Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 5 November 2013

  • One of the most incongruous images present in Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Stalin: In the Court of the Red Tsar is Josef Stalin as a DJ. The Soviet dictator loved to put music on for his guests and “presided over the American gramophone … putting his favourite records on”.

  • Green Lanes was, for much of its history, a drovers’ road (or a cattle run) connecting Hertfordshire’s lush pastures to Smithfield Market. At approximately 7.5 miles from end to end, it is one of London’s longest streets.
  • The myriad persecutions of the Jews of first Germany and then continental Europe are well documented. One that I hadn’t come across before was the 1939 requirement that German Jews had to add the names Sarah or Israel if their own names were not deemed ‘Jewish’ enough.