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Sigmund Roseth "Bookworm" (Mississauga, Ontario Canada)

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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
by Timothy Snyder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.91
36 used & new from CDN$ 11.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars like Poland and Ukraine, Nov. 1 2015
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While he mostly covers common ground; his main thesis is that non-states, previously overrun by Russia and then again Germany; like Poland and Ukraine, were hit harder than occupied but intact and still functional states like Denmark, Hungary, Holland and France. While France and Holland (Anne Frank) lost a few; they were not rounded up and deported en masse to concentration & death camps like the Jews of eastern Europe. He then stretches that to include Germany itself; claiming that most German Jews were not exterminated. Yet; proportionally, they were much fewer than in Poland and Ukraine; and many got away to Switzerland and England before and just after Kristallnacht, when the persecution of German Jews began in earnest. While his main argument about the effect of statelessness (and to some degree on local prejudices and anti-Semitic attitudes) on exterminations does seem reasonably valid; the balance of his book is somewhat suspect. Just because Germany didn't manage to exterminate every Jew in the land, does not mean there were no wide-spread anti-Semitism there.
It should also be noted that Holland, France and Denmark/Norway were part of the "Aryan race" preferred by the Nazis; which accounted for the more "civilized" treatment by the "Herrenvolk" (master race). Denmark's King and government stayed intact and Denmark lost no Jews; while Norway's King and Government escaped to England and the occupation there with the German/Quisling government fared substantially worse for the small Norwegian Jewish population.

Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947
Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947
by Bruce Hoffman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 36.69
25 used & new from CDN$ 28.74

5.0 out of 5 stars but were more than happy to stir the pot, July 23 2015
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A REVIEW AND COMMENTARY ON “ANONYMUS SOLDIERS –The Struggle for Israel, 1917 – 1947”.
Bruce Hoffman; Alfred A. Knopf 2015.

Mr. Hoffman; director of the Centre for Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, has written a detailed, thoroughly researched book on the Jewish insurrection and terrorism activity against the British during their Palestinian Mandate. The book is focusing on the crucial period of 1917-1947, leading to the British giving up the Mandate and handing it over to the United Nations; thus preparing Palestine for a Jewish State; but not for an Arab/Israeli peace. The Arabs never accepted partition as a solution then; and still don’t. They wanted “all or nothing”; nothing is what they eventually got.

Mr. Hoffman covers much of the same territory as did Benny Morris in his 1999 tome “Righteous Victims” (Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881 – 2001); but only the last ten years of the British Mandate; and in more detail. While he also covers the Arab Rebellion (1936-39); his main focus is the British-Jewish conflict.

Mr. Hoffman has written an unbiased and fair history of the British-Zionist conflict during that period of the Mandate; culminating in the British giving it up to the U.N. His details the horrendous attacks and murders committed by the various Jewish organizations; mostly the Stern Gang (Abraham Stern, founder of Irgun killed in 1942); the Irgun and Lehi; and the passive support and even collusion of the Jewish Agency and general Jewish population. While the King David Hotel bombing, causing the death of 91 innocent victims is perhaps the most remembered incident; many other assassinations and murders occurred;’ culminating in the murder of two British soldiers; Martin and Paice, in retaliation for the execution of three convicted assassins, Habib, Nakar and Weiss.

The killing of Martin and Paice was particularly gruesome, with the two hanged from a tree, feet barely off the ground, and the bodies bobby-trapped and exploded when the Royal Engineers attempted to cut them down. The ironic thing here is that Meacham Begin, Irgun’s leader; had approved the kidnapping and killing of the two soldiers; and yet, rather than being convicted hand executed for his crimes, he went on to serve in the future Israeli Knesset in opposition, eventually become Israeli Prime Minister.

It is interesting to note that the development of organized terrorism and assassinations was a Zionist development; used effectively against the British and later against the Arabs. One could be tempted to suggest or intimate that the Palestinians learned their terrorism methods on the Zionists knees; and they were quick learners. Could it be that the current conflict there is a continuation of that earlier battle; and this is Israel’s Nemesis? Just askin’.

I am not for a moment suggesting that the Jews did not have reason to fight; and the British made many mistakes; not adhering to the original Balfour Declaration (Arthur Balfour) of November 2, 1917; promising to facilitate “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…” and bungling the management of the Palestinian conflict both with Arabs and Jews. Yet the British ere in a “no win” situation; being unable to please neither Arabs nor Jews while trying to appear unbiased and fair.

The ideal solution –in my mind –would have been for the United Nations to have agreed to a partition of Palestine with forced relocation of Arabs AND Jews to separate areas of; with sensible and rational borders; instead with the hodge-podge with which they ended up. Partition might have been stressful and problematic initially; but would have been anodyne in the long term. Peace between Palestinian Arabs and Jews was not what the Arab world wanted, however; and history shows that the adjoining Arab states were very reluctant to assist their brethren with resettlement or land; but were more than happy to stir the pot; using Palestine as a buffer zone; while continuing to stir the hornet nest; all but a few refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Bruce Hoffman’s book gives an unbiased overview of the recalcitrant and incorrigible nature of this conflict; which still today resists any attempt at a fair solution for either side.

Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America
Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America
by Annie Jacobsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 9.90
40 used & new from CDN$ 6.92

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operation Paperclip, April 21 2014
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I didn't expect this book to be as interesting and captivating as it turned out to be. Well written;though a bit prolix and sometimes in minute details; it is never boring, and there is much additional and recent information on the ex-Nazis employed in American military and scientific endeavours; Van Braun being the stellar example, though one of many.

How Markets Fail: The Logic Of Economic Calamities
How Markets Fail: The Logic Of Economic Calamities
by John Cassidy
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 3.09

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Markets Fail by John Cassidy, Jan. 6 2010
How Markets Fail

Well written, for the general public. Covers history of economic theory and economists; overview over economic theory, with emphasis on the market and the problems of "bubbles" and "rational irrationality" of the market economy. I highly recommend it to anyone who want a readable and illunminating overview of econimics, and insight into the recent recession and its causes.

Sigmund Roseth
Mississauga, ON CA

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