When history touched Yonia Fain's life, it hit with gale force. For 30 years he was "dragged by the storm of events over half a world," the Brooklyn-based painter and Yiddish poet once wrote.
Between 1923 (when a 9-year-old Fain and his family fled Bolshevik Russia, and 1953) when he settled in New York City: Fain outran Nazi troops in Poland, was imprisoned by the Soviets, escaped to Japan, was deported to China and eventually made his way to safety and artistic success in Mexico.
Roman Polanski's latest feature film is a dramatic account of one man's survival in wartime Warsaw. "The Pianist," which opens Dec. 27, is also a documentary in at least one respect: its star, Adrien Brody, nearly starved himself to portray the Jewish musician and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, shedding some 30 pounds from his already slender frame as filming progressed.
Frankfurt, Germany: Amsterdam has long been a place of education and remembrance of Anne Frank. But in her hometown of Frankfurt, Germany, Frank's life and death for years have been marked only with a plaque on one of her two former homes and an elementary school renamed in her honor. Annual ceremonies were held on her birthday from 1957 to 1970, but until now there has never been an ambitious permanent site dedicated to telling the story of one of the most famous and eloquent victims of the Holocaust.
Pity poor Zeno, tormented by his weakness for cigarettes, guilt about his mistress and unresolved tensions with his father. At his psychoanalyst’s suggestion, Zeno writes his memoirs, but the result is the imperfect recollection of an intelligent man blindsided by swirling desires and frozen by inhibitions.
Zeno, the prematurely aged protagonist of Italian Jewish writer Italo Svevo’s comic masterpiece “Confessions of Zeno,” deeply resonated with William Kentridge when he first read the book in college.
When Martin Walser, one of Germay's leading writers, railed against the Holocaust being used as "a tool of intimidation" by unnamed individuals who "exploited [it] for present purposes," Germany's new foreign minister, Joschka Fischer knew immediately how the resulting furor would end.
"I knew it would be a disaster," Fischer told an audience at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York earlier this month.
A major German company cooperates with the Third Reich during World War II. Years later, it apologizes for its actions and makes reparation payments to Holocaust survivors. The firm is honored in the United States by the Jewish community.
Another major German company cooperates with the Third Reich. It also apologizes and makes reparation payments. In an attempt to strengthen its public image in the U.S., it bids to put its name on a prominent football stadium. The firm is heavily criticized here by the Jewish community.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Academy Award-winning producer of Holocaust-related documentaries, has called for a letter-writing campaign to block sainthood for Pope Pius XII, saying it would desecrate the memory of the Shoah because of his silence during World War II.
"Such a nomination demeans the meaning of sainthood for countless others who are truly deserving of such a tribute," he declared during his State of World Jewry address last week at the 92nd Street Y.