Forward Thinking

Live Tweeting the Kristallnacht Pogroms

By Anna Goldenberg

Exactly 75 years ago, between November 7 and 13, 1938, a wave of anti-Semitic pogroms swept across Germany and Austria. This year, a group of German historians chose to commemorate the events, which marked a turning point in the Nazi’s persecution of Jews, using an unconventional medium: Twitter.

On October 28, the five historians who stem from different German universities, started live-tweeting the events of 1938 in German, as if they happened now, using the handle @9nov38 and relying on historical data that include newspapers and postcards.

The first tweet reads “Starting on October 28 more than 15,000 Polish Jews were expelled from the Deutsche Reich, immediately effective.”

On the morning of November 8, the group posted a picture of the headline of the Nazi party’s newspaper “Der Völkische Beobachter” announcing the assassination of the German ambassador in Paris, Ernst von Rath, by 17-year-old German-born Jewish Herschel Grynszpan: “Jewish Assassination in Paris. Member of the German Embassy Perilously Wounded By Shooting. The Murderer Boy: A 17-Year-Old Jew. Villain to Europe’s Peace.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: twitter, pogrom, nazi, kristallnacht, germany, austria, anti-semitic

Hipster Anne Frank's Tasteless Tweets

By Renee Ghert-Zand

You know what happens when someone achieves iconic status? People forget they were a real person before they became an icon. And when people forget this important fact, things can get really ugly.

Case in point: Anne Frank.

I’m referring specifically to the new Hipster Anne Frank (@HipstrAnneFrank) Twitter account. The tagline: “bestselling memoirist/loft dweller/voice of a generation.” (Facebook beat Twitter to it —there’s been a Hipster Anne Frank page since 2011, not to mention the Hipster Hitler page, which has been around since the year before that.)

Yeah, I get it. It’s all about applying the ironic to the iconic. Problem is, it isn’t funny in the least.

Here are some of the posts:

My skinny jeans are the skinniest.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: twitter, anti-semitic, anne frank

Sticking It to Hamas, on Twitter

By Paul Berger

There’s nothing funny about war. So it’s unsurprising that a trending Twitter hashtag #HamasBumperStickers is being met with equal parts horror and glee.

“What’s the martyr with you?”, “I don’t break for Jews,” and “My other car is also a mass of blackened, twisted metal” are just a few of the Tweets cascading out today under the #HamasBumperStickers hashtag.

For those unfamiliar with Twitter, a hashtag is a way of marking — with a # — a keyword or topic that other people can follow and post to. The People’s Cube, a satirical, conservative website, claimed credit for launching #HamasBumperStickers at 10pm on November 14. By Novembers 15, as Israeli and Palestinian Twitter feeds did virtual battle, #HamasBumperStickers was among the hottest trending topics on Twitter worldwide.

But not everyone was amused. “So disgusted that something like #HamasBumperStickers is trending,” wrote Malak. “It’s easier than ever now to identify racists and advocates of child murder on twitter,” wrote Patrick Galey. “Just follow #HamasBumperStickers.”

When both sides are done flinging insults at each other, they might want to head over to Cafe Press, which offers a wide selection of pro- and anti- Hamas and Israel bumper stickers, from a Hamas flag rectangle decal ($5.20) to a “JIHAD THIS” bumper sticker ($5).

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger.

REFRESH TO SEE THE LATEST #HamasBumperStickers TWEETS

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: twitter, palestinian, jewish, israel, hamasbumperstickers, hamas, gaza

Tweeting the Boca Debate

By Seth Berkman

Monday night marked the final presidential debate of 2012. For those voters sad to wait another four years to hear their favorite talking points, we’ve captured the best reactions from the Twitter-verse on the action from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

Comedian David Wain, new to live-tweeting debates, was quick to catch on to the tone of the action, tweeting sarcastically, “Jesus, neither guy is letting the other get a word in!”

Foreign policy was the issue of the night, expected to draw many comments on Iran, Afghanistan and Libya. However, there was a surprise name-drop early on and cheers to anyone who had Mali in their country office pool.

President Barack Obama had the first good zinger of the night, telling Mitt Romney that the “1980s are calling for their foreign policy back.” However, not everyone was amused, including Commentary magazine’s Seth Mandel

Comedian Sarah Silverman quickly drew tired of both candidates rhetoric, tweeting, “Would there ever be a day when we ‘can’t afford’ military? Nuclear bombs? WE NEED HEALTH CARE”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: twitter, barack obama, presidential debate, mitt romney, jewish

Jewish Twitter-Sphere Abuzz Over Veep Debate

By Seth Berkman

getty images

What’s the use of a spin room when we have social media? Last night, the Twitterverse turned its eyes towards the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

You’ve probably already heard all of the “malarkey” from partisans representing both parties, but here’s a look at the lighter side of last night’s important debate.

Early on, many viewers thought Biden was faring better than President Barack Obama’s widely-criticized performance last week. Andy Borowitz, author of The Borowitz Report, tweeted:

As discussion turned to Iran, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu became the hot topic of discussion. Commentary magazine’s Alana Goodman observed:

Michael Koplow, program director at the Israel Institute, noted that:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: vice presidential debate, paul ryan, malarkey, joe biden, jewish vote 2 2012, jewish, Twitter

Vote Romney — It's a Real Mitt-zvah

By Seth Berkman

There’s an early entry in the category political pin of the year. Not sure how everyone missed this pun for the first eight months of the political year, but finally someone realized that Mitt Romney’s first name can be turned into a Jewish good deed without too much trying.

As the Republican National Convention officially begins today, a bit of intrigue consumed the Twitter-verse this morning.

The schedule now includes a “To be announced” speaker on Thursday night, before Sen. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney take the podium.

So who’s the mystery man (or woman)? Your Tweet’s as good as our’s.

@petersuderman of Reason magazine tweeted, “If JJ Abrams ran the GOP convention, they’d never reveal the mystery speaker,” while @jpodhoretz referred to the hoopla as “Mystery Speaker Theatre 3000.”

@RosieGray, covering the convention for BuzzFeed, was at the Florida delegation breakfast this morning. No word on what was served, but she did have a breakdown of protestors interrupting Rubio’s speech. One yelled, about the GOP supposedly “whoring itself out” to corporations, while an elderly woman said, “Mr. Rubio, I want you to pay your fair share!”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: twitter, speaker, republican national convention, mitt romney, Tampa

It's a Nazi Slogan, Dude

By Liam Hoare

getty images

Readers might not expect a lot of historical analysis from the British tabloid The Daily Mail. But it shouldn’t be too much for the editors to at least remember Nazi Germany and some of its signature evil.

That’s why it was particularly disturbing to see this item uncovered by the Twittersphere this morning from a piece published last month by columnist Dominique Jackson, in which she somehow forgot to mention the concentration camp provenance of the notorious slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

The German slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” is somewhat tainted by its connection with Nazi concentration camps, but its essential message, “work sets you free” still has something serious to commend it. There is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment, whether that is on the factory floor, on a supermarket till or in the contemporary hard labour camp of a merchant bank or law office.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: nazi, holocaust, daily mail, dominique jackson, concentration camps, arbeit macht frei, slogan, twitter




Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.