A January 25, 2019 report rates individual European Union (EU) countries on how honest they are in facing up their Holocaust pasts. The report gives each country a rating of green, yellow or red. For example, Hungary, Poland and Croatia received red cards for revisionism. It is no coincidence that countries rated red often have nationalist autocratic governments. Germany, France and Romania are among the countries rated green. And Denmark and Italy are examples of countries the report rates as yellow.
Yale College and Grinnell College helped finance the report. With their support, student researchers traveled throughout Europe during the summer of 2018 preparing reports. Local representatives from the European Union of Progressive Judaism checked their work.
The most interesting part of Jeff Bezos’s February 7, 2019 piece on Medium is in parentheses:
(Even though The [Washington] Post is a complexifier for me, I do not at all regret my investment. The Post is a critical institution with a critical mission. My stewardship of The Post and my support of its mission, which will remain unswerving, is something I will be most proud of when I’m 90 and reviewing my life, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, regardless of any complexities it creates for me.)
I don’t care about the personal life of Jeff Bezos. But I care very much about a free press.
Newspapers are in decline and under attack. Mr. Bezos’s support of The Washington Post is important for the country and the world. A democracy cannot function without a free press.
The words and actions of Mr. Bezos make him a worthy successor to Katherine Graham. The Post certainly doesn’t cut Amazon or Mr. Bezos any slack and it seems clear he is content to let the fine journalists of his newspaper do their jobs as they see fit.
Thank you, Mr. Bezos. A free press is more important than all the stuff we buy on Amazon or all the rockets Blue Origin puts in space.
The walk begins at France’s gigantic national library – Bibliothèque nationale de France. This is the largest library I have ever seen; it houses 15 million books and journals. It is located near the Métro station Bibliothèque François Mitterrand right along the Seine. But not much else is nearby. The location feels desolate, modern and suburban, although the library remains within Paris’s Périphérique or beltway.
However, it was unclear to me from reading the book where the walk ended so I emailed the author who cheerfully responded with the details and even suggested a nice, reasonably priced restaurant for lunch right along the walk. The restaurant is La Fregate and is at the only spot on the walk where you have to go up to the sidewalk from the river. Downie describes the restaurant as “cozy, friendly, insiderish, welcoming – and the service – efficient, discreet and unusually chummy for Paris.”
I watched the city transform from stark, modern suburbs and eventually came upon Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower and on to its terminus at the Pont Mirabeau. I will never forget Le Pont Mirabeau after reading Guillaume Apollinaire’s poem in high school. The poem breathes life and love into the bridge. Seeing Le Pont Mirabeau at the end of this day-long walk was special. The entire walk was about 10 km or 6.2 miles. The transformations within that short distance speak volumes about Paris.
On top of the wonderful details that make Paris come to life, Downie’s prose shows a love and mastery of the English language that I appreciate. This gem of a book will teach you so much about Paris and make you want to return again and again. Or, it may motivate you to go to Paris and remain as Downie has.
At Downie’s suggestion, I also visited Buttes Chaumont park which is even more impressive than Mr. Downie describes. He knows Place des Vosges like the back of his hand so that chapter is exceptional.
On top of the wonderful details that make Paris come to life, Downie’s prose shows a love and mastery of the English language that I appreciate. This gem of a book will teach you about Paris and make you want to return again and again. It may even motivate you to go there and remain as Downie has.
What would Assad have to do to justify a comparison to the Holocaust? Attempted ethnic cleansing on a massive scale? Check. Mass torture and murder of civilians in custody? Check. Crematoriums ? Check. Gassing children? Check.
The stories are brutal. Dr. Enver Tohti, a former surgeon from Xinjiang, testified in the British, Irish and European parliaments to removing organs from a prisoner forcibly in 1995. “We had been told to wait behind a hill, and come into the field as soon as we’d hear the gunshot,” he recalled. “A moment later there were gunshots. Not one, but many. We rushed into the field. An armed police officer approached us and told me where to go. He led us closer, then pointed to a body, saying, ‘This is the one.’ By then our chief surgeon appeared from nowhere and told me to remove the liver and two kidneys.” According to Dr. Tohti, the man’s wound was not necessarily fatal. But Dr. Tohti went ahead and removed the liver and kidneys while the man’s heart was still beating.
This makes me think of the medical experiments Josef Mengele conducted at Auschwitz. Why is this less important in the press than the most recent ephemeral tweet?
If these allegations are true, I would gladly pay extra for an iPhone that did not come from a country that supports such practices.
The Tipping Point podcast is a weekly podcast about Israel produced by The Israel Project, a non-partisan American educational organization dedicated to informing the media and public conversation about Israel. In Episode 101 — “Explaining The Holocaust to Millennials” – the moderator interviews two young Jewish Israelis (Eli Teplow and Batya Medved) about what the “Shoah” means for them. They discuss important questions including whether Hollywood films are good tools for teaching people about the Holocaust, the best social media for reaching millennials and when and how the Holocaust should be taught to children. Their answers are instructive. For example, they feel that new films about the Holocaust are needed because young people don’t watch the old films like “Schindler’s List.”
This is a list of resources I have found helpful in understanding privacy-related issues and exploring options that may be suitable. I will update this post as needed. If you know of other useful resources, please leave a comment.
That One Privacy Site: The site has excellent VPN reviews. The site also has valuable information about email providers.
Privacy Tools: Provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against mass surveillance.
In 1989, the Zina Rohan of the BBC interviewed Traudl Junge. Junge worked as a secretary for Adolf Hitler during WWII. She was in the bunker in Berlin when he committed suicide in 1945 as the Red Army closed in. She explains that Hitler was only close to his mistress and wife Eva Braun and his dog.
In the 1989 BBC interview – which incidentally was the year the Berlin wall fell — Junge expresses admiration for Hitler. Later she was featured in a film called “Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary” (“Im toten Winkel” in German). In that 90-minute interview released in 2002, Junge sees Hitler in a far less favorable light. The comparison is interesting. Junge died of cancer in the same year the film was released. She was 81.