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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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Yehudi Menuhin

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin played a public performance for the first time in his hometown of New York at the age of 9 on this date in 1926, at the Manhattan Opera House. This came two years after his debut concert in San Francisco, where he played Bériot’s ”Scene de Ballet” with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and […]

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The Mobster

Mobster Meyer Lansky (Meier Suchowlański), a co-founder of Murder, Inc., died on this day in 1983, age 80, without ever being convicted for a crime worse than illegal gambling. He was a lifelong friend with Bugsy Siegel (they ran a violent Prohibition-era gang and launched Murder, Inc. together) until he agreed to Siegel’s execution in 1947 […]

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Samplings from the New York Jewish Film Festival

by Mitchell Abidor   THE ALWAYS INTERESTING New York Jewish Film Festival will be running from January 10 to January 23 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Information on screenings can be found at nyjff.org. What follows is just a sample of the riches on view. The Romanian director Radu Jude is one of the […]

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The “Pope of the Jews”

Angelo Donati, a Jewish businessman and diplomat from the tiny Republic of San Marino who saved several thousand Jews in the Italian occupation zone in France and became known as the “Pope of the Jews,” died at 75 on this date in 1960. Donati, who hailed from Modena, was general consul of San Marino from 19235 to […]

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Brownshirt Violence and the Nazi Machine

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts by Daniel Siemens. Yale University Press, 2017, 459 pages.   OUR DOMINANT image of the German streets, both during the rise to power of the Nazi Party and while it ruled, is of jack-booted men in brown uniforms beating opponents, threatening Jews, […]

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The “Double Genocide” Theory

THE NEW AND OFFICIAL FORM OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL by Dovid Katz from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents Photo at top: A scene from the June 1941 Lietukis Garage Massacre in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania. An eyewitness wrote: “The behavior of the civilians present (women and children) was unbelievable. After each man had been killed they […]

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How Stalin Built and Buried Communism

by Mitchell Abidor   Discussed in this essay: Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, by Stephen Kotkin. Penguin Press, 2017, 1154 pages.   AT THE OPENING of Stephen Koptkin’s magisterial Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, the second volume of his biography of the Soviet leader and gravedigger of the revolution, Lenin has been dead for five years and Stalin, […]

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