Book Review of Bloodlands

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." --Edmund Burke, Irish philosopher and statesman Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy SnyderMy rating: 4 of 5 starsBetween 1933 and 1945, 14 million people were killed by the Soviet and Nazi regimes. Most of these people were … Continue reading Book Review of Bloodlands

Exploring Toledo, Spain

Photo of Toledo with Cathedral in background Toledo is a Spanish city with a rich history that blends Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultural influences through the centuries. Located in central Spain next to the Tagus river, the city was capital of the Visigoth-Catholic kingdom from 542 to 725 AD. This kingdom came into being after … Continue reading Exploring Toledo, Spain

Murals in Orihuela in honor of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez

In the city of Orihuela, in the Spanish province of Alicante, there lies a hidden treasure: beautiful murals painted by Spanish artists in tribute to the poetry of hometown son Miguel Hernandez. I never heard of this poet before but he was very popular during and after the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, he wasn't a … Continue reading Murals in Orihuela in honor of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez

Finding Comfort in Times of Turmoil

The United States is unraveling right now: riots, fires, violence, police brutality and unemployment levels unequaled since the Great Depression, along with an out-of-control pandemic. And on top of that, a president who relishes the violence and disruption. Reading the news about my country takes nerves of steel these days. At the same time, I … Continue reading Finding Comfort in Times of Turmoil

Manet and Modern Beauty Exhibit

Jeanne (Spring) painted in 1881 When you were a child learning about famous French painters, did you confuse Manet with Monet? I certainly did. But I came up with a memory device that helped me figure out the difference between these two awesome painters. That is, Manet has the word Man in it and Edouard … Continue reading Manet and Modern Beauty Exhibit

This, too, is Berlin

This is another take on Berlin, this time exclusively from an historical perspective. In addition to seeing beautiful paintings and ancient artifacts in Berlin, as I blogged about last week, I also visited important historial sites. For example, here are two photographs of the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in Berlin that was attacked on Kristallnacht or … Continue reading This, too, is Berlin