Public Discussion “75 Years Since: ‘Blindspots’ in World War II History”

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Public Discussion “75 Years Since: ‘Blindspots’ in World War II History”

Watch the discussion online here.

On 2 September 2020, the world marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII), a war that remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes in the memories of nations across the world. This discussion seeks a broader understanding of WWII beyond the mainstream narratives, and draws lessons from human sufferings and injustice that are often overlooked.

CSF e.V. and its history programme Confronting Memories, continues its series of discussions on World War II and ongoing socio-political debates on postwar memory-making. The participants of this discussion looked into three geographical ‘blindspots’ in WWII history – North Africa, the Middle East and South America – with topics that have not been discussed adequately:

  • In contrast to the Holocaust in Europe, the displacement and sufferings of the Jewish communities in North Africa during WWII have rarely been discussed. How has the history of these Jewish communities been remembered in North Africa?
  • How much of history on ‘ratlines’ to South America has been taught in schools or through the public education system in the respective countries?
  • How have national identities as part of state formation influenced the historical narratives on WWII among different Middle Eastern countries?
  • What lessons can be drawn from these various experiences of WWII in North Africa, Middle East and South America for current challenges today?
Introduction: Kristina Smolijaninovaitė, CSF e.V., Germany
Speakers: Joseph Bahout, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Aomar Boum, University of California, USA/Morocco
Ernesto Bohoslavsky, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina
Moderator: Alexis Dudden, University of Connecticut, USA

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