The Uncivil Servant: German Cinema in Nazi Times

by Mitchell Abidor   OCCASIONALLY DERIDED for being too broad and hasty in its estimation of individual films, Siegfried Kracauer’s 1947 study, From Caligari to Hitler, nevertheless stands as a classic of film criticism. Its old-fashioned, Old-World vision of German cinema from its beginnings until the arrival in power of Hitler, and its focus on the unity […]

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Eichmann and Budapest’s Judenrat

On this date in 1944, two days after occupying Hungary, the Nazis set up a Jewish Council (Judenrat or Zsidó Tanács in Hungarian) in Budapest, headed by a banker, Samu Stern. At the same time, Adolf Eichmann was meeting with Hungarian Interior Ministry officials: “That evening,” he would later write, “the fate of the Hungarian […]

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A Bundist Talks About the Bund

by Dvora Zylberman   I HAVE ALWAYS wondered what qualifies someone to write an article on a given topic. I had always assumed that one needed to be an expert in a given field to give an interesting and insightful angle on a given issue. It is fair to assume that an expert qualified to write […]

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Recha Freier and Youth Aliyah

Youth Aliyah (originally called the “Committee for the Assistance of Jewish Youth”) opened its office in Berlin on this date in 1933 — the same day that Adolf Hitler took power as chancellor of Germany. “The utter senselessness of Jewish life in the Diaspora stood palpably before my eyes,” wrote Recha Freier, a poet, musician, […]

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“The Millionaire Who Never Laughs”

Marcel Dassault (Bloch), a French aircraft engineer who became a major force in the country’s airplane and defense industries until he was imprisoned by the Vichy government for refusing to build aircraft for the Nazis, was born in Paris on this date in 1892. In 1944 he was confined in Buchenwald, where he was targeted […]

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