Author Archive

Keynote speaker at Hadassah

The Hadassah Dorot Bat Gurion Chapter held its 2019 fundraising luncheon at the magnificent Mirasol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

There were 130 Hadassah members who came to hear me talk in the swish dining hall – spot the chandeliers!!

These are certainly “Women who Do” – as the poster attached to the podium made clear. The event was to raise money for a pediatric unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem – a worthy cause for sure.

         

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Temple Emanuel, MD

It was a packed hall tonight for the Women of Reform Judaism annual dinner.

And every single book on sale was bought – not one left!

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Anti-Semite – or not?

That is the question posed by Uwe Westphal in his piece for the Times of Israel entitled: He Helped Nazis Rob Jews: How is he ‘not an anti-Semite’?

Following the revelations contained in “Stolen Legacy” the University of Mannheim decided to change the name of the foundation and annual prize named in honor of Dr. Kurt Hamann – former chairman of the Victoria Insurance Company.  Today it is called the Foundation for the Promotion of Insurance Science.

The once-secret report – commissioned by the university into the wartime role of Dr. Hamann – has now been released to the public.

Mr. Westphal’s question is spot on.  The report’s author, Prof. Dr. Johannes Baehr, concluded that despite numerous instances of where Dr. Hamann  “obviously had no scruples at all about doing business in which the Victoria profited from the persecution of the Jews” nevertheless “There’s no doubt [Dr. Hamann] was not an anti-Semite.”

A press release by the university at the time of taking its decision about a name change stated:

“…under Hamann’s chairmanship, the Victoria demonstrably took many properties from Jewish owners… With the change of name, the University of Mannheim would like to set an example; any person who lends his name to a prize awarded to excellent young academics should also be able to serve as an ethical role model.” 

Anti-Semite or not?  You decide.

 

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RJ Julia Bookstore

It was a full house at the lovely RJ Julia bookstore on the Boston Post Road, Madison, CT this evening.

The audience paid close attention while I spoke and then asked some excellent questions. What they wanted to know was whether I had found ordinary Germans willing to be helpful, what had happened to the family’s Wannsee villa, the role of German insurance companies during the Third Reich, how the internet had assisted me in my research and if I had considered laying Stolpersteine at sites in Berlin mentioned in the book.

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Wiener Library, London

The Wiener Library hosted the UK book launch this evening of “Fashion Metropolis Berlin 1836-1939: The Story of the Rise and Destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industry”.  Author, Uwe Westphal, has spent thirty years researching the subject and gathering information from around the world, both in archives and in personal conversations with witnesses of the time.

As I contributed a chapter, on the history of the H. Wolff international fur fashion company, we did a joint presentation.  We showed over 70 slides of photos and video clips to illustrate  the tragic story of the demise of the once glorious Berlin fashion industry and how the Nazis destroyed it.

The event was sold out!

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Stolen Legacy is published by the American Bar Association and distributed by National Book Network.

Paperback: 328 pages   |   Language: English
ISBN: 978-1634254274
Includes book club discussion questions.