Dear readers in Nixa and in the zoom,
Thank you for reading together with me and Barbara. As always we learned more with you from a book we love. We hope you will keep a reading group going with new books. Either in your wonderful library there or in folks’ living rooms. When we model reading freely for our your people they will learn that reading is about freedom—to learn, to think, to develop, to grow into responsible, independent, active citizens. Thanks especially to Scott Woosley from U-Turn in Education and to Brandon Jason at the Christian County Public Library for organizing things on your end there in Nixa.
— Scott and Barbara
things we mentioned during our last session on 31 October
- The Reader, Bernard Schlink
- Nora Krug, Belonging / Heimat https://nora-krug.com/belonging-heimat
- “Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol. Background here. Original recording by Billie Holiday from 1939 here. Here a video of Billie Holiday singing it live in 1959. And here by Nina Simone (1965).
- Jan Gross Neighbors
- Struwwelpeter, Heinrich Hoffman (1845). Here in German and here in English translation.
A few things related to who are the perpetrators and how to refer to them. And some readings that think about comparing racism and reckoning with the past in the US and in Germany.
- Isabel Wilkerson, Caste.
- Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans. (2019) Here is a lecture by her about the book (54 mins). And a great conversation here, very helpful, but for a German-inflected audience. (She uses some German langauge terms and doesn’t always translate.) She gets to the German concept of Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung [working through the past; Neiman translates this as “working off the past”].
Here she gives a talk “What I learned after writing Learning from the Germans”; really wonderful. (2021)
- James Q. Whitman, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. Useful review here by (Barbara’s colleague at Case) Kenneth Ledford. Note: “Repeatedly questioning the fairness of asking whether American legislative models influenced the Nuremberg Citizenship and Blood Laws of September 1935, Whitman methodically frames an inescapable truth: Nazi lawyers who drafted legislation to exclude Jews from German society consistently turned to American law for guidance. And the more radical the Nazi lawyers, the stronger the appeal of American models. In the end, Whitman argues, it is not only fair to examine the parallels between American and Nazi race law, but it is necessary for Americans to hold up the mirror of that epitome of lawless regimes, National Socialism, to view our own unresolved, unbewältigt, racial past and present—whatever the role that America played in defeating the Nazis and extirpating their lingering influence in the postwar Federal Republic, and despite the overturning of race legislation at home.”
- Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.
- Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners.