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100 Greatest Guitarists | Rolling Stone

100 Greatest Guitarists | Rolling Stone | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
We assembled a panel of top guitarists and other experts to rank their favorites and explain what separates the legends from everyone else. Featuring ...
Judith van Praag's insight:

It's a flash-flash back, it's the time of the Nation, it's the common timeline of our lives. Any memory I have is connected to music. The guitarists string together moments I'll never forget thanks to the the way they make their guitars sing. 

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Background Story is History
the stuff that goes into stories, his, her, and mystery
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Looking Back | Stans Lutz on Plays by Ischa Meijer and R.W. Fassbinder

Looking Back | Stans Lutz on Plays by Ischa Meijer and R.W. Fassbinder | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
In 1988 schrijft en regisseert Ischa Meijer voor Toneelgroep Amsterdam een stuk getiteld ‘Ons dorp, de schoonheid en het leven’. Hij schrijft het als een reactie op een ander stuk, of eigenlijk op de reacties die het mogelijke opvoeren van dat stuk in Nederland veroorzaakte. Dat stuk heet ‘De stad, het vuil en de dood’…
Judith van Praag's insight:

This post by Stans Lutz resonates for me, and belongs to my background story for several reasons.

 

For one, I briefly attended a design class Stans taught at the Rietveld Academy. Another faculty member, Els Timmermans and her then partner, Ischa Meijer had a taste of my cooking at my birthday party, and afterwards they asked me to cook for them once a week, at their home. And last but not least, I'm the child of a Holocaust survivor.

 

"Ons dorp, de schoonheid and het leven" (Our Village, Beauty and Life") is performer, playwright, journalist, author Ischa Meijer's answer to the rally that took place in the Netherlands against the staging of  Rainer Werner Fassbinder's play "The City, the Whore and Death".


I remember this well, I as well thought the play should have been performed. Fassbinder's use of stereotypes was a strong statement, and more P.C. than those who argued against the mounting of the performance seemed to understand. Ischa Meijer would have played the role of the Rich Jew.



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Before Auschwitz Was Auschwitz Auschwitz Was Auschwitz Before

Before Auschwitz Was Auschwitz Auschwitz Was Auschwitz Before | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

Background story. 

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Stefan Zweig: The Impossible Exile Stefan Zweig and the End of the World

Stefan Zweig: The Impossible Exile Stefan Zweig and the End of the World | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
In George Prochnik's new book, "The Impossible Exile Stefan Zweig and the End of the World," Prochnik tells the story of a man that led an inspired life and ultimately was taken down by a tragic fall.
Judith van Praag's insight:

As a incorrigible editor I stumble over the "a man THAT led," something dangling! The story "that", the man "who", turns out it's just the transcript. Never mind my nitpicking, this interview entices me to read the biography by Prochnik.

 

"Diversity that protects diversity —We're greater than the sum of our parts." 

 

We could see Zweig's realization that the idea of an ideal Europe had gone wrong as a warning (free after the interview).

 

In the Netherlands the notion to subsidize the arts after WWII, the idea to create a social welfare state, and read "welfare" here as —for the good of all— gave the initiators hope.

 

Utopia lay at the end of the dark, dark tunnel. 

 

Seventy years after the end of WWII, the demise of that Dutch Utopia is close to being a fact. 

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N.S.B. IN ZANDVOORT

N.S.B. IN ZANDVOORT | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
DE ZANDVOORTSEBUNKERPLOEG ONDERZOEKT ALLE BUNKERS IN DE REGIO
Judith van Praag's insight:

The Zandvoort City Council granted NSB member Beekman to return to his former home, therefor my parents had to move out, my mother heavily pregnant with me.

Half a century later I'd meet the Dutch Cultural Attaché. During dinner at Salty's in West-Seattle we discovered his grandfather had been my parents' landlord, the owner of the property in the Zuidbuurt where I was born.

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The Netherlands Virtual Jewish History Tour | Jewish Virtual Library

The Netherlands Virtual Jewish History Tour | Jewish Virtual Library | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

I haven't checked the information on this virtual library site, but it's looking good at first glance.
In 1620 the first Ashenazim arrived from the east, my ancestors hailed from Prague (that's what van Praag means in Dutch).

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Find A Grave - New Jewish Cemetery in Prague

Find A Grave - New Jewish Cemetery in Prague | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

In 1983 my work took me to Prague. I visited Kafka's grave on the 100-year anniversary of his death.
In order to get to the New Jewish Cemetery I had to take a bus, but the chauffeur didn't know, or pretended not to know what I was talking about. A woman got up, and told me to get off with her, to follow her. Turned out she was a professional photographer sent by her newspaper to make photos of the gathering at the grave site. I would meet her again a few days later. 
At the grave side I met a rabbi/ Kafka scholar from the U.K. who offerend me a ride back to town. I accompanied him and his driver to the kosher restaurant where I'd eaten two years earlier. The next day I accompanied the same two men to Theresienstadt. 

 

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To Forgive A Nazi

To Forgive A Nazi | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Rabbi Zalman was asked whether we should forgive the alleged NE Minneapolis Nazi. This is what he said.
Judith van Praag's insight:

Reb Zalman: "Forgiveness in Jewish thought is between the victim and offender."

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The Disappearance - Storytelling from Life

The Disappearance - Storytelling from Life | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

Why would this book a collection of short stories by Mexico City born Jewish author Ilan Stavans belong in my Scoop-it! Background Story is History?

 

The title story The Disappearance was inspired by, or is a spin on an "event" set in my world, at least my world before I immigrated. 

 

The "Belgium" actor was in fact Dutch, Jules Croiset, a relative of friends, someone in our circle of theater makers. I remember the moment his wife called the producer who helped me write a grant at the time, to let him know Jules had been kidnapped. My immediate response was "he did it himself." The late Dutch celebrated author Harry Mulish wrote a novella "Het theater, de brief en de waarheid" (the theater, the letter, the truth) about the same subject —Second Generation Holocaust Syndrome, as if to exonerate or at least apologize for his friend's actions.

 This is what storytelling is all about.

We hear or read something, and we make it our own. Think of it like gossip, the last one in line relating the story probably tells a different story than the person who was the first to share the experience of herself of another.     
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Artist Henri De Smeth 1865-1940

Artist Henri De Smeth 1865-1940 | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

Born into a well to do family Henri's artistic talent was recognized at an early age, by 1981 his professional designation was clear. I learned  about him as a child. Why? I'm going to look into that. 

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Met de muziek mee, van Groningen naar Los Angeles, via Straatsburg, en Utrecht naar Amsterdam, Austin, TX en... (with tweets) · inhaarmoerstaal

MET DE MUZIEK MEE, MIJN VERHAAL.
In september 2012 ontving ik via mijn website DutchessAbroad.com een verzoek van journalist Herman Sandman of hij mij mocht interviewen ten behoeve van de biografie van mijn ex-man Albert H. Alberts aka Appie Alberts lead van AA and the Doctors.
Judith van Praag's insight:

Wordt vervolgd.

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After the Liberation: Dutch TV Documentary Series Aftermath WWII 1945-1945

Judith van Praag's insight:

Only in Dutch, a 7-part series about the aftermath of WWII created by Ad van Liempt. The Netherlands 1945 -1950. 

 

Zevendelige serie over de periode 1945-1950, waarin Nederland zich moet oprichten uit de chaos van de oorlog. Vreugde én verdriet kleuren de verhalen van de vijf mensen die in deze aflevering een hoofdrol spelen: een gevangene uit Auschwitz, een tewerkgestelde in Duitsland, een evacué uit Arnhem, een onderduikster en de dochter van een krijgsgevangene. www.nadebevrijding.nl 

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Judith van Praag's curator insight, January 22, 8:49 AM

An important 7-part documentary about the aftermath of WWII and the Holocaust in The Netherlands.

Judith van Praag's curator insight, January 22, 8:53 AM

Professor Ies Lipschits referred to the return of Holocaust survivors to the Netherlands as the "kleine sjoa" the small Shoah or Small Holocaust. The welcome back was incredibly negative. 

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Red Shirley a film by Lou Reed

Red Shirley a film by Lou Reed | Background Story is History | Scoop.it

Red Shirley, a 99-year-old woman formally known as Shulamit Rabinowitz, is the star of this short film co-directed by her cousin, none other than former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed.\

Rabinowitz lived through the devastation of the First World War, and fled Poland for Canada during the Second. At ninteen, she immigrated illegally to the U.S., where she spent 47 years toiling at a New York textile factory. She tracked down her long-lost sisters in Palestine, engaged in union struggles and took part in the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.

Enhanced by its dark soundtrack — courtesy of Mr. Reed, naturally — and judicious use of freeze frames, this intimate cousin-to-cousin encounter is a fascinating distillation of an individual’s unique experience over a vast expanse of 20th century history.


Via Mawyl
Judith van Praag's insight:

My dad lived through WWI and WWII as well, and Lou Reed's work has had a profound effect on my life. Good enough a reason to make this part of the Background Story Scoop.it!

 

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Mawyl's curator insight, October 28, 2013 12:59 AM

Just to show he was also a family man, not only a rock star

Judith van Praag's comment, October 28, 2013 12:17 PM
<3 it thanks Manuela. He knew how to take on the persona of Rock Star, Lou Reed the wonderful poet. Thanks for sharing this.
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The Velvet Underground Setlist at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

The Velvet Underground Setlist at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Get the The Velvet Underground Setlist of the concert at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 19, 1971 and other The Velvet Underground Setlists for free on setlist.fm!
Judith van Praag's insight:

Believe it or not, I was present at this concert. Surreal.

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De 50 meest voorkomende Joodse achternamen

De 50 meest voorkomende Joodse achternamen | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Weinig verrassend: Cohen en Polak zijn de meest voorkomende Joodse achternamen in Nederland. Na de top 25 van populairste Joodse voornamen nu de top 50 van algemeenste familienamen. Ik ben in het g...
Judith van Praag's insight:

Cohen and Polak may be the most common Jewish family names in the Netherlands, a person having either as last name does not mean s/he is Jewish. Van Praag is number 10.

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Nina Siegal reflects on being Jewish In Amsterdam

Nina Siegal reflects on being Jewish In Amsterdam | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

Very interesting to read Nina Siegal's reflections. I recognize the illustrations. They're etched on my mind.

Siegal mentions an interviewer "... a Dutch Jewish woman who had moved to New York, where, she confessed to me, she felt a lot more “at home.” “It’s hard to be Jewish in Amsterdam,” she said."


As a native Dutch speaker I immediately wonder what the Dutch interviewer meant. Did she indeed say "hard" and if she did, was that a translation for difficult or for painful? Or both?


Siegal doesn't seem clear on that herself. She brings up tolerance (which is a joke), and that Jews always having been welcome (another misconception). She feels at home in many other ways, but not necessarily because of Jewish Amsterdam which exists mostly in what is not there. 

 

Others concluded that Dutch Jews often link their Jewishness to the Holocaust. There's only a small percentage of religious Jews for whom Judaism means, well, being Jewish and practicing Judaism.

 

Siegal may yet have to experience the opposite of what I experienced 40 years ago, and the Dutch journalist more recently —that being Jewish is easier in America, because it is not as fraught with the pain of the past. And yes, that's worth writing about. 

 



 
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Amsterdam around 1900

Amsterdam around 1900 | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Hoe zag Nederland er een eeuw geleden uit? We kunnen er ons wel iets bij voorstellen, maar echt tot leven komen de zwart-witbeelden natuurlijk niet. Maar daar komt nu verandering in. The Library of Congress in Washington, de nationale bibliotheek van …
Judith van Praag's insight:

The world of my grand parents. My father a toddler, my mother's parents had not even met. Wonderful to see the open space around monumental buildings, canals that have been dredged and filled up, still water ways. The colors of course must have been added by hand. 

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Novelist Sonia Pilcer on Second Generation Holocaust Survivors - 2G

Novelist Sonia Pilcer on Second Generation Holocaust Survivors - 2G | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

Not my story, and yet it is.

Aw, Awe. Sonia Pilcer the fierceness of her writing, her eloquence, her on the spot marking of where we're at as G2, I hear Arthur Waskow say "the breath of G-d"; she takes mine away. 

 

I'm collecting sentences that express what keeps me from sharing my own story, in Pilcer's piece: "The Holocaust is our scar, distinguishing us like stigmata. It gives our life gravity and we cling to it. We would be ordinary without it. Secretly, we believe that nothing we can ever do will be as important as our parents' suffering."


It always comes down to the second hand experience not carrying the same weight as that of our parents. And yet, your writing, this powerful storm of words funnels and delivers the message loud and clear.

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Colour photos from pre-revolutionary Russia

Colour photos from pre-revolutionary Russia | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Photographer, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, was one of the nation’s leading photographers at the beginning of the twentieth century. He was commissioned to capture a photographic record of Russia after the monarch saw his colour portrait of Leo Tolstoy.
Judith van Praag's insight:

Why post this in Background Story is History? Because these photos speak to the costume designer in me. Such amazing riches, not in monetary but creative sense.

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100 Greatest Guitarists | Rolling Stone

100 Greatest Guitarists | Rolling Stone | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
We assembled a panel of top guitarists and other experts to rank their favorites and explain what separates the legends from everyone else. Featuring ...
Judith van Praag's insight:

It's a flash-flash back, it's the time of the Nation, it's the common timeline of our lives. Any memory I have is connected to music. The guitarists string together moments I'll never forget thanks to the the way they make their guitars sing. 

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Auschwitz.nl: Personal story

Judith van Praag's insight:

One of the IDs Ronnie Goldstein - Van Cleef used was my mom's.

I watched a documentary by Willy LIndwer about Dutch Jewish women in the Resistance when I spotted my mom's data. The same ID is pictured in this personal story. 

 

This is where the creative writer says: What if ...

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Cityscapes from A Bird's-Eye View

Cityscapes from A Bird's-Eye View | Background Story is History | Scoop.it

A great collection of images that present unique views of cities around the globe


Via Johann Barnard
Judith van Praag's insight:

The natural quilt of Dutch pride, combined with costumes from around the world, has colored the way I decorate my home. 

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Juliana en de Vier van Breda

Juliana en de Vier van Breda | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Dit artikel gaat vooral over het conflict tussen Drees en Juliana van executies van oorlogsmisdadigers na de Duitse bezetting.
Judith van Praag's insight:

The point of view of reigning queens re: WWII criminals on trial in the Netherlands.

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Hollandia Matzah on Website of Enschede Synagogue in the Netherlands

Hollandia Matzah on Website of Enschede Synagogue in the Netherlands | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Matzes in Enschede = De Synagoge van Enschede, de mooiste van West-Europa, is te bezichtigen op woensdagen en zondagen (behoudens Joodse feestdagen), rondleidingen op voorgaande afspraak, instap-rondleidingen iedere zondag om 14 uur, regematig tentoonstellingen, lezingen, muziekuitvoeringen, op afspraak educatieve rondleidingen voor scholen.
Judith van Praag's insight:

This is what I remember: Every Spring before Pesach, a big van of Van Gend en Loos would come down the dirt path that lead to our farm house in the middle of nowhere, up north in the Netherlands, to deliver over-sized boxes of matzah (matzes in Dutch).

 

During the two weeks of Passover we would eat breakfast and lunch straight from the flat table top, without plates, so the matzah wouldn't crumble. I loved both soft boiled and hard boiled eggs, grated cheese, and brown sugar on mine.

Dinner started with soup (chicken or beef) with matzah balls, for dessert my mom fried gremshelich in oil and butter.

 
You'll see the drop down menu bar with Matzes on the site fo the Synagogue in Enschede.


When you click on the menu bar, you'll find more words related to Judaism, and life in the Mediene - the province, i.e. outside Amsterdam. 
Click on Mauthausen, and you'll find out what happened to the Jewish population of the Mediene. But that's another Scoop-it! 

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Research Technology and Mondrian's Victory Boogie Woogie

De Victory Boogie Woogie, het laatste en onvoltooide schilderij uit 1944 van Piet Mondriaan (1872 - 1944), is twee jaar diepgaand onderzocht door een wetensc...
Judith van Praag's insight:

Fascinating process using MoLa (mobile lab) and GIS (Geografic Info System) to find out about the development, layering of, and materials used in Mondrian's last painting. 

There's one moment in the video where I recognize the red, blue, yellow lines and design of the tea towels my parents bought in honor of Piet Mondriaan (yes, double A). My mother preferred to use a "Mondriaan theedoek" as table cloth for meals we ate outside in the spring and summer. 

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Outsider Whose Dark, Lyrical Vision Helped Shape Rock ’n’ Roll

Outsider Whose Dark, Lyrical Vision Helped Shape Rock ’n’ Roll | Background Story is History | Scoop.it
Mr. Reed, punk-poet, guitarist and songwriter, was a founder of the rock group the Velvet Underground, whose music and lyrics influenced multiple generations.
Judith van Praag's insight:

"Outsider" doesnt' begin to explain the role Lou Reed played in my life. He is the chronicler of the "scene" in big cities world wide. If the New York Times calls him an Outsider what does that make artists in general? I thought the term was reserved for true outsiders, creatives living outside the said "scene".

To me Lou Reed was not an outsider, but our man inside, the one with the ability to shapeshift, perform and be his poetry. Esoteric and real at the same time. A mediator perhaps for those who call all artists outsiders.
My thoughts go out to Laurie Anderson, to lose your mate, a true peer, devastating, and to his mother Toby, no parent should have to bury a child; may listening to his recorded voice soothe the pain of absence in the flesh.

 

RIP Lou Reed, Sir, you are remembered. 

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