I travel for my work; I travel often -- my wife and children might say too often. Just before Chanukah, I was in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Canada, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., and then back home. A hectic schedule is of little interest, but what I experienced might be.
Generally, expert advisers counsel against teaching about the Holocaust by having students do exercises that re-create the experience. Role-play activities can reinforce negative views, stereotype group behavior and are pedagogically unsound, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The famed Vienna Philharmonic has acknowledged that many of its musicians were Nazi party members during Hitler's rule and that its director may have delivered a prestigious orchestra award to a Nazi war criminal two decades after the end of World War Two.
The undisguised extremism promoted by Golden Dawn is a chilling watershed in Greece's post-war democracy. Fascist gangs are turning Athens into a city of shifting front lines, seizing on crimes and local protests to promote their own movement, by claiming to be the defenders of recession-ravaged Greece.
Four members of the Oxford University Conservative Association have resigned over anti-Semitism and snobbery.
Just the day before, May 1, 1934, under a brilliant, cloudless sky, James D.Mooney, president of the General Motors Overseas Corp., climbed into his automobile and drove toward Tempelhof Field at the outskirts of Berlin to attend yet another hypnotic Nazi extravaganza. This one was the annual May Day festival.
During the late 1930s, Hitler's persecution of Jews was building to a frenzy even as fears of a war escalated. Nevertheless, General Motors' German automotive subsidiary, Opel, remained a loyal corporate citizen of the Third Reich -- content to obediently do the Nazi regime's bidding, and unstintingly supporting Hitler's program on many fronts. These included economic and employment recovery, anti-Jewish persecution, war preparedness and domestic propaganda. In return, Opel prospered.
The Last Word: How will posterity remember General Motors' conduct? The epilogue of the tumultuous saga of General Motors during the New Deal and Nazi era is still being written.That saga is the subject of a four-part JTA investigative series that concludes with this story.
Within a few years of partnering with the Hitler regime, Opel began to dwarf all competition. By 1937, GM's subsidiary had grown to triple the size of Daimler-Benz and quadruple that of Ford's fledgling German operation, known as Ford-Werke.
Opel became an essential element of the German rearmament and modernization Hitler required to subjugate Europe.
Mr. Big Sloan lived for bigness. Slender and natty, attired in the latest collars and ties, Sloan commonly wore spats, even to the White House."Deliberately to stop growing is to suffocate," Sloan wrote in his 1964 autobiography about his years at GM. "We do things in a big way in the United States. I have always believed in planning big, and I have always discovered after the fact that, if anything, we didn't plan big enough. I put no ceiling on progress." For Sloan, motorizing the fascist regime that was expected to wage a bloody war in Europe was the next big thing and a spigot of limitless profits for GM.
Hitler knew that the biggest auto and truck manufacturer in Germany was not Daimler or any other German carmaker. The biggest automotive manufacturer in Germany -- indeed in all of Europe -- was General Motors, which since 1929 had owned and operated the long-time German firm, Opel.Impressive production statistics aside, the Fuhrer was fascinated with every aspect of the automobile, its history, its inherent liberating appeal and, of course, its application as a weapon of war.
"You can't confront evil on its own ground without becoming part of it," muses diplomat Heinrich Zwygart in "The Envoy," and his self-recognition clearly applies to Switzerland, the country he represented faithfully in Berlin during the six years of World War II.