The Forgotten Pioneer of Holocaust Memory

Jan. 15 2016

Born in what was now Latvia, David Boder (1886-1975) emigrated to the U.S. following the Russian revolution and pursued a successful career as a professor of psychology. In 1946, he began visiting European displaced-persons (DP) camps, recording equipment in hand, to interview survivors about their wartime experiences. He may have been the very first to undertake such a project, which produced over 90 hours of recordings. Jack Doyle writes:

It took more than a year of determined fundraising before Boder headed to Europe as an archivist and scholar to record firsthand accounts. It hadn’t been easy, because in 1946 not many wanted to hear from survivors. “It was too recent a memory, too recent a hurt,” explains Ralph Pugh, an archivist with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Voices of the Holocaust project, which houses digitized versions of Boder’s interviews. . . .

But Boder was undeterred. Over the course of two months, he interviewed 130 people: young and old, male and female, of many nationalities, but all DPs . . . who had been held in internment and extermination camps. The interviews describe, in agonizing detail, the experiences we [now known as the] Holocaust, including death marches, mass executions, gas chambers, [and] families separated and extinguished. . . .

Boder’s work remained obscure for years. He spent the rest of his career dedicated to disseminating his interviews, writing the book I Did Not Interview the Dead and taking eight years to revisit, translate, and type 70 stories. He sent copies to academic libraries, including Yale, Princeton and Harvard. But [his work garnered little attention].

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Read more at OZY

More about: DP Camps, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Holocaust remembrance, Holocaust survivors

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank