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Stephen D. Smith
Stephen founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which runs the National Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Holocaust Memorial Day included over five hundred public memorial events.

In 2013, Stephen was named the inaugural UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education. He will collaborate with genocide researchers and educators around the world to develop educator training and multidisciplinary programs that foster learning about the causes and effects of mass violence.

Stephen is involved in memorial projects around the world. He was the project director responsible for the creation of the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda and provided consultation for the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, where he still serves as a trustee.

He is the executive producer of Kwibuka 20, the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide to be held in 2014.

Stephen is a theologian by training with a particular interest in the impact of the Holocaust on religious and philosophical thought and practice. He wrote his dissertation on the “Trajectory of Memory,” examining how Holocaust survivor narrative — and in particular, visual history — has developed over time and shapes the way in which the implications of the Holocaust are understood.

Stephen is an international speaker, lecturing widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity. His publications include Making Memory: Creating Britain’s First Holocaust Centre; Forgotten Places: The Holocaust and the Remnants of Destruction; and The Holocaust and the Christian World. He has taught extensively in Lithuania and has been a member of the International Task Force for Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research since its inception in 1998.

In recognition of his work, Stephen has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion, the Andrew Cross Award for religious broadcasting, and Honorary Doctorate of Law from Leicester University.

Stephen is committed to making the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust and of other crimes against humanity a compelling voice for education and action. His leadership at the USC Shoah Foundation is focused on finding strategies to optimize the effectiveness of the testimonies for education, research, and advocacy purposes.
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Entries by Stephen D. Smith

In the Name of Paris

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 6:20 PM

Paris. The way we think of that beautiful city has changed. That's what they want. They want us to think about things differently, to use Paris as a symbol of bloodshed and fear, not the one we know and love of liberty and culture. That is the nature of extremism:...

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Purim Is No Celebration

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 6:40 PM

Only on Halloween would you expect to meet Xena Princess Warrior out on the streets, unless that is, she is with a small lion with payot, in which it case it is likely Purim. Turning ghouls into a street party to ward away our nightmares or playing up lethal anti-Semites...

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Preserving Auschwitz

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 2:08 PM

Auschwitz should never have existed, so why are we so keen to cling onto it? Would it not be reasonable to scrub it from the landscape, remove the very thought of what it represents from our minds, recognize it as the cemetery it is, then grass it over and leave...

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Anti-Semitism is a Genocidal Killer

(5) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 6:19 AM

Auschwitz, the final destination of Jewish people from across Europe destined to be murdered as a part of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

Auschwitz, a place that housed prisoners of many religions, persuasions, minorities and nationalities, but whose evil reputation is seared onto our collective conscience because the five...

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Harry Reicher

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2014 | 11:43 AM


I have only known Harry Reicher for three months, and yet today I say goodbye to him as an old friend.

I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting to meet a devout and practicing Jew the day he...

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Anti-Semitism: Know It. Name It. Shame It.

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 10:13 AM

There is talk of a "new anti-Semitism" sweeping the globe, but all I see is the same irrational hatred aimed at the same perplexed victims, who are once again left wondering what has energized such bile.

Whenever it appears, anti-Semitism has an ancient hatred at its core, and...

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Globalization of Hatred

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 7:53 PM

The fast pace of globalization, with all of its benefits, is also accelerating the viral spread of hatred. Where once regional enmities brewed for centuries with sporadic outbursts of warfare and imperial powers that waxed and waned, the truly global speed and scale of ideological hatred and international conflict was...

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Holy War and the Threat of Genocide

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 4:54 PM

A group of men is placed in several trucks. They are driven through the streets and out of town into an open area surrounded by trees. They are beaten around the head with rifle butts, made to run in a group towards an open mass grave. A mere handful of...

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When Rockets Fall in Israel

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 10:19 AM

The statistics are rolling in: Thousands of rockets fired, thousands of homes destroyed, 65,000 reservists deployed, hundreds of Palestinian and tens of Israeli dead, miles of print, hours of commentary, two ceasefires. But for all our statistics, are we not missing one fundamental point? No one is suffering more at...

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Testimony Through the Graves of Guatemala

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 3:09 AM

2014-06-04-Unknown.jpegPhotos by: Ryan Suffern

On June 2, 1982, armed members of the Guatemalan military walked into the village of Pambach. They separated men from the women and children, then took about 80 men from the village down into the valley. They told the women...

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Oral History Turns Holographic

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 3:26 PM


Pinchas Gutter sits in a red chair surrounded by bright green fabric under the glare of several thousand LED lights, 53 cameras capturing his every move. This is the world's first ever full-life history captured in true 3-D. As I interview...

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The Fine Line of Genocide History

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 12:56 PM

The recent New York Times article, "The Shroud over Rwanda's Nightmare" (January 9, 2014), had me perplexed at first. Michael Dobbs' enquiry centers on the character of Jean-Pierre, the informant who tipped off United Nations head of mission General Romeo Dallaire about preparations for widespread killing of civilians...

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The Slow Thaw of the Cold War

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 2:49 PM

The Cold War began its thaw 25 years ago, then apparently melted sufficiently for us to get on with our lives without fear. Surprisingly, the slow thaw is still in progress.

The fact that two 20th-century powers locked in a potentially catastrophic nuclear standoff found sufficient reason to put the...

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The Last of the Unjust

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 4:51 PM

Benjamin Murmelstein was the first person Claude Lanzmann interviewed on his epic journey that led to what eventually became his definitive film, Shoah.

Lanzmann sat for a full week with the only living former Alteste Der Judenrat (a term used to describe the head of a ghetto Judenrat) and penetrated...

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On the 76th Anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre

(5) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 11:35 AM


As I write this, I am standing alongside 30 of the last 200 survivors of the Nanjing Massacre, which began 76 years ago Friday.

Sirens sound around this Chinese city as the last few eyewitnesses of a massacre gather. Starting Dec. 13, 1937,...

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A Warrior's Battle with God

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 5:05 PM

Sid Shachnow has two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts -- and that's just for his service in Vietnam, where he led his troops with courage and distinction.

"There was no room for conscience," he confides when discussing his 39 years of military service. "Once I was...

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iPhone in the Warsaw Ghetto

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 7:05 PM

Let's just say I throw my smartphone over the wall into the Warsaw ghetto.

Along with it, I send instructions to make a video diary until the battery drains, then to wrap it in lots of newspaper before throwing it back.

I go back the next day and sure...

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You Cannot Teach the Holocaust to Palestinians!

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 2:22 PM

Mohammed Dajani teaches about the Holocaust to Palestinians although he insists it is impossible to do so.

"In my class is a girl who was recently released from an Israeli jail. When I raised the subject of the Holocaust in class all she could say was, 'I am still dealing...

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