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Hannah Rosenthal

 
HANNAH ROSENTHAL: TO SAY ANTISEMITISM WASN'T THE MAJOR CAUSE OF THE HOLOCAUST IS OBSCENE/ CMHR MUST GET IT RIGHT-TO STUDY THE HOLOCAUST IS TO STUDY ANTISEMITISM

by Rhonda Spivak and separate article by Simone Cohen Scott, May 24, 2012

Readers know that Dr. Adam Muller has put forward the theory in this publication that antisemitism was not the central cause of the Holocaust. See here and here

 In an exclusive interview with the Winnipeg Jewish Review prior to her formal talk on May 7 at the Fort Garry Hotel, Hannah Rosenthal voiced strong opposition to Muller's position.

 Rosenthal, the daughter of a survivor, said "To say that antisemitism wasn't the major cause of the Holocaust is obscene, it’s absurd. Anyone who has read Mein Kampf will understand this. Other marginalized groups were killed by the Nazis, but the design of the Holocaust was to wipe out European Jewry."
 
In a talk at a reception prior to her main speaking event, Rosenthal added, "The Holocaust could not have happened without centuries of antisemitism. To study the Holocaust is to study antisemitism."
 
"I believe and a majority of scholars believe that the Holocaust was a uniquely Jewish event in history . . . Any obfuscation of this is historically inaccurate and harmful." [Emphasis added]
 
Rosenthal said she understands that the CMHR is going to be featuring four other genocides [Holodomor, Armenian, Rwandan, Srebrenica] in addition to the Holocaust.
 
"While these others [genocides] are all significant, it’s important that they not all be conflated with the Holocaust."
 
"You cannot try to water down historical truths to keep various constituencies at bay," she added, referring to how the Canadian Museum of Human Rights ought to be portraying the Holocaust.
 
Rosenthal said she had met with Clint Curle, a Methodist minister and Ph.D. in Political Studies, and Jeremy Maron, who has a Ph.D. in Cultural Mediations, who are in charge of the content of the Holocaust gallery, and in her talk she expressed some concern saying she is always nervous that when the Holocaust is exhibited in a museum that the museum depicts the historical truth accurately.
 
"If it isn't handled in the right way it can obfuscate the Holocaust."
 

In her talk at the Jewish Foundation's Women's Endowment Fund Luncheon, Dr. Catherine Chatterley echoed the theme of Rosenthal's remarks in regard to the content of the Holocaust gallery at the CMHR.

Chatterley stated emphatically, "Antisemitism must be included in the content of this museum. The Holocaust gallery must reflect historical reality, which is to say—the gallery must clearly and accurately depict and explain the systematic destruction of European Jewry during the years 1933-1945, and not conflate this historical specificity with the crimes of the Nazi regime during World War II."

 

* * *

The following article on other aspects of Hannah Rosenthal's talk in Winnipeg was written by Simone Cohen Scott:

  HANNAH ROSENTHAL: YIDDISHE MAMA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

by Simone Cohen Scott, May 12, 2012

 

It speaks well of Hillary Clinton that she appointed Hannah Rosenthal as U.S. State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. That this position was even created is a blessing, and for that we must give credit to George W. Bush’s administration.

Introducing Rosenthal, Dr. Catherine Chatterley, Founding Director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA), recounted their shared cab ride to the University of Indiana last year on the same day as the pig postcard editorial was published in the Winnipeg Free Press. One thing led to another and finally to the appearance of this warm, bright, articulate, sensitive, individual at CISA’s First Annual Shindleman Family Lecture. What a stellar beginning for this venture!

The morning after I attended the lecture, I received the U.S. State Department’s official copy of Rosenthal's speech to be delivered. I barely recognized it. The contents of the speech Rosenthal delivered was very different than the speech prepared and released by the State Department.To read the‘officialese’, go to the blog at www.canisa.org. What follows is my summary of the speech based on notes I took and my memory.

A decision was made, sometime after 9/11, that someone be taxed with the responsibility to call out Antisemitism in the 193 countries with which the United States government has diplomatic relations. No one was officially doing this until Congress unanimously embra

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.