Stoppard Britain Jewish people 

“Hineini”, says Sir Tom Stoppard; here I am, a Jew

The first play to be written by the Jewish writer Tomáš Straussler is shortly to open in London. Actually, it’s the latest play by the acclaimed playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, who was born Tomáš Straussler in Czechoslovakia in 1937. But Leopoldstadt is the first of his plays which reflects the fact that he identifies himself — deeply, emotionally, viscerally — as a Jew. He told the JC last week that he realised what this meant to him only in late middle age. The play, which I have seen in preview,…

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antisemitism Global conflict Jewish people 

Holding hostage the memory of the Jewish dead

A profound and bitter battle between Israel and Poland has been brought to crisis point by the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which is being commemorated by world leaders this week at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and next week at Auschwitz itself. The roots of the row lay in remarks made last December by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He claimed that Poland helped start World War II, and accused it of being an antisemitic country that had welcomed Hitler’s plan to liquidate Europe’s Jews. A few days later, Polish…

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Jewish people 

The west mourns the Jewish dead. But what about the living?

At Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Jan. 23, some 46 political leaders and royals, including Britain’s Prince Charles, will be attending the fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At this and doubtless other such memorial events, many eloquent, important and heartfelt observations will be made about the evils of Nazism and Jew-hatred. In today’s climate, however, there’s something disquieting about such memorializing. Given the eruption of physical and verbal attacks on Jews in Britain, America and Europe, it…

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