Friday, January 28, 2011

Remembering Ronald Reagan

"Of President Ronald Reagan, who directly sponsored the 'anti-communist' campaigns of terrorism and extermination in Central America, Robert Parry wrote that he 'found virtually every anti-communist action justified, no matter how brutal. From his eight years in the White House, there is no historical indication that he was troubled by the bloodbath and even genocide that occurred in Central America during his presidency, while he was shipping hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the implicated forces.' ... On the basis of the US orchestration of genocide in El Salvador and Nicaragua (c. 100,000 killed), and also considering the 'fundamental political support' ... that his government extended to Guatemala and other atrocious regimes throughout Latin America, there are grounds to regard Reagan as the single worst purveyor of mass atrocity in the western hemisphere during the twentieth century. Very little of this surfaced in the nauseating encomiums to Reagan in the US media following his death in 2004."

- Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2010), pp. 146-47 (n. 9). See also the excerpts from Robert Parry's article, "War Crimes and Double Standards" (1999).

Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 27, 2011

Auschwitz: Photo of Jewish couple with Star of David armbands

Video of the Month

(2010, 114 mins.)

A companion documentary to his 2009 book, Worse Than War is Daniel Goldhagen's global but highly personal exploration of genocide and "eliminationism." Goldhagen visits Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia, among other countries consumed by genocide; confronts Guatemalan génocidaire Efraín Ríos Montt with the cameras rolling; and in especially moving scenes, returns with his father to the Ukrainian village where he narrowly escaped being murdered by the Nazis, and where many of his family members lie buried in a mass grave. The film is too self-centred at times, and Goldhagen never engages with his own country's role as a supporter and perpetrator of mass atrocity. Nonetheless, it's a vivid, comprehensive, and up-to-date survey.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Uganda / Violence against Homosexuals

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Bludgeoned to Death
By Tom Walsh, January 27, 2011
"A Ugandan gay rights activist whose name was published on a list of the nation's 'top homosexuals' was bludgeoned to death in his home near the capital, his lawyer said Thursday. A neighbor found David Kato dead and notified authorities, according to his lawyer, John Onyango. Kato's money and some clothes were missing after the attack, Onyango said. It was unclear whether Kato's killing was linked to his gay rights activism or a front-page story in a Ugandan tabloid that reignited anti-gay sentiments late last year. The story included a list of 'top 100 homosexuals' with their photos, addresses and a banner with the words 'Hang Them.' Kato's name and picture were on the list. Arrest warrants have been issued for two suspects: a taxi driver found near Kato's house and an ex-convict who was staying with Kato before the killing, Onyango said. Kato told CNN last year that he feared for his life after the list was released. His lawyer said he had informed authorities in Mukono, the town where he lived, of his fears. 'The villagers want to set my house ablaze,' he told CNN at the time. 'They want to burn my house. ... (They say,) "Can you go away before my house is burned?"' Authorities in the Mukono criminal investigations department declined to comment pending further investigation. Activists decried the attack, and urged authorities in the east African nation to investigate the killing. They called on the government to protect them from violence, and act on threats and hostility toward them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Evoking Genocide" Awarded "Outstanding Academic Title" Citation by Choice Magazine

 My (our!) edited volume, Evoking Genocide: Scholars and Activists Describe the Works That Shaped Their Lives, has been chosen as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2010 by Choice Magazine, the leading journal of librarians around the English-speaking world. The citation was announced in the magazine's January 2011 issue. The Choice review of Evoking Genocide appeared in their July 2010 issue, and is reproduced below.

Winner of Outstanding Academic Title

47-6326 HV6322 Can.CIP
Evoking genocide: scholars and activists describe the works that shaped their lives, ed. By Adam Jones. Key publishing House, 2009. 313 p index 9780978252694 pbk, $32.99 

This compilation has a simple yet fascinating premise: ask leading human rights scholars and activists to reflect on the art and literature that most influenced them. The result -- 60 two-to-three page essays meditating on a wide variety of sources, from the essential (Elie Wiesel’s Night, 1960) to the unexpected (Star Trek) -- is highly engaging and thoughtful. The beauty here is that these well-known intellectuals and activists are honestly writing about the things that move them, capture their imaginations, and propel them onward in their work. Reading the book is akin to talking to a favourite professor about why he or she chose a specific field of study. The essays, covering events ranging from genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas to the genocide in Darfur, are not traditionally academic, a fact that may make this book more accessible to students. An excellent starting place for those interested in developing classes on the art and literature of genocide. Jones includes a list of resources for further reading.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. –J.B. Edwards, University of Montana

Choice July 2010 Vol. 47 No. 11 Social & Behavioral Sciences

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Genocide against Christians

Middle East Genocide of Christians?
By Doreen Abi Raad
National Catholic Register, January 26, 2011
"Religious cleansing, genocide and outright extermination are terms now used to describe the plight of Christians in the Middle East, particularly following recent horrific attacks on Christians in Iraq and Egypt. While attacks on Christians in the Middle East are nothing new, the situation has escalated. There was the Oct. 31 massacre in Baghdad’s Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, for example, which killed 58 people, including two priests, and wounded 75. Then, on Jan. 1, an attack on the Orthodox Coptic Church of the Saints in Alexandria, Egypt, killed 21 people and wounded more than 100. 'Christians are scared and are continuing to leave,' said Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq. 'They want to educate their children with security,' he said, noting that even when their children are in school, parents are afraid about their safety. 'They are very worried about their future.' While there are Christians who want to stay in Iraq, the bishop said, they are feeling more vulnerable and afraid with each day and want to flee their homeland. It is estimated that about half of Iraq's approximately 1.4 million Christians have fled the country since the American invasion in 2003. The exodus has brought hundreds of thousands to neighboring Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, and most recently Turkey. Archbishop Sako was instrumental in calling for the Synod of Bishops to address the plight of Christians in the Middle East, which they did this past October at the Vatican. 'Human bleeding is threatening the Christian presence in the area. It is a disaster that with their departure will go their history, heritage, liturgies, spirituality and witness,' the archbishop said of the descendants of the world's first Christians. In a Jan. 10 speech to diplomats accredited to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a message from the synod, saying Christians in the Middle East are loyal citizens who are entitled to 'enjoy all the rights of citizenship, freedom of conscience, freedom of worship and freedom in education, teaching and the use of the mass media.' Religious leaders point to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism for the escalation of attacks.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soviet Union / Gulag / Genocide and Film

"Ed Harris and Colin Farrell in 'The Way Back.'"
Based on a True Story ... The Way Back is Hollywood's First Film about the Soviet Gulag
By Anne Applebaum, January 24, 2011
"'It's based on a true story.' Or 'It's truth, but stranger than fiction.' Or even, 'You couldn't make it up.' When Peter Weir gets sent film scripts these days, most of them advertise themselves as 'true.' That wasn't always the case: Weir (who made Gallipoli, Witness, and Master and Commander, among other movies) dates the tilt away from fiction and toward fact back to Sept. 11, 2001, the day when reality suddenly seemed 'exactly like a Hollywood movie.' The growth of reality television surely explains the change, too. So does Hollywood's bottom line. 'Reality is a brand which people can sell' says Peter Morgan, who wrote the script for The Queen -- a movie based on the (true) story of Diana, Princess of Wales: 'If people need to explain what a film is about, the film stands very little chance of surviving.' ... But what about stories that are true but totally unfamiliar? Do we -- can we -- still watch people in real situations of a kind we've never thought about before? As it happens, Weir's latest movie, The Way Back, might answer this question. For The Way Back is a unique and groundbreaking film: It represents Hollywood's first attempt, ever, to portray the Soviet Gulag in meticulously researched detail. I know this to be true because I was a historical consultant to Weir. He asked me for advice because I wrote a book about the Gulag, but he did plenty of research on his own, as his questions reflected. Once, he called to ask whether the guards leading the prisoners off the train would have been wearing the same uniforms as the guards receiving them at the camp. (Answer: no.) The Way Back is based on a book called The Long Walk, by Slawomir Rawicz, a Gulag survivor who 'borrowed' his escape story: Three Poles crossed the Himalayas from Siberia into India in the 1940s; the Polish consulate recorded their arrival; one of them told his story to Rawicz. But the film is true in every way that matters. Many of the camp scenes are taken directly from Soviet archives and memoirs. The starving men scrambling for garbage, the tattooed criminals playing cards for the clothes of other prisoners, the narrow barracks, the logging camp, the vicious Siberian storms. Among the very plausible characters are an American who went to work on the Moscow subway and fell victim to the Great Terror of 1937, a Polish officer arrested after the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, and a Latvian priest whose church was destroyed by the Bolsheviks. These scenes and people are realistic. But they are definitely not familiar. ...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Zimbabwe / Gukurahundi (Ndebele Genocide)

"The work of the artist Owen Moseko was blocked from view. The artwork depicts atrocities committed a quarter century ago." (Robin Hammond/The New York Times)
Art Exhibit Stirs Up the Ghosts of Zimbabwe's Past
By Celia W. Dugger
The New York Times, January 23, 2011
"The exhibit at the National Gallery is now a crime scene, the artwork banned and the artist charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe. The picture windows that showcased graphic depictions of atrocities committed in the early years of Mr. Mugabe’s 30-year-long rule are now papered over with the yellowing pages of a state-controlled newspaper. But the government’s efforts to bury history have instead provoked slumbering memories of the Gukurahundi, Zimbabwe’s name for the slaying and torture of thousands of civilians here in the Matabeleland region a quarter century ago. 'You can suppress art exhibits, plays and books, but you cannot remove the Gukurahundi from people's hearts,' said Pathisa Nyathi, a historian here. 'It is indelible.' As Zimbabwe heads anxiously toward another election season, a recent survey by Afrobarometer has found that 70 percent of Zimbabweans are afraid they will be victims of political violence or intimidation, as thousands were in the 2008 elections. But an equal proportion want the voting to go forward this year nonetheless, evidence of their deep desire for democracy and the willingness of many to vote against Mr. Mugabe at great personal risk, analysts say. In few places do such sentiments about violence in public life run as deep as here, and in recent months the government -- whether through missteps or deliberate provocation -- has rubbed them ever more raw.

Israel / Palestine

"Palestinian firefighters try to assist after an Israeli missile strike in Rafah on the site of a security compound used by the Islamic group Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2008." (Associated Press)
Israel Aimed to "Cleanse" Gaza Neighbourhoods in 2008 Invasion
By Alex Thomson
The Telegraph, January 24, 2011
"Israel's controversial invasion of Gaza deliberately aimed to 'cleanse' Palestinian neighbourhoods, former soldiers have alleged, in claims that will reignite the debate over the legality of the three week military campaign. Israel invaded Gaza at the end of 2008 in a bid to halt rocket attacks from the territory it ceded in 2005. It says it focused on military targets controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, and bitterly countered a 2009 United Nations report that stated civilians had been deliberately targeted. But in startling interviews with Israeli filmmaker Nurit Kedar, former soldiers have for the first time allowed themselves to be named while blaming their commanders for encouraging a 'disproportionate' response to Hamas's rockets. They said their commanders used to 'psych up' soldiers before an operation so they were ready to shoot indiscriminately. One soldier says he was told to shell every house in a neighbourhood. Richard Goldstone's report for the UN alleged that war crimes had been committed by both sides, but highlighted the moral and legal severity of the Israel's attacks. Israel has said its operational orders during the war emphasised 'proportionality' and 'humanity'. The importance of minimising harm to civilians was made clear to soldiers, it said at the time. By the end of the 22-day operation some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza razed. Ten Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians also died. In a report to be shown on Channel 4 News on Monday, Ohad, a 24-year-old tank commander, remembers being told the night before the operation that the entry into Gaza was to be 'disproportionate'. Once into Gaza, he said his orders were unambiguous: 'The order was very clear that if a car came within 200 metres of me I could simply shoot at it. Shoot a shell at it.' He added: 'We needed to cleanse the neighbourhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say "cleanse," but those were the orders. ... I don't want to make a mistake with the words.'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Israel / Srebrenica Genocide

"A woman prays during a mass burial for 775 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre on July 11, 2010."
Israel Arrests Suspect in Srebrenica Massacre, January 18, 2011
"Israeli police arrested Tuesday an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia who is suspected of participating in the 1995 massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. Aleksander Cvetkovic immigrated to Israel with his wife, who is Jewish, and children in 2006 and received Israeli citizenship, said a statement from the Israeli Justice Ministry. The Israeli state prosecutor's office received an extradition request for him last August from the Bosnian government. The decision to open an extradition process came after months of examining evidence. That evidence exposes shocking details of the massacre of Muslims at Braniewo farm, the ministry said. 'Hundreds of Bosnian civilians were bused to the farm handcuffed and blindfolded. They were led to the killing fields where firing squads made up of Bosnian-Serb soldiers shot them in cold blood,' the ministry said. Cvetkovic actively participated in the massacre and was one of eight soldiers in the firing squad, the state prosecutor's office said. The extradition process, it said, is part of 'an international legal action that investigates and prosecutes those responsible for planning and carrying out genocide.' About 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica in 1995. Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb president at the time, is accused of being responsible for the massacre. Srebrenica became an emblem for the dissolution of Yugoslavia -- once a multi-ethnic state of Serbs, Croats, Muslims and others -- into six countries during bloody and brutal conflicts in the early 1990s."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch. Thanks to Jo Jones for bringing it to my attention.]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canada / Guatemalan Genocide

Guatemala War Crimes Suspect Arrested in Alta.
Canadian Press dispatch on, January 18, 2011
"Guatemala war crimes suspect arrested in Alta. A man wanted for war crimes in Guatemala nearly 30 years ago has been arrested in Alberta. Police in Lethbridge took Jorge Vinicio Orantes Sosa into custody Tuesday. Sosa, who has both Canadian and American citizenship, is charged in the United States with making a false statement relating to naturalization and unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization. Sosa was being transferred to Calgary, where he will be held in custody pending an extradition hearing to the U.S. The 52-year-old is also wanted by Guatemalan authorities in relation to war crimes dating back to 1982. It's alleged that Sosa participated in the attacks on Las Dos Erres in which 251 men, women and children were massacred."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch.]

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sudan / Southern Sudan

"A Dinka herdsman moves cattle in the southern Sudanese city of Juba ..."
Sudanese Rival Groups Strike Peace Accord
By Jody Clarke
The Irish Times, January 15, 2011
"The two Sudanese ethnic groups involved in deadly clashes in the disputed border region of Abyei last weekend have signed a deal to put an end to the fighting. Leaders of the Misseriya and Dinka Ngok have agreed to pay compensation for over 30 people killed in violence which began on January 7th and threatened to overshadow this week's independence referendum in the south. However, the deal does not address the future status of Abyei, which did not take part in the referendum because of a dispute over who is eligible to vote. Fighting began after the nomadic Misseriya, who believe Abyei should remain part of the north, claimed they were being prevented from bringing cattle to water sources during their annual migration into the area in search of grazing. However, the Dinka, who have ties to the south, alleged the Misseriya were trying to force them from their homes. Convoys of south Sudanese civilians leaving north Sudan were also attacked. Under the agreement, Dinka leaders agreed to allow the Misseriya to water their cattle as long as further compensation was paid for deaths in 2010. In return, the Misseriya agreed to guarantee security for southerners travelling through the region. The news came as the US signalled it would remove Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism if it respected the results of this week's independence referendum in south Sudan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jewish Holocaust / Genocide Literature

20 Essential Works of Holocaust Literature, January 12, 2011
"Genocide, tragically, has existed as one of humanity's most disgusting, selfish and absolutely wrenching acts ever since its inception. No matter how many scholars research and debate the horrific reality, massive kills by hate-filled, greedy powers will perpetuate the cycle. The Holocaust, initiated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early half of the Twentieth Century, left such a bloody, agonizing mark on world history that it spawned its own literary genre. Survivors and witnesses alike took to writing about their experience with the hopes of educating the populace on the terrifying human toll such actions truly take. Later generations of authors continue to use this historical period for myriad reasons -- some find themselves inspired by family or friends who bore witness to the events, while others read or hear eyewitness accounts from perfect strangers and feel compelled to explore their narratives. What all of them do, however, is remind the entire world of why it's absolutely necessary to stand up for social justice and protect innocents on the receiving end of harm. Powerful fiction and nonfiction alike imbue readers with the knowledge necessary to identify and actively work towards making the planet safer for all its peoples. [...]"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Canada / Jewish Holocaust / Holocaust Uniqueness

"More than three million Ukrainians were intentionally starved by Stalin between 1932 and 1933." (Agence France-Presse)
Rights Museum: Is It Proper That the Holocaust Gets Special Billing?
By Charles Lewis
The National Post, January 7, 2011
"The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is intended to promote the idea that there exists no greater crime than the abuse of individuals because of their creed, colour or religion. It is also meant to convey the noble notion that such affronts should create revulsion in everyone, not just the victims. But some say that noble intention could be tarnished by plans to give more attention and space to some victims over others -- opening an uncomfortable and highly emotional debate about the hierarchy of suffering, something that touches on grievances that have gone on for decades in Canada and elsewhere. The museum, set to open in Winnipeg in the spring of 2013, will give primacy to the murder of six million Jews during the Second World War, through a dedicated 'zone' to the Holocaust. All other 'mass atrocities' will be put together and housed in a separate zone and will include, among other events, the Rwandan massacres, the Cambodian Killing Fields, and the Holodomor -- the planned starvation and execution of at least 3.2 million Ukrainians in the early 1930s under Stalin. For Ukrainian Canadians especially, this decision is emblematic of a long history of vying for recognition of the terror their people suffered at the hands of one of history’s most murderous tyrants. Any competition for attention could regrettably start to look like the 'genocide Olympics,' said Lubomyr Luciuk, director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada. 'Intentionally or not, it leaves the impression that the horrors that befell some of communities are somehow more worthy of memory. That kind of partiality is unacceptable in a taxpayer-funded national museum.'

United States / Armenian Genocide / Genocide Denial

"Critical Thinking" or Genocide Denial? TCA vs. U. of Minn
The Armenian Weekly, January 10, 2011
"On Nov. 30, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), together with first year University student Sinan Cingilli, originally from Turkey, sued the University for posting a list of 'unreliable websites' on its Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) website. The list of websites deemed unreliable to the study of genocide -- because they promoted genocide denial -- included that of the TCA. The TCA website's section on the 'Armenian Issue' is a textbook example of the relativization, trivialization and blatant denial of genocide. On Dec. 17, the University asked the Minnesota District Court to dismiss the case brought forth by the TCA against the University. The TCA has until Jan. 10 to respond to the University of Minnesota, as ruled by US District Court Judge Donovan Frank. Once they receive TCA’s response, the University has until Jan. 24 to reply. After which, the hearing is scheduled to take place on Feb. 4. According to the Minnesota Daily, the lawsuit has seven charges, including ones relating to freedom of speech, due process, and defamation. The lawsuit also targets University President Robert Bruininks and Prof. Bruno Chaouat, Director of CHGS. The hearing is likely to take place at the US courthouse in St. Paul. ...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Germany / Argentina / Nazism

Photo: Getty Images
Germany Knew Eichmann Was Hiding in Argentina in 1952
By Tony Paterson
The Independent, January 10, 2011
"Hitherto secret intelligence files have revealed that the former West Germany was fully aware that the infamous Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was hiding in South America almost a decade before he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and put on trial in Israel. Eichmann was responsible for the trains that carried millions of Jews to their deaths at extermination camps in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War. He fled to Argentina after the war but was captured in 1960 and flown to Israel where was convicted of crimes against humanity and hanged in 1962. However leaked German intelligence files, published in the Bild newspaper at the weekend, show that as early as 1952, the then West Germany knew where Eichmann was hiding under the alias of Ricardo Clement in Argentina. German intelligence is known to be reluctant to surrender all its Eichmann documents because of fears that full disclosure would prove beyond doubt that German and Vatican officials colluded in helping him to avoid trial for war crimes and escape to Argentina.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Video of the Month

A superb 82-minute PBS documentary about the atrocious events of March 16, 1968, when a company of US soldiers unleashed a genocidal massacre in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. Includes both perpetrator and survivor testimony, as well as an account of the high-level cover-up that followed the massacre. Streamed in full on the PBS website.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Egypt / Violence against Christians

"The deadly New Year's bombing at the Coptic church in Alexandria sparks clashes between angry Christians and Egyptian riot police." (Reuters)
Coptic Church Bombing in Egypt is Latest Assault on Mideast Christians
By Borzou Daragahi and Amro Hassan
The Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2011
"A devastating New Year's Day terrorist bombing at a Coptic church in Egypt that killed 21 people was the latest in a spate of violent assaults against the Middle East's vulnerable Christian communities. The car bomb explosion also injured 79 people just after midnight Saturday as worshipers were leaving a New Year's Mass at the Saints Church in east Alexandria, Egyptian officials said. The bombing sparked street clashes between police and angry Copts, who hurled stones, stormed a nearby mosque and threw some of its books into the street. Security forces cordoned off the area and used tear gas to disperse the crowd. A witness told the state-run newspaper Al Ahram that a priest calmed the Copts and urged them to stay inside the church. The attack was among the deadliest on Egyptian Christians in recent memory and the worst terrorist incident in the country since 2006, and followed similar assaults this week in Iraq. All but eight of the injured and all of the fatalities in Alexandria were Christians, according to Egypt's Ministry of Health. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which was being described as a suicide bombing. The explosion, which appeared designed to inflict maximum civilian casualties, bore the hallmark of Al Qaeda militants. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused unnamed foreign elements of being behind the attack. 'This act of terrorism shook the country's conscience, shocked our feelings and hurt the hearts of Muslim and Coptic Egyptians,' he said in an emergency address to the nation. 'The blood of their martyrs in the land of Alexandria mixed to tell us all that all Egypt is the target and that blind terrorism does not differentiate between a Copt and a Muslim.'

Spain / Spanish Civil War / Forced Transfer of Children

"General Franco pictured in 1936." (Getty Images)
The 30,000 Lost Children of the Franco Years Are Set to be Saved from Oblivion
By Alasdair Fotheringham
The Independent, January 2, 2011
"'Did my child die or was he kidnapped?' is something no parent should ever have to ask, and still less so when the kidnappers are the government. But that is exactly the question hundreds of Spanish families are currently demanding that their courts resolve for once and for all about the so-called 'lost children of General Franco.' They were already estimated to total around 30,000, and now, it appears, there may be many more. In Franco's early years, 'child-stealing' by the Spanish state was politically motivated, with its key instigator, Antonio Vallejo-Nagera, the army's crackpot chief psychiatrist who championed Nazi theories that Communism was a mental illness caused by the wrong kind of environment. Inspired by Vallejo-Nagera, Franco's government passed laws in 1940 that, as one judicial report in 2008 put it, 'ensured that families that did not have ideas considered ideal [ie, supporters of Spain's defeated republic] did not have contact with their offspring.' Putting this policy into practice was brutally straightforward and efficient. In 1943, records show 9,000 children of political prisoners had been removed to state-run orphanages, and in 1944 that total had risen to more than 12,000. Arguably the most infamous case took place at the Saturraran women's prison in the Basque country, when around 100 Republican children were removed in one fell swoop.

Israel / Jewish Holocaust

Holocaust Survivors Warn of Stirrings of Neo-Fascism
By Adrian Blomfield
The Telegraph, December 31, 2010
"Until this month, the shadowy Lehava organisation was best known for issuing an eccentric demand in March urging Bar Refaeli, an Israeli model, not to marry Leonardo DiCaprio, the American actor, because he is a gentile. But in recent weeks it has taken on a more sinister hue by spearheading a series of actions that included a rally in the coastal city of Bat Yam to denounce Jews who rent their homes to Arabs. In the broader political spectrum, Lehava may represent a tiny minority of malcontents but there is growing unease in Israel after the message about renting homes was effectively endorsed by 300 rabbis. The rabbis, some of them of senior rank, signed up to an edict issued last month that declared: 'It is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner.' With its undertones reminiscent of 1930s Berlin, where Jews were relegated to second-class status and denied the right to rent German-owned properties, the pronouncement has appalled Holocaust survivors. 'As someone who suffered as a Jew and underwent the Holocaust, I remember the Nazis throwing Jews out of their apartments and city centres in order to create ghettos,' said Noah Flug, the chairman of the International Association of Holocaust Survivors. 'I remember how they wrote on benches that no Jews were allowed, and of course it was prohibited to sell or rent to Jews. We thought that in our country this wouldn't happen.'

Egypt / Violence against Christians

"A man grieved after an explosion in front of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt." (Tarek Fawzy/Associated Press)
Car Bomb Kills 21 at Egyptian Church
Associated Press dispatch in The New York Times, December 31, 2010
"A powerful bomb, possibly from a suicide attacker, exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Years Mass early Saturday, killing at least 21 people and wounding nearly 80 in an attack that raised suspicions of an al-Qaida role. The attack came in the wake of repeated threats by al-Qaida militants in Iraq to attack Egypt's Christians. A direct al-Qaida hand in the bombing would be a dramatic development, as the government of President Hosni Mubarak has long denied that the terror network has a significant presence in the country. Al-Qaida in Iraq has already been waging a campaign of violence against Christians in that country. The bombing enraged Christians, who often complain of discrimination at the hands of Egypt's Muslim majority and accuse the government of covering up attacks on their community.