Timothy Snyder, author of the widely successful book Black Earth, believes we have misunderstood the Holocaust and the essential lessons it should have taught us. If the Holocaust was indeed, as Snyder’s carefully constructed argument will demonstrate, a result of ecological panic and state destruction, then our misunderstanding of it has endangered our own future. The world of the early twenty-first century resembles the world of the early twentieth more than we realize—and some of our own sensibilities are closer to those of Europeans of the 1930s than we might like to think. As Snyder will explain, we cannot afford to confine the Holocaust to museums and memory. If we do not understand the lessons of the Holocaust, an unprecedented crime could become a precedent for the future.
The 2017 Jacob-&-Wilhelm Grimm Lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, the University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts, the Department of History, and the Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Chair of Jewish Studies. The UW Bookstore will be on hand with several of Snyder's books, including Black Earth.
About the Speaker
Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a member of the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of five award-winning works of history, including Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which received the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Snyder is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement and a former contributing editor at the New Republic. He is a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, serves as the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and sits on the advisory council of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.