Simon Round

Interview: Thomas Buergenthal

By Simon Round, February 23, 2012

Thomas Buergenthal believes in justice. This is not just heartwarming but remarkable because this is a man who has witnessed some of the most depraved behaviour in human history.


Piling on pounds to lose weight

By Simon Round, February 17, 2012

Lately, I have become rather obsessed with the progress of a random bloke on a diet in America.


Review: Adam Resurrected

By Simon Round, February 16, 2012

This may not be the best film ever made about the Holocaust but it is almost certainly the most surreal.

Based on Israeli novelist Yoram Kaniuk's 1968 best-seller, Adam Resurrected, it is a kind of post-Holocaust One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with a little Catch 22 and some magical realism thrown in for good measure.

Jeff Goldblum plays the multi-talented but traumatised camp survivor, Ada


Interview: Naomi Richards

By Simon Round, February 16, 2012

Amother bringing up two primary school-aged children will have plenty of problems to solve. How are the kids getting on at school? Are they making friends? Do they have issues with anger or frustration?


Who's who in the $90b mega-merger

By Simon Round, February 9, 2012

This week mining company Xstrata and commodity traders Glencore announced what has been described as a mega-merger, worth in the region of $90 billion.

The two companies may have a new relationship but the respective bosses go back a long way.

Mick Davis, the chief executive of Xstrata and his counterpart, Ivan Glasenberg, both South African Jews, originally met at the University of Witwater


TV review: Toni and Rosi

By Simon Round, February 3, 2012

Even without the Nazis, the story of pianists Toni and Rosi Grunschlag would have made compelling viewing. Filmed over 18 years by Will Wyatt and Todd Murray, we saw the sisters at home and abroad, both playing and reminiscing


The Cranleigh

By Simon Round, February 2, 2012

I knew there was a preponderance of water in the Lake District but what I did not realise was that there were lakes in the middle of the road.

Ok, maybe not lakes but certainly ponds big enough to make driving into the resort of Bowness on Windermere the sort of journey to be undertaken in an amphibious vehicle rather than a Vauxhall Astra.

It was an unusually inclement time to visit – the


Interview: Daniel Sieberg

By Simon Round, February 2, 2012

Daniel Sieberg's wife used to have a nickname for him. She called him "glow worm" because every night when the lights were off, his face was always illuminated by some kind of screen.

She began to get frustrated by her husband's compulsive online behaviour. He would be on social networking sites or surfing the internet and their relationship began to suffer.


Interview: Zoe Strimpel

By Simon Round, January 26, 2012

Like many people at the start of the year, Zoe Strimpel is on a diet. However, for her it is not the cakes and pastries which are being rationed but rather men.


Radio review: The Hidden Graves of the Holocaust

By Simon Round, January 25, 2012

There is of course a mountain of evidence to support the fact that the Nazis murdered upwards of six million Jews during the Second World War.

However, there are still people who deny the Holocaust, which is pretty much akin to people denying the existence of the Pacific Ocean.


Successful parenting? She's discovered le secret

By Simon Round, January 20, 2012

Anyone who has ever attempted to dine out with a toddler in tow will know that it can be a stressful experience. Small children have a tendency to shout loudly, to refuse to eat unfamiliar foods, and occasionally to jettison unwanted items on the laps of people at neighbouring tables.


Storyville Survivors: My Friend Sam - Living For the Moment

By Simon Round, January 20, 2012

In some respects, Sam Frears is very fortunate. Sam - the son of film director Stephen Frears - is popular, has a wide circle of friends, including the writer Alan Bennett, is bright, ambitious, has a sharp sense of humour and no money worries.


Interview: Bennett Arron

By Simon Round, January 19, 2012

Bennett Arron is used to being in a minority of one. As a boy growing up just outside the Welsh steel town of Port Talbot he was the only Jew in the village.


L'Chaim! Time not to detox

By Simon Round, January 13, 2012

January is traditionally the month when the nation attempts to clear its collective hangover and contemplates abstaining from drink for a little while.

This year, the government has got involved. It has launched an alcohol awareness campaign and is now advising that we all abstain from drinking for at least two days a week.


Interview: Jonathan Waxman

By Simon Round, January 6, 2012

Jonathan Waxman's consulting room is a relaxing place - armchairs for the patients, a couch of the kind you might expect to see in a psychiatrists office… and a tropical fish-tank.


Interview: Sophie Solomon

By Simon Round, January 5, 2012

Sophie Solomon never wanted to be a violinist.

She may have started playing at the age of two, been selected for the National Youth Orchestra, been a classical music scholar at her public school, and even been heralded as one of the most talented violinists of her generation, but all Solomon wanted to do was learn Russian.

So instead of becoming a concert violinist, she read modern history a


The singing star of The Da Vinci Code

By Simon Round, December 29, 2011

Israeli soprano Hila Plitmann has played with many of the world's top orchestras, won a Grammy Award and sung solo on the blockbuster Hollywood movie, The Da Vinci Code.

Despite her many accomplishments, however, there is one thing she rarely gets to do - sing in her mother tongue.


TV review: Jerusalem on a Plate

By Simon Round, December 22, 2011

This may have been a food programme but you do not have to be long in Jerusalem before you taste the flavour of politics.

Falafel is, of course, the national dish of Israel - unless you happen to be a Palestinian vendor of the ubiquitous chickpea balls who feels he has a greater claim to the dish than Israeli upstarts.


Perchance to dream - of old age

By Simon Round, December 9, 2011

I had a great idea for a column yesterday. Now what was it? Ah yes, it was about ageing. Not that I'm old or anything, you understand, although I am slightly more middle-aged than I used to be.


What the Independent's Simon Kelner did next: fair reporting

By Simon Round, December 8, 2011

Former Independent editor Simon Kelner this week spoke of his new project to provide journalistic training to those involved in the Arab Spring – and took the opportunity to defend his own newspaper's Middle East coverage.

The Journalism Foundation, a charitable organisation backed by the Lebedev family, which owns the Independent and the Evening Standard, will be led by Mr Kelner, who steppe