In his latest piece for the French version of Slate, French Lecturer Julien Suaudeau writes about his family's once-hidden Jewish identity and the very different ways the French memorialize the crimes of the Holocaust and the crimes tied to slavery and the country's colonial past.
From the article (translated into English):
In the endless process of building memory, we must be able to recognize and understand individual instances of what Césaire calls "crime against man" while forcing ourselves to a universal duty of knowledge.
"The never again that the Holocaust dictates to us," said Emmanuel Macron on Jan. 27, "is a categorical imperative. The memory of the horror must not fade. The injury of the Holocaust must not heal. It must remain an open wound, on the side of humanity. On the side of our Republic. Our vigilance must constantly be informed by our memory.”
This powerful injunction, as it is formulated in Kantian terms, should also be applied to the horrors that were the triangular trade, the genocide of Native Americans, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also the Armenian, Cambodian, Tutsi genocides—the list is not exhaustive.
Read the full article on the Slate website.