Historical

Why Hitler’s top SS man bought a farm in Co Kildare

Papers reveal exchanges between officials and ministers divided over Nazi Otto Skorzeny Stephen Collins The Irish Times Irish ministers and top civil servants were divided about whether Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s favourite SS commando, Otto Skorzeny, should be given permanent residence in Ireland in the… Skorzeny, who led the daring rescue of Mussolini from Allied hands, was a regular visitor to Ireland. He bought a farm in Co Kildare in 1959 and wanted to become a… The latest volume of Documents ... Read More »

Why the history of messianic Judaism is so fraught and complicated

When Loren Jacobs, member of the Shma Yisrael Congregation, offered a prayer for the victims of the Tree of Life congregation at a campaign rally attended by Mike Pence, it left many Jews feeling very upset. Ingrid Anderson The Conversation The vice president’s office later denied inviting Jacobs to the event. Jacobs is a messianic Jew and part of a group called Jews for Jesus. Here is why their relationship with Jews is so fraught. Messianic Jews Messianic Jews consider ... Read More »

A couple denied being neo-Nazis. Their photo of baby ‘Adolf’ proved otherwise

Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas had long denied being leading members of the white power group National Action, which is banned in Britain. But their family photos suggested otherwise. Cleve R. Wootson Jr The Age / The Washington Post There is the one of Patatas holding their newborn while Thomas holds a flag emblazoned with the Nazi swastika. And there’s one of Thomas cradling the baby boy; the child is wearing polka-dot pyjamas, his father the sort of hooded robe ... Read More »

Palestine and Britain: forgotten legacy of World War I that devastated the Middle East

For those of us of an age to have known only peace in Western Europe, the centenary of the end of World War I is a an opportunity to learn something of the extreme consequences of the failure to… James Rodgers The Conversation And when the world marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, millions fell silent to remember the pain and sacrifice of that conflict. But another anniversary that fell this year – that of the end of the ... Read More »

World War I ended 100 years ago, but what if it happened now?

Meet James, he is 21 and a labourer. He loves the cricket, hopes to start his own business and hangs out with his mate Harry on weekends. Laura Gartry ABC He’s been dating his girlfriend Ashleigh for six months, and she’s told her best friend Lucy she’s pretty sure he’s the one. James has never considered joining the army and the closest he’s come to violence is seeing a fight at the pub. Then war breaks out on the other ... Read More »

The ancient Greeks would have loved Alexa

Classical mythology is full of robots, automata, artificial intelligence and technology. Think not only Pandora, but self-opening gates and libation-pouring statues Peter Stothard The Spectator Among the myths of Ancient Greece the Cyclops has become forever famous, the Talos not so much. While both were monsters who hurled giant boulders at Mediterranean shipping, the… The Talos was more alien, by some accounts a mere machine, manufactured in metal by a god and pre-programmed only to sink ships and roast invaders ... Read More »

German politicians remember Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom

Germany is marking the 80th anniversary of attacks on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust. November 9 has been a fateful date for Germany in other regards as well. Ben Knight DW German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for “democratic patriotism” as the country commemorated three fateful moments of German history that occurred on November 9. In a speech to the Bundestag on Friday morning, Steinmeier said the date was “marked by ambivalence” for Germany. “On November 9, we Germans remember both things — the light and the shadows ... Read More »

World War I: Europe and the politics of remembrance

Exactly 100 years ago, World War I came to an end. France and the UK will be holding major commemorative events, and high-ranking German leaders will be attending. What does this tell us about our respective cultures? Christoph Hasselbach DW On the morning of November 11, 1918, at 10:59, American soldier Henry Nicholas Gunther stormed towards a German machine gun position and was killed — exactly one minute before the armistice that ended World War I came into effect. Gunther was ... Read More »

A 1965 Novel About an Unhinged President Is Being Rereleased

A 1965 Times review of Fletcher Knebel’s “Night of Camp David” called the book “too plausible for comfort.” Alexandra Alter The New York Times A couple of months ago, prominent political pundits began buzzing about a provocative book by a Washington journalist. The book — which raised questions about what Congressional leaders should do if the president was mentally unstable and unfit for office — wasn’t a new expose about the Trump administration. It was a 1965 political thriller by Fletcher ... Read More »

“Maria by Callas”… New Documentary On The Legendary Opera Singer Told Her Own Words

Time magazine called her “a woman for whom the term prima donna could have been invented” and the “undisputed queen of the world’s opera”. WYSK This weekend, the life story of Maria Callas, one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, is coming to the big screen. Maria by Callas is the first film to present the story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer, completely in her own words. Her remarkable journey through stardom is ... Read More »

Eerie recording reveals moment the guns fell silent at the end of WWI

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent. It brought an end to four years of war which crippled Europe, leaving 17 million dead including 888,246 British or Colonial servicemen. Jen Mills Metro As we approach the centenary of the Armistice on November 11, the Imperial War Museum has released a recording of the moment the war ended, patched together using recordings from their collections. The artillery activity it illustrates was recorded ... Read More »

The Possibility of US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. ISF This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prohibition. On October 20 Donald Trump stated that the US decided to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons prohibited under the treaty. This ... Read More »

For millions of Europeans, the war did not end in 1918

Our narrative of the armistice is not the only one. In the east conflict continued, fuelled by the crumbling of empires Natalie Nougayrède The Guardian Emmanuel Macron is on a six-day tour of France’s first world warbattleground sites to commemorate the centenary of the armistice. Anyone who’s spent time in places where the 1914-18 bloodbath unfolded will know this could be an emotional visit. The fields and forests still bear the scars: the long sinuous furrows formed by the remains of ... Read More »

‘The most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home’

Introducing the Guardian’s new series The Age of Extinction, the renowned primatologist describes the dramatic vanishing of wildlife she has witnessed in her lifetime – and how we can all play a… Jane Goodall The Guardian During my years studying chimpanzees in Gombe national park in Tanzania I experienced the magic of the rainforest. I learned how all life is interconnected, how each species, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a role to play in the rich tapestry ... Read More »

Remembrance Day 2018: War does not discriminate, and nor should the poppy. It is more inclusive than ever before

Last week, on the morning of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal launch, I stood under a giant poppy installation at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich with two of my former soldiers. Alexander Owen The Scotsman One of them, a Fijian, whom I served with in Helmand Province. The other, a Jamaican whose great-grandfather left the West Indies to fight, and ultimately die, in the First World War, paying his own way across to Europe like thousands of other ... Read More »

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech

The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad. Simon Cottee The Atlantic According to dominant Islamic traditions, the Prophet Muhammad’s third wife Aisha was six years old at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Muslims, as Graeme Wood has pointed out, have debated the issue of Aisha’s age for a very long time, and critics of Islam seemingly can’t keep off the subject. In the fall of 2009, a woman referred to as ... Read More »