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Learning From Genocide

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

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This is Learning From Genocide, a series brought to you by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in which we hear the testimonies of people directly affected by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. We also hear why we must continue to honour the past in order to create a safer present and a better future. Over 7 episodes, you'll hear testimonies of extraordinary experiences in the face of appalling and deliberate atrocities. Som ...
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AMERICAN GENOCIDE

IllumiNative

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Amidst an unprecedented federal investigation into hundreds of Native Boarding Schools and the 100,000+ children these institutions forcibly removed, one school has become the epicenter of controversy in America’s attempt to reckon with its dark history: Red Cloud Indian School. While today some see the school as a positive presence in the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota tribe, others cite it as a perpetrator of generational trauma. While the US government is starting to ad ...
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In December 1937, the Chinese capital, Nanjing, falls and the Japanese army unleash an orgy of torture, murder, and rape. Over the course of six weeks, hundreds of thousands of civilians and prisoners of war are killed. At the very onset of the atrocities, the Danish supervisor at a cement plant just outside the city, 26-year-old Bernhard Arp Sindb…
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The Holocaust in Croatia (U Pittsburgh Press, 2016) recounts the history of the Croatian Jewish community during the Second World War, with a focus on the city of Zagreb. Ivo and Slavko Goldstein have grounded their study on extensive research in recently opened archives, additionally aided by the memories of survivors to supplement and enrich the …
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The Balkans provided the escape route for tens of thousands of German Jews, and remained a place of refuge until the Nazis brutally shut it off with the mass murder of Jewish refugees on the so-called Kladovo transport starting in September 1941, which can be considered as the beginning of the Holocaust in Europe. Responding to publications about t…
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In his new book, Democracy, Nazi Trials, and Transitional Justice in Germany, 1945-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Dr. Devin O. Pendas examines how German courts conducted Nazi trials in the immediate postwar context. His work combines close readings of legal discourses in conjunction with very human stories to present a narrative of both …
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Today I talked to Mara Josi about her new book Rome, 16 October 1943: History, Memory, Literature (Legenda, 2023). Rome. Saturday 16 October 1943. This is where and when the largest single round-up and deportation of Jews from Italy happened. 1259 people were arrested by the German occupiers and gathered in a temporary detention centre for two days…
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Most accounts of the Holocaust focus on trainloads of prisoners speeding toward Auschwitz, with its chimneys belching smoke and flames, in the summer of 1944. This book provides a hitherto untold chapter of the Holocaust by exploring a prequel to the gas chambers: the face-to-face mass murder of Jews in Galicia by bullets. The summer of 1941 ushere…
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Ever since World War II, the United Nations and other international actors have created laws, treaties, and institutions to punish perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. These efforts have established universally recognized norms and have resulted in several high-profile convictions in egregious cases. But international …
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Between Romania's entry into World War II in 1941 and the ouster of dictator Ion Antonescu three years later, over 105,000 Jews were forced to work in internment and labor camps, labor battalions, government institutions, and private industry. Particularly for those in the labor battalions, this period was characterized by extraordinary physical an…
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Facing the harrowing task of rebuilding a life in the wake of the Holocaust, many Jewish survivors, community and religious leaders, and Allied soldiers viewed marriage between Jewish women and military personnel as a way to move forward after unspeakable loss. Proponents believed that these unions were more than just a ticket out of war-torn Europ…
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Estonia is perhaps the only country in Europe that lacks a comprehensive history of its Jewish minority. Spanning over 150 years of Estonian Jewish history, Anton Weiss-Wendt's On the Margins: Essays on the History of Jews in Estonia (CEU Press, 2017) is a truly unique book. Rebuilding a life beyond so-called Pale of Jewish Settlement in the Russia…
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For decades scholars have pored over Hitler's autobiographical journey/political treatise, debating if Mein Kampf has genocidal overtones and arguably led to the Holocaust. For the first time, Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ and the Holocaust: A Prelude to Genocide (Bloomsbury, 2022) sees celebrated international scholars analyse the book from various angles…
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Beginning in August 1946, stateless and visaless Jews, most of them survivors of the Nazi death camps, who sought to immigrate to the Land of Israel were intercepted by the Royal Navy and deported to the nearby island of Cyprus, where they were detained in camps surrounded by barbed wire. Despite occupying a dramatic and fateful position in modern …
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In Phenomenal Justice: Violence and Morality in Argentina (Rutgers University Press, 2020), Eva van Roekel grounds her research in phenomenological anthropology and the anthropology of emotion to offer readers a novel and compelling perspective on justice proceedings in the aftermath of historical crimes against humanity. Van Roekel approaches the …
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This original research on the forgotten Libyan genocide specifically recovers the hidden history of the fascist Italian concentration camps (1929-1934) through the oral testimonies of Libyan survivors. Ali Abdullatif Ahmida's book Genocide in Libya: Shar, a Hidden Colonial History (Routledge, 2020) links the Libyan genocide through cross-cultural a…
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Jennifer Cazenave’s An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (SUNY Press, 2019) is a fascinating analysis of the 220 hours of outtakes edited out of the final nine and a half-hour 1985 film with which listeners and readers might be familiar. Well known around the world as one of the greatest documentary films eve…
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Emma Kuby’s new book, Political Survivors: The Resistance, the Cold War, and the Fight against Concentration Camps After 1945 (Cornell UP, 2019) traces the fascinating history of the International Commission Against the Concentration Camp Regime (CICRC) established in 1949 by the French intellectual and Nazi camp survivor David Rousset. In the wake…
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When Hitler invaded Warsaw in the fall of 1939, hundreds of thousands of civilians were trapped in the besieged city. The Rebbe Joseph Schneersohn, the leader of the ultra-orthodox Lubavitcher Jews, was among them. When word of his plight went out, a group of American Jews initiated what would ultimately become one of the strangest—and most miracul…
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In her new book Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism (Cornell University Press, 2019) Jelena Subotić asks why Holocaust memory continues to be so deeply troubled―ignored, appropriated, and obfuscated―throughout Eastern Europe, even though it was in those lands that most of the extermination campaign occurred. As part of acce…
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Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) - as the only permanent international court that addresses crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes - has important potential to end impunity and find justice for victims of atrocities, it is dependent on others for almost all aspects of its functioning. The Court has frequently relied on the…
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The global refugee, the ship passenger, the displaced person. How did their homeseeking routes and visual motifs intersect and diverge in the early Holocaust film archive? Simone Gigliotti's Restless Archive: The Holocaust and the Cinema of the Displaced tracks the footsteps and routes of predominantly Jewish refugees and postwar displaced persons …
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Investigating Babyn Yar: Shadows from the Valley of Death (Lexington Books, 2023) pieces together the story of the destruction of Kyiv's Jews using history's shattered fragments. Martin Dean traces their journey out of the city, using discarded clothing and distinctive terrain as a trail of breadcrumbs to identify the killing site in the ravine. Sh…
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Paolo Caroli's book Transitional Justice in Italy and the Crimes of Fascism and Nazism (Routledge, 2022) presents a comprehensive analysis of the Italian experience of transitional justice examining how the crimes of Fascism and World War II have been dealt with from a comparative perspective. Applying an interdisciplinary and comparative methodolo…
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The rapid and radical transformations of the Nazi Era challenged the ways German Jews experienced space and time, two of the most fundamental characteristics of human existence. In Space and Time Under Persecution: The German-Jewish Experience in the Third Reich (U Chicago Press, 2023), Guy Miron documents how German Jews came to terms with the har…
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