Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.
- Geoffrey Paul
Jul 15, 2009
It is not very often you read a “corrective” about the Holocaust that makes you sit up and say, Yes, that's right. I hadn't seen it that way. But I have just had such an experience with the July 16 issue of the New York Review of Books. There, Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale and specialist in Eastern Europe, claims that by 1943 and 1944, when most of the killing of West European Jews took place, “the Holocaust was in considerable measure complete . Two thirds of the Jews who would be killed during the war were already dead by the end of 1942. The main victims, the Polish and Soviet Jews, had been killed by bullets fired over death pits or by carbon monoxide from internal combustion engines pumped into gas chambers at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor in occupied Poland.”
So why my skewed perception, which I am sure most other Western Jews share? Explains Snyder, “The very reasons that we know about Auschwitz warp our understanding of the Holocaust: we know about Auschwitz because there were survivors and there were survivors because Auschwitz was a labour camp as well as a death factory. These survivors were largely West European Jews because Auschwitz is where West European Jews were usually sent. After World War II, West European Jewish survivors were free to publish as they liked, whereas East Euopean Jewish survivors, if caught behind the iron curtain could not. In the West, memoirs of the Holocaust could (although very slowly) enter into historical writing and public consciousness.”
You can read more of Snyder's fascinating views on “The Ignored Reality” at www.nybooks.com/articles/22875
So this time Major Miller looked as if he would win again. He was leading by four lengths, cantering and it was a matter of how far he would win by. And then he clobbered the rail by the penultimate hurdle, and that was that. He downed tools and virtually stopped.
- Candice Krieger
Jul 15, 2009
Forgive me for jumping on the Goldman Sachs-bashing bandwagon but quite frankly, it is too good an opportunity to pass up. The tune, I hear, goes something like this (please note these are not real names):
Shocked member of the public number one: "Can you believe that bankers at Goldman Sachs are on track for average pay packets of more than £475,000 this year after the investment bank reported record profits"
Flabbergasted member of the public number two: "Haven't they heard of the recession?!"
I am sure they have heard of it. They have probably just forgotten we are in one, in the same way that they have forgotten that it wasn't so long ago that Goldman's was being bailed out with a $10 bn loan from the US government. And of course there is us, the taxpayers, who have had to stump up huge sums of money to keep the financial system afloat, after the banking sector racked up considerable losses. In fact, if it wasn't for all the public money being ploughed into the banking system, the surviving banks such as Goldman Sachs, BarCap and Morgan Stanley, might not still be err surviving.
There are very few occasions on which I am struck entirely dumb. I've just had one of them, for the very best of reasons.
We've just had our 32 week scan. Having taken all sorts of measurements and pictures the scanner put them through the 4D software. We were then presented with a series of crystal clear pictures of our daughter, as if she was sitting in front us staring into a camera.
Truly magical. I'm sitting here staring at them, trying to edit the paper, and with my mind somewhere else altogether!
There's an excellent post at Conservative Home by Dan Hannan, on the election of Michał Kamiński as leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR):
When Michal made his first speech as an MEP, he hymned the praises
of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to the unfeigned horror of the
EPP. He is, in short, the closest thing to a British Tory outside the
In a sense, Michal’s election was accidental. It had
originally been planned that he would take a parliamentary
Vice-Presidency while a Briton became the first leader of the European
Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). But my erstwhile colleague Edward
Macmillan-Scott decided to have a go at the Vice-Presidency himself,
which upset all the calculations (Edward lost the Conservative Whip in
- Candice Krieger
Jul 15, 2009
Now I am no expert on drug smuggling but I reckon I could have done a better job than this woman:
Oh, and just to be clear, I have no interest in drug smuggling.
- Danny Caro
Jul 14, 2009
Do not enter. That is the sign I was expecting to see after hearing some unfavourable reports about Lod – the venue for Team GB’s Open Cricket match against South Africa.
The drugs capital of Israel, as described by my driver Ami, who reminds me of Mr T, is somewhere one should try to avoid. Ami is no weakling. He regularly lifts heavy weights and is built like a brickhouse. He has given me plenty of sound advice since I arrived to cover the Maccabiah, so when he talks, I listen.
The fact that he was less than enthusiastic about taking me there said everything I needed to know.
The big news, of course, is that AP McCoy will be riding Major Miller tomorrow. He's running in the 3.40 at Uttoxeter.
Watching the Daily Politics on BBC2. The caption under Andrew Roberts reads:
Andrew has dined in the Whitehouse with...
We hand over our earnings, under threat of imprisonment, for this.