Second World War

Letters reveal life of a Jewish soldier fighting for Germany

By Andrea Edan, February 6, 2014

Two years before the Second World War broke out, Otto Meyer prepared five potassium cyanide capsules, one for himself, one for his wife, and one for each of his three children.

But luck was on his side. By the end of 1937, he managed to wind up his affairs, sell his machine factory in Rheda and take his family to Palestine before the onset of the Holocaust. The capsules remained unused.

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Year Zero: A History of 1945

By David Cesarani, January 20, 2014

Year Zero: A History of 1945
By Ian Buruma
Atlantic Books, £25

Several books on the end of the Second World War have been published recently, but Ian Buruma's is distinctive by virtue of its scope and personal tone. Buruma adopts a global perspective, framed by the story of his own family.

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Kicking out falsehoods

By Robert Low, January 20, 2014

There can rarely have been more of an innocent abroad than Lance-Corporal Ron Jones at the start of the Second World War. Born near Newport, he was working in a Cardiff steel forgings factory when he was called up by the South Wales Borderers as a result, he claims, of a clerical error, a fact that still nettles him at the age of 96.

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Remember our fallen and fight for our future, say Jewish ex-servicemen and women

By Sandy Rashty, November 8, 2013

Most people know of Ajex —the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women — as the people who parade down Whitehall every November to commemorate fallen comrades.

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Hero soldiers honoured by Yad Vashem

By Rosa Doherty, October 24, 2013

Yad Vashem honoured the relatives of five British PoWs this week by naming them Righteous Amongst the Nations in a ceremony at the House of Lords.

Also receiving the awards, presented by Israeli envoy Daniel Taub, were the relatives of a Lithuanian and a Polish citizen.

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Hundreds protest at funeral of Nazi war criminal

By Charlotte Oliver, October 16, 2013

The funeral of a Nazi war criminal was cancelled at the last minute in Italy yesterday, after protesters broke into the compound where the ceremony was taking place.

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Silver service is finally honoured

By John Fisher, September 30, 2013

Former Leeds United chairman Leslie Silver has been belatedly honoured for wartime services.

Mr Silver has received the new Bomber Command Clasp in recognition of his contribution to the RAF during the Second World War. He took part in some 44 operations in Europe and 20 in the Far East.

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Wanted: war stories from heroes of WWII

By Sandy Rashty, September 13, 2013

A new group is launching a UK-wide campaign to collect stories and memorabilia from Jewish men and women who served in the British army during the Second World War.

The Association of Jewish War Heroes has been set up to amass material to fill a new section of the Latrun military museum in Israel that will be dedicated to war heroes from Britain.

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Two heroes who cleared the path to reconciliation

By Miranda Seymour, September 5, 2013

Arriving in London as a young girl from Germany in the early 1960s, the woman who is today my German teacher found herself friendless and desperately short of funds. Her kindly rescuer was an elderly businessman who had come to England as a refugee from Nazi Germany, back in 1935. He gave Friederike a job and found her a place to live.

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Cross removed from Jewish pilot's Second World War grave

By Zoe Winograd, August 30, 2013

This week marks the end of a two-year campaign by the family of Second World War hero pilot Cyril Anekstein to have a cross removed from his grave and replaced by a star of David.

Squadron Leader Anekstein was killed during a RAF bombing mission over Germany in August 1943 and buried in the Rheinberg cemetery.

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