Terror and Memory: Beyond the Uniqueness of the Holocaust

December 5, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Saunders 624 Add to Calendar

All genocides and mass killing events are overshadowed by the Jewish Holocaust as the standard of unique terminal terror. This uniqueness claim that is based on the Nazi goal to exterminate all Jews excludes already other German cleansing projects during the Nazi period that successfully targeted, for example, mentally disabled children and adults, Sinti and Roma, gay men and socially maladjusted people. The claim makes it extremely difficult to conduct comparative analysis because the charge of relativism is very often raised to discourage discussions of comparability. Professor Henningsen will touch on the instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political purposes in the U.S., Israel and Europe. The major focus of the talk, however, will be to discuss the successful strategies that almost all societies engage in when avoiding to process the record of evil political regimes that have perpetrated on their own, conquered or colonized societies. The presentation will revisit relevant cases found in Germany, the US, Denmark, Russia, China, Japan, Indonesia and South Afric. It will be concluded with the Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka’s critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and his attempt to overcome the Eurocentric meaning claims of uniqueness.

Ticket Information
Free Public Event

Event Sponsor
Political Science, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Wumaier Yilamu, 956-8357, wumaier@hawaii.edu

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