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The Butcher of Lyon

Klaus Barbie, a Nazi functionary who became known as the “Butcher of Lyon” for personally torturing members of the French Resistance in the Lyons region, was arrested in Bolivia on this date in 1983. He would be convicted of war crimes in France and die in prison in 1991. Barbie was recruited by American intelligence after the war and aided […]

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The Cold War, the CIA, and the Literati

by Dusty Sklar RIGHT AFTER World War II ended, another war started. It was a cultural Cold War against communism,  a mostly covert operation that paradoxically used our most eloquent exemplars of intellectual freedom, some wittingly, others unwittingly, as instruments of our government, and it was secretly paid for by the Central Intelligence Agency. Using […]

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December 22: The Antisemitic Displaced Persons Act, 1948

This date in 1945 was the cut-off for recognition of “Displaced Person” status that would enable people to emigrate to America under the American Displaced Persons Act of 1948. The legislation would ultimately result in 400,000 persons being admitted to the U.S., more than 70 percent of them  from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. […]

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June 13: “Between Picture and Onlooker”

On this date in 1943, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Adolph Gottlieb responded to New York Times critic Edward Alden Jewell’s “befuddlement” about their artworks in the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York. Invited to respond in Jewell’s column, the three declared that “explanation” of their works […]

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OpEdge: Torturing Language to Sanitize Torture

by Marc Jampole HOW DO WE KNOW that those who are defending the American torture program under the presidency of George W. Bush recognize that they are wrong and that torture is both illegal and immoral — in other words, evil? We can tell in the language they use. As soon as the Central Intelligence Agency, […]

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The Uncivil Servant: History Books for Khanike

Our Resident Biblophile Recommends… Dark Mirror by Sara Lipton. Metropolitan Books, 2014, 390 pages. Hitler’s First Victims by Timothy W. Ryback. Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, 273 pages. The Nazis Next Door by Eric Lichtblau. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 266 pages. by Mitchell Abidor   WE START OUR GUIDE to Khanike book-buying in the Middle Ages […]

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May 23: The United Nations Architect

Max Abramovitz, the architect who designed Avery Fisher Hall as well as substantial parts of United Nations headquarters in New York, was born in Chicago on this date in 1908. His other buildings include Hartford’s Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company, the U.S. Steel Tower in Pittsburgh, the Tour Gan, a skyscraper in the business section […]

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June 17: The President and the Propagandist

Guatemala’s President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was overthrown in a CIA-supervised coup on this date in 1954. The Eisenhower administration portrayed the coup as an uprising against a Communist government, but the Arbenz’s real crime had been to redistribute fallow land owned by the United Fruit Company, which owned 42 percent of Guatemala, and to demand […]

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