Second World War

Bomber Command back £2m WW2 memorial

By Leon Symons, October 21, 2010

RAF veterans are in a frantic race to raise almost £2 million to ensure the building of a memorial for their dead comrades in Bomber Command.

A total of 55,573 men from Bomber Command died during World War II. Their losses were greater proportionately than those of any other service. It is the only section of the wartime armed forces that does not have a memorial to those who died.

In May this year, planning permission was given to build a memorial in Green Park in central London, costing around £5 million.

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Operation Embarrass? You bet: Britain's secret war on the Jews

By Marcus Dysch, September 21, 2010

British spies staged covert operations to sabotage Holocaust survivors' attempts to reach Palestine between 1946 and early 1948.

Among the tactics used by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in Operation Embarrass were the bombing of five ships used by potential immigrants, intimidation and the creation of a fake Palestinian defence group.

The British government gave the go-ahead to the campaign to slow illegal immigration into Palestine, provided there was "no risk of casualties being incurred" and no link could be traced back to the government.

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Hero or faker? Debate over Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal

By Simon Rocker, September 17, 2010

Fresh controversy has erupted over the reputation of the legendary Nazi-hunter, Simon

A new biography of him by Israeli historian Tom Segev was this week dismissed as a "whitewash" by Guy Walters, the British author who challenged Wiesenthal's credibility in his own book Hunting Evil last year.

Mr Walters recently branded Wiesenthal "one of the biggest conmen of the 20th century" for lying about his wartime experiences and exaggerating his role in tracking down war criminals.

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Interview: Josef Levinson

By Simon Round, September 7, 2010

I am sitting in the Central Synagogue in London sipping tea, hoping that I will get a chance to speak to Josef Levinson. Levinson is 93 years old and exhausted after his flight from Vilnius. He has an ongoing high blood pressure problem and has apparently had a bad night. His son Alex, a tall, square-jawed man with a booming voice, tells me that his father has been having doubts about whether to talk to the newspapers.

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Ben Uri buys Holocaust horror art

August 26, 2010

A jubilant Ben Uri Gallery was celebrating its latest acquisition this week: an important work by the distinguished German artist George Grosz, which in brutal clarity shows the horrors of the Second World War.

Grosz, who was not Jewish, and died in 1959, painted Interrogation - a man being tortured by Nazi soldiers - between 1936 and 1939, following his emigration to the USA in 1933.

There are only 15 examples of Grosz's work on public view in the UK, just six of which are in London.

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A Canterbury tale - and trail

August 12, 2010

A heritage trail of Jewish Canterbury has been launched online as a precursor to organised tours in 2011.

The service is being made available through JTrails, the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, along with a history of Canterbury Jewry and photographs and articles on famous Canterbury Jews.

Contributions are also invited from those with knowledge of Jewish connections to the city, particularly from the Second World War and beyond.

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TalkSPORT Shimon Peres slip up

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Listeners to a late-night radio phone-in got a shock when a man introduced as a Zionist Federation spokesman announced he could not discuss Shimon Peres's comments on British antisemitism because he was eating a toasted sandwich.

The imposter, pretending to be former ZF public affairs director Gavin Gross, failed to answer any questions about Mr Peres's remarks, saying he was too busy eating.

TalkSPORT presenter Adrian Goldberg, not realising he had been hoaxed, said the man's comments were "absolutely, utterly disgraceful" during Sunday's show.

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Gainsbourg, a life lived in revenge for the yellow star

By Eddi Fiegel, July 28, 2010

For most Jews, the yellow star that thousands were forced to wear by the Nazis would not be the most obvious choice of subject matter for a pop song. But then the French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg was never really your average Jew.

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Old boys remember Leeds school

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

Former pupils of a temporary wartime Ort school in Leeds were reunited on Sunday, 70 years after its relocation from Berlin.

More than 100 boys aged 15-to-17 fled to Britain from Nazi Germany in 1939, along with seven teachers and their spouses. From the following year until 1942, it operated from premises in Roseville Avenue as the Ort Technical Engineering School.

Eight old boys, who keep in regular contact, were at the anniversary celebration with family members and Ort officials at London's Jewish Museum in Camden.

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Jews in fight against weekend Nazis

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The Jewish community has been encouraged to come up with solutions to stop Nazi impersonators from infiltrating Second World War re-enactment events across the UK.

The general manager of the East Lancashire Railway, Andy Coward, said this week that he welcomed ideas on how to stop the imitators.

The heritage railway came under pressure from Manchester's Jewish community to ban dozens of actors who were spotted wearing Nazi insignia at its May event. It sparked angry complaints from local Jewish politicians.

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