The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which will be marked January 27 on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, comes at a time when some are asking: Is it happening all over again in Europe?
Despite the enormity of the Holocaust, and the many books, movies, museums and memorials aimed at ensuring remembrance, Americans in more recent years have shown surprising ignorance of what happened under the Nazis.
As a travel writer open and game to exploring the offbeat and oddball within a few hours or one day's drive of New York City (Virginia to Maine), I've stumbled on some pretty bizarre, eccentric and/or downright weird things. Here's just a sampling from this year's explorations.
In The Killing Compartments, Abram De Swaan, an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam, provides an insightful analysis of the phenomenon of mass annihilation that is not directly a part of "regular warfare."
If we think about the fact that every single parent wants the world to be a better place for their children, then for a moment, perhaps we can put our differences aside and our heads together. We need not wait for crises to join hands. There's lots to be done, and every small step counts.
She's done it all: married (and divorced) a prince; been painted by Andy Warhol; made the front page of Newsweek; survived cancer; faced bankruptcy and become a doting grandmother.
I hope for a world where reaching a hand across cultures is a part of daily life, as natural as a slice of bread and jam.
Just listening isn't enough. We must give what we can, stay active and aware, help out the person next to us and the one overseas, and pressure leaders with our votes and voices.
It is unconscionable that an innocent people continue to be killed and be betrayed by their own president, albeit that the diplomats in Kinshasa refer to him as "le petit rwandais," who is supposed to serve and protect the Congolese people.
The Darfur region in the west of Sudan was once a focus of extraordinary American civil society activism; there was also once regular international news and human rights reporting from Darfur. None of this is true now.
What troubles me most about a movie such as The Interview is that, rather than spur debate about the U.S.'s role in the world, it actually shuts down and forecloses such discussion.
When I was tattooed at Auschwitz, I was stunned. But it was a day when I had lost my whole family. I had lost everything I knew up to that point. I thought at the time, If there is hell on Earth, this is probably it.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, the Holocaust remains a vital source of drama for motion pictures. Two very different documentaries opening at Manhattan's Quad Cinema this month demonstrate how the act of filmmaking can be commemorative, investigative, and even revelatory.
One doesn't expect the world's leading -- and liberal -- paper to take a stance that goes effectively against a court in a Third World country that's struggling against great historic odds to bring genocidal killers to justice.
Bosnia's Muslim leadership answers without ambiguity. We have to worry more about those who would appoint themselves to defend God against presumed insult than those purportedly committing the offense.
It has been nearly one hundred years since April 24, 1915 -- the infamous day when Armenian intellectuals of the Ottoman Empire were rounded up in the dead of night and sent to be executed in inland concentration camps in Ayash and Chankari.