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Posted: March 30th, 2010
Worse than War

THIRTEEN presents a lecture by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of “Worse than War” and writer of the upcoming PBS series of the same name, which premieres Wednesday, April 14 at 9pm on THIRTEEN. Goldhagen presents to members of the U.N. his controversial call for a fast-acting, military-empowered response to threats of genocide and other forms of “eliminationism.”

About the Film

WORSE THAN WAR (based on Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s book of the same title) is the first documentary to step back and focus on the general phenomenon of genocide: offering viewers profound insights about its dimensions, its patterns and causes, and its tragic role in politics and human affairs. In this epic documentary, Goldhagen travels, listens to witnesses, and confronts perpetrators in nine countries around the world, bringing viewers on an unprecedented journey of insight and analysis. He speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, religious leaders, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers and journalists.

Recorded on November 19, 2009 at the Singapore Mission to the U.N.  Total runtime: 43 minutes.


  • comments (8)
  • Angela Bodino

    As the English faculty member In a team-taught course that looks at global patterns of racism and draws from the disciplines of literature, history, and anthropology, the capstone assignment asks students to research the causes of/ and responses to particular cases of genocide. Raul Lemkin’s definition gives us a start, Goldhagen’s “eliminationism” will help to further clarify the frame with its more “operational” focus. This series in general can be another important component of the course – sadly, a particularly timely component.

  • Larry Manzino

    WOW! Great ideas. Mr Goldhagen stepped back to take a “big picture” of the problem and saw it in a new way. But, more importantly, he formulated solutions.
    Larry

  • Gunther Kempin

    I applaud Mr. Goldhagen’s lecture presented yesterday on Channel Thirteen but felt it left out other significant events that would have made his lecture more complete.

    To be sure the twentieth century has witnessed many horrors: The Armenian genocide, the Soviet gulags, atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia, the rape of Kuwait, the “ethnic cleansing” in former Yugoslavia, and more recently atrocities in Rwanda and currently the Darfur/Sudan.

    However few in the English- speaking world, even history buffs, know that, partly as a result of the Potsdam Conference of July-August 1945, millions of Germans lost their 700-year-old homelands in the eastern provinces of Germany and Eastern Europe. The expulsion of Germans from the east, a process that over 2 million did not survive, deserves our attention too. The expulsion and attendant horrors have been documented by Dr. Alfred Zayas1 who lived in Germany as a Fulbright Fellow. His book provides a retrospective accompanied by eyewitness accounts of survivors of the expulsions.

    My family experienced the expulsion first hand and to me 1945-1946 will always bring back the memory of a mother with four small children (my three sisters and myself) and two aged grand parents caught up in it. Neither of my grandparents survived the expulsion that started for us on that dark night of December 10, 1945.

    Having lost everything in the war (our farm on the Baltic), my father made the decision to immigrate to Canada, then to America to seek better opportunities for his children.

    1Alfred de Zayas, “A Terrible Revenge. The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans”, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1994.

  • Gunther Kempin

    Another significant gap in Mr. Goldhagen’s lecture was the current Israel/Palistine issue that has it’s origin with the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine in 1948 as so well described by the Israeli historian Dr. Ilan Pappe1 in his book.

    1Ilan Pappe “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”

  • Rebeca Swinney

    We look at other nations to see signs of future genocide, but in fact these signs are under our own noses. We are callous of the plight of our own poor because they have no face. The media is outlawed from giving the public even that. This demographic group had not always caused such fear. Propaganda and social changes which began in the 1980′s turned into mass hysteria in recent times. It has turned the younger generation charged with dehumanizing this demographic group into a race of barbarians; they have an extremely high divorce rate and often their own children rebel when they go through puberty and are then forced into becoming part of this dehumanized demographic group. The oppression on this group is so severe that when researchers tried to show the natural dynamics of oppression which took place with very little bias, the U.S. courts deemed it was too emotionally damaging to test subjects, and outlawed further research on the subject. The public is brainwashed by propaganda put out by the very organizations which profits from oppressing this demographic group. They say that in order to make a great nation we need to eliminate this demographic group from our streets – forever. So the public votes more harshness into an already dismal picture. Now the voters can no longer afford to pay to separate this group from the rest of society. Some of us realize that we are taking money which should be spent to educate our children and citizens and spending it out of fear to keep this group at bay. Under the guise of saving money, those in power either eliminate completely, or keep a bare skeleton of educational programs which have been shown to liberate individuals from this group. Elimination of education was like a self-fulfilling prophecy: most all of this demographic group without an education who are allowed into society end up terrorizing the citizens with crime. These crimes are magnified and trumped as proof that they are inhuman beings different from the rest of us. At what point will the voters decide that in order to save themselves and their children, the answer is to prison overcrowding is mass extermination? Isn’t that the next step?

  • andre polk

    i was outrage that you did not mention the genocide going
    on in israeli to the palestine/i would have love to see you
    take your dad to palestine and show him how the jewish people
    are doing the same thing to the palestians that the germans
    did to them. its hard to see your father’s story when he
    is part of the genocide thats going on in israeli

  • John Moriarty

    well ative event personallydone. The omissions are important or unimportant depending on your point of view, however there is more than enough meat there to extrapolate to the various unmentioned conflicts. I applaud the big picture approach! Not being too personally emotionally involved in any negative event, its obvious to me that his is probably the best possible approach towards future elimination of such problems. humanity as a whole needs to raise its game to the point where such policies are truly unthinkable. where do i sign up?

  • John Moriarty

    The omissions are important or unimportant depending on your point of view, however there is more than enough meat there to extrapolate to the various unmentioned conflicts. I applaud the big picture approach! Not being too personally emotionally involved in any negative event, its obvious to me that his is probably the best possible approach towards future elimination of such problems. humanity as a whole needs to raise its game to the point where such policies are truly unthinkable. where do i sign up?

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