People seem to love author and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens for precisely the reason other people seem to hate him: he has an opinion, and a strong one, about almost everything. His new memoir, “Hitch-22,” is chock full of them, too. And when he appeared at at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday night, in a chat with his close friend Salman Rushdie, that fact was not glossed over.
Leaders of the fractious Jewish community in Russia are taking opposing positions on whether a vote last week by the lower house of Russia’s parliament to condemn an overtly anti-Semitic statement signed by 19 of its members amounts to progress in the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry.Yet four major Jewish leaders — Chief Rabbis Berel Lazar and Adolf Shayevich; Vladimir Slutsker, president of the Russian Jewish Congress; and Mikhail Chlenov, secretary general of the Eurasian Jewish Congress — agreed in separate phone interviews that the recent upsurge of anti-Semitis
Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian Jew who is this year’s Nobel laureate in literature, often says that he’s a medium of the Holocaust. “Auschwitz speaks through his stories,” a friend of his, the Israeli literary critic and author Shmuel Thomas Huppert, tells The Jewish Week. “His main theme is Auschwitz. He stresses the fact that first of all he’s a writer. He didn’t become a writer because he was in Auschwitz but, by being in Auschwitz, he found his major theme.”