Skip to navigation

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Support YIVO
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research » Video Archives » 2012 Programs » Apr 2 2012

Search YIVO

2014 Programs

2013 Programs

2012 Programs

2012 Jews and the Left Conference

2011 Programs

2010 Programs

2009 Programs

2008 Programs

2007 Programs

2006 Programs

2005 Programs

YIVO on Facebook
YIVO on Twitter

Newsletter Sign-up

The Politics of Memory in Contemporary Eastern Europe
Apr 2 2012


LECTURE
The Devil in history and politics is a characteristically Eastern and Central European theme, from Mikhail Bulgakov to Leszek Kolakowski who had long intended to undertake a major work on the Devil in history and politics.

Grigory Kanovich, an Israeli-Lithuanian writer, describes the loss of memory and sensitivity as an unavoidable aspect of how the Devil affects humanity during social upheavals, disasters, wars, and calamities. In his novel, The Devil’s Spell (2009), he depicts, with an epic brushwork, the willful forgetting of crimes committed during the Holocaust in Lithuania as an aspect of the Devil’s work.

The emptiness of conscience, oblivion, and the will-to-forget as the final blow dealt to the victims that are blamed themselves for the crimes committed against them – here we have the devilish act of the deprivation of human memory and sensitivity. Ultimately, undistorted historical memory remains the only reliable and promised fatherland for European Jews after the Shoah.
Leonidas Donskis is a Lithuanian philosopher and a member of the European Parliament for the ALDE party. His scholarly interests lie in the philosophy of history, philosophy of culture, philosophy of literature, philosophy of the social sciences, civilization theory, political theory, history of ideas, and studies in Central and East European thought. He is the author of several books, including Troubled Identity and the Modern World (2009), Loyalty, Dissent, and Betrayal: Modern Lithuania and East-Central European Moral Imagination (2005), and Forms of Hatred: The Troubled Imagination in Modern Philosophy and Literature (2003).
The Politics of Memory in Contemporary Eastern Europe Video
Print This Page