An Open Letter to the Director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

tags: Holocaust, Holocaust Museum, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and a Professor of German Studies at Brown University.

Doris Bergen is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. 

Andrea Orzoff is an Associate Professor of History and Honors at New Mexico State University. 

Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. Among his many books are: Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin(2010), Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015), On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017, and, most recently, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America.

Anika Walke is an Associate Professor of History and International and Area Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

To Director Bloomfield: 

We are scholars who strongly support the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Many of us write on the Holocaust and genocide; we have researched in the USHMM’s library and archives or served as fellows or associated scholars; we have been grateful for the Museum’s support and intellectual community. Many of us teach the Holocaust at our universities, and have drawn on the Museum’s online resources. We support the Museum’s programs from workshops to education. 

We are deeply concerned about the Museum’s recent “Statement Regarding the Museum’s Position on Holocaust Analogies.” We write this public letter to urge its retraction.

Scholars in the humanities and social sciences rely on careful and responsible analysis, contextualization, comparison, and argumentation to answer questions about the past and the present. By “unequivocally rejecting efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary,” the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is taking a radical position that is far removed from mainstream scholarship on the Holocaust and genocide. And it makes learning from the past almost impossible.

Read entire article at New York Review of Books

comments powered by Disqus