December 2010 Archives

The Jerusalem Post
By Yehuda Bauer
December 28, 2010

This country has right to deny entry, insist on departure of economic migrants but it cannot turn its back on those escaping genocide.

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The Holocaust's Uneasy Relationship With Literature
The Atlantic
By Menachem Kaiser

Literature and the Holocaust have a complicated relationship. This isn't to say, of course, that the pairing isn't a fruitful one--the Holocaust has influenced, if not defined, nearly every Jewish writer since, from Saul Bellow to Jonathan Safran Foer, and many non-Jews besides, like W.G. Sebald and Jorge Semprun. Still, literature qua art--innately concerned with representation and appropriation--seemingly stands opposed to the immutability of the Holocaust and our oversized obligations to its memory.

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The Beleaguered Cambodians
The New York Review of Books
By Margo Picken

More than thirty years after an estimated two million people died at the hands of Pol Pot's regime of Democratic Kampuchea, trials of senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those most responsible for the deaths are at last taking place in Cambodia. On July 26, the first to be tried, Kaing Guek Eav, commonly known as Duch, was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity--a sentence that he and the prosecution have since appealed. Duch directed Security Prison 21, also known as Tuol Sleng, where at least 14,000 prisoners, mostly Khmer Rouge cadres and officials, were tortured and killed.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Holocaust art endures at Israel's Yad Vashem museum

With a 10,000-piece Holocaust-era collection and growing, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem leads the effort to conserve and display works by persecuted artists.

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Maintaining the memories of genocide

The late J. Michael Hagopian escaped the mass murder that claimed the lives of as many as 1.5 million Armenians. Through his 12 films, the atrocity will remain visible to all who are willing to see.

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The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 22, 2010; 7:46 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. lawmakers have avoided a diplomatic clash with important ally Turkey by deciding not to take up a resolution declaring the mass killings of Armenians early last century a genocide.

December 20, 2010

Rochelle Sutin, a Holocaust survivor whose fight against the Nazis during World War II became the stuff of legend, died in a St. Louis Park nursing home Sunday.
Sutin, 86, had recently had a stroke, said her daughter, Cecilia Dobrin.

"She was a hero," Dobrin said of her mother, whose life was captured in a book and a play and told numerous times through speeches and articles about her and her husband, Jack Sutin. "She lived her entire life with great courage. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her and loved her. But her spirit will live forever in our hearts and minds. "

Monday, December 20, 2010

US lawmakers may vote on Armenian genocide measure

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House may vote next week on a measure that could damage U.S. relations with critical ally Turkey: a resolution declaring the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.

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Will Focusing On Southern Sudan Prevent Genocide?

After the Holocaust, the world pledged "never again," but mass killings continued in Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans and -- most recently -- Sudan's Darfur region.

U.S. officials see a new risk of blood-shed in next month's independence vote in Southern Sudan. This time, everyone from celebrities to U.S. diplomats is trying a new approach: Drawing attention to the risk of mass violence in hopes of preventing it.

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The 'Jew' of cinema

December 17, 2010
By Ariel Schweitzer

The recent announcement that filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's is to receive an honorary Oscar has ignited the controversy over his allegedly anti-Semitic and anti-American views, and his unwillingness to see the Jews in any position but that of the victim.

Professor Philip Watts from Columbia University will speak in April about Godard, WWII, the Jews and the Holocaust at CHGS's lecture series, "Alternative Narratives or Denial?" Professor Watts will examine portions of Godard's work and discuss how his history may have shaped and informed his cinematographic choices which have led to the anti-Semitic charges. More information about the lecture series coming in January.

News for Monday, December 13, 2010

Rwandan Genocide Finds Release In Photos

Ethnic strife can touch off unimaginable horrors. Rwanda is proof of that. A wave of genocidal murder there in 1994 left more than a million dead. Eight hundred thousand people were slaughtered in just 100 days.

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Appeals court reverses itself over Armenian suit

A federal appeals court on Friday reversed itself and now says the heirs of Armenians killed in the Turkish Ottoman Empire can seek payment from companies that sold their relatives life insurance.

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The past is present

A Boston University researcher stumbles upon a remarkable Holocaust artifact - and discovers that one of its creators lives just a few blocks away from him in Brookline.

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By Meïr Waintrater
December 8, 2010

At this very moment, a university is having to defend itself against a lawsuit. The charge? Declaring that writings denying a genocide are not a basis for students' work. In other words, the university has come up against those who defend the perpetrators of genocide, who want to have their denialist discourse legitimized.

The university is American, headquartered in Minneapolis, the largest city in the State of Minnesota. The genocide in question is the genocide of the Armenians, which was perpetrated by the Ottoman government beginning in 1915. And the complaint was filed by the Turkish Coalition of America, an organization which claims that the genocide did not take place.

Denial of the Holocaust is woven into the very fabric of mass murder. Heinrich Himmler, in his infamous speech to his henchmen at Poznan on October 4, 1943, extolled their extermination of the Jews in these terms: "This is a page of glory in our history never mentioned and never to be mentioned." Secrecy and obfuscation were necessary components of the process, and latter-day denial may be seen as symbolically repeating the crime. The French Historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet has thus aptly called Holocaust deniers the assassins of memory.

In conjunction with our 2011 lecture series "Alternative Narratives or Denial," CHGS is facilitating a reading discussion group focused on seminal works on the topic of Holocaust and genocide denial.

Watch Opening Keynote by Samantha Power at the International Symposium, Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities Shoah Memorial, Paris, Nov.15, 2010.

Samantha Power Daily Motion

In the letter, famed Partisan leader explains how the trial suddenly made it possible for survivors to open up about their experiences in the Holocaust.
December 2, 2010
By Eli Ashkenazi

A short while after testifying in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Abba Kovner had already realized the enormous impact of the trial and its implications on the way the Holocaust would be remembered in Israel.

In a letter sent to his close friend Yitzhak Avidav, in May 1961, a short while after offering his testimony at the trial, he told Avidav, who at the time was in Poland on a mission for Israel, that "something has happened that is one of the great mysteries of life and of history - which did not happen when the ashes were hot, happened now at a time when the souls are remembered."

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