Holocaust is real story: Diplomat

She was delivering the inaugural address at the two-day international seminar on ‘Holocaust Literature: Memories and Losses’ at Placement Auditorium, PES College of Engineering, here on Friday. The seminar has been organised by English department of University of Mysore and PES College of Arts, Science and Commerce.

Recalling that six million Jews, including five lakh children, were systematically eliminated by Nazis, she said out of the seven million population of Israel only 80 per cent are Jews, but what binds the 30 million population of Jews around the world is the pain of holocaust even after 66 years. Holocaust is not a made up story, it is real story — people telling their own stories. Holocaust literature includes memoirs, poetry, novels, plays, diaries and stories written by survivors and victims of the Nazi regime during World War II, she added.

Complimenting the University of Mysore for reaching holocaust literature to students — for the first time in India, she urged vice-chancellor V G Talwar, who was presiding over the function, to make it part of the syllabus.

Asserting that it is a global problem, she said no one is immune to racism. It is only a question of who will be the next victim, who will be the next Jews. People need to know about holocaust because most of them admire Adolf Hitler as books like his ‘Mein Kampf’ — which is full of hatred — are best sellers even today in many parts of India.
Delivering the keynote address, Jnanapeeth awardee U R Ananthamurthy said the seminar should be all about preventing the rise of a Hitler from all of us.

Pointing out that the root cause for hatred that led to holocaust was nationalism — not patriotism — which included all non-Jew citizens of Germany, he said only Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore advocated civilisation instead of nationalism. Citing financial causes also as a reason for hatred, he said all of us tend to hate money-lenders, Jews were money-lenders throughout Europe, so they became the first victims of hatred, when Hitler lost a war, he blamed the Jews for not being nationalistic. Even religion did not do its duty properly, the Roman Catholic Church did not stop Hitler. He became the darling of Europe due to his mantra of development. The same mantra is being recited by the leaders in India now, they cut trees and displace tribals as they come in the way of development. It is evident from history that a small group of people can cause mass disaster, so an understanding about holocaust is very useful.
Stating that a government in any form was the problem, he quotes Purandaradasa “Uttama prabhutva lolalotte”, which means good government is vacuum. He said no prabhutva was uttama and if at all it was uttama prabhuthva, it was lolalotte.
People become shameless in a war-like situation, so Gandhi tried to stop World War II. He knew what triumphs becomes truth, what if Hitler had won the war. Hitler’s wars were for more space, the same problem is going on between Israel and Palestine, he warned.

President of People’s Education Trust H D Chowdaiah, joint secretary S Panchalingu,  professors K M Chandar, K T Sunitha and G T Veerappa were present.

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