Arts and Entertainment

A refugee soldier captured the man who ran Auschwitz. This act of homage follows the chase

Rogue German spies set MI6 cats among Kohl's pigeons

MI6 HAS lost a large wad of taxpayers' cash in a scam that would make James Bond's Moneypenny reach for the redundancy forms in her ring- backed files. Funds earmarked for recruiting Russian spies have been plundered by rogue officers of the German secret service, BND, provoking a confrontation between the two allied agencies.

Look back in horror

RADIO

Photography James Abbe National Portrait Gallery, London

'This show emphasises the folly of putting our faith in idols - whether in Hollywood or Nuremberg'

Letter: No gift intended

From Mr John W. Sowels

Anniversaries: 16th & 17th December

Anniversaries

Theatre: The Holocaust Trilogy New End Theatre, London

The great masterpiece of Jewish drama, Solomon Ansky's The Dybbuk, draws on the ancient belief that the soul of a person who dies before their time will enter and possess a living person. Julia Pascal's "Holocaust Trilogy" refers obliquely to this legend. Just like the modern woman in the final play, Pascal is haunted by all the lost faces of her relatives: "I have so many dybbuks!" her plays seem to cry out.

My journey to Speer

This is the story of an extraordinary life and a remarkable book. It is the life of Gitta Sereny, among the most distinguished of present- day journalists, who was in her early teens when the Germans invaded her native Vienna. The subject of her book, published this month to great acclaim, is Albert Speer, one of Hitler's closest associates, designer of his great rallies and architect of his grandiose buildings. At the Nuremberg trials, he escaped the death penalty by denying complicity in the extermination of the Jews. Could he possibly have been telling the truth? In Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth, Sereny proves beyond doubt that he was lying. This was in part the product of her unequalled pertinacity and formidable investigative powers. But there was another factor. Her life seemed to lead her inexorably to confrontation with Speer. And that, in this piece written for the literary magazine Granta, is the story she tells here.

underrated the case for Sweet

The history books refer to them, if they refer to them at all, as the Sweet. To the pre-pubescent hard-core they were always Sweet. That definite article - not that at nine you knew it was a definite article - was the sort of word you'd find frontloaded on a wholesome foursome from the Sixties. Slade didn't have one, nor Mud; not even Smokie.

A desert... then there was Gobbi

Simon Callow recalls how a revelation in Covent Garden turned him from sceptical schoolboy into man of the theatre

Radio; Singing the praises of Caruso

HIS LUNGS bleeding with every breath, he gave her a handkerchief and asked her to wipe the blood from his mouth without the audience seeing. And then on he went, to sing glorious, exuberant Donizetti one last time. Mary Ellis was 21, on stage with Caruso for his final performance at the Met. Now, more than 70 years on, she shudders, remembering the secret of the "terrible, velvet richness" of his voice that night. Spellbound, we listened to the crackly old record of "Una furtiva lagrima", familiar from so many archive programmes, and imagined that brave, good-natured man delighting frivolous New York while he sang his very life away.

Christie on the road to recovery

Athletics

The Jewwal and the Crown

Television

BEING THERE

The great Russian photographer YEVGENY KHALDEI has lived and worked through some of the most cataclysmic events of our terrible century. BRIAN MOYNAHAN introduces the man and his work, and on the following pages Khaldei himself provides a commentary for some of the most memorable images from his pr ivate archive

When in doubt, blame the Americans

Writing in this newspaper last week, Bryan Appleyard reckoned that Adam Curtis's The Living Dead (BBC2) was the most important documentary series of the year. Immediately after watching last night's portentously titled opener in a series of three historical re-appraisals, "On the Desperate Edge of Now", I thought Appleyard must be going gaga. Rarely have I disagreed so vigorously with a television film. But then I realised that was his point. The standard documentary procedure is to win viewers by confirming prejudices and massaging preconceptions. And here was a documentary telling us that that in which we most fondly believed was a fiction. Not comfortable at all.

The departure of the prodigal

GLASGOW MAYFEST: ROUND-UP
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there