‘Unfinished Portrait’ by Miriam Frank

Miriam Frank’s mother fled Germany to escape the Nazis. This is a story of how Miriam’s mother was forced to move from one country after another as fascism came biting at her heels; mother and daughter moved from Spain to France, finally ending up in New Zealand via Mexico. Miriam was born into exile. Even when theoretically settled in New Zealand, Miriam found an emotional chasm between her and the other girls, though many became her friends.Read on ...

Nikolaus Wachsmann, ‘A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’

Wasserman, in this minutely researched tome, addresses many of the myths and misconceptions that have grown up over who were the victims of Nazism as well as the contradictory and shifting impulses behind the concentration camps. An earlier paradigm: to understand the Nazis as primarily focused on destroying Communists and the left (a perspective which was also dominant in E. Germany) has shifted in the last decades to a focus on the extermination of ‘Jews’. This review will focus on these narratives, rather than the minute and distressing details of how the CCs operated or attempt to provide an explanatory framework for why the Holocaust happened (which anyway is not Wachsmann’s objective).Read on ...

Two contrasting reviews

We have just received notice of two reviews of Steve Cushion’s book “The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution“.

One from “Solidarity”, the newspaper of “Workers Liberty”, the other from “Special Warfare” which styles itself “The Professional Bulletin of US Army Special Operations”.
The first  says that “He reproduces the hackneyed Stalinist version of events“, while the US Army journal says “Perhaps Cushion’s most significant contribution is the detailed account of organized labor that fought the Batista regime in parallel to the guerrillas“.… Read on ...