The Forgotten Pioneer of Holocaust Memory

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].

Read more at OZY

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

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security