The horrors of the Nazi Holocaust shocked the conscience of the world. Hitler’s machinery of mass murder methodically led 12 million civilians to their death, and, upon his demise, sparked a revolution in international law and politics that forever changed the landscape of our global systems — even if actual implementation of the new norms remains lagging.
Today, on the Israeli holiday of Yom HaShoah, the world pauses to commemorate the six million Jews lost to the Nazi’s campaign of hatred. Events, small and large, are scheduled today and tomorrow throughout the world, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is holding a week-long “Days of Remembrance,” which this year honors the Allied soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps at the end of World War II, and were among the first to uncover the sheer brutality of Nazi rule. As General Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked after a visit to Buchenwald: Continue reading
11 December 1948 United Nations, New York: Mr. Ales Bebler (Yugoslavia), signing of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
It’s a more exciting debate than you think. Not excited? Ok, then it’s an incredibly important debate with significant ramifications on (the theoretical possibility of) international response to genocide. Read on.
The International Legal Definition
Following Raphael Lemkin’s footsteps, the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (or the UN Convention on Genocide, UNCG) defines genocide as: Continue reading
This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day is Sunday, April 11, 2010, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is asking communities across the nation to organize observances during April 11–18, 2010.
The Museum has designated “Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters” as the theme for the 2010 Days of Remembrance. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, and we will pay tribute to the U.S. soldiers who helped defeat Nazi Germany and liberate Holocaust survivors from years of suffering. These stories of freedom remind us that individuals have the power to make a difference.
We invite you to join the nation in remembrance. The Museum has created the Planning Guide and Resources for Annual Holocaust Commemoration, a free CD/DVD set filled with advice and ready-to-use videos and resources for organizing civic, military, and interfaith observances. This resource is free and may be obtained by filling out the Request Form. In addition, you may also view these and other resources on the Museum’s special Days of Remembrance Web site. We also invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on Days of Remembrance with the Museum and other citizens through our web site and various social media sites.
Remembrance not only obligates us to memorialize those who were killed during the Holocaust, but it also reminds us of the fragility of democracy and the need for citizens to be vigilant in the protection of democratic ideals.
Thank you for joining communities across the nation as we remember the victims as well as survivors of the Holocaust.
For questions contact: DORDVD@ushmm.org
Reposted from: A Passion To Understand
This is the book that started it all for me again. I had always known at the back of my mind that sooner or later I was going to have to face up to my horror and read up about the Rwandan genocide. Once I picked up this book in late 2007, it started a process of discovery for me and culminated in me forming this blog.
There have been several books written on the genocide by people from all walks of life. Sociologists, journalists, a United Nations general and a hotel operator have all written excellent and compelling books but this book was written by a normal, everyday woman. Immaculée Ilibagiza was a student in 1994, just like me, and she had gone home for the April holidays, just like I used to do. The difference is that Immaculée is Tutsi.
Left to Tell is the story of how her entire family was killed in the genocide and how she was hidden in the bathroom of a local pastor along with seven other women for 91 days. There were days on end when the pastor could not secret away food to them as he had not even told his family that he was hiding the women and they suffered from starvation, dehydration and the wasting of their limbs. They could not stand, exercise or eve stretch their legs.
Immaculée is a devout Catholic and in this book she talks of the miracles that occurred and how her faith carried her through the most trying period of her life. I’m not a religious person but I found this book to be absolutely inspiring and incredible.
I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to see what happened in the genocide through the eyes of a survivor. This is an excellent introduction to anyone wishing to know more about the events but who does not feel ready to ready one of the more technical or complex books. Just make sure that you have a box of tissues handy because this book is absolutely touching.
Immaculée has written two more books since this one and maintains a blog too in which she speaks of her faith and the journey she has take since 1994. The blog is simply called Immaculée.
A discussion with Washington Post reporter Shankar Vedantam, author of The Hidden Brain
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1 p.m.
Helena Rubinstein Auditorium
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
How do we explain the actions of perpetrators, collaborators and bystanders in genocide? Fundamental questions about human behavior raised by the Holocaust continue to be debated in light of Rwanda, Bosnia and 21st century mass killings. Join us for a discussion with Washington Post reporter and author, Shankar Vedantam, whose new book, The Hidden Brain, explores how groups and unconscious bias shape human behavior and decision making.
Shankar Vedantam is a national science writer at the Washington Post. Between 2006 and 2009, Vedantam authored the weekly Department of Human Behavior column in the Washington Post. He is the winner of several journalism awards and is a 2009-2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University
Reservations are requested at: www.ushmm.org/events/shankarvedantam
Jewish Responses to the Holocaust: Teaching the Victims’ Perspective June 2-15, 2010
The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) announces the 2010 Silberman Seminar for college/university faculty from all disciplines who are teaching or preparing to teach Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses. The study of the Holocaust has recently shifted to include a broader analysis of the voices of the victims through diaries, letters, community documents, artistic representations, and other forms of primary and secondary sources that focus on the victims’ response to the Holocaust. This year’s Silberman Seminar will introduce participants to the variety of Jewish responses to the Holocaust—the largest victim group—and will equip instructors with the knowledgebase and pedagogical techniques required to teach this complex topic. Continue reading