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Here are the questions for this week.

1.

This week, you are watching the

Battle for Algiers

, a film which very faithfully depicts the fight of the Algerians against the French colonizers AND French settlers in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The key to the Algerians’ successful decolonization was the inability of the French to control the urban guerilla warfare dynamics, and the film manages to depict this well with Algerian actors. In the film, you see some of the ways in which the citizens of the Casbah (Muslim neighborhoods of Algiers) join the fight against the colonizers.

What is the cost of this particular type of violence for the Algerian society as a whole and decolonized societies in general?

Use examples from the film to demonstrate your point.

P.S. This kind of urban guerilla warfare also serves as a model for contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

2.

The second major topic we discussed is the complicated memory of the Second World War, which is remembered differently in various regions it took place. You will be reading a journalistic account from Ian Buruma, who writes about the problems surrounding the ways in which the Auschwitz death camp is officially remembered in various places.

When talking about Auschwitz, what were some problems surrounding the memorialization (monuments, commemorations) of war and atrocities in the years after the war that Buruma mentions?

You might not know all the cultural references in the text, and that’s okay. Focus on what he is saying about Auschwitz.

Please post your reflection on these questions and reply to at least one of your peers’ posts. Your main post is due by the end of the day on Saturday and the reply by the end of the day on Sunday each week.

See further instructions in the syllabus.

In order to receive an A-level grade, please make sure your peer response is as engaging and substantive as your main post. Your posts/replies should be constructive and respectful.

Make sure you address all questions in your peer reply

unless stated otherwise.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

**If reading any of these pieces seems overwhelming, check out these OPTIONAL guidelines:

How to analyze a primary source pdf.

Download How to analyze a primary source pdf.

(what to look for in a primary source) and

L

earning to Read (Again)_patterson.pdf

Download earning to Read (Again)_patterson.pdf

download

Download  download

(strategies on how to read articles and chapters quickly and look for arguments plus make good notes). You can also always reach out to me for help if needed; I want to do my best in making you feel confident and comfortable with our course materials and the class in general.

Battle of Algiers (film) – access on Kanopy through Course Reserves tab or here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRE3j8pDMds&t=4351s (Links to an external site.)

Here are one reading and two lecture slides:

https://we.tl/t-jXQ6W4ZmSb

THE RECKONING:
MEMORY OF WWII IN
THE FIRST POSTWAR
DECADES
7/14
PLAN FOR TODAY
I. THE HOLOCAUST
II. EUROPEAN POSTWAR MEMORY
III. SOME CONTESTED POINTS OF GLOBAL MEMORY
IV. RECAP
STUDYING MEMORY
• Individual memory – one, personal memory
• Collective memory – connects people’s
memories across time and space, usually a
community
• Official memory – memory that the leaders of
a certain community/nation choose to nurture
publicly through monuments,
commemoration ceremonies, etc. This
memory is selective, which means carefully
chosen
• Contested memory – a situation where
tensions and conflicts emerge in constructing
and reinterpreting the past, usually because
certain memories are chosen over others
A sign reading “stop celebrating genocide”
sits at the base of a statue of Christopher
Columbus on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in
Providence, R.I., after it was vandalized with
red paint on the day named to honor him as
one of the first Europeans to reach the New
World.
HISTORY AND MEMORY
HISTORY
• Critical reconstruction of the past rooted in
research – more relative, different
perspectives
• Seeks to understand historical contexts in
all complexities
• Acknowledges memory but interprets it
critically
MEMORY
• Can be individual BUT also often treated as
a sacred set of absolute meanings and
stories, possessed as the heritage or
identity of a community
• Can be in antagonistic relationship to
historical research, especially official
memory
I. THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE HOLOCAUST
• “Liberators and
survivors – the first
moments”
• https://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=kOIHRQl
QqwU&t=349s
SHAME, GUILT AND SILENCE IN POSTWAR GERMANY
– DIVIDED MEMORIES
– Demilitarization, denazification
– Immediate need for postwar reconstruction and
recovery
– Need to create new German identities distant from
the Nazi past – selective remembering
– West Germany – turn to democratic values and
more idealized, rural historic aspects of German
culture; many former Nazis stay in the postwar
government
– East Germany – stronger denazification and
punishment, rejection of any form of capitalism,
memorial culture celebrating the Soviet victory
and anti-fascist resistance in general
– Both Germanys nurture the official memory of
victimhood and suffering from the Nazis
Soviet War Memorial, Berlin, 1945
COMPLICITY OF NON-GERMANS IN THE HOLOCAUST
• Across former Nazi occupied countries,
especially in Eastern Europe
• Memory of the Holocaust is suppressed in
order to focus on the anti-fascist victory
and resistance
• Because of a much stronger anti-fascist
resistance and the territory on which the
Holocaust took on its most tragic
dimension, Eastern European societies
also had a difficult path to recognizing
complicity in the Holocaust – until this day!
Jan T. Gross exploring the July 1941 Jedwabne
massacre committed against Polish Jews by their
non-Jewish neighbors in the village of Jedwabne in
Nazi-occupied Poland. Published in 2000.
NUREMBERG TRIALS (1945-1949)
• Landmark in the history of international law –
crimes against peace (including planning,
preparing, starting or waging wars of aggression
or wars), humanity (including murder, enslavement
or deportation of civilians or persecution on
political, religious or racial grounds) and war
crimes (including violations of customs or laws of
war, including improper treatment of civilians and
prisoners of war)
Defendants in the dock. The main target of
the prosecution was Hermann Göring (at
the left edge on the first row of benches),
considered to be the most important
surviving official in the Third Reich after
Hitler’s death.
• Milestone towards the establishment of an
international war crimes, Allied-led military
tribunal instead of trials under the law of separate
nations
• Nazi officials and some civilians indicted
• Note that there is no special trial for crimes against
the Jewish people here
Symbolism of Nuremberg as
an international tribunal site
TURNING POINTS: ADOLF EICHMANN TRIAL, 1961
• SURVIVORS take central stage – “the era of the
witness”
• Highly publicized, first televised trial
• The term “Holocaust” and its events, including
the Jewish resistance (like in Warsaw Ghetto)
became firmly embedded in public
consciousness
• New openness in Israel; many Holocaust
survivors who had heretofore remained silent
started to come forward – Israel was also
facing turbulent state building and the issues
of stability oftentimes took precedence
• Hannah Arendt – “The Banality of Evil” –
suggestion for further reading
I was struck by the manifest shallowness in the doer
[ie Eichmann] which made it impossible to trace the
uncontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of
roots or motives. The deeds were monstrous, but the
doer – at least the very effective one now on trial –
was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither
demonic nor monstrous.
Hannah Arendt
TURNING POINTS: AUSCHWITZ TRIAL IN FRANKFURT
(1963-1965)
•
Twenty-two members of Auschwitz
personnel – second and third tier officers –
were tried
•
Of more than 60,000 camp officers, only 22
indicted
•
Daily functioning of the camps; systematic
nature of the killing machine
•
Trial under German criminal law – Germany
taking another step towards dealing with
difficult post-WWII past
• Show video: “Overview of the camp” & “The
Unbearable Lightness of Being a Nazi”
Nazi officers at
Auschwitz
TURNING POINTS: HOLOCAUST IN LITERATURE
(1960S-1970S)
• Personal experiences of the Holocaust,
subjective acounts
• Individual memory is for many Jews also
collective memory
• Elie Wiesel, The Night (1960)
• The Diary of Young Girl (Anne Frank), 1952
TURNING POINTS: YOUTH PROTEST CULTURE OF THE
1960S
• West German student movement in1968;
further denazification, want democratic
reforms of government and university, antiAmerican
• Children of the Nazi parents seek truth in
Germany, louder voices questioning the
Nazi past, gradual breaking of silence
On December 7, 1970, West German
Chancellor Willy Brandt fell to his knees at
the memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto.
TURNING POINTS: HOLOCAUST SERIES (1978) – THE
ROLE OF POPULAR CULTURE IN HISTORICAL MEMORY
• First opportunity for most Americans to
see a lenghty dramatization of the
Holocaust
• Huge reception in West Germany (50% of
population had seen is) where it also
coincided with the timing of Majdanek
(death camp) trials
II. EUROPEAN POSTWAR MEMORY
THE “GAULLIST” MYTH IN FRANCE
• Satelitte, pro-Nazi Vichy regime
during the war
• Immediate postwar memory
focused on the myths of antifascist resistance and selfliberation
• Vichy regime was cast as a
temporary and foreign
aberration, and collaboration as
the retreat of a few reactionaries
and undesirables
At the end of World War II, many French people
accused of collaboration with Germany endured a
particularly humiliating act of revenge: their heads were
shaved in public.
THE MYTH OF THE DUTCH AS “DO-GOODERS”
• The postwar memory myth further propagates
the idea that Dutch society as a whole – and
not Dutch Jews alone – was victimized by the
Nazi regime
• Celebrating the non- Jewish members of
Dutch society – Jews are not considered as
specific victims with unique experiences, but
rather as people whose survival has been
contingent upon Dutch goodness
• Now is the time for Jews to remind themselves all
the time that they have to be thankful. And they
have to show their gratitude first of all by making up
what has to be made up to those who have become
victims on behalf of Jews. They may thank God that
they came out alive. It is also possible to lose
sympathy…They are certainly not the only ones who
had a bad time and who suffered” (1945, Dutch
Patriot magazine)
Anne Frank house museum in Amsterdam – her
family lived in the hidden spaces of the house
behind the bookshelf until their deportation to
Bergen Belsen camp
SOCIALIST UNITY IN YUGOSLAVIA
• Croatian pro-fascist regime and other
collaborationists in Serbia erased from the
public memory as well as their complicity
in the Holocaust
• “Brotherhood and Unity” principle of
creating the socialist federation of different
South Slavic nations through enormous
anti-fascist, communist led resistance
Partisan movement becomes the dominant
public memory
• This “discredited” memory will result in
another bloodshed after the collapse of
communism in the 1990s
Women were also iconic figures
in the Yugoslav Partisan
resistance memory
III. THE “GOOD WAR” IN AMERICAN MEMORY
• Segregated troops for Black Americans –
more than 1.2 million serve in the war
• Fighting for democracy overseas while
being segregated even in combat
• Separate blood banks, hospitals or wards,
medical staff, barracks and recreational
facilities for Black soldiers; white soldiers
and local white residents routinely slurred
and harassed them.
332nd Fighter
Group, Air Force,
1945
U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division,
raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo
Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945.
Is the bigger picture more
valuable than the soldiers
themselves?
“COMFORT” WOMEN
• Women forced into sexual slavery for
Imperial Japan in occupied areas between
1932 and 1945
• Official number: 200,000
• Rape of Nanking (1937)
• Evidence of American complicity in
continuing these practices after the war
• More public attention after South Korean
turn to democracy in 1980s
• Japanese denial issues remain
TIMELINE
• 1945 – Nuremberg Trials
• 1952 – The Diary of Anne Frank first comes out in English translation
• 1960 – Elie Wiesel publishes “The Night”
• 1962 – Adolf Eichmann Trial – the era of the witness begins
• 1963-1965 – Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials
• 1968 – West German student movement and global student protest for more democratic
societies
• 1978 – Holocaust Series
IV. RECAP
• Global memory of the Holocaust does not consolidate immediately after the war’s end; it
gains shape in the following decades through the emergence of the witness as a storyteller,
trials of war crimes and more permissive political culture in the 1960s that confronts the
postwar silence and allows for a production of popular culture that brings these
experiences to light, especially in West Germany – Germany takes the lead in confronting
WWII through trials and public activism
• Contested and selective memory of the war throughout Europe – shame of occupation,
collaboration in war crimes and the inability to liberate without the Allies
• Selective remembering of anti-fascist resistance dominates in the first postwar decades,
even in places like Auschwitz (reading)

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