ON THE BACK FOOT
“He took the shoes!” This statement of disbelief is currently doing the rounds among Jewish fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
From Washington DC to Woodside Park; California to Chigwell, Larry David devotees are more than a tad perplexed by the season’s finale in which character Larry (the show’s creator, executive producer, star, lead writer and financial beneficiary) grabs a pair of shoes from a Holocaust exhibit and wears them home.
His need for the hand stitched spats, which he removes from LA’s Holocaust Museum is justified (in Larry’s mind) because he stood in dog poo on the way in.
To wear soiled trainers in such a sacred building is unthinkable apparently, but not dancing in the rain like Gene Kelly in a murdered victim’s footwear.
Mel Brooks, Roberto Benigni and others have found ways to make us laugh at the heinous history of the Jews, but would BAME viewers chuckle if one of their own cherished comics had done the same?
Wearing the headdress of a slaughtered American Indian might not be quite so funny.
Please email your view to email@example.com and tell Larry David what you think
SAVE THE CHILDREN
Most people have heard of Oscar Schindler and Sir Nicholas Winton, but names such as Bertha Bracey, Lord Alan Sainsbury, or Sir Wyndham Deedes are rarely accredited in the same way – until now.
At a time when governments refused to help Jews hide from or flee the Nazis, ordinary people took up the mantle, often risking their lives in the process.
Find out about the young Dutch woman who stared down Adolf Eichmann and the rogue rabbi who could charm his way out of trouble. Learn how Sir David Attenborough’s parents brought two young Jewish children into their home and about the diplomats who defied their own government. Holocaust historian and educator Mike Levy uncovers all these stories, and many more, in his book, Get the Children Out!
Importantly, the book pays attention to the role of numerous women in what has been a largely male-dominated historical narrative. Mike who is working as a researcher for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum holds a fellowship with the Imperial War Museum and is chair of the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial appeal.
Published on 27 January to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day £1 from every copy sold will be donated to Safe Passage to aid in vital work in helping unaccompanied child refugees find legal routes to sanctuary. Available at ukbookshop.org, on Amazon and in bookshops. Pre-order now on lemonsoul.com for £8.99.
How Harry Potter has magicked his way into playing comedy musician Weird Al’ Yankovic not even JK Rowling could tell you (or would want to) but Al is thrilled. Yes, Daniel Radcliffe has agreed to be the crazy Californian parody creator in Weird Al’s self-penned bio-pic, which will be shown on the Roku channel.
How easy it is to access the platform will determine how many see the finished film, directed by Eric Appel, but maybe, Daniel has a stored spell for that kind of thing. Al insists: “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.” For a boost Al should try shouting “Aberto”, which always opened locked doors for Harry.
IS IT A BIRD? NO, IT’S A BOOK
We’re all so busy on screen, it’s easy to miss a book on the shelf, so here’s a reminder about Roy Schwartz’s Is Superman Circumcised?
The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero, which came out in 2021. We couldn’t let this slip by as it’s a fascinating journey through comic book lore that reveals the Man of Steel’s Jewish heritage.
Schwartz (also Jewish) documents how the man who wears pants over his shorts was the 1938 creation of teens Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who based their hero’s origin on Moses, strength on Samson, mission on the Golem and nebbish identity on themselves.
Clark Kent was also a refugee, but he was tearing up Nazi tanks two years before the US joined the war. The mostly Jewish writers, artists, and editors who picked up Superman’s story in the following decades based Krypton’s past on Genesis and Exodus and the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann’s. Would you want to miss Superman at a seder? No, neither would we. £39.95 on Amazon and in real bookshops.
Call The Midwife, the BBC’s historical soap about sprog delivery, has delved into the Holocaust in previous episodes, and in a timely fashion ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, it returns to the subject this Sunday. In this story, elderly survivor Sammy (Alex Waldmann), wants his daughter-in-law Orli (Alexis Peterman) to have a home delivery, but as the family reside above their furrier business, Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar) has her reservations. Will she relent so the bairn can be born amid mink stolls and chinchilla wraps? Tune in at 8pm.
NEW GIRL IN TOWN
Julya Rabinowich is no stranger to the struggle of fitting in, having been uprooted from her home in Leningrad when she was just seven, to live in Austria.
Me, In Between is a moving young adult novel based on her own experiences and translated into English.
The impact of war and personal trauma makes it all the harder for a young refugee to settle into a new life and Julya captures all this hauntingly and sensitively, telling it through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl. Despite the unpleasantness of living in a hostel while waiting to be granted asylum, the family is desperate to not be deported back to the war zone they fled.
The author holds just enough back to keep the reader wanting to know more in this multi- award-winning book, which is a young adult read older adults will enjoy. £7.99 from bookshops and booshop.org
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