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‘September, 2005’

Key West is a tonic for body, intellect and soul

Key West is a tonic for body, intellect and soul

Beach, diving and water sports plus famous Literary Seminar   By Lucy Komisar In Key West you can have it all — a gorgeous beach town with thrilling water sports — scuba, parasailing, jetskis — and an annual event that draws top writers to talk and schmooze with aficionados from around the country. Did you […]

Berlin sculptures tell of women who defied Nazis

Berlin sculptures tell of women who defied Nazis

Protest at Rosenstrasse by non-Jewish women saved their Jewish husbands and sons
 

 

In a small park just off Karl Liebnechtstrasse in former East Berlin stands an extraordinary group of reddish pink sculptures called “Block der Frauen,” the block of women. German sculptor Ingeborg Hunzinger, an artistic refugee from the Nazis, chiseled them to commemorate an extraordinary event that occurred at that site in February 1943.
Berlin 1 Rosenstrasse Block der Frauen
The Nazis had rounded up some 2500 Jewish men and boys, the husbands and sons of non-Jewish women, and imprisoned them at Rosenstrasse 2-4, the Jewish Community Center to gather them for deportation to death. The women found out where the men had been taken and converged there. From 600 the protests grew to 6,000. The guards pointed machine guns at them and threatened to open fire. The women held their ground.

After a week, propagandist Joseph Goebbels, who indicated in his diary that he was worried about the protest’s public relations impact in Germany and abroad, ordered that the Jews with Aryan spouses or parents be released. And then the event seemed to vanish from history.

Why didn’t we know about this? Why is it still generally believed that no one could challenge the Nazis and live?

The Wine Geese of Ireland

The Wine Geese of Ireland

The mystery of why a French cognac is called Hennessy   By Lucy Komisar Ever wonder how a French cognac got a name like Hennessy? Or why French Bordeaux is called Lynch-Bages? Lynch? Does Ireland, the country of beer and ale imbibers, have a connection to fine wine? I found the answers on a trip […]

Discovering “Romantik” hotels from Germany’s Mosel to the Rhine

Discovering “Romantik” hotels from Germany’s Mosel to the Rhine

There’s a bit of magic and fantasy in a day along the Mosel River, stopping at villages of half-timbered houses, trying wines from local vineyards, visiting centuries-old castles, and seeing stunning examples of a turn-of-the-last-century style called Art Nouveau.

We picked up the river route in Traben-Trarbach, between Trier (famous for Roman ruins) and Koblenz, arriving in the evening at the Jugendstilhotel Bellevue. Jugendstil means Modern Style as it was called in England, or Art Nouveau as the French named it. The hotel is not only charming and comfortable, but an architectural gem.

Art Nouveau developed as a rejection of turn-of-the-19th-to-20th-century upheaval and industrialization. Artists adopted shapes of nature; flowers with slim leaves and long-stalks were popular. Women were depicted with long flowing garments and hair. Elements of Modern Style are seen in the lithographs of Toulouse-Lautrec and in some Paris metro entrances.