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Rosh HaShanah Study Session: Competitive Suffering: Is the Holocaust’s Uniqueness Beyond Comparison?

September 7, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Competitive Suffering: Is the Holocaust’s Uniqueness Beyond Comparison?

With Professor Mark Webber

The use of Holocaust analogies (examples: the assertion that anti-vaxxers are the “new Jews” and the recent attempt to discredit the evidence and memorialization of Indigenous children’s graves by invoking the 1941 massacre of Jews in Jedwabne) raises many questions. How can we tell whether such comparisons are valid? Does comparing different groups’ “victimhoods” relativize suffering? Do such comparisons promote a hierarchy of “competitive victimization”? Against the background of Rosh Hashanah as the Day of both Remembering and Judgement, we will explore how these comparisons work, when they meet ethical tests, and how we can respond appropriately to contested memories.

HBT Members: for the zoom link to this study session, please go to holyblossom.org/hhd


During his forty years teaching German Studies at York University, Mark Webber helped establish a network of educators equipped to counter antisemitism and other racisms in Canada, Germany, and Poland. He was awarded the Officer’s Cross of Germany’s Federal Order of Merit and the Gold Medal of the University of Poznan.

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September 7, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
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