A generation ago parents used "the starving Armenians" to get their kids to clean their plates. Those Armenians were survivors of genocide, and their grandchildren continue to suffer. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the stories of Armenians, Jews in Eastern Europe, and Germans after the Holocaust.
Historian William Rubenstein deflates what he calls "the myth of rescue." He tells Judith Strasser that during WWII, the Jews were prisoners of a psychopath determined to kill them all; that Hitler controlled Europe and made rescue impossible and that the Allies didn't have bombers that could travel far enough to reach the extermination camps in Poland. Rubentein teaches at the University of Wales-Aberystwyth and is the author of "The Myth of Rescue."SEGMENT 2:
Jonathan Kaufman is the author of "A Hole in the Heart of the World," a book about being Jewish in Eastern Europe. He tells Steve Paulson that some East European Jews are only now learning about the families' secrets from WWII and that there is a resurgence of interest in learning the customs and rituals of Jewish life. Also, Bernhard Schlink is a practicing German judge who teaches law at the University of Berlin. He's also written several novels. He talks with Jim Fleming about his new one - "The Reader" - and what it was like to grow up in the silence after WWII when the generation which had taken part in the war refused to discuss it.SEGMENT 3:
Playwright Richard Kalinowski talks with Judith Strasser about his play "The Beast on the Moon" which deals with American immigrant survivors of the Turkish genocide of Armenians during the First World War. Kalinowski explains what prompted the genocide and how men and women differed in their reactions to it. We also hear a performance excerpt from the Madison Repertory Theatre's production of the play.
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