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Daniel Jonah Goldhagen


By Dr. Catherine Chatterley

We are pleased to announce that Daniel J. Goldhagen will deliver CISA’s 2014 Shindleman Family Lecture on May 12, 2014 at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg.

Dr. Goldhagen is a former Harvard Professor of Political Science and award winning author, whose major books include Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996), A Moral Reckoning (2002), Worse Than War (2009), and The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism, to be released this fall.

His first book, Ordinary Germans: Hitler’s Willing Executioners, placed the phenomenon of antisemitism at the center of his analysis of Nazi Germany and the Shoah, arguing that Germans possessed a unique form of antisemitism, which he called "eliminationist antisemitism." Based upon his doctoral dissertation, the book created intense debate and criticism in scholarly circles. Goldhagen was awarded the Democracy Prize in 1997 by the German Journal for German and International Politics, which asserted that, "because of the penetrating quality and the moral power of his presentation, Daniel Goldhagen has greatly stirred the consciousness of the German public." Elie Wiesel praised the work as something every German schoolchild should read.

Worse Than War, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity is a study of genocide based upon interviews with perpetrators and victims in Rwanda, Guatemala, Cambodia, Kenya, and the USSR, as well as politicians, government officers, and private humanitarian organization officers. The book was adapted into a documentary by the same name that aired on PBS in 2010 (the entire film can be viewed on CISA's website).

A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair is a powerful scholarly indictment of Christian antisemitism. The book suggested that the Church owes financial reparation and support to Jews and the State of Israel, that it should change its doctrine and remove antisemitic statements from the accepted Biblical canon. If the Church refuses to remove antisemitic statements, Goldhagen argued, it should then include disclaimers in every Christian Bible to annotate antisemitic passages and acknowledge them as having led to injury against Jews.

A member of CISA's Academic Council, Dr. Goldhagen will be speaking for the Institute on the problem of contemporary antisemitism: its strategic use by states; its powerful appeal to individuals and groups; and how technology has fueled the flames that had been smoldering prior to the millennium.



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