80 Years Since Wannsee: An Alarm Call to Warn of Other Genocides?

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80 Years Since Wannsee: An Alarm Call to Warn of Other Genocides?

20th January 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

 

 

The 1942 Wannsee conference’s intent was to fix a bureaucratic process and parameters for the systematic murder of the totality of the Jewish people. Based upon over 12 years digestion of Nazi hate, it was a banal exercise of absolute evil. Bureaucracy as much as technology were essential for its practical implementation, from the logistics for building camps, transporting deportees, and processing the target population to the technicalities of mass murder in an efficient, impersonal manner.

Fast forwarding to contemporary times, Dr Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center recently reflected that:

“The current global crisis and technology has instilled conspiracy theories and fomenting hate. Young generations, impatient or idealists alike, strive for quick and easy solutions, many increasingly drawn to identity and order offered in particular by far right extremists, inspired by Nazism and the banality and evil of the Wannsee protocol, processed by the multiplicator of social media. Seated in an intergenerational circle of survivors – Armenian, Jewish, Cambodian, Bosnian, Rwandan – in Kigali five months after the genocide, there was no pecking order, only a shared communion of pain. Each case is unique, especially the Holocaust as a target for denial. The Protocol must serve as a warning, not as a precedent.”

Accordingly, and with the 80th anniversary of the infamous Wannsee Conference upon us, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to gather a world expert panel to both reflect on the history of Holocaust and to examine what influence the horrors of the past may yet have on the evil ideologies and conspiracy theorists of the present.

 

 

Dr Shimon Samuels was born in England and has degrees in International Relations from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, London School of Economics, Keio University Tokyo and University of Pennsylvania. He is Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre based in Paris, which covers issues of contemporary racism and antisemitism in Europe, Latin America and within international organizations and NGOs.

Shimon is lead editor of “Antisemitism: The Generic Hatred. Essays in Memory of Simon Wiesenthal”, co-sponsored by UNESCO and published in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic languages. He was also Chair of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism and Laureate of its Jabotinsky Award.

He has acted in Holocaust restitution claims against banks and insurance companies, as well as in Vatican diplomacy.

Shimon is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, which was awarded to him by President Jacques Chirac. He is a Member of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris and was presented with the 2016 Award of the French National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA). He is a Member of the European Jewish Parliament and a recipient of its 2020 Achievement Award.

 

 

Dr Deborah Hartmann was born in Vienna in 1984, where she studied Political Sciences. She completed her studies at the University of Vienna with a research thesis on the European memory of the Shoah.

She has lived in Israel since 2007 and worked in Jerusalem at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. She became the head of the School’s German desk in 2015.

Deborah has been Director of the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference since December 2020.

 

 

Dr Matthias Küntzel is a political scientist and historian based in Hamburg, Germany. Between 2004 and 2015, he was an external research associate at the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2007, he co-founded the German chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and served as a member of its Board of Directors until 2013. Currently, he is a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), of the German Historians’ Association (VHD), of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) and of the Advisory Board of UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran).

His essays and articles have been translated into fifteen languages and published inter alia in The Wall Street JournalThe New RepublicThe Israel Journal of Foreign AffairsFathomThe American InterestPolicy ReviewThe Jerusalem PostStandardSpiegelWeltDie Zeit and Internationale Politik.

His books in English include “Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism, and the Roots of 9/11″ (Telos Press 2007) and “Germany and Iran: From the Aryan Axis to the Nuclear Threshold” (Telos Press 2014).

 

 

Rt Hon Lord Mann is the advisor to the Government on Antisemitism and a member of the House of Lords. Previously a Labour MP between 2001 and 2019, he is now one the country’s leading voices against Antisemitism. He chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism for 15 years and has been a vocal critic of Antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

 

 

Isabel Sawkins is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She has a BA in Modern Languages at Durham University and an MA in Political Sociology of Russia and Eastern Europe at UCL. She is currently completing a PhD on Holocaust memory in the Russian Federation at the University of Exeter, funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council). Isabel has presented her research at numerous international conferences. She has also published her findings in academic journals, as well as contributing to online media outlets. Isabel’s most recent accomplishment was the curation of an online exhibition about a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland.

 

 

Dr Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading thinktank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera. Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines.

Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.

 

***

SUMMARY

 

On the 20th of January 2022, Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Dr Deborah Hartmann, Director of the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference, Dr Matthias Küntzel, co-founder the German chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Rt Hon Lord Mann, advisor to the Government on Antisemitism, and Isabel Sawkins, a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, discussed and reflected on the history of the Holocaust while examining the influence this horrific event still has to this day on the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference.

Dr Mendoza began the discussion by introducing the topic and the speakers, with Dr Samuels then speaking on behalf of Simon Wiesenthal Centre on the need to use the Wannsee Protocol as an educational tool to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial and to highlight the uniqueness of the Final Solution. As well as provide a warning for future genocides. Dr Hartman was unable to attend in person and sent a video where she spoke of the struggles in establishing the Wannsee House Memorial in response to hostility from the German people. Dr Küntzel then related the Wannsee Conference to the current dangers facing the Jewish community and the genocidal rhetoric being employed in the Middle East against the State of Israel. The Rt Hon Lord Mann made succinct observations on the role of bystanders and small aggressors in facilitating the Holocaust as well as how to tackle their contemporary counterparts on social media. Finally, Isabel Sawkins described the current resurgence in antisemitism and its link to emerging far right in the UK and Europe as well as how social media amplifies dangerous people.

The panel were then asked a series of questions on topics ranging from far left and far right antisemitism to Holocaust ignorance and denial.

 

Details

Date:
20th January 2022
Time:
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Website:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EsSfdZgQRGSIBX8ezs0oGQ

Venue

Online
United Kingdom

Other

SPEAKER
Shimon Samuels, Deborah Hartmann, Dr Matthias Küntzel, Rt Hon Lord Mann, Isabel Sawkins

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