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Onlookers jockey for position as a fifer plays ‘God Save the Queen’ for Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Gary Cameron/Reuters

Why do Americans fawn over British royalty?

Hoopla for Princess Diana or Prince Harry is one thing. But wonkish, middle-aged Prince Charles?
Former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine (1928-2015) was down to earth and humble. But he spared no rage towards those he deemed selfish and narcissistic. Brooklyn Book Festival/Flickr

Remembering former poet laureate Philip Levine

Kate Daniels, the director of Vanderbilt's creative writing program, recalls the life and work of her mentor, a man "devoted...to creating gritty and empathetic portraits of American blue collar workers."
Sicily 1943: whose blood was this US soldier getting? NARA

Desegregating blood: a civil rights struggle to remember

In December 1941, a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, a Detroit mother named Sylvia Tucker visited her local Red Cross donor center to give blood. Having…
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin. Victoria Nesfield

Holocaust Memorial Day: what happened to ‘Never Again’?

In late January 1945, Hungarian teenager Bart Stern hid in a pile of bodies to avoid being killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz. He survived, but not one of his friends escaped. Soon afterwards, the Red Army…
British teenagers visit Auschwitz on a school trip. Chris Radburn/PA Archive/

What countries teach children about the Holocaust varies hugely

As the world pauses to remember the Holocaust, it is important to at what children around the world are learning about the horrific events of 70 years ago and their aftermath. A recent research project…
Preparations at Auschwitz for the 70th anniversary of its liberation. Jacek Bedinarczyk/EPA

Why we must keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, now more than ever

On January 29 1945 Victor Klemperer, a Jewish academic in Dresden, recorded in his diary being told by a friend about a speech on the radio given by the émigré writer Thomas Mann: According to it, the…
Pensive: Winston Churchill in 1946, by Douglas Granville Chandor. Cliff1066

Winston Churchill and his ‘black dog’ of greatness

It was 1930. Winston Churchill was a 55-year-old Conservative Party politician who had been a member of parliament for three decades. He had eventually risen to the position of chancellor of the exchequer…
Otto Dov Kulka in Terezín, 1960s. Archive of Security Services (ABS), Czech Republic

Can we question Holocaust memoirs?

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, the victims of the Holocaust stand, with a good reason, at the centre of our attention. It is survivors' memoirs that shaped…
Out with the ham and in with the spam. 63056612@N00

How World War II rationing gave us a liking for SPAM

Today many people follow vegetarian, vegan and a variety of eclectic diets, but before World War II meals were commonly based on the meat and two veg philosophy. And so food rationing, which began 75 years…
He remains unbroken. Universal Pictures

Unbroken tries but fails to reassure during difficult times

Recently, Angelina Jolie announced her retirement from the acting profession so that she could take up writing and directing full time. Which is an error, if her latest directing endeavour Unbroken is…

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