Friday, July 13, 2007
From Sarajevo: The gassing of the Kurds... a form of denial
Today I learned something very important. I learned that I had been complicit in a form of denial.
In my talk at the meeting of the International Association of Scholars of Genocide I spoke about the relationship between study of the Holocaust and other genocides. I mentioned some of the recent post-World War II genocides, among them Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebenica, and Darfur.
A very compelling woman, Choman Hardi, whom I had met the day before came to the microphone. I knew that she was from Kurdistan, had left at the time of the gassing of the Kurds by Sadaam, moved with her parents to Germany, and then to London. She has received her Ph.D. there from the University of Canterbury and has just completed a post-doc.
She asked why was it that every time we listed various other genocides we neglected to mention the gassing of the Kurds at Anfall where countless thousands were slaughtered.
This gassing, which was made possible in measure by western corporations which sold Sadaam the raw materials he needed, is one of the great atrocities of the post-WWII period.
Yet we hardly ever mention it.
Why? I don't know but I am thinking about it..... And I have resolved not to commit this omission or, shall we say, denial in the future.