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The Holocaust as a unique event in history

By 20 October 2012 11

The Holocaust is a water shed event in the history of the 20th century for both Jews and non-Jews. It forces us as human beings to look at ourselves and ask the eternal question: how was this humanly possible? The universal dimensions of this particular story can and do speak to us all. This presentation will address not only these universal aspects but explore the “unprecedented” nature of this historical event.

Mr Ephraim Kaye has a first and second degree in Modern Jewish History and the History of the Holocaust from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1978 to 2000 he taught courses on the Holocaust at several different Israeli colleges in Jerusalem. Since 1980 Mr Kaye has been involved in Holocaust research and education. In 1988, he joined the educational staff at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and since 1994 has been Director of International Seminars for Educators at The International School for Holocaust Studies. He has developed many curriculum units and authored several books, including The Responsa From the Kovno Ghetto (1983) and One Man’s Journey – Teaching the Holocaust published in Working to Make a Difference (2003) edited by Samuel Totten.

Light refreshments from 9am.

Where: Law Link Theatre, Fellows Road, The Australian National University
When: Wednesday 7 November, 9.30-10am

Click here to register.

Free and open to the public

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11 Responses to
The Holocaust as a unique event in history
HenryBG 5:58 pm
24 Oct 12
#1

Interestingly, humanity’s dark heart that led to the holocaust is alive and well even today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/23/israeli-poll-majority-apartheid-policies

“More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should be denied the right to vote if the area was annexed by Israel, in effect endorsing an apartheid state, according to an opinion poll reported in Haaretz.

Three out of four are in favour of segregated roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, and 58% believe Israel already practises apartheid against Palestinians, the poll found.

A third want Arab citizens within Israel to be banned from voting in elections to the country’s parliament. Almost six out of 10 say Jews should be given preference to Arabs in government jobs, 49% say Jewish citizens should be treated better than Arabs, 42% would not want to live in the same building as Arabs and the same number do not want their children going to school with Arabs.

A commentary by Gideon Levy, which accompanied the results of the poll, described the findings as disturbing. “Israelis themselves … are openly, shamelessly and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists,” he wrote.

“It’s good to live in this country, most Israelis say, not despite its racism, but perhaps because of it. If such a survey were released about the attitude to Jews in a European state, Israel would have raised hell. When it comes to us, the rules don’t apply.”

farnarkler 7:30 pm
24 Oct 12
#2

Taught courses on the holocaust and the international school for holocaust studies?? Talk about getting in deep. Considering jews have been murdered en masse by various countries over the centuries it was only a matter of time before one nation decided to ‘streamline’ the killing.

An equally sinister event in World history, although not on such a massive scale, was the de-urbanisation of the Cambodian population during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror.

Deref 7:38 pm
24 Oct 12
#3

HenryBG said :

Interestingly, humanity’s dark heart that led to the holocaust is alive and well even today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/23/israeli-poll-majority-apartheid-policies

“More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should be denied the right to vote if the area was annexed by Israel, in effect endorsing an apartheid state, according to an opinion poll reported in Haaretz.

Three out of four are in favour of segregated roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, and 58% believe Israel already practises apartheid against Palestinians, the poll found.

A third want Arab citizens within Israel to be banned from voting in elections to the country’s parliament. Almost six out of 10 say Jews should be given preference to Arabs in government jobs, 49% say Jewish citizens should be treated better than Arabs, 42% would not want to live in the same building as Arabs and the same number do not want their children going to school with Arabs.

A commentary by Gideon Levy, which accompanied the results of the poll, described the findings as disturbing. “Israelis themselves … are openly, shamelessly and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists,” he wrote.

“It’s good to live in this country, most Israelis say, not despite its racism, but perhaps because of it. If such a survey were released about the attitude to Jews in a European state, Israel would have raised hell. When it comes to us, the rules don’t apply.”

+1

Oh, the irony.

HenryBG 9:44 pm
24 Oct 12
#4

Deref said :

HenryBG said :

Interestingly, humanity’s dark heart that led to the holocaust is alive and well even today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/23/israeli-poll-majority-apartheid-policies

“More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should be denied the right to vote if the area was annexed by Israel, in effect endorsing an apartheid state, according to an opinion poll reported in Haaretz.

Three out of four are in favour of segregated roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, and 58% believe Israel already practises apartheid against Palestinians, the poll found.

A third want Arab citizens within Israel to be banned from voting in elections to the country’s parliament. Almost six out of 10 say Jews should be given preference to Arabs in government jobs, 49% say Jewish citizens should be treated better than Arabs, 42% would not want to live in the same building as Arabs and the same number do not want their children going to school with Arabs.

A commentary by Gideon Levy, which accompanied the results of the poll, described the findings as disturbing. “Israelis themselves … are openly, shamelessly and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists,” he wrote.

“It’s good to live in this country, most Israelis say, not despite its racism, but perhaps because of it. If such a survey were released about the attitude to Jews in a European state, Israel would have raised hell. When it comes to us, the rules don’t apply.”

+1

Oh, the irony.

So Israelis know they live in an apartheid state, but our Western governments continue the appeasement, delusion and denial.

The only politicians over here who’ve got it right on Israel are the watermelon Greens.

Postalgeek 11:05 pm
24 Oct 12
#5

One problem I have with the focus on the Holocaust is that, as terrible as it was, the Nazis murderous intent wasn’t exclusively directed towards the Jews. Herbert Backe’s Hunger Plan sought to cut off 20 million Soviets from their food supply in the pursuit of food security. Anti-semitism determined who was killed first in the name of food security, but it wasn’t just the Jews who were meant to die.

In other words, the focus on racism can be a distraction from understanding other underlying factors that haven’t gone away and may recur this century.

Tetranitrate 12:24 am
25 Oct 12
#6

Postalgeek said :

One problem I have with the focus on the Holocaust is that, as terrible as it was, the Nazis murderous intent wasn’t exclusively directed towards the Jews. Herbert Backe’s Hunger Plan sought to cut off 20 million Soviets from their food supply in the pursuit of food security. Anti-semitism determined who was killed first in the name of food security, but it wasn’t just the Jews who were meant to die.

In other words, the focus on racism can be a distraction from understanding other underlying factors that haven’t gone away and may recur this century.

While were at it we may as well remember the post war ethnic cleansing of Germans from the formerly overwhelmingly German territories of Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania (plus parts of Brandenburg), as well as the German minorities formerly in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia.
In terms of scale and the number of deaths (In Poland and Czechoslovakia the expulsions were carried out with the maximum possible brutality) the postwar expulsions are entirely comparable to the Armenian genocide.

kakosi 12:43 am
25 Oct 12
#7

Postalgeek said :

One problem I have with the focus on the Holocaust is that, as terrible as it was, the Nazis murderous intent wasn’t exclusively directed towards the Jews. Herbert Backe’s Hunger Plan sought to cut off 20 million Soviets from their food supply in the pursuit of food security. Anti-semitism determined who was killed first in the name of food security, but it wasn’t just the Jews who were meant to die.

In other words, the focus on racism can be a distraction from understanding other underlying factors that haven’t gone away and may recur this century.

The Jews were particularly targeted by the Nazis and millions died in camps. There were also others exterminated and experimented on that weren’t of Jewish faith…slavs, gypsies, homosexuals, minority religions, anyone who didn’t join the local fascist party, etc. My aunt ended up in Auschwitz and her two sisters were sent to slave labour camps in Germany for not joining the Croatian fascists during that war. There were indeed lots of reasons why a person ended up in the camps – but if you were Jewish you were pretty much not going anywhere else. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

maxblues 2:13 am
25 Oct 12
#8

Slaughtering our own kind has being going on since we first held rocks in our hands. As horrible as the Jewish holocaust was, I would not call it “unique in the 20th century”. From Armenians to Argentinans, we have witnessed genocide. Indeed several member countries of the UN Security Council have murdered their own citizens in that century. We shouldn’t single out that century either as it was during the 19th century that the British utilised the name and concept of concentration camps. Whilst genocide did not take place in our Capital Territory, let us not forget the Molonglo Concentration Camp, the name of which was whitewashed to an Internment camp.

Darkfalz 6:31 am
25 Oct 12
#9

Not about making a difference any more, sadly it’s become about making a buck. And as a “go to” whenever Israel violates human rights, or sabre rattling at Iran.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:38 am
25 Oct 12
#10

kakosi said :

Postalgeek said :

One problem I have with the focus on the Holocaust is that, as terrible as it was, the Nazis murderous intent wasn’t exclusively directed towards the Jews. Herbert Backe’s Hunger Plan sought to cut off 20 million Soviets from their food supply in the pursuit of food security. Anti-semitism determined who was killed first in the name of food security, but it wasn’t just the Jews who were meant to die.

In other words, the focus on racism can be a distraction from understanding other underlying factors that haven’t gone away and may recur this century.

The Jews were particularly targeted by the Nazis and millions died in camps. There were also others exterminated and experimented on that weren’t of Jewish faith…slavs, gypsies, homosexuals, minority religions, anyone who didn’t join the local fascist party, etc. My aunt ended up in Auschwitz and her two sisters were sent to slave labour camps in Germany for not joining the Croatian fascists during that war. There were indeed lots of reasons why a person ended up in the camps – but if you were Jewish you were pretty much not going anywhere else. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

The croations were even more vicious and horrible than the nazis.

Conan of Cooma 8:38 am
25 Oct 12
#11

Please bear in mind that the Holocaust death count includes all people of Jewish persuasion killed during WWII, including combatants in other theatres of war, and civilians killed by the Allies. It is not exclusive to those murdered in the death camps.

The Soviets were also targets – they lost over 23 million lives to Axis forces, a figure which also includes civilian and friendly deaths.

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