Hitler's Willing Executioners
Based on the contents of his bestselling book, Dr. Goldhagen revisits and reconsiders our understanding of the Holocaust and its perpetrators, demanding a fundamental revision in our thinking of the years between 1933-1945.
The Globalization of Anti-Semitism
In our globalized age, antisemitism has also been globalized both in its reach and its form. While this new, third historical wave of antisemitism draws substantially on previous forms of antisemitism, it is also radically different, and if it is to be combated, its real distinctive nature must first be understood. Dr. Goldhagen explains what is new about today’s antisemitism, why it has taken on novel forms and accusations, and what its particular dangers are.
How Vulnerable is Israel?
Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s recent call to "wipe Israel off the map" refocuses our attention on the ongoing dangers Israel faces, including to its existence. Might Israel be facing a second Holocaust? How should we understand the multiple threats that Israel must deal with, from within, nearby, and the skies, including the Iranian nuclear one? And what is to be done to defuse them? Dr. Goldhagen is uniquely positioned to speak truthfully and forcefully about the perils Israel faces, their sources, and the necessary responses.
Political Islam's Offensive and Threat
Drawing on the big cover story in the current New Republic, I reveal the strong thread linking three seemingly separate events: Iran's drive for nuclear weapons, Hamas' assumption of political power, and the anti-cartoon violence that has swept across the Islamic world. All are powerful manifestations of Political Islam's current offensive and extreme threat. We are perhaps witnessing the beginning of a global intifada that must be understood and countered. While the threat is substantial, there are also hopeful signs. Finally, the Europeans are beginning to understand the dangers that face them and the world, and that Israel and the United States are not the problem but are the Europeans' allies against Political Islam's alarming threat.
The power of this movement has continued to grow. I analyze its nature, which is far more significant than merely denying a historical event, its sources, and its prospects, including, David Irving's two trials, the last one leading to his recent sentencing to prison in Austria.
From Justice to Moral Repair
Based on the contents of A Moral Reckoning, I ask the neglected question of what those involved in perpetrating great violence and harm against others, such as during the Holocaust, must do (aside from monetary reparations) after the fact to repair the harm as best they can. Focusing on the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust, and its need to perform repair, the themes of this talk lay out a set of principles central to the moral lives of societies.
Genocide- Worse Than War
Genocide seems at once so familiar and so overwhelming that we don’t consider that if we change our thinking about the problem, then we can see the way to stopping the killing and do so relatively easily. Drawing on what I have learned in nearly two decades of study, and showing unforgettable short clips from the major PBS documentary grounded in my book, Worse Than War, I explain in this talk how we have thoroughly misunderstood what genocide is and why it happens, use riveting testimony from perpetrators to illuminate why the killers killed, and, based on this new understanding, show that we can adopt effective policies that would be sure to radically reduce the incidence of mass killing, saving potentially millions of lives. My work and my talk are devoted to making the phrase “never again” finally mean it for everyone.
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is the author of Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity (PublicAffairs), which, ten years in the making, is about reconceptualizing, understanding, and finally stopping genocide. Treated as a major publishing event by publications around the world, it has been judged as “intensely researched,” “convincing,” and “wholly original” by Kirkus (starred), “magisterial” by the New York Times, “pathbreaking” by Die Presse, and “masterful” by the Daily Telegraph, and placed by the New York Times and Kirkus on their coveted shortlists of the best non-fiction books of 2009. Worse Than War is already scheduled to be published in eight languages, having recently been published in the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom (Little, Brown), Germany (Siedler), Belgium (Standaard), and the Netherlands (De Bezige Bij). Publications in France (Fayard), Italy (Mondadori), Poland (Wydawnictwo Znak), Portugal (Casa Das Letras), and Spain (Taurus) will soon follow. Worse Than War is the basis for a major documentary of the same name produced by JTN Productions and WNET, which will be broadcasted in the United States nationally on PBS on April 14, 2010 at 9pm (EST), having already aired to great acclaim in Germany on ARD on October 18, 2009. For the film, which is the first documentary treatment of the phenomenon of genocide itself, Goldhagen traveled around the world to interview perpetrators and survivors, peasants and politicians, those seeking to obscure the truth and those devoted to uncovering it.
Goldhagen is the author of the #1 international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (Vintage, 1997), which has been published in fifteen languages, and named by Time one of the two best non-fiction books of 1996 and by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “the most spectacular nonfiction success of this year.” For Hitler’s Willing Executioners and his contributions to German democracy, Goldhagen won Germany’s prestigious triennial Democracy Prize in 1997. Hailed as “a monumental achievement” by the Sunday Times of London, and as “masterly…one of those rare new works that merit the appellation landmark” by the New York Times, Hitler’s Willing Executioners may have generated as much international discussion as any book in our time. He is also the author of the prizewinning and international bestselling A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair (Vintage, 2003), published in eight languages, and has published Briefe an Goldhagen (Letters to Goldhagen) (Siedler, 1997).
Goldhagen, born in 1959, received a B.A. (summa cum laude), M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His doctoral dissertation, on which Hitler’s Willing Executioners was based, was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Gabriel A. Almond award for the best dissertation in comparative politics (1994). Until deciding to devote himself full time to writing and speaking, he was a professor in Harvard University’s Government and Social Studies departments.
Goldhagen’s essays and columns can be found in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,Washington Post, New Republic, Forward, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Die Zeit,Süddeutscher Zeitung, Die Welt, Le Monde, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, El Pais, El Mundo, Ha’aretz, Gazeta Wyborcza, The Australian and many other national and international publications. He has appeared on many national television and radio programs around the world, including The Today Show and has been profiled on television, including on Dateline, and in magazines, including the New York Times Magazineand the New York Review of Books. Goldhagen and his work have been, together with the eponymous international debate, the “Goldhagen Debate,” the subject of dozens of scholarly and popular books.
Named to the Forward 50, Goldhagen lectures frequently nationally and internationally on diverse subjects about genocide and its prevention, the Holocaust, the Catholic Church and Jews, Israel, antisemitism today, and Political Islam.
Goldhagen is an affiliate of Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. He lives with his wife the architecture scholar and critic Sarah Williams Goldhagen and two children in the Boston area.