Rebuilding Poland’s Jewish Community

In the Middle Ages, when Jews in Europe experienced a wave of persecutions connected to their imagined complicity in the Black Death, King Kazimierz welcomed the persecuted to Poland. It was a golden age of tolerance in the country. Rumor has it that the king even had a Jewish mistress. I learned all this when I visited the town of Kazimierz Dolny in 1989 with Rachel Zacharia, a Jewish...
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North Korea: Spyware vs. Spyware

The cyberattack on Sony Pictures last month was a classic whodunit. The FBI, playing the role of Sherlock Holmes, visited the virtual crime scene, gathered up the evidence, and tried to piece together the motives of the potential culprits. As a result of the FBI investigation, the Obama administration declared that North Korea was the instigator. The U.S. government claimed to have irrefutable...
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Special Guest Star: Bibi!

You know that a TV show has hit a bad stretch when the producers bring in a controversial guest star to boost ratings. A reality show about a two-year-old beauty pageant star is tanking in the ratings? Bring in Sarah Palin to serve as her life coach. Saturday Night Live on a long spiral downward? Invite Anthony Wiener to host — or better yet, Kim Jong Eun. If Congress were a TV show, it would...
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The Pankow Peace Group

It was one thing to establish an independent peace group in Poland or Hungary during the last decade of the Communist era. Freedom and Peace challenged military service in Poland, where there was a long tradition of independent organizing. In Hungary, perhaps the most liberal country in the region outside of Yugoslavia, Dialogus opposed nuclear weapons on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Both...
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Working with the Marginalized

Until the 1970s, drug addicts didn’t exist in Poland – at least not officially. In those days, drugs were expensive and the supply was limited, so the Polish state could hide the problem by giving a different label to the small number of addicts. But then heroin became more readily available, in part as a byproduct of domestic poppy farming (poppy seeds are a key ingredient in the Polish...
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