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Jewish history


  • The SS Officer's Armchair

    by Daniel Lee

    The discovery of a trove of documents in an old armchair led the author on a five-year search for information about a previously anonymous Nazi, whose history intersected with the author's family in surprising ways.


  • Lessons on Isolation and Humanity in a Family's Letters from Hiding

    by Daphne Geismar

    A virus doesn’t discriminate. But our social structures, systemic biases, and policy choices have made some populations particularly vulnerable. This pandemic has changed us. We must make changes so this tragedy, like the Holocaust, isn’t repeated.



  • Czech Museum Director Fired

    Director of the Lidice memorial, Martina Lehmannová, was let go amid accusations that the government is trying to whitewash inconvenient facts to suit its preferred narrative.



  • A Bittersweet Homecoming for Egypt’s Jews

    A rare ceremony at an ancient synagogue brought 180 Jews back to Egypt, decades after they were pressured to leave. But few Egyptians knew about it, highlighting government ambivalence.



  • George Steiner: The Last Viennese Jew

    by Arie M. Dubnov

    The Holocaust was an impulsive rebellion by 'polytheistic instincts' against the 'noble tyranny' of Jewish monotheism, claimed Jewish American essayist and literary critic George Steiner, who passed away this month, aged 90.


  • BBC Whitewashes U.S. Refusal to Bomb Auschwitz

    by Rafael Medoff

    The new BBC documentary about the question of bombing Auschwitz deserves an award—for creative fiction. Through omissions, distortions, and “re-enactments” of conversations with imaginary dialogue inserted for effect, the BBC has made a shambles of the historical record concerning this important issue.


  • Why FDR Turned Away Jewish Students

    by Rafael Medoff

    American immigration policy was governed by a strict quota system, based on national origins. But the law contained three major exceptions: clergy, professors, and students could be admitted outside the quota restrictions.



  • A Brief History of the Crock-Pot

    Eighty years after it was patented, the Crock-Pot remains a comforting presence in American kitchens.


  • How did November become the Mizrahi Heritage Month? And what’s Mizrahi anyhow?

    by Lior Sternfeld and Arie M. Dubnov

    The Mizrahi heritage month is not a local, grassroots initiative that emerged in response to experiences of discrimination or marginalization. Instead, it is a transatlantic importation of recent attempts by the Israeli government to commemorate the forced expulsion of Jews from the Arab and Muslim world in the wake of the establishment of Israel.