Tuesday, 10 June 2008



Hine ma tov
uma nayim
shevet achim gam yachad.
Hine ma tov
uma nayim
shevet achim gam yachad.

Lai, lai lai lai, lai lai lai lai lai
lai lai lai, lai lai lai lai.

Lai, lai lai, lai, lai lai lai lai lai
lai lai lai, lai lai lai lai.

Hine ma tov
uma nayim
shevet achim gam yachad.
Hine ma tov
uma nayim
shevet achim gam yachad.

shevet achim gam yachad........

Lord of the Rings- For My Lady


Yes this day is a very special day. You know,Paula (my wife) and I got married 14 years ago today.

And there's nothing better to describe our relation than this:



The ODESSA File is a thriller novel by Frederick Forsyth, first published in 1972, about the adventures of a young German reporter tracing an SS concentration-camp commander. ODESSA is an organization for ex-Nazis of the SS.


In 1963, Peter Miller, a German freelance crime reporter, follows an ambulance to the apartment of Salomon Tauber, a Jewish Holocaust-survivor who has committed suicide. Miller is given the dead man's diary by a friend in the police. He reads Tauber's life story and learns that Tauber was in Riga concentration camp commanded by Eduard Roschmann, "The Butcher of Riga". He also learns that Tauber witnessed Roschmann shooting a German Army captain. Miller resolves to hunt down Roschmann.

He pursues the story and visits the State Attorney General's office and other offices where he learns that no-one is prepared to search for or prosecute former Nazis. But his investigations take him to the famed war-criminal investigator Simon Wiesenthal, who tells him about the ODESSA.

Miller is approached by a group of concentration-camp survivors who have vowed to hunt down German war criminals and kill them. He is asked to infiltrate ODESSA. Miller agrees and is trained to pass for a former SS sergeant. Miller visits the "Werwolf", a lawyer working for ODESSA and after passing a severe scrutiny, is sent to meet a passport forger who supplies those members who wish to escape.

But Miller's guise has been penetrated. He barely survives a bomb installed in his car. Eventually, he confronts Roschmann at gunpoint and forces him to read from Tauber's diary. Roschmann admits to killing the German Army captain, now revealed to have been Miller's father, and attempts to justify his actions. Miller, momentarily off guard, is disarmed and Roschmann manages to escape, eventually flying to Argentina (in the film version, he is shot dead). His assailant is then shot to death before he can kill Miller.

While Miller is recovering in hospital, he is told what happened while he was unconscious. Josef, his contact, warns him not to tell anyone the story. He does disclose that with Roschmann (code-named "Vulkan") in Argentina, West German authorities (at the urging of the Israelis) will close the radio factory where a rocket guidance system is being secretly developed for the Egyptian army. ODESSA's plan to oblierate the State of Israel by combining their technological know-how with Egyptian biological weapons has been thwarted.

Josef, in reality Uri ben Shaul, an Israeli army officer, returns to Israel to be debriefed. But there is one last job to do. He has taken Tauber's diary with him and as per the last request in the diary, Uri visits YadVashem and says Kaddish for the soul of Salomon Tauber.
Film adaptation
A movie adaptation of the same name was released in 1974 starring Jon Voight versus Maximillian Schell and directed by Ronald Neame with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story was simplified and somewhat changed.

SS Captain Eduard Roschmann

Although the movie was based rather loosely on the book, ironically, it was the movie which brought about another exposure of the real-life "Butcher of Riga", Eduard Roschmann. After the movie (which had Roschmann killed) came out, he was arrested by the Argentinian police, skipped bail, and fled to Asunción, Paraguay where he died on 10 August 1977. See List of SS personnel.

External links


Marathon Man is a 1974 paranoid thriller novel by William Goldman. In 1976 it was made into a film of the same name starring Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, and Roy Scheider and directed by John Schlesinger.

Plot introduction

The story is about a former Nazi SS dentist from Auschwitz, Dr. Christian Szell (inspired by Josef Mengele, the last doctor in charge of Auschwitz II), now residing in Paraguay (changed to Uruguay for the movie), trying to smuggle a large quantity of diamonds out of the U.S. after the death of his brother. This involves an ultra-secret intelligence agency called "The Division." The plot revolves around Thomas "Babe" Levy, a history graduate student at Columbia University and runner who is haunted by the suicide of his father, which was caused by the witchhunts of McCarthyism decades earlier. Thomas also has a brother, who unbeknownst to him works for this secret governmental body.

Both the novel and the film contain a graphic depiction in which Szell tortures Babe by drilling into his teeth, without anesthetic, and repeatedly asking the question, "Is it safe?" Babe does not know what the question means nor the identity of his inquisitor. The dentist offers him oil of cloves as positive inducement to cooperate. The quote "Is it safe?" was ranked #70 on the "100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" list. The quote was humorously parodied near the end of the ZAZ spoof, Hot Shots!.


June 10: Marathon on the Heights

The Israelis were originally reluctant to invade the Golan Heights. It would be an uphill battle against a well-entrenched and fortified enemy, protected by an army of 75,000 Syrian troops. The Syrian troops and munitions were entrenched in deep bunkers which were immune from air attack. One noted Israeli general estimated that such a battle would cost the Israelis 30,000 lives. Incredibly, though, after only seven hours of heavy fighting on June 9th, IDF commanders established strongholds in the northern and central sectors of the Golan. The next morning dawned with the Israeli forces apprehensively awaiting another day of fierce fighting. The Syrians, however, had other plans. In a sudden panic, before the Israelis even approached their positions, they pulled out of the Golan and fled in total chaos, leaving most of their weaponry behind. The moutaintops that were strategically utilized to murder Jews in the Holy Land, were now in the hands of the Israelis.

The final offensive was completed and, on that day, a ceasefire was signed.

Today’s Highlights:

Israel captures the strategic Golan Heights and Massada. A ceasefire goes into effect at 6:30 p.m.

Jewish History: Israel Captures Golan Heights
The Rebbe on the Six Day War and its Aftermath
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