Monday, May 25, 2009

Holocaust - History 1c

UCLA's History 1c, in dealing with modern history has to deal with the Holocaust among others, which is a subject big enough to spend an entire lecture series on. I have seen other general history courses struggle with this. The holocaust cannot be set aside or even briefly mentioned, yet when one begins, in the end, never enough has been said. Professor Lynn Hunt, however, in the one designated lecture (the May 19th lecture), has done an impressive job in capturing all dimensions of the holocaust.

She kicks of with John Cage's piece 4'33" indicating how words fall short and by the end, after a full wordy lecture she makes full circle with John Cage. By then she has described the cultural impact, the philosophical impact (Hannah Arendt!) as well as the historic impact including the statistics. It was the best lecture about the Shoah as part of a general course I have ever heard.

On the subject of the statistics one detail stuck out for me: she presented as a fact that 60% of Dutch Jewry did not survive the Shoah. It is a figure that I have always learned to be much higher (up to 80%). I have mailed her a question about this and hope to be able to report back with an answer.

More History 1c:
Nietzsche in a nutshell,
Industrialization and Italian unification,
History since 1715.
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