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Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation

7 countries' attempts to grapple with their troubled pasts, and move beyond them.
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2014 - 3 comments

Portraits of Reconciliation

Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time between perpetrators and survivors.
posted by nevercalm on Apr 5, 2014 - 31 comments

The burden of survival

Rwanda: 20 years later
posted by infini on Mar 30, 2014 - 13 comments

The Last of the Unjust

In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin into the ghetto of Theresienstadt. The ghetto was a transit center as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross visit in 1944. The "embellishment" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report."
While researching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film, "The Last Of The Unjust." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 16, 2013 - 4 comments

Jacques Vergès, "the Devil's Advocate", 1925-2013

The lawyer who defended Klaus Barbie, Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic, among others has died. [more inside]
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Aug 17, 2013 - 27 comments

Breaking A Legacy of Silence

"An April 17, 1981, a CIA cable[pdf] described an army massacre at Cocob, near Nebaj in the Ixil Indian territory, because the population was believed to support leftist guerrillas. A CIA source reported that “the social population appeared to fully support the guerrillas” and “the soldiers were forced to fire at anything that moved.” The CIA cable added that “the Guatemalan authorities admitted that ‘many civilians’ were killed in Cocob, many of whom undoubtedly were non-combatants.” In May 1981, despite these ongoing atrocities, Reagan dispatched Walters to tell the Guatemalan leaders that the new U.S. administration wanted to lift the human rights embargoes on military equipment that former President Jimmy Carter and Congress had imposed."
The Guatemala Documentation Project, part of the National Security Archive, collects information about the decades long civil war in Guatemala, including State Department documents that point to Washington's complicity in massacres, assassinations and human rights violations.
posted by empath on Mar 5, 2013 - 21 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

"we are all actors trapped in the plot of history, playing roles most of us haven’t chosen."

A Lost Map On The Tramway In Istanbul
In Turkey, there lives a mysterious minority known as the “secret Armenians.” They have been hiding in the open for nearly a century. Outwardly, they are Turks or Kurds, but the secret Armenians are actually descendants of the survivors of the 1915 Genocide, who stayed behind in Eastern Anatolia after forcibly converting to Islam. Some are now devout Muslims, others are Alevis –generally considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, even though that would be an inaccurate description by some accounts–, and a few secretly remain Christian, especially in the area of Sassoun, where still there are mountain villages with secret Armenian populations. Even though Armenian Gypsies wouldn’t strictly qualify as Secret Armenians, they share many traits with the latter, including reluctance or fear to reveal their identity even to fellow Armenians.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 15, 2012 - 15 comments

"Many of the great political crimes of recent history were committed in the name of memory."

Telling Stories About The Stories We Tell, An Interview with Philip Gourevitch [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 15, 2012 - 6 comments

Parlez-vous war criminal? Leopold Munyakazi and Goucher college

Parlez-vous war criminal? Leopold Munyakazi and Goucher college Sanford H. Ungar, journalist and current President of Goucher, a small liberal-arts college near Baltimore writes about his experience hiring - unbeknownst to him - a Rwandan war criminal (Leopold Munyakazi) to teach French as a visiting scholar, and the aftermath for him personally. He examines the sometimes problematic desire from liberal arts colleges, or at least Goucher in this instance, to hire somebody controversial, and delves in to the blurry world of apportioning blame in the Rwandan genocide. [more inside]
posted by thetarium on Jul 24, 2012 - 24 comments

What didn't happen on This American Life

This weekend, TAL ran an episode on the massacre at Dos Erres. What they didn't mention was that this happened as part of the "Silent Holocaust" -- a "systematic campaign of genocide against the Mayan people." An estimated 83% of the massacred people were indigenous Maya. Throughout the period of the genocide, the USA continued to provide military support to the Guatemalan government, mainly in the form of arms and equipment, despite knowing that the Guatemala military was responsible for the killings. Horatio Castellanos Moya, an exiled Honduran writer, wrote Senselessness, his first book to be published in English, based on the testimonies taken by the Catholic Church's Recuperation of History project, which led to Bishop José Gerardi Conedera releasing the Guatemala: Never Again! report. Two days later, he was bludgeoned to death.
posted by Felicity Rilke on May 28, 2012 - 21 comments

Survivors of a nightmare with no reckoning

11541 Red Chairs each representing a life lost during the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1996 which started 20 years ago this weekend.
Bosnia's victims 20 years on: survivors of a nightmare with no reckoning, by Ed Vulliamy.
Emma Daly, then a journalist recalls “We were reporting, reporting, reporting. And it took so long for anyone to react,”. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Apr 8, 2012 - 26 comments

"You can do precise statistics about what's in your database, and may be completely wrong about the world."

The Body Counter Meet Patrick Ball, a statistician who's spent his life lifting the fog of war. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 3, 2012 - 5 comments

The Xinjiang Procedure

In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes. Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Nov 29, 2011 - 28 comments

Alain Resnais' "Night and Fog"

Alain Resnais' Night and Fog (1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 3, 2011 - 12 comments

“A little white house… lingers in my memory…”

Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film about the Holocaust, can be seen on YouTube, in 59 parts and lasting more than 9 hours. This is not for the faint of heart or for folks with short attention spans. Reminded of it through Ebert’s latest post. On Wikipedia. (Previously here)
posted by growabrain on Jan 2, 2011 - 42 comments

And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

The entire assemblage comprises 14,882 human skeletal fragments, as well as the mutilated remains of dogs and other animals killed at the massacre site -- Sacred Ridge, southwest of Durango, Colo. [....] when the violence took place, men, women and children were tortured, disemboweled, killed and often hacked to bits. In some cases, heads, hands and feet appear to have been removed as trophies for the killers. The attackers then removed belongings out of the structures and set the roofs on fire. [....] At least two other separate studies have come to similar conclusions, suggesting the genocide victims at Sacred Ridge belonged to an ethnic group that was different from that of other nearby populations.

posted by orthogonality on Sep 20, 2010 - 45 comments

"Australia would not send forces here; that's impossible."

Death of a Nation – East Timor. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 28, 2010 - 12 comments

Scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed
In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide. Recently a wealth of data has been found in the home of the fugitive Gen. Ratko Mladic, who is still assumed alive by the Hague Chief Prosecutor in spite of his family petitioning for him to be declared dead.
15 years on Srebrenica buries its dead.
Amid a hurricane of killing, rape and 'ethnic cleansing', a movement striving in the opposite direction responded in the most powerful way they knew: with rock'n'roll. Fifteen years since War Child's Help LP, key figures reflect on the war – and music. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Jul 11, 2010 - 17 comments

"Being just is inhuman."

Living with the Enemy. "Applying the ideas of Holocaust survivor Jean Améry to present day Rwanda, our author argues that reconciliation after genocide is just another form of torture."
posted by homunculus on Jul 6, 2010 - 27 comments

Surrender Is Out of the Question

For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question. "Living with the crazy, fearless young men who risk life and limb to document Burma's genocide."
posted by homunculus on May 23, 2010 - 20 comments

Not a prophet in his own land

Baltasar Garzón is a Spanish judge known for his cases on human right abuses by south american dictatorships under international law, specially the case against Augusto Pinochet. Now, after admitting a case against abuses during Franco's Era, he is facing accusations by extreme right groups of deliberately ignoring the Amnesty Law of 1977, possibly questionable under the same universal jurisdiction that gained him international renown. In a controversial decision, the case has been admitted by the Spanish Supreme Court, and so Garzón is facing the possibility of up to 20 years of suspension. [more inside]
posted by valdesm on Apr 14, 2010 - 14 comments

Natural Born Killer - Genocide of the Fallout 3 World

I'm on a mission - not to praise Jesus or ensure that every child in Namibia has a netbook, but to kill every single living vaguely human-like character in Fallout 3. ... everyone ... no matter how friendly, helpful, or beneficial to my completion of the game, must be put into the ground. "Natural Born Killer", an experiment in virtual genocide, parts One, Two and Three.
posted by slimepuppy on Mar 26, 2010 - 45 comments

"just and holy"

The Secret Life of Radovan Karadzic.
A 45 minute documentary made by Rageh Omaar who travels to Serbia and Bosnia to investigate the decade-long period the former president of the Republika Srpska spent in hiding and examines his legacy in present-day Bosnia and beyond. (Warning: graphic and disturbing in parts).
As his trial for Genocide finally commences Karadzic defends his actions as "Just and Holy" ( Meta Related 1; 2; )
posted by adamvasco on Mar 1, 2010 - 13 comments

Strange Medicine

Radovan Karadzic was a war criminal who was able to escape prosecution for his war crimes during the genocide in Bosnia. In a particularly strange twist, Karadzic assumed the name Dragan Dabic and rose in the ranks of the alternative healing community in Belgrade. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 9, 2009 - 20 comments

"You know, probably no one will ever know the answer here."

Doubt [print version] is an article by Andrew Rice about Leopold Munyakazi, a professor of French at Goucher College, who has been accused by the Rwandan government of being a genocidaire. His defenders, including the late Alison Des Forges, claim that the Hutu Munyakazi, who's married to a Tutsi, is being targeted by Paul Kagame's administration because he's a dissenter who's challenged the official account of the genocide. Into this complicated affair steps documentarian Charlie Ebersol who wants to profile Munyakazi for his NBC primetime news show Wanted, which has been received with considerable opprobrium and which may already have been canceled.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 3, 2009 - 9 comments

Forgiveness

Forgive and Forget? "Rwanda's warring population has a lot to account for, and a lot to reconcile. Can science point the way to understanding?"
posted by homunculus on Jul 20, 2009 - 5 comments

Intended Consequences: Rwanda's Children of Rape

Intended Consequences. It is estimated that 20,000 children were born as the result of rape during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that claimed the lives of over 800,000 Tutsis. Many of these women also contracted HIV/AIDS as a result. Not only do the mothers have to live with memories of this incredibly horrible event, but they along with their children are shunned by other Tutsi survivors. [more inside]
posted by itchylick on Apr 20, 2009 - 22 comments

On This Ground

The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a directory of historic sites that interpret themes related to ethical, political, and social issues worldwide.
posted by Miko on Apr 17, 2009 - 5 comments

atrocity archives

BABIES’ skulls dashed against rocks; attempts to twist off the heads of toddlers. Girls, their mothers and grandmothers (and sometimes male relatives too) raped at knife- or gunpoint, the weapons then used to inflict mutilation. Women hauled off to camps or just tied to trees and gang-raped. Thousands of children, some as young as nine, snatched or recruited by armed gangs (or regular forces) and made into drug-crazed killers, the girls among them often serially abused or taken by commanders as “wives”. Such are the horrors reported from some recent conflict zones... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 21, 2009 - 41 comments

Scorched huts and crushed skulls

"The Lord’s Resistance Army is now on the loose, moving from village to village, seemingly unhindered, leaving a wake of scorched huts and crushed skulls. Witnesses say the fighters have kidnapped hundreds of children and marched them off into the bush, the latest conscripts in their slave army." [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 6, 2009 - 52 comments

Human Rights Blogger Killed by Russian Police

Magomed Yevloyev, who blogged human rights abuses committed by police in Russia's volatile Ingushetia region, was shot in the temple while in police custody today. The site, ingushetiya.ru (English version), reported the brutal anti-insurgent "Dirty War" tacticts committed by police against Ingushetia's civilian population.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 31, 2008 - 17 comments

Women and the Holocaust

Women and the Holocaust is a site about women's experiences in the Holocaust. It has poetry, testimonials, personal reflections, tributes, essays and more.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 5, 2008 - 10 comments

China Colonizing Africa With Dire Consequences for Africans

China is making a concerted effort to colonize Africa with dire consequences for Africans. In protest to China's involvement in Darfur's genocide, Steven Spielberg has resigned as Artistic Director of the Beijing Olympics.
posted by MetaMan on Jul 19, 2008 - 98 comments

Killing The Indian In The Child

Canada has apologised for forcing more than 100,000 aboriginal children to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools aimed at assimilating them. Controversial former Minister Kevin Annett has written two books on the subject of residential school abuse in Canada [Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust and Love and Death in the Valley]. Unrepentant - Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide reveals Canada’s darkest secret - that the Canadian residential school system, the Christian churches along with state authorities implemented a policy of genocide against Canada's native population. Related: Deliver Us From Evil
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 29, 2008 - 28 comments

A work in progress...

The Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence is a scholarly database of case studies focusing on massacres and genocides of the 20th century, both transnational and national. It also includes theoretical papers. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Apr 28, 2008 - 6 comments

Genocide Olympics

The Genocide Olympics. The human rights group Dream for Darfur is trying to use the Olympics to pressure China to change its policies on Sudan and the genocide in Darfur. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2008 - 13 comments

Commemorating the Holodomor

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. The Holodomor was the starvation of millions of Ukranians at the hands of the Soviets. The Ukranian government is using this year to push for greater recognition for the genocide. Ukranian communities in Australia, Canada and all over the globe are holding events all year in the lead up to this years Holodomor day on November 25.
posted by sien on Mar 9, 2008 - 14 comments

Genocide Chick or Genocide Chic?

Harvard Professor Samantha Power's book A Problem from Hell is on syllabi across the country, and is the bible of humanitarian hawks who decry our failure to intervene in the Rwandan or Sudanese genocides. As one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors, she's getting a lot of press for her positions: pro-intervention, obviously, critical of Israel, pro-UN, pro-internationalism, and, perhaps unsurprisingly given her husband's role in ignoring the Rwandan genocide, anti-Clinton.
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 7, 2008 - 85 comments

Who Makes the Nazis?

"By the time I cut his balls off," one settler boasted, "he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket." The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked "provided they were black".
posted by nasreddin on Jan 11, 2008 - 74 comments

Armenian genocide

Genocide: An inconvenient truth "The Armenian genocide bill has been attacked by both the right and the left -- and it may make matters worse. But it's necessary." [Cookie.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2007 - 56 comments

1,220,580 - None Dare Call It Genocide

...These findings come from a poll released today by ORB, the British polling agency that has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005. In conjunction with their Iraqi fieldwork agency a representative sample of 1,499 adults aged 18+ answered the following question: How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)?
Answer: 1,220,580
Tables pdf
FinalDeadNumbersWEIGHTED.xls
See also Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M
See also None Dare Call It Genocide
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2007 - 131 comments

“I study dead Jews”

"So much for “never again.” So the problem has obviously not disappeared."
Raul Hilberg (1926-2007, NYT obit) explains why he added a chapter on Rwanda to the last edition of The destruction of the European Jews, a work that took him a lifetime and 3 editions to complete, meeting with indifference, then with criticism from those who didn't share his (at the beginning) functionalist view of the Holocaust. Hilberg became involved in other controversies about the Holocaust, but "The Destruction..." remains the "the closest of any work in print to being the Summa of Holocaust studies" (Christopher Browning). Also: Hilberg intervied by Claude Lanzmann in "Shoah" (YT) (previously).
posted by elgilito on Aug 7, 2007 - 41 comments

The Man of the Hole

The Man of the Hole
posted by stbalbach on Jul 23, 2007 - 24 comments

Love in a time of reconcilliation

Musekeweya ("new dawn") is a phenomenally popular radio drama broadcast out of Kigali, Rwanda. The soap, funded by Dutch NGO La Benevolencija, follows the story of two star-crossed lovers who come from opposing villages involved in an increasingly violent struggle. Thought Rwandan law makes it difficult to discuss the genocide in the media, the show aims to open a dialog using the fictional villages of Bumanzi and Muhumuro as a proxy for Hutus and Tutsis. A soap opera may seem like an unlikely vehicle to tackle a topic of such national importance, but it's actually not uncommon. And, certainly, Rwanda is a country that knows all too well about the power of radio
posted by meta_eli on Jul 8, 2007 - 8 comments

The Number

Whatever one's opinion of its possible limitations, the 2006 Iraq mortality survey produced epidemiological evidence that coalition forces have failed to protect Iraqi civilians... If, for the sake of argument, the study is wrong and the number of Iraqi deaths is less than half the infamous figure, is it acceptable that "only" 300,000 have died? Last November, with no explanation, the Iraqi Ministry of Health suddenly began citing 150,000 dead, five times its previous estimate. Is that amount of death acceptable? In January, the United Nations reported that more than 34,000 Iraqis were killed violently in the last year alone. Is that acceptable?
Regarding The Number, the result of what one of the study's authors calls an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide... [more within]
posted by y2karl on Mar 7, 2007 - 44 comments

Hrant Dink Murdered in Istanbul

Hrant Dink, Armenian Newspaper Editor, Murdered in Istanbul an ethnic Armenian newspaper editor that was sentenced to 6 months in jail for "insulting Turkishness" by discussing the Armenian Genocide in Turkey was shot dead while leaving his newspaper office today.
posted by k8t on Jan 19, 2007 - 44 comments

Christmas in Darfur

What can two nerds from Chicago do about the crisis in Darfur? Donor fatigue means the marginal value of each life has effectively dropped to zero. Kill 5 people, kill 500, kill 500,000 - it makes no difference - each added fatality has absolutely no policy impact and won’t change the situation one iota. It’s not that as many as 500,000 (essentially an entire Seattle) have died in Darfur. The horrific thing is that they could kill another 500,000 and nobody will bat an eyelash.
posted by notsnot on Dec 5, 2006 - 95 comments

The Forgotten Holocaust

The largely forgotten holocaust of the Ukrainian people began when Stalin imposed collectivism upon the farms, sealing state borders & refusing any seed grain until ficticious and unattainable production goals were met. The Ukrainian upper class were executed, the peasantry left to starve to death. In all, seven million people died, one out of every four citizens. At this Ukranian art site, a collection of stamps commemorating the event & a gallery of "genocide art" continue to speak for the dead.
posted by jonson on Oct 22, 2006 - 55 comments

he argued strenuously against giving antiretroviral drug treatment ... to the 25 million Africans infected with HIV.

Meet our new Special Envoy to Darfur, where genocide is taking place-- Andrew Natsios--he did a heckuva job at the Big Dig in Boston, and in misunderestimating the costs of Iraq, and --while head of USAid--at refusing funding AIDS drugs in Africa because many Africans 'don't know what Western time is.
posted by amberglow on Sep 19, 2006 - 65 comments

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