Note regarding comments

I love comments. I enjoy debate. I welcome both praise and thoughtful criticism. However, I've had to change comments-permissions to require self-identification. No more anonymous messages, please!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Calling all students of Omer Bartov

     Last week, the Shoah Foundation sponsored an "international academic forum" on the use of its visual history archive. As part of that conference, Dr. Omer Bartov (Brown University) lectured on reconstructing the Holocaust from below.
     Since this topic shares the same foundation as our own work, I took good notes!
     Bartov notes that generally, those who lived in Europe between 1933 and 1945 tend to be classified as victims, perpetrators, or bystanders. Black and white. Defined as one of the three, period.
     He argues that "testimonies" ~ such as those found in the Shoah Foundation's video archives ~ must be integrated into Holocaust history with validity equalling that of more traditional, "historical"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Heart Nuns

     Mumble-mumble years ago as an eighteen-year-old fresh out of high school, I traveled to Europe basically alone. The world was not nearly as violent a place then as it is now, but it was not as safe as we like to remember either.
     Baader-Meinhof still terrorized German cities. A year earlier, Palestinian guerrillas had marred "Mark Spitz's" Olympics. The student uprisings of the 1960s, which we now know were over and done with by the Summer of 1973, threatened to re-erupt, as the war in Vietnam dragged on. And on.
     If all that were not enough, Richard Nixon's Watergate saga had grabbed the U.S. by the throat and bred distrust across the country. Distrust which showed up in Europe as disdain. Among Europeans unaware that Willy Brandt's own version of Watergate, the Guillaume Affair, was about to unfold.