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Civil Courage

A Response to Contemporary Conflict and Prejudice

Naomi Kramer

Civil Courage: A Response to Contemporary Conflict and Prejudice, a compilation of essays by contributors from around the world, is organized in four sections.
Moral Choices: Why did the Nazis not respond with horror and revulsion to the killing of other humans? Why, in recent times, have we failed to respond with urgency to contemporary genocide and genocidal acts? Martin Doerry, Ronald Headland, Sevak Manjikian, and Pierre Sauvage offer their perspectives on the moral choices that invariably arise in the context of genocide.
Issues in Holocaust Education: Yair Auron, Neil Caplan, Motti Golani, Brian Hanrahan, Angelika Maeser Lemieux, Yasuhiro Tae, Dan Schreiber, and Ray Wolpow examine the effectiveness of various teaching methods from diverse national perspectives. The issue in Holocaust education today is to show that there are general principles for human behavior to be gleaned from the Holocaust. If we are responsible educators, the causes of the Holocaust must be addressed in order to prevent future genocide.
Contemporary Jewish Identity: Emanuele Ottolenghi and Mark Weitzman examine contemporary antisemitism in Europe and North America respectively. Michael Pollan reflects upon Jewish identity from the unique perspective of a young Jew who worked as a civil servant for the Austrian government in a program designed to acknowledge Austria’s role as a perpetrator of the Shoah.
Testimony: Firsthand testimony will soon be available only in memoirs or recorded oral histories. In the future, second and subsequent generations must speak as witnesses. Sheldon Schreter, a grandchild of Holocaust victims, describes a visit with his four sons to Sighet, Romania, his parents’ birthplace, and struggles with the question of «Why?»
The prevention of genocide is, in large measure, dependent upon the good will and intervention of citizens living in modern cultures. It is incumbent upon everyone involved in genocide studies to contribute to a shared language of prevention – to inspire in young people and educators that one person can make a difference. Civil Courage is a modest attempt to help achieve this goal.
Contents: Ronald Headland: Beyond Goldhagen: The Problem of the Motives of Nazi Mass Murderers – Martin Doerry: Rethinking Remembrance – Sevak Joseph Manjikian: Genocide and the Failure to Respond – Pierre Sauvage: America and the Holocaust – Neil Caplan: Jewish Victimhood and Teaching about the Holocaust – Motti Golani: Israel and the Holocaust: Education and the Resort to Force – Yasuhiro Tae: Holocaust Education in Japan: An Overview – Angelika Maeser Lemieux: «Strange Savagery»: Prejudice, Persecution and Genocide in the Lives of Jews and North American Aboriginals – Yair Auron: On the Obligation of Teaching Holocaust and Genocide in Israel and in the World – Ray Wolpow/Brian Hanrahan: From Sympathy to Empathy to Action: The Restorative and Transformative Potential of Holocaust Education – Angelika Maeser Lemieux: Women’s Life Writing of the Shoah: Reflections on Genre, Gender, and Pedagogy – Dan Schreiber: Memory in Dialogue: Conclusion of the Belgian Pilot Project: Schools for Democracy – Michael Pollan: Understanding the Meaning of Historical Responsibility: Perspectives of an Austrian Jew at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre – Emanuele Ottolenghi: Europe, the Jews, and Antisemitism – Mark Weitzman: Antisemitism in North America – Hans Möller: The Danish Jewish Escape from Nazi Occupied Denmark 1943 – William H. Donat: Two Rescues – Sheldon Schreter: Holocaust Echoes and Issues: Comments on a Visit to Poland and Prague: May 2005 – Sheldon Schreter: Visit to Sighet, Romania: October 2006.