This is Peter Kinez, my colleague with whom I teach the course. Peter and I founded Stevenson College together. >> This is Murray Bumgarten. Can you hear me in the back? I'm afraid that my voice does not carry and I speak with an accent, which you might have noticed. Can you hear me in the back? Can you hear me without this? Oh, okay. >> [LAUGH] >> I am to talk about the history and the concept of this course. That what are we trying to do and what we have been doing. We have started about 30 years ago to teach this course in every second year, Murray and I. And this is worth noting because at the time, when we started there were actually very few such courses. And that raises the question, how come that there is so much more attention is being paid to our subject matter, than it was in the past? Immediately after the Holocaust for example. It is a phenomenon, worth considering. Namely, we must recall that during the war, immediately after the war, the Holocaust was not at the center of human interest. It became more important and it seems to be ever growing in our horizon. And why is that? I think it has a sociological and political dimensions of, now being given greater interest to the subject matter than before. But it seems to me that there is another reason, namely the general recognition that the war, that is the second World War, was different from all other wars namely the idea of exterminating a group of human beings, being put at the center of the war aim makes this war somewhat different. What about the concepts of the course? Our course, I think, is different from other Holocaust classes, Holocaust courses, in as much as we bring together literature, film, history. >> In order to bring light to the various issues which arise. I think this collaboration makes our course, at least to my mind, is particularly interesting and valuable. Now, an unforeseen and unplanned consequence of such division, namely that Murray talks about literature, and I talk about history, you may notice that there that inevitably, Murray will be talking more about the Jews, about the victims, because after all that's what the literature is concerned about. While I, by contrast, my interest is how is this done? How could this be accomplished? Namely my interest will be much more about the Nazis about the Germans who carried out this absolutely remarkable undertaking, I would like to convey how remarkable that undertaking was and how many things had to come together and how different aspects of German society had to be coordinated in order to bring this about. Well, the subject matter of the Holocaust. There have been voices that it is natural history, it is beyond history, we cannot really comprehend. This is of course not my view, it seems to me that the Holocaust, as really all historical events, must be put in a historical context, and I will record my task to accomplish precisely that. It is true that we will never really comprehend. But that is again not so unusual, we human beings share certain characteristics, certain experiences and therefore, we can talk to one another. We are also individuals, in therefore different from one another, and consequently, every understanding about any topic is only going to be partial. Now it seems to me that in the case of the Holocaust, where we really talk about extraordinary events, which is really beyond our horizon. It is more difficult to comprehend and it requires a greater degree of imagination than it would be otherwise. Now in this course again, I think it special among Holocaust classes if, of course I haven't done any study of Holocaust classes around the country, but I believe we pay more attention to an earlier period. Namely, we regarded our task to describe the Jewry before the 1930s. Namely, to contemplate what exactly which was destroyed. And this is not an easy task because of course, the Jewry was very heterogeneous and consequently any generalization would be difficult. Here again, I believe literature, pictures which we might be able to show would bring this closer to us, give us a greater appreciation of what we are talking about. So I think that really the first third of the class will be devoted to 19th century, early 20th century. And only the second third of the class will we be coming to the Nazis. We'll be talking about the development of Nazi policies. And the third, namely at the third third of the class, will be discussing about the methods of killing. How this was done, and extermination camps versus labor camps and ghettos and everything else which goes with it. It seems to me as a historian, that it is particularly important to talk about the Jews of the 19th century. Because we have to understand who the Jews were. Not so much what the Jews did, but who they were. What I have in mind is that in order to understand how the Nazis could accomplish what they accomplish, they had to be able to portray the Jews as a grave danger. And this was an essential mobilization device. When I say that they had to be able to portray it, I don't mean that they did not genuinely believe it. They actually believed it. The Nazis really believe that the Jews represent a grave danger. Without that, I don't think they could possibly have put it so much at the center of their attention, and then as the war went on, putting it as a center war aim to killing of Jews. If they did not genuinely believe that the Jews represented a grave danger to what they considered to be, a civilized European living. Now, you and I know, we all know, that this is nonsense. The Jews in fact did not represent a danger. But we should be able to see who these jews were. That is, I will be talking about the next time and the time after. The second and my third lecture. A Jewish success. Jewish success beginning. I am really anticipating what I am going to say here. On Wednesday, a Jewish success with a beginning of the creation of an industrial society. Which can be more or less precisely dated if you wish with the French Revolution. That is in fact what came into being, was a different kind of antisemitism. Because as I'm sure that you all know this is not a controversial subject. Antisemitism has been with us going back to Roman times, that the three great, Jewish rebellion against Roman rule, and Jews, unlike some other minorities were unwilling to pay respect to Roman gods, and so on and so forth. And then they all in the 13th century, 1290 to be precise, the Jews were expelled from England and then the course of the Middle Ages, they were expelled from here and from there. And there were pogroms and what have you. But my point is that this is a different kind of antisemitism which existed after the French Revolution. Namely, the Jews were despised. There were clerical reasons for hating Jews as murderer of Christ and what have you. The Jews represented really, the only minority which was the other. But they were despised. But what happened in the 19th century, they were not so much despised, but feared. But this is irrational. But nonetheless, there is something to it, and consequently what we need to understand, what we need to describe and contemplate, the source of Jewish success. How the Jews could become, in a remarkably short time, first in Western Europe, then in Eastern Europe, economically, culturally, even politically, as successful as they were. This seems to me is one of the essential elements for our understanding of the Holocaust, individual success. But, after all, the great literary piece, the conspiracy of the ancients of Zion. What it describes is that the Jews behind the scene are controlling everything. Now of course, the Jews did not control everything. Indeed, with one exception, with the one exception of country, namely Hungary. The Jews did not control the economy, they did not control the country or life anywhere. They were just disproportionately represented. But none the less. Because they were disproportionately represented, the talk of a Jewish world conspiracy made sense to some. Together with the Free Masons and Jewish conspiracy, which motivated people. Now without this Hitler could not have accomplished what he did accomplish, and consequently our task will be to describe, to understand who the Jews were. This is not to blame the victims, it is not that, well why were the Jews the victims? Well, what I would like to convey is an understanding who the Jews were. It's not so much what they did.