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Lecture 3: Memory and the sacred


This lecture focuses on a contrast between memory regimes in use today with respect to the Armenian genocide and with respect to the Shoah. The key difference is the continuing presence of images of martyrdom in discussions of the Armenian genocide, and the fading away or disappearance of the language of martyrdom in discussions of the Shoah.  That change in the framework of remembrance reflects an important shift in Jewish thinking, which arose in particular in the Warsaw ghetto, emphasizing the affirmation of Jewish faith through living rather than through dying.  This change helped frame later discussions of the Shoah in terms of human rights, a framework with important implications for the recognition of the Armenian genocide today.