Introducing Rosa Luxemburg

This month, let’s discuss Rosa Luxemburg, whose life was cut short by right-wing troops in early 1919. Born in 1871 into a Polish Jewish family, Luxemburg grew up to become a Marxist theorist, peace activist and revolutionary socialist who would go from the SPD (Social Democratic Party) to KPD (Communist Party of Germany). Alongside her Read more about Introducing Rosa Luxemburg[…]

Book Recommendation: A Time to Dance, a Time to Die

A break from Nazis and Stasi for this month, to recommend you a book which I devoured in two sittings during my recent trip to Belgrade: John Waller’s ‘A Time to Dance, a Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518‘. During the stiflingly hot summer of that year in Strasbourg Read more about Book Recommendation: A Time to Dance, a Time to Die[…]

Introducing Gail Halvorsen

Since this month heralds the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Berlin Airlift (more on that below), the hero has to be Colonel Gail Halvorsen of the US Army Air Forces. On approach to Tempelhof Airport, Halvorsen’s signal of dipped wings was the alert for young Berliners to watch out for handmade parachutes stuffed Read more about Introducing Gail Halvorsen[…]

Book Recommendation: East West Street

Several of you recommended this title to me in the last few months, so I am especially pleased to suggest our book of the month for June as Philippe Sand’s ‘East West Street’ (2017). A mixture of family memoir with a compelling legal history, the book examines the intertwining destinies of the Jewish lawyers (particularly Hersch Lauterpacht and Read more about Book Recommendation: East West Street[…]

Introducing Otto and Else Weidt

Otto Weidt (born on May 2nd, 1883) and his wife Else operated a factory employing blind and deaf craftspeople, many of whom were Jewish, in the Hackescher quarter of central Berlin. As a young man, Otto Weidt’s eyesight declined, though he would serve as a medical orderly during WWI. After becoming blind, he established his broom-making Read more about Introducing Otto and Else Weidt[…]