Wednesday, March 6, 2002
A collaborative effort with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Study, this program explores the motives and actions of perpetrators of genocide and mass murder. The panel includes: Christopher R. Browning, Stephen Heder and Bill Berkeley.
Jerry Fowler: Good afternoon. Welcome to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. My name is Jerry Fowler, and I’m the staff director of the Committee on Conscience here at the Museum.
Today’s program is being presented jointly by the Committee on Conscience and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. The Committee on Conscience’s mandate is to alert the national conscience to threats of contemporary genocide, and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies’ mandate is to sponsor research on the Holocaust particularly and on genocide more broadly. In today’s panel, our two mandates intersect, as we have a very distinguished panel to discuss the issue of perpetrators in the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda.
I just wanted to bring to your attention two upcoming programs on the Committee on Conscience later on this month. Next Monday, on March 11th, we will sponsor a presentation by Linda Melvern, who is the author of A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide. That will be at 12:30 next Monday, March 11, in one of the classrooms—Classroom B, I believe, which is on this level but across the way.
Then on March 26th, we will have a presentation by Samantha Power, who is the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard and author of a book that has just been published called A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide. That will also be at 12:30, and, as I say, on March 26th.
To keep track of all the activities that the Committee and the Center sponsor, we both have list serves that you can sign up for through the Museum website, which is www.ushmm.org. So thank you very much for coming.
To present and introduce today’s speakers, I’m happy to hand it over to Patricia Heberer of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
Patricia Heberer: Thank you, Jerry. Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming, and welcome to the panel presentation “Perpetrators in the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda—The Evil That Men Do.”
As my colleague, Jerry Fowler, has just indicated, today’s program is a collaborative effort on the part of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Study, especially its university programs and visiting scholars’ divisions, together with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s academic committee, who has oversight for the Center, and the Museum’s renowned Committee on Conscience.
I’d like to take a moment to thank all those who played a part in putting together today’s events. My name again is Patricia Heberer. I’m an historian with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
The subtitle of this presentation, “The Evil That Men Do,” comes from a line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the famous funeral oratory of Marc Anthony for the slain Roman leader. “The Evil That Men Do,” writes Shakespeare, “lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.”
Our distinguished panel today will explore the motives and actions of perpetrators of genocide and mass murder within the study of the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda, and examine the resonance of these crimes on three continents.
Let me introduce our panel. First, to my immediate left, Professor Christopher Browning, a name well known to students of the Holocaust, is Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among the many influential monographs which he has published are Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and The Final Solution in Poland; Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution; The Path to Genocide, in 1992; and, his most recent work: Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers.
He has given expert witness testimony in the trial of alleged Nazi perpetrators for the Canadian Department of Justice, the Australian Commonwealth Office of Public Prosecution, and the British War Crimes Branch. Professor Browning has won many awards and honors, most recently an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. He is a former holder of our center’s prestigious J.B. and Maurice Shapiro senior visiting fellowship, and is a current member of our academic committee.
Today, Professor Browning addresses “The Question of Holocaust Perpetrators: Ideologues, Managers, and Ordinary Men.”
All the way at the end of the table is Dr. Stephen Heder, a lecturer in political science at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He has worked as a special correspondent in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Taiwan for Time Magazine, Newsweek, and NBC News; and is the co-editor of a volume: Propaganda, Politics, and Violence in Cambodia.
In his long career in his field, he has worked as a researcher for Amnesty International and served as deputy director of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, Information Educational Division. As a consultant to the War Crimes Research Office at American University since 1998, Dr. Heder has been a leading force behind the collection and publication of individual perpetrator cases for possible use in the international criminal tribunal. He is currently a Center fellow with our Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
Today, his topic is “Premeditated Murders, Unintended Consequences: Senior Leaders, and Local Accesses: Conundrums of the Cambodian Case.”
Finally, Bill Berkeley is an investigative reporter with The New York Times. He was previously an editorial writer for The Times, and for more than a decade reported on African affairs. His experience is providing the underpinning for his most recent book: The Graves Are Not Yet Filled: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa, published in 2001. He’s also served as correspondent on the African beat, Soviet Union, and the Middle East for such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The Washington Post.
Mr. Berkeley teaches writing at Columbia University’s graduate school of International and Public Affairs. His paper today explores “Genocide in Africa: The Business and Politics of Race, Tribe, and Power.”
Without further ado, let me introduce Christopher Browning.