Holocaust

Film Recalls Controversy Over U.S. Jews’ Inaction During WWII

12/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Pierre Sauvage has focused as a filmmaker on Jewish subjects.  He owes his life to the good people of Le Chambon, France, who saved him as a child, along with many others, during the Holocaust.  His 1989 film, Weapons of the Spirit, documents their story. 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Nathan Englander

In February, Nathan Englander's much awaited short story collection will be released.  But this week, The New Yorker gets privileged access, publishing a new short story titled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank."  That's also the title of the upcoming collection, and if the story is any indication of what's in store, readers are in for a major treat.  The story had me riveted, not least because of the communal Jewish d

Survivors Again Press Congress For Right To Sue Insurers

Hearing this week is latest attempt to allow survivors to press claims in state court; French rail case testimony also heard.

11/17/2011
Staff Writer

After years of getting the runaround from the German insurance giant Allianz, Herbert Karliner recently learned why he had been unable to collect on his father’s life insurance: the company claims his father cashed in the policy on Nov. 9, 1938 — the day of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom against Jews.

On that day, Karliner said, his “father’s store was burned down and he was taken from our home to Buchenwald,” a Nazi concentration camp.


Survivors demonstrated in Feb. against Allianz at a golf tournament the German insurance giant sponsored in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Jewish Questions Meets The Shostakovich Question

My colleague George Robinson wrote an insightful piece on the upcoming "Babi Yar" symphony being performed by the New York Philharmonic this weekend.  I've never heard the symphony in full, but I look forward to hearing it this Thursday night.

Window Opening On Nazi Prosecutions

Following Demjanjuk verdict, Germany to reopen hundreds of dormant investigations.

10/11/2011
Staff Writer

In the years since the Holocaust, fears have increased that the window of opportunity to bring Nazi war criminals to justice is closing — perpetrators and witnesses are dying, and many countries’ political will to bring charges against old men and women is diminishing.

Last week, the window opened a little.

John Demjanjuk, whose war crimes conviction in Israel.

Maurice Sendak: On Jews, Death, and "The Bulls--t of Innocence"

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of the classic, sepulchral children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has something of a potty-mouth.  But still it feels like one.  Maurice Sendak, the 83-year-old author of “Wild Things, as well as a new children’s book, “Bumble-Ardy,” his umpteenth, gave what is to my mind one of the best interviews I’ve read in a long time. Anywhere.

Intermarriage And The Holocaust

If you think Jewish-gentile intermarriage presents a conundrum to the modern Jewish community, then imagine how it perplexed the Nazis, whose whole ideology depended on strictly hierarchical racial/ethnic classifications.

After all, when your entire MO is to exterminate an entire group people, while simultaneously expanding your so-called Master Race, the existence of Aryan-Jewish couples and their “Mischling” offspring is inconvenient to say the least.

Evan Burr Bukey’s “Jews and Intermarriage in Nazi Austria,” of which I’ve just read a review (and can’t wait to get my hands on the book itself), addresses this fascinating topic, looking at the Nazis’ often contradictory, even absurd, policies vis a vis intermarried couples, and at the experiences of the families themselves.

Laughing at 9/11? A Jewish Perspective

New York magazine's Sept. 11 issue has arrived, and it's a real treat.   The whole issue has been turned into an encyclopedia of Sept. 11-related entries, including everything from "freedom fries" to "Abbottabad," and many of them penned by wonderful writers.  Mark Lilla's in there, as is Eliza Griswold. I haven't read them all, but one caught my eye in particular: Jim Holt's entry for "Humor."  

Amy Winehouse And Cremation

08/04/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 Q - I have always been under the impression that cremation and tatoos are forbidden by Jewish law.  Yet the recent funeral for Amy Winehouse was very Jewish in nature although the singer — who was amply tattooed — had asked to be cremated.  Is cremation now accepted in Jewish quarters?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Who Could Have Known?: A Most Unlikely Simcha

07/21/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I officiated at a wedding not quite two weeks ago that, by all external criteria, looked much like many of the hundreds of weddings I’ve officiated at over the last thirty years.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik
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