Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday 30 August 2012

Arise, Sir Ludwig!

As one of my regular readers has emailed me this morning, prompting this short post, it's gratifying to see neurosurgeon Sir Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980),  "Father of the Paralympics," arise from relative obscurity to all but the cognescenti and be given his due place in the media spotlight this year.  To its credit, the BBC has made a fascinating documentary about this Jewish refugee from Nazism who, like so many of his type, contributed so appreciably to their host societies.  (The video is below; hat tip Ian)

Thanks in large part  to the dedication and expertise of Dr Michael Jolles, a London physician and an historian of Anglo-Jewry, the Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History contains potted biographies of numerous highly distinguished medicos and scientists from Nazi persecution who fled to Britain, much to Britain's enrichment.

Here's the in-a-nutshell entry for Sir Ludwig:
"Born in Tost, Upper Silesia, the son of an innkeeper and distiller, he took refuge in Britain in 1939.  In 1944 he became foundation Director of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.  Convinced that paraplegics would gain physical, therapeutic, and psychological benefits from sport, an idea that was revolutionary at the time, he organised, in 1948 on the hospital lawn, competitive games for the disabled to coincide with the Olympic Games that were being held in London.  In 1952 the so-called Stoke Mandeville Games involved over 130 competitors, and were awarded the Fearnley Cup in 1956 for their promotion of the Olympic spirit.  They developed into the Paralympic Games, first held in Rome in 1960 and held ever since immediately after the Olympics.  In 1960 Guttmann founded the Association of the Disabled.  He retired from Stoke Mandeville in 1966 and in 1976 published his Textbook of Sport for the Disabled.  Appointed OBE (1950) and CBE (1960) he was knighted in 1966."


  1. That Doco is on YT, you should read my daily links on EoZ!
    Best of Men

    There was also "The Queen's Mother in Law" about Princess Alice. It hasn't turned up on YT, but it's around if you know where to look.

    1. Just rescued this from the Spam box, Ian!
      Your links are an amazing resource - I have of course noticed them on Elder's blog but don't look daily (very busy at the moment preparing for a big house move ...)

    2. Oh no not the Spam box! Do you get a lot of emails offering the "Best of Men"?

      Ch4 have a novel way of avoiding a BBC style Olympics scandal. They don't have any country profiles and only list British athletes!

    3. Sorry, just found this and another comment of yours on the Spam box. Ridiculous. I really must remember to check there more regularly.
      Well-spotted re Ch. 4 - I don't look at them that much ...

  2. As well as recommending that Israelis should be proud of Sir Ludwig's work, I also commend the opening speeches of the Paralympics by Lord Coe and Sir Phillip Craven. They both paid fulsome tribute to Sir Ludwig's work. A somewhat marked contrast to the commentary of Jon Snow on the parade of Athletes. He and his colleague really struggled to find anything positive to say about Israel.

    1. I'm glad I missed Snow's comments, Ian. He is an old hand at demeaning Israel.


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