Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.
What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.
What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.
Learning from the Germans: how we might atone for America’s evils https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/learning-from-the-germans-review-us-slavery
Mississippi Judge Allows Governor’s Race to Take Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Mississippi-governor-s-race-taking-place-under-14803204.php
The First Black Mayor Of Talladega, Alabama, Is Poised To Push His City Into The Future https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-ragland-talladega-alabama-first-black-mayor_n_5db9dcd7e4b066da552b4718
School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/31/florida-high-school-principal-holocaust-fired
The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/11/03/greensboro-massacre-white-nationalism-klan-229873
Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/far-right-afd-surges-to-second-place-in-german-state-elections
What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/27/slavery-reparations-holocaust-restitution-negotiations-229881
Make yourselves at home: the meaning of hospitality in a divided world https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/oct/29/make-yourselves-at-home-the-meaning-of-hospitality-in-a-divided-world
‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/indifferent-horror-nazi-reistance-fighter-bruno-dey-stutthof