As with my earlier Senior College course “Historians and Racial Conflict in America,” this course will examine a complex historical event as interpreted by leading historians. These will include several who were featured in Ken Burns’ recent PBS documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” such as Deborah Lipstadt (Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory), Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin) and Daniel Okrent (The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America).
In addition, we will consider recent works by historians Jeffry Herf (Israel’s Moment: International Support for and Opposition to Establishing the Jewish State, 1945–1949) and David Kertzer (The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler). A complete list, with links to videos and recommended readings, is available here.
Instructor Bob Rackmales will be teaching his tenth Senior College course dealing with aspects of the Holocaust. My interest stems from a combination of family history (my ancestors’ roots were in the “bloodlands”), academic background in German and Eastern European history and my profession as a diplomat. Over the course of my career I represented the United States at a memorial service at the only Holocaust extermination camp in Italy, advised Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel during his visit to Belgrade at the height of the war in Bosnia and, as Director of the Office of Human Rights, prepared policy guidance on matters relating to violations of international law, including genocide.
Members must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to register for this course.
We will follow the current mask policy of the course site.
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