Regimes of Terror & Memory: Beyond the Uniqueness of the Holocaust

February 23, 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Sakamaki Hall A201 Add to Calendar

U H Manoa History Forum presents Prof. Emeritus Manfred Henningsen ( U H M Political Science Department) discussing his most recent book: "Regimes of Terror and Memory: Beyond the Uniqueness of the Holocaust" and the current charges of genocide against Hamas and Israel in light of the War in Gaza and Israel. Dr. Henningsen describes the book thusly: This is the personal anamnesis of a German born in 1938, attempting to come to terms with the macro-criminal dimension of the history of his country and becoming witness to how German society slowly overcame its amnesia and succeeded in confronting its record of evil. I extended this search to my adopted country after I moved to the US in 1969, first to California and then Hawaii. There I married a young African American woman and discovered, sharing her life experiences, a comparable syndrome of historical amnesia in the U.S. This two-fold encounter with the suppression of memory moved me to turn my knowledge interest to a selected group of societies that have been affected by a similar syndrome of intentional forgetting of macro criminal chapters of their history like Imperial Japan, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia, et al. Since Germany was singled out after WWII as the perpetrator of the most heinous macro crime in history, namely the Holocaust, I attempt to distinguish an assumed cultural dispensation towards this manifestation of evil from the actual, responsible center of political agency. I apply a similar approach in the discussion of the other societies I have included in my inquiry. By discussing philosophical reflections from Kant and Schelling to philosophers in the 20th and 21st century, I try to make sense of the universal manifestations of comparable evil in all societies and come to the conclusion, without relativizing the Holocaust, that the uniqueness label is philosophically and materially meaningless

Event Sponsor
History, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Peter Hoffenberg, 808-956-8497,

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