The Nazi regime banned abortion, attempted to cure homosexuality, and sterilized almost all Germans of part-African descent. Our mainstream narratives of the Holocaust usually exclude those histories. Yet some of the same groups targeted under Nazism — including people with mental disabilities, women, people of African or Roma descent, gay and lesbian people — continue to suffer discrimination and violence in many parts of the world today.
We must ask: Does the suppression of collective traumatic memories lead to perpetual exclusion of specific social groups?
Leading an upcoming discussion here at the Adler School on the Holocaust and the marginalization of collective memories will be Danny Cohen, PhD, a professor at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Cohen is a learning scientist focused on Holocaust education and the interdependency of victimhoods. He is currently developing a new Holocaust studies curriculum alongside a program of design-based research to understand how young people perceive the relationships between different forms of prejudice.