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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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Writing for Children about the Holocaust

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE BISSON, AUTHOR OF “HEDY’S JOURNEY” by Jacob L. Perl   “She and I talked about the Holocaust a lot over the years, but I, also for many years, did not understand. I just thought that she was obsessive and talked too much about it. And then when she died … Something […]

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Who You Callin’ a Fascist?

WHY IT MATTERS by George Salamon   “All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.” —George Orwell, “What is Fascism?” Tribune (UK), 1944   ORWELL’S SUGGESTION survives unheeded today, as “fascist” and […]

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Jews as an Indigenous People

LET’S PRACTICE SOLIDARITY WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES by Marc Daalder   AMONG ALL the indigenous peoples of the world, the Jewish people have a unique tale. Suffering displacement from their ancestral land twice (the Babylonian captivity in 597 BCE and the diaspora from 135 CE), Jews nonetheless succeeded in retaining their cultural connections to the Land of […]

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Hitler and the Art of the Deal

HIS RISE TO POWER AS A MASTER MANIPULATOR by Mitchell Abidor Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich. Alfred A. Knopf, 998 pages, 2016; On Hitler’s Mein Kampf, by Albrecht Koschorke. MIT Press, 78 pages, 2017. IT IS DIFFICULT when reading Volker Ullrich’s brilliant and absorbing […]

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Toronto’s Christie Pits Riot

A championship softball series between a predominantly Jewish (and Italian) baseball team, the Harbord Playground, and St. Peter’s, a team sponsored by a Catholic Church, led to a five-hour riot on this date in 1933 after supporters of St. Peter’s’ victory displayed a large swastika for the second time in two nights. The Toronto Daily Star […]

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The Anti-Hitler Youth Movement

Gustav Bermel, a member of an anti-Nazi group centered in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, was born on this date in 1927. Known as the Ehrenfelder Group and, alternately, as the Steinbrück Group, after their 23-year-old leader, Hans Steinbrück, a concentration-camp escapee, the group consisted of scores of anti-Nazi resisters, Jews, escapees, deserters, artists, and refugees who lived in a bombed-out district […]

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Ludwig Fulda and the Nazis

German playwright Ludwig Fulda, winner of the Schiller Prize for his 1892 comedy, Der Talisman, first president of PEN in Germany (1925-32), and president of the Prussian Academy of Arts (1928), was born in Frankfurt on this date in 1862. Fulda wrote political plays that were “remarkable for their clever stage effects and insight into social problems,” according […]

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“Different from the Others”

“Different from the Others” (Anders als die Andern), a silent film offering a sympathetic portrait of homosexuality, was released in Germany on this date in 1919. Written by Magnus Hirschfeld, founder of the Institute for Sexual Science in the Weimar Republic, and Richard Oswald (Ornstein), who also directed the film, “Different from the Others” portrayed the downfall […]

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The Buchenwald Song

Lyricist and librettist Fritz Löhner-Beda (Bedřich Löwy), who was one of Vienna’s most sought-after songmakers in the pre-Nazi period, was born in Bohemia on this date in 1883. Löhner-Beda was a lawyer, a satirist, and an anti-militarist who was arrested and taken to Dachau almost immediately after the Nazi takeover of Austria in April 1938. […]

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