Oliver Kamm

The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial

By Oliver Kamm, March 31, 2016

By Lawrence Douglas
Princeton University Press, £19.95

Within a few years, the Holocaust will pass beyond living memory. The last survivors will no longer be with us to speak of suffering unsurpassed in modern history.

The story told by Lawrence Douglas in The Right Wrong Man is a vital part of that narrative of barbarism.


The fight's gone out of me

By Oliver Kamm, March 17, 2016

"A true Labour friend," is how the JC described Harold Wilson a fortnight ago, on the centenary of the former prime minister's birth. These are difficult times for the left, and it's worth recalling the close historical links between the British and Israeli Labour parties. Wilson exemplified them.


Left is struggling for trust

By Oliver Kamm, February 4, 2016

The Irish are 'in' for the moment, and the Jews 'out', as recipients of the sympathy of the international left," wrote Conor Cruise O'Brien caustically in his book The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986).


Corbyn really is no Fischer

By Oliver Kamm, December 23, 2015

Should the Board of Deputies meet Jeremy Corbyn? Of course the answer, as Daniel Finkelstein argued in the JC last week, is yes. Jonathan Arkush should not have to justify his decision. It's his role to represent and voice the concerns of British Jewry, and Mr Corbyn is leader of the Opposition.


Life in the termite colony

By Oliver Kamm, November 12, 2015

As I write, a man is on trial in Canada for promoting hatred of Jews. His name is Arthur Topham and his volubility far exceeds his intellect. His website reproduces Mein Kampf, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and voluminous material of his own in which he denounces Jewish "chicanery and conspiracy", the "synagogue of Satan" and the "fabricated fraud" of the Holocaust.


Review: The House by the Lake

By Oliver Kamm, October 1, 2015

By Thomas Harding
William Heinemann, £20

It would be hard to write an original and moving account of the tortured 20th-century history of Germany. But, in The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding succeeds remarkably. His narrative device is a small, wooden house in a village called Gross Glienicke.


My regrets at being exiled

By Oliver Kamm, October 1, 2015

Politics has all changed, and at the same time not changed at all. Over the past few weeks, almost all JC regular columnists, including me, have had something to say about the implausible rise of Jeremy Corbyn to lead Britain's main opposition party.


Corbyn's deplorable allies

By Oliver Kamm, August 20, 2015

'U f--ked up kamm. Anti corbyn campaign seen as a uk jewish zionist movement against a popular national tide," ran a message on Twitter. "Corbyn refuses to be interviewed by Oliver Kamm", said another poster. "He's one of the prime movers in the Henry Jackson Society. Arch Zionist. F--k him & the JC."


An argument for honesty

By Oliver Kamm, July 9, 2015

Zionist agents are known for low cunning. Asghar Bukhari, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, gained brief media notoriety last month when he claimed that Zionists had sneaked into his home in an effort to intimidate him. The miscreants had stolen one of his shoes: yes, one of his shoes, not a pair of them, and nothing else, to let him know they'd been there.


Genocide at Srebrenica: We must unmask the new deniers

By Oliver Kamm, May 28, 2015

Imagine entering "Auschwitz" into an online search engine and finding on the first page of results a site claiming that the gas chambers were a myth. Imagine the confusion of a schoolchild doing a history project if they were to do the same.


Ed's out-of -touch feeling

By Oliver Kamm, April 19, 2015

On general election day in 2010 I went out for lunch with Daniel Finkelstein. "Now tell me," he said, "how did you vote?" I didn't feel it was open to me, as one columnist to another, to protest that it was a secret ballot, so I mumbled, in a half-hearted hope that he might not hear correctly, that I had voted Labour.


Behind Ukip's smiling face

By Oliver Kamm, March 5, 2015

'I don't care what you call us," declared Nigel Farage at a Ukip rally last year, "but from this moment on, please, do not ever call us a racist party. We are not a racist party."

What sort of party needs to declare that it's not racist? The answer is unmysterious: one that reliably attracts the support of racists.

That's what Ukip does.


Pacifists failed Vera's Britain

By Oliver Kamm, January 22, 2015

Vera Brittain holds a small but secure place in the 20th-century history of English letters. Her memoir Testament of Youth (1933) tells of the costs of war and the imperative of peace-making.


Offended by freedom of speech? That's life

By Oliver Kamm, January 15, 2015

"Why is freedom of expression deemed more important than Jewish lives?" asked Melanie Phillips in The Times this week. Her argument was that Western commentators were failing to report the virulent antisemitism at the heart of the Islamist terrorists' campaign of violence.


'Respectable' revisionists

By Oliver Kamm, December 11, 2014

The Holocaust is slipping beyond memory. Antisemites who deny the greatest crime of the age are preparing for when the victims are no longer around to answer them. Holocaust deniers call themselves "historical revisionists", as if their work had anything to do with scholarship. Their cause was notoriously adopted by President Ahmadinejad of Iran.


Two states, many obstacles

By Oliver Kamm, October 23, 2014

'In all the years I have been a Conservative Friend of Israel," wrote Alastair Burt, the former Foreign Office minister, in the JC last week, "I have never known such a hesitation over actions of an Israeli government."

He was alluding to the strength of parliamentary feeling in the symbolic vote of MPs to recognise an independent Palestine. And it's a fair point.


Review: An Armenian Sketchbook

By Oliver Kamm, October 2, 2014

By Vasily Grossman
MacLeHose Press, £8.99

Vasily Grossman, the Soviet Jewish writer, has steadily acquired a deserved reputation among English-speaking readers. He was born in 1905 and showed great promise as a writer of fiction. During the Second World War, he turned his talent for prose to journalism, and filed despatches of historic significance for the Soviet newspaper Red Star.


The poison in the Kremlin

By Oliver Kamm, September 11, 2014

The disturbing recrudescence of antisemitism in Europe is not only connected with Gaza and the tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, I interviewed on stage Anne Applebaum, the historian, about her book, Iron Curtain. It's a magnificent account of the postwar subjugation of Eastern Europe by Soviet communism, an ideology in which antisemitism played a role.


Sophistication and illusion

By Oliver Kamm, July 31, 2014

Norman Finkelstein, the American far-left activist, was interviewed a couple of months ago on Al-Jazeera's Head to Head. I was one of the pundits cross-examining him. We didn't get on. I criticised the quality of his historiography and he compared me to the dust beneath his feet.


Mask of the populist right

By Oliver Kamm, June 19, 2014

Europe's populist Right has had a makeover. It typically now disclaims antisemitism and expresses sympathies with Israel. It seeks the support of Jewish voters on the strength of its opposition to militant Islamism.