Holocaust survivor Walter Laqueur, who reinvented terrorism studies, dies at 92

Holocaust survivor Walter Laqueur, who reinvented terrorism studies, dies at 92

Wroclaw-born academic who moved to the US after being saved from the Holocaust by going to Mandatory Palestine, passes away

Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur

Walter Laqueur, a Holocaust survivor and one of the 20th century’s most prominent scholars, has died.

Laqueur passed away at his home in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. He was 92.

Born in Wroclaw, Poland, and raised in Bres­lau, Germany, he was a teenager when his parents sent him to Mandatory Palestine only days before the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom. His parents would later die in the Holocaust.

In Palestine, Laqueur worked on a kibbutz and as a journalist before leaving to enter academia in Europe and the United States. He would later become the chairman of the International Research Council of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and director of the Wiener Library in London.

Laqueur wrote extensively about fascism, terrorism and the decline of Europe, and accurately predicted that rather than democratise following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia would fall into the form of populist authoritarianism now known as Putinism.

As a terrorism researcher, he helped debunk the popular myth that poverty leads to terrorism. Laqueur also wrote extensively about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Holocaust. Many of his books, including “A History of Zionism” and “A History of Terrorism,” are considered classics.

“Europe will not be buried by ashes, like Pompeii or Herculaneum, but Europe is in decline,” The Washington Post quoted him as telling the German magazine Der Spiegel. “It’s certainly horrifying to consider its helplessness in the face of the approaching storms. After being the centre of world politics for so long, the old continent now runs the risk of becoming a pawn.”

He is survived by his wife, Susi Genzen Wichmann; daughters Sylvia Laqueur Graham and Shlomit Laqueur; and four grandchildren.


Bernie Sanders saved a woman’s life and didn’t tell anybody

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is not publicity shy by any stretch of the imagination. Known for his thick Brooklyn accent and progressive politics, the former presidential candidate has become an iconic figure on the American left.

Apparently, however, Sanders can also exhibit modesty.

On Thursday, a woman named Amy Currotto posted on Facebook that Sanders had saved her life, writing that he “stopped me from getting hit by a car on my way to my guitar lesson so we took a selfie together. (He is also much taller than me so awkward picture.)” Currotto did not say where the incident occurred.

Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein shared the post, writing that Sanders did not tell anybody about the incident and his staffers only found out by happenstance.

“Apparently Sen. Sanders went for a walk by himself during a break on Wednesday, stopped a woman from getting hit by a car, and then came back to the office and didn’t tell anybody about it,” Stein tweeted. “His team found out about it on Facebook.”



Stein’s tweet was shared 525 times and received 2,611 likes.

Sanders did not mention the incident on either of his two verified Twitter accounts.

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