H. G. Adler’s Novel of Life after Auschwitz

H. G. Adler is best known (to the extent that he is known at all) for his sociological studies of the Holocaust. But he also wrote a series of novels based on his own experiences at Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, and his life after the war. The last of these, The Wall, recently made available in English, deals with the burdens of survival. Adam Kirsch writes:

Of all the different genres of Holocaust literature, the survivor’s story is perhaps the most challenging. It is the story of an aftermath, of a life lived in the shadow of events that are so terrible they can never achieve the banality of “closure.” And it is precisely this unresolved quality, this sense that a survivor’s life has broken away from all recognized narrative patterns, that gives The Wall its uneasy power. Its protagonist, Arthur Landau, is given to saying that he does not exist, and the whole book is like a document of what it feels like to live without existing: “I realize I don’t belong to human society. . . . I am not part of any continuum that allows those who are self-evident—so they maintain, at least—to discover something in common or at least assume it.”

Read more at Tablet

More about: Auschwitz, Holocaust fiction, Holocaust survivors, Jewish literature, Theresienstadt

Why Hizballah Is Threatening Cyprus

In a speech last Wednesday, Hizballah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah not only declared that “nowhere will be safe” in Israel in the event of an all-out war, but also that his forces would attack the island nation of Cyprus. Hanin Ghaddar, Farzin Nadimi, and David Schenker observe that this is no idle threat, but one the Iran-backed terrorist group has “a range of options” for carrying out. They explain: 

Nasrallah’s threat to Cyprus was not random—the republic has long maintained close ties with Israel, much to Hizballah’s irritation. In recent years, the island has hosted multiple joint air-defense drills and annual special-forces exercises with Israel focused on potential threats from Hizballah and Iran.

Nasrallah’s threat should also be viewed in the context of wartime statements by Iran and its proxies about disrupting vital shipping lanes to Israel through the East Mediterranean.

This scenario should be particularly troubling to Washington given the large allied military presence in Cyprus, which includes a few thousand British troops, more than a hundred U.S. Air Force personnel, and a detachment of U-2 surveillance aircraft from the 1st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.

Yoni Ben Menachem suggests there is an additional aspect to Nasrallah’s designs on Cyprus, involving a plan

to neutralize the Israeli air force through two primary actions: a surprise attack with precision missiles and UAVs on Israeli air-force bases and against radar and air-defense facilities, including paralyzing Ben-Gurion Airport.

Nasrallah’s goal is to ground Israeli aircraft to prevent them from conducting missions in Lebanon against mid- and long-range missile launchers. Nasrallah fears that Israel might preempt his planned attack by deploying its air force to Cypriot bases, a scenario the Israeli air force practiced with Cyprus during military exercises over the past year.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Cyprus, Hizballah, U.S. Security