewige Jude - "The Eternal Jew". Few if any of the inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto who appear in its footage survived the war. [more inside]
"How do black women fight crime? They have abortions." "How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head." These and other 'jokes' featured in an advertisement on The Gruen Transfer, an Australian television program focusing on advertising. The ad, part of a segment called 'The Pitch' which usually produces humorous ads, was banned by the ABC, but the national broadcaster has still allowed it to be viewed online, and hundreds have now seen it. The ad was designed to sell "fat pride", with creator Adam Hunt explaining his motivation behind the ad being to say "if you discriminate against somebody on the basis of their shape then you are no different to someone who is racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic." Debate has raged online if the ad is offensive and discriminatory, as the ABC has declared, and whether or not it was effective. Watch the ad and judge for yourself.
In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda In Southern California 1933 - 1945, a digital exhibition from the Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge. "The Nazi Propaganda period, 1933 to 1945, chronicles a crucial twelve years in American history. This exhibit's story about the local threat to American ideals demonstrates how European events reached across the ocean and affected people in Southern California -- in our own backyard." Magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, stickers and more. [more inside]
Anti-Israel Facebook group "seized" - the Jewish Internet Defense Force (warning: self-starting Google video) says that it has taken control of an anti-Israel Facebook group and is steadily deleting members by the second. "It has also changed the group's administrator titles to read 'Mossad Zionist.'"
Elie Wiesel was attacked in a San Francisco hotel today by a Holocaust denier, intenton forcing the Nobel Prize winner confess that his book Night was a fictionalized account of his survival of Dachau. Incredibly, someone is taking credit for the attack.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is the newest movie from Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen. Unfortunately, it seems to have sparked an honest-to-God diplomatic incident.
More Bad News For Mel In the 24-hour news cycle, tomorrow's bad news for Mel Gibson hits today: according to tomorrow's Sunday Herald Sun Mel Gibson once had ties to the Australian League of Rights, a right-wing group well-known in Australia for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. Says the Herald Sun: "The league claims the world is run by a secret society of Jews." (Who, presumably, are responsible for all the wars in the world"
The Neon Philharmonic consisted of members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a producer of country & western records named Don Gant (who produced Jimmy Buffett's first hit), and a jazz pianist named Tupper Saussy. Strangely enough, this odd combination produced an unexpected Top 20 hit, Morning Girl. The group was briefly mentioned as an obscure music hipster reference in a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens, but such a throwaway reference to the Neon Philharmonic does not do justice to the bizarre life of its founder, Tupper Saussy.(more inside)
"F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." The ugly truth about Mel Gibson's drunk-driving arrest oozes out, with exquisite timing. (Enter his name on linked form.) Apple/tree, etc. (via tmz)
In 1945-46, some of the (very few) Polish Jews who had survived the Final Solution returned -- sick, poor, wounded -- to Poland. In Elie Wiesel's words, "they had thought all too naively that antisemitism, discredited 6 million times over, had died at Auschwitz with its victims. They were wrong." In 2001 Princeton professor Jan T Gross published the story of the 1941 destruction of the Jewish community at Jedwabne, Poland, and proved how Jews were rounded up, clubbed, drowned, gutted or burned to death not by German forces as previously believed but by mobs of their own non-Jewish neighbors. Now professor Gross tells the story of the Kielce pogrom in his new book, "Fear". Of course, the Kielce butchery took place in 1946 -- more than a year after the end of WWII and defeat of Nazism. More inside.
Mahler performances were rare in Vienna in those days because Mahler's city had already been contaminated by the acolytes of Adolf Hitler. By their reckoning, Mahler's music was loathsome — a product of "Jewish decadence." To put Mahler's music on the program was therefore a political act. It was to protest and deny the hateful faith that blazed across the border from Germany. That much I understood quite clearly, even as a boy. The New Yorker's Alex Ross reprints Hans Fantel's New York Times 1989 essay on Bruno Walter's 1938 performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony -- the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler invaded Austria.
"One could go on, and one will -- praising (...) the National Center for Jewish Film for releasing all four of Edgar Ulmer's Yiddish films in restored editions. But the DVD player is beckoning, and I think it is time for me to get back to the couch". The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF) is a unique nonprofit motion picture archive, distributor and resource center housing the largest, most comprehensive collection of Jewish-theme film and video in the world. In their archives you can discover the works of Leo Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire", restored gems (scroll down) like "Motl the Operator" and re-releases like "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg". (More on Greenberg, the Jewish kid who challenged Babe Ruth’s homerun record here, more on the NCJF inside).
Borat likes you. Do you like Borat? Not everyone does. Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry is threatening to sue to prevent the country from being presented in a "derogatory way" by the caricature, a brainchild of UK comedian Sacha Boren Cohen, aka Ali G. [more inside, dziękuję]
The Wartime Ninth. "Berlin. October 7, 1944. In the Beethovensaal a concert is about to begin, but the theater is empty, relieved of its usual audience studded with Nazi elite. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is on stage, awaiting its cue. Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler stands awkwardly on the podium. The vague meandering of his baton summons the first shadowy note of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony. A Radio Berlin engineer starts his Magnetophon. The most extraordinary orchestral recording of the century has just begun". More inside.
Beyond the Pale: The History of Jews in Russia. An extensive web exhibit (the expanded exhibit guide) with descriptions of Jewish life and many images from the Middle Ages to the present. Also available in Russian.
Hate pays: The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" have - it seems - never quite died, and Bartholomew's Notes on Religion details the recrudescence of the Russian Orthodox anti-Semitic right. Meanwhile, in the USA, talk show host MSNBC rewards Jay Severin for his apparent call for the slaughter of American Muslim citizens with a spot alongside bowtie-sporting Tucker Carlson. Hate pays.
Judaism on trial. After thousands of prominent Russians, including a chess champion and 20 members of parliament, demanded that Russia ban Judaism and Jewish organizations, the state prosecutor is investigating the Shulhan Arukh, a 16th century book of Jewish law (and early example of hypertext), for causing incitement and expressing anti-Russian views. Judaism used to be placed on trial regularly during the Middle Ages, and, except for a famous episode in 1264, it always ended badly for the Jews. So what is going on in Russia?
The CEO of BMO calls for non-Jews to speak out against antisemitism. Tony Comper cites an all-time record of 857 reported incidents in Canada last year. Meanwhile, 86 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in east London are desecrated. There were 532 antisemitic incidents in Britain last year, the highest since records started 20 years ago. Also in the news, yesterday an attack on a Jewish cemetery in Budapest left some 130 gravestones damaged. "I know I speak for the whole group when I say that we deplore intolerance in any and all of its manifestations, but also realize that the more well-defined and focused the target, the better the chances of having an impact."
More On Anti-Semitism at Columbia My interest in this story is primarily about how the New York Times, considered one of the great newspapers world-wide, in fact sucks!---"A week ago, Deacon and the Trunk posted on the release of a report by Columbia University on its investigation of students' charges of anti-semitic conduct by several of the university's professors. The report mostly exonerated the professors, while, at the same time, recording behavior by them which was appalling. One of the points we noted was the craven behavior of the New York Times, which said that it agreed not to report the viewpoint of the complaining students in exchange for early access to Columbia's report. The Trunk wrote: But what about the New York Times? Is it conceivable that the Times would enter into an agreement not to talk to the subjects of a report in exchange for being given access to the report a few hours before it is made available to the public? [The Times admits it!]
"We're Hunting The Jews" go the chants at the Feyenoord soccer stadium in Rotterdam whenever Ajax is in town. Supporters of Ajax, one of the top Dutch football clubs based in Amsterdam, call themselves "Jews" or "Super Jews" based perhaps on historical Jewish communities. They wave Israeli flags and wear Stars of David in one of the oddest traditions in sport. Of course, the story wouldn't be complete without their opponents chanting "They've forgotten to gas you!" and hissing to mimic the gas chambers. Further complicating matters is the mosque being built overshadowing Feyenoord's stadium. Ajax wants the Jewish symbolism to stop to prevent further embarrassment, but this isn't the only case of "Jewish" clubs in European football, and the reaction they provoke.
WalMart ends anti-Semitic book sale Bowing to a barrage of complaints from Jewish groups, retail leader Wal-Mart Inc. has stopped selling "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," an infamous anti-Semitic tract long exposed as fake.
Alain Finkielkraut's reflections on French Anti-Semitism.
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