August 2010 Archives

Jewish Chronicle
By Jennifer Lipman, August 31, 2010

Elie Wiesel has condemned the French government's decision to expel Roma immigrants but cautioned that a comparison with the Nazi round-ups was not appropriate.
The Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor described the repatriation of Roma people from France to Romania and Bulgaria as unacceptable.

Daily Nation
Posted Tuesday, August 31 2010 at 19:47
KIGALI, Tuesday

Rwanda will withdraw more than 3,000 peacekeepers from Sudan if the United Nations publishes a report on war crimes allegedly committed by Kigali in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an army spokesman said today.

"The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has finalised a contingency withdraw plan for its peacekeepers deployed in Sudan in response to a government directive in case the UN publishes its outrageous and damaging report," a statement from spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jill Rutaremara said.

The UN draft report alleges that Rwandan Tutsi troops and their rebel allies targeted, chased, hacked, shot and burned Hutus in the DR Congo, from 1996 to 1997, after the outbreak of a cross-border Central African war.

Obama and the Mess in Sudan

August 28, 2010, 6:13 PM

My Sunday column is about President Obama's failure to follow his own campaign rhetoric about paying attention to genocide and Sudan. As a senator, Obama was one of the leaders in calling on the Bush administration to do more about Darfur -- and yet he has been disengaged in Sudan issues and his administration hasn't been as successful as the Bush administration in getting Sudan to behave a bit better.

There are, of course, a thousand caveats. Genocide in southern Sudan, if it happens, won't be Obama's fault but that of Bashir and a thousand other local players. And while I focus on Bashir's shortcomings, it's also worth pointing out that southern Sudanese officials have shown poor leadership and often more penchant for corruption than building a state. The Darfur rebels enjoy nice hotel rooms but for the most part haven't tried hard to negotiate a serious peace. There's plenty of blame to go around. But it's also a false moral equivalence to say that because all of the actors are flawed, they are all equally bad. There is a big difference between an official in the south with a secret bank account and an official in the north who orders villagers massacred.

French professor envisions increased programming around cultural, historical and philosophical issues regarding the Holocaust and genocide

chaouatBruno.jpgThe University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts has named Bruno Chaouat as the new director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Chaouat (ôshow-AHTö), an associate professor in French, has been at the University of Minnesota since 2002. His academic research addresses, among other topics, post-Holocaust art and literature. He has written essays in French and in English on the current debates about the representation of the Holocaust in visual arts. His work also examines the ideological, political and philosophical challenges faced by Jews in France. He focuses on the polemics of the new anti-Semitism in relation to the current Middle East conflict.

jodi_elowitz.jpgCenter for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has named Jodi Elowitz as their new outreach coordinator. Ms. Elowitz has more than 10 years of experience in the field of Holocaust and diversity education in Minnesota and Tennessee. Elowitz began her career at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in 1997 as an intern and graduate student under the tutelage of former director Dr. Stephen Feinstein.

An upcoming lecture series at the U of M will examine how demented Holocaust denial arguments have been rebranded as 'alternative narratives'


The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota -- of which I am honored to serve as the new director -- is launching a lecture series titled "Alternative Narratives -- or Denial" for the 2011 spring semester.

Denial is not always easy to recognize. Calling the Holocaust a "fable" or a "myth" is not the only mode of denial. Denial can sometimes be called "alternative narratives" or "revision of history," and be disguised as scholarly inquiry. Scholars in the United States and in Israel have demonstrated a continuum between drawing questionable analogies to the Holocaust and denying it. Through historical, literary and philosophical inquiry, this lecture series will explore the moral and intellectual issues raised in revising the history of the Holocaust and of genocides.

By Bonnie Erbe
Posted: August 23, 2010

How sad and odd, that the so-called Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam should fall at a time when Holocaust denial is growing, especially in the Arab world, according to one White House official.

Hannah Rosenthal, U.S. special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, told the Jerusalem Post that the Obama administration is working hard to combat anti-Semitism but despite that, Holocaust denial is on the rise, especially in the Arab world.

(AFP) - 5 hours ago

BUCHAREST -- The US ambassador in Romania on Friday slammed a central bank decision to go on selling a coin depicting an inter-war leader with anti-Semitic views despite criticism from the Holocaust Museum in Washington. "I am very disappointed by the decision on the part of the National Bank of Romania to issue the coin commemorating Patriarch Miron Cristea", Mark Gitenstein said in a statement.

"Cristea's actions as Prime Minister - specifically his role in the revocation of citizenship for over 225,000 Romanian Jews - cannot be ignored," he added.

Cristea headed the Romanian government in 1938-39.

A group of local Holocaust survivors meet every month at the Jewish Community Center in St. Paul. The meetings are recorded to preserve the stories, experiences and the conversations that take place at the gathering. The group is looking for volunteers to type up transcripts of the recordings for historical posterity.

To volunteer,send an email to Please type "holocaust" in the subject line.

For more information about the group please click here to be linked to their page on the CHGS website.

Anti-Semitism, Israel, and Ideological Change in France

Since 9/11 and the second intifada, the Left has often charged Jews with becoming increasingly right-wing. This charge is based on the support of Jews for Israel and the United States, both deemed reactionary countries by many on the Left in France and Europe. Bruno Chaouat will analyze whether French Jews have turned to the Right by examining debates among those on the Left and by exploring the reactions of the French Jewish community to recent waves of anti-Semitic violence in relation to the Middle East conflict.

August 17, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Eight Muslim American leaders who visited concentration camps and met with Holocaust survivors signed a statement condemning Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

The trip earlier this month, intended to teach the participants about the Holocaust, featured visits to Dachau and Auschwitz.

(AP) - 4 hours ago

BERLIN -- German prosecutors say they have filed charges against a former Rwandan mayor for his alleged involvement in the African country's 1994 genocide.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that they charged the 53-year-old ethnic Hutu -- identified only as Onesphore R. -- with genocide and murder as well as incitement to those crimes. They said he was a mayor of an unspecified district in northern Rwanda at the time of the killings.

They say the man called for a pogrom against the Tutsi ethnic minority on three occasions in early April 1994 and forced a local official to throw out Tutsis who had taken refuge in his house.
Prosecutors say the man ordered and coordinated three massacres between April 11 and 15, 1994, in which at least 3,730 Tutsis were killed.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Schools can exclude materials disputing Armenian genocide Court ruled on 1999 case

By Peter Schworm
Globe Staff / August 12, 2010

In a closely watched case, a federal appeals court yesterday ruled that statewide public school guidelines on teaching human rights history can exclude materials disputing that the mass slaying of Armenians in the First World War era constituted genocide.

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