Join the Memory Project of the University of Virginia’s Democracy Initiative for its virtual launch event featuring a discussion with Susan Neiman, author of Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, moderated by Washington Post columnist Michele Norris. Jalane Schmidt, director of The Memory Project and religious studies professor, will give introductory remarks that frame the conversation. Audience questions will be welcomed.
Have you ever noticed that the Germans have no monuments to the Third Reich, while the United States has monuments to the defenders of slavery and perpetrators of genocide? This talk will explain why this is so, and how Americans can do better. The discussion will explore the ways in which post-war Germans’ strategies for the redress of trauma and memorialization were aligned with the aim of revitalizing democracy and repairing democratic culture. In recent years, the United States has been roiled by debates on what to do with monumental landscapes that commemorate various forms of white supremacy and racial hierarchies. Are there lessons that Americans can learn from the Germans?