Article by Elie Petit
In Latvia, unlike in other parts of Europe, the spoliation of Jewish property did not occur during the Nazi era, but during the Soviet occupation that preceded it. The same process of property nationalisation also took place in Lithuania and Estonia. In order to finally recover their property and possessions, Latvia’s Jews had to lobby for a dedicated law. Elie Petit recounts for K. the stakes and results of this struggle by interviewing, before and after the law was passed, some of its promoters.
In the interview that documentary filmmaker Juliette Senik conducted for K. in the summer of 2022, Jose Rebeiro e Castro, the main initiator of the Law granting Portuguese nationality through naturalization to the descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews (often referred to as “the Law of Return”), the latter outlined his motives for doing so at that time. He also deplored the controversy caused by the alleged misuse of the Law of Return and the difficulties associated with the processing of an incredible number of applications. It appears that his fears were well founded since the law was frozen a few months later, at the end of a process described here by journalist Elie Petit.
From March 18 to October 3, the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt is presenting the exhibition “Revenge: History and Fantasy” (“Rache, Geschichte und Fantasie”). The spectrum of this exhibition is wide: from biblical stories to popular fiction films; from Judith and Holofernes to Quentin Tarantino, the director of Inglorious Basterds; from the anti-Semitic motif that makes Jews inherently vengeful to the historical episodes in which Jews wanted to respond with vengeance to the violence of which they were victims. Elie Petit met with the director of the museum, Mirjam Wenzel, and the curator of the exhibition, Erik Riedel, to ask them about the objectives and challenges of such an exhibition.
In 2008, Ronen Eidelman, an Israeli artist living in Germany, founded the movement for the creation of a Jewish state in Thuringia: Medinat Weimar. The artistic project questions, seduces some and horrifies others, makes people react. More than 15 years later, he tells us, from Jerusalem, where he lives today, what led him to imagine such a project, oscillating between eccentric provocation and incitement to debate. An interview in which he talks about German guilt, Herzl as a plastic artist, and a second Jewish state conceived as a plan B…
A victim of Brexit’s collateral damage, the Jewish community in Northern Ireland, founded in 1870, might not live past 150. Indeed, the Brexit deal and its ‘Northern Ireland Protocol’, combined with the 1998 Northern Ireland peace deal (the Good Friday Agreement),concluded at the end of ‘the Troubles,’ created a new customs border, down the Irish sea. And threatened the supply of kosher food and the continuation of the Belfast Jewish community which counts around 100 members.
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