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„Der Holocaust als Metapher in Kämpfen um Deutung und Bedeutung“

Organized by Sophie Wagenhofer und Andrea Fischer-Tahir (ZMO)

The panel turns the focus to contemporary debates in the Middle East and North Africa, in which references to the destruction of the European Jews serve as a metaphor for describing and explaining the experience of unleashed violence and systematic persecution of collectives as well as for defaming the enemy or deflecting from one’s own crimes. In Iraqi Kurdistan, for example, politicians and academics apply the Holocaust as a metaphor in order to make sense of the genocidal Anfal Campaign in 1988, and the Kurdish media organized the popularization of this metaphor. In Turkey, however, state-actors functionalized the Holocaust in their propaganda of denying the destruction of the Armenians. Taking a look at contemporary Morocco, we find the issue of Holocaust education functioning as an indicator to an open and tolerant society dealing with the past in responsible way. References to the Holocaust are of high relevance within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli-conflict; in Israel the Shoah is the central part of collective identity, whereas also Palestinian actors makes use of the Holocaust as a metaphor in order to highlight their own experience and suffer. The aim of the panel is to compare the production, structures and functions, and the reception of Holocaust metaphors in different regions and political contexts and to learn more about the social effectiveness of such practices.

Lectures: 
Dr. Samira Alayan, Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
„The Holocaust in Palestinian and Israeli Textbooks“

Dr. Corry Guttstadt, Berlin
„Making use of the Holocaust in Turkish propaganda denying the genocide of the Armenians“

Sophie Wagenhofer, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
„Holocaust education in Morocco: strategies of memory and learning.“

Dr. Andrea Fischer-Tahir, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
„The metaphor of the Holocaust in the debate on the Anfal Campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan“

Discussant: Thomas Schmidinger, University of Minnesota

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