Last month, on a sunny pavement in the Wilhelmsdorf-Charlottenberg section of Berlin, some 40 people solemnly gathered outside a block of tidy, well-scrubbed residential flats on Gieselerstrasse 12. They came to commemorate the memory of seven Jews who were rounded up by the Nazis and sent to their deaths in Auschwitz between 1942 and 1944.
At the age of 26, Dena Ryness had been big for as long as she could remember. Having been a chubby child and pudgy teenager, Ryness was now a grown-up size 16-18 who had never exercised. She longed to wear trendy clothes but was resigned to being "the fat one" in her family.
There you are, cruising along the crowded highway from Tel Aviv airport towards Jerusalem. Suddenly, slashing its way across the barren landscape to your left, you see it: a great, grey, concrete monstrosity, dividing creamy-white Jewish settlements from shabby Arab villages.
Latvia's Waffen SS were marching again last week. Their objective was more modest than the one for which the army of 140,000 Latvian men was formed by the Nazis in 1943. Then they were recruited to help Germany occupy the Baltics, advance on Leningrad and defeat the Soviet army.
Jane Austen had a lucky escape. If she had written Sense and Sensibility today, a quick web search by those unacquainted with her work would reveal her to be a spinster who rejected her only suitor and still lived at home with her mother. "What could she possibly know about romance?", they would be chirping on Twitter.
This month, Charlie Sheen badmouthed Chuck Lorre, the creator of his hit TV show, highlighting his Jewish roots by calling him 'Chaim Levine'. Then there was John Galliano's slurring rant about how much he loved Hitler. And Wikileaks founder Julian Assange allegedly told Private Eye that Guardian journalists were parts of a "Jewish conspiracy" against him.
Over the past three years (apart from nine months during pregnancy) my weight has been at its lowest since teenagerdom. The weird thing is that, while I was trying to diet and exercise I languished at a weight two stone heavier than at present.
Instead of Barack Obama, it could have been Eliot Spitzer sitting in the Oval Office right now.
As Attorney General of New York state and then as Governor, Spitzer declared a crackdown on the very bankers who were the cause of the global recession, targeting their bonus culture, and proclaiming himself the "Sheriff of Wall Street".