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Arthur Szyk, a “Soldier in Art”

by Bennett Muraskin   ALTHOUGH ARTHUR SZYK (1894-1951) is best known today for his Illuminated Hagaddah (1940), still widely used at Passover seders, he was in many ways a political artist, a self-described “soldier in art,” who used his talents to attack fascism, call for the rescue to European Jewry from Nazi-occupied Europe, promote the American war effort and make […]

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Fascism: What It Isn’t and How Not To Fight It

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray. Melville House, 2017, 259 pages.    MARK BRAY’S Antifa can perhaps be considered the definitive statement of the movement that leapt to the front page after the events in Charlottesville. Widely though not deeply researched, Bray’s book clearly lays out the historical […]

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March 2: Denise Bloch, in the French Underground

Denise Bloch, 28, a Parisian Jew who had been active in the French Resistance in Lyon as a courier and wireless operator for two years (codenames Ambroise and Crinoline), was flown by the British Special Operations Executive into Central France on this date in 1944 to work undercover with Robert Benoist, her fellow passenger, to […]

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February 13: Photographing the Warsaw Ghetto

Joe J. Heydecker, a soldier in the Nazi army who preserved forty-two photographs that he made inside the Warsaw Ghetto in early 1941, was born in Nuremberg on this date in 1916. Heydecker was a journalist and photographer who was ordered into Warsaw to join a propaganda unit. Anti-Nazi in sentiment, he secretly took hundreds […]

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The Descendants of Nazis

by Dusty Sklar WE LEARNED through war-crimes trials at the end of World War II that most officials in Nazi organizations had no sense of shame or remorse about their barbarous deeds. They either denied their crimes altogether, or rationalized whatever moral qualms they may have felt. That was not the case with some of […]

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October 18: The Master Race

Director and screenwriter Herbert Biberman released his film, The Master Race, through RKO on this date in 1944. The movie portrayed Nazi leaders on the verge of military defeat who infiltrate a Belgian village to cultivate a future for “Aryans” and then sow seeds of discontent as Allied troops arrive. TimeOut magazine calls the film […]

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June 1: Zvi Dunski and the Resistance in Sosnowiec

As the Nazi liquidation of the Sosnowiec Ghetto in Poland began on this date in 1943, it was met with an earnest but poorly armed resistance that had been organized by Zvi Dunski, a young Hashomer Hatzair (Socialist Zionist) activist. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dunski, born in 1922, “played a central role […]

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February 20: Walter Winchell

Radio and newspaper commentator Walter Winchell died at 74 on this date in 1972. Winchell was the first syndicated gossip columnist with “On-Broadway” in the New York Daily Mirror, which he parleyed into enormous cultural and political influence. He was an early anti-Nazi, a proponent of American intervention in World War II, and a staunch […]

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January 6: Eduard Bernstein and Evolutionary Socialism

Eduard Bernstein, author of Evolutionary Socialism (1899), whose faith in the nonviolent reform of capitalism through labor union activity and parliamentary politics posed a powerful challenge to Karl Marx’s predictions about the coming proletarian revolution, was born in Berlin on this date in 1850. In exile from Germany during the late 1870s, and expelled a […]

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January 3: The Great Dane

Danish pianist and comedian Victor Borge (Børge Rosenbaum) was born in Copenhagen on this date in 1909. The son of musicians and a child prodigy, he received a full scholarship at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and played his first major concert in 1926. Within a few years he began interrupting his own performances […]

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