Monthly Archives: September 2016

National Holocaust memorial design competition launched

[From The Architects’ Journal]

The government has launched an international design competition for a national Holocaust memorial next to the Palace of Westminster in London

The competition, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, invites designers, architects and artists to submit proposals for a ‘striking’ memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens (pictured) commemorating the Holocaust.

Schemes should include a below-ground learning centre, contextualising the monument and featuring audio recordings of British Holocaust survivors and camp liberators.

The monument and learning centre will together provide a space for quiet reflection and national commemorations while also signposting visitors to other Holocaust educational resources across the UK.

Announcing the contest during Prime Minister’s Questions today (14 September), Theresa May said: ‘We need to ensure that we never forget the horrors of the Holocaust and the lessons that must be learnt from it.

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Review of Masha Gesson’s *Where the Jews Aren’t*

Interesting piece about Stalin’s Jewish Oblast experiment

Музыка в Советском Союзе | Music in the Soviet Union

A Promised Land in the U.S.S.R. Masha Gessen’s book about a failed Soviet experiment asks searching questions about Jewish identity.

[From the New Republic]

The twentieth century did not bring an end to Jewish wandering. I’m a case in point: All four of my grandparents, originally from Poland, survived the Holocaust and made their way to Israel. There my parents were born. But the socialist ethos of Israel in its early years did not sit well with my paternal grandfather, and he did not feel safe there. He had seen the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the gas chambers of Majdanek. And having sent two of his sons to the Israeli army, he was not eager to send another two. His attachment to a Jewish state was strong, but his survival instinct was stronger. My grandfather continued to wander, looking for the safest place for his family to…

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David Hare on writing nothing but the truth about a Holocaust denier

This looks set to offer a fascinating insight into the Holocaust denial mindset: a dramatisation of the famous libel trial brought against Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt by right-wing historian David Irving

[From The Guardian]

3275In 2010 I was first approached by the BBC and by Participant Media to adapt Deborah Lipstadt’s book History on Trial for the screen. My first reaction was one of extreme reluctance. I have no taste for Holocaust movies. It seems both offensive and clumsy to add an extra layer of fiction to suffering which demands no gratuitous intervention. It jars. Faced with the immensity of what happened, sober reportage and direct testimony have nearly always been the most powerful approach. In the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, I had noticed that all the photography, however marginal and inevitably however incomplete, had a shock and impact lacking in the rather contrived and uninteresting art.

It was a considerable relief on reading the book to find that although the Holocaust was its governing subject, there was no need for it to be visually recreated. In 2000 the British historian David Irving, whose writing had frequently offered a sympathetic account of the second world war from the Nazi point of view, had sued Lipstadt in the high court in London, claiming that her description of him as a denier in her previous book Denying the Holocaust had done damage to his reputation. In English courts at the time, the burden of proof in any libel case lay not with the accuser but with the defendant. In the United States it was the litigant’s job to prove the untruth of the alleged libel. But in the United Kingdom it was up to the defendant to prove its truth. It was in that context that London was Irving’s chosen venue. He no doubt thought it would make his legal action easier. All at once, an Atlanta academic was to find herself with the unenviable task of marshalling conclusive scientific proof for the attempted extermination of the European Jews over 50 years earlier.

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