Monday, September 22, 2008

The e-mail to a Transy Professor

Dear Dr. S... ,

Thank you again for the course outline you gave me on Friday. Some of the books and films are new to me and I will add them to my To Do list. One of my recent interests in Holocaust study is the partisans of Vilna.

I noted your work on Soviet guerillas of World War II. This is a subject I've never thought of before and it seems that Stalin’s treatment of them fits a familiar pattern—though not as extreme as how the Soviets regarded Red Army POW’s. My most recent venture into Soviet History was reading Anne Applebaum’s book, Gulag. A more or less hero of mine is Natan Shcharansky.

In conversation with you, I mentioned the PBS documentary “Memory of the Camps.” It’s an amazing film created from footage taken by allied forces during the liberation of the death camps. A script was composed for the film after the war but the project was never completed until 1985. Here’s a link to the site: . Perhaps it can be a resource for your students.

I will hazard here to quote the concluding words of this documentary as an explanation for the use of the images in our Genocide Awareness Project.

“The dead have been buried; it remains for us to care for these, the living. It remains for us to hope that Germans may help to mend what they have broken, and cleanse what they have befouled. Thousands of German people were made to see for themselves, to bury the dead, to file past the victims. This was the end of the journey they had so confidently begun in 1933. Twelve years? No, in terms of barbarity and brutality they had traveled backwards for 12 thousand years. Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach, night will fall, but by God’s grace, we who live, will learn.”

Meredith Eugene Hunt
Asheville, North Carolina

April 7, 2008

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