University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


News & Events

Submit a Community Event

Center News

  • Transitional Justice Workshop

    Monday-Tuesday, November 14-15 
    Mon, 9am-5:30pm
    Tue, 9am-1pm 
    University of Minnesota Law School 

    "Futures, Challenges and Transformations for Transitional Justice" workshop

    Program to include a CHGS/HRP talk by SIDNEY BLANCO (see below), a rare book exhibit, and CHGS Director Alejandro Baer speaking on "Healing Wounds or Perpetrating Divisions? The Paradox of Genocide Memoralization" (Tue, Nov 15, 9:00am, Social Sciences #1450). Further program details to come!

    Organized by the Transitional Justice Institute (Belfast) and UMN Human Rights Center; cosponsored by the Human Rights Program, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Dept. of Sociology, Dept. of Political Science and Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of the Minneapolis Foundation.

    Monday, November 13, 11:30am 
    Law School room #385
    SIDNEY BLANCO, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador, to speak about the transitional process in El Salvador and more specifically the recent declaration of unconstitutionality of the Amnesty law. 

    From 1980 to 1992, El Salvador underwent one of the bloodiest armed conflict in Latin America. Through the signature of what have become known as “The Peace Accords” the warring forces started a ceasefire that have lasted for nowadays for almost 25 years. Nevertheless, the impunity that surrounds the international crimes that were perpetrated during the civil war has been persistent. With the passing of time, the perpetrators have remained victorious and unchallenged. Therefore, I will address the complex transitional process that El Salvador has undergone since its beginnings, focusing particularly in the quest that the victims of violations to human rights have carried out all these years to overcome impunity. In particular, I will focus on the case of the six Jesuits Priest and their two assistants, whom were all massacred at the Central American University “José Simeón Cañas” on November 16, 1989. In addition, as one of the signatories of such judgement, I will highlight the recent declaration of unconstitutionality of the General Amnesty Act for the Consolidation of Peace, which opens up the possibility to bring to justice the perpetrators of international crimes in El Salvador and, thus, to continue a forgotten and unfinished transitional justice process in the country.

    Sidney Blanco is currently a Chief Justice of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador, position for which he was elected for a period of nine years (2009-2018). Judge Blanco is a career judge since in 1996 and during his career he has been recognized as one of the most diligent justices in resolving criminal cases. He has also established a remarkable career as a teacher of undergraduate and graduate students in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, Prison Law, Constitutional Law and International Human Rights Law at different law schools: Universidad Centroamericana “Jose Simeón Cañas”, Boston College Law School, Universidad Tecnológica, among others. Judge Blanco has doctoral studies in criminal law and prison law from the University of Lleida, Spain. Early in his career, Judge Blanco served as prosecutor of the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador. Later, he became a private prosecutor in the criminal proceedings conducted in El Salvador for the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two of their partners. In addition, he has participated as consultant to the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP). Judge Blanco has been known for his constant struggle for the promotion and respect of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy from his position as a Chief Justice of the highest court of law in El Salvador. At the Constitutional Chamber, particularly in terms of transitional justice, he has pronounced favorable decisions recognizing the right to truth of the victims of the armed conflict and their relatives, and he has favorably ruled in writs of habeas corpus filed by the relatives of children abducted by the State authorities during the civil war. Finally, he is one of the fours signatories of the declaration of unconstitutionality of the General Amnesty Act for the Consolidation of Peace, a pervasive law which has hampered the possibilities of bringing to justice the perpetrators of international crimes in El Salvador for almost 25 years.
    (Continue Reading)
  • This Week! Lecture on History, Memory and Fiction in the Representation of Extreme Violence in Latin America

    Wednesday, October 26, 4:00 PM
    “Can the Story Be Told? History, Memory and Fiction in the Representation of Extreme Violence in Latin America” 
    Lecture by CARLOS PABÓN, University of Puerto Rico
    710 Social Sciences
    Cosponsored by the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese and the Dept. of History. 

    Prof. Pabón will reflect on the relation between history, memory and fiction in the representations of traumatic pasts, with particular focus on the debates in Latin America. He will address the often contested politics of memory and the uses of forgetfulness with respect to events of massive political violence in cases such as Argentina and Chile; and the relation of these politics with historical writing and other modes of representation, such as witness testimony.

    What aspects of a traumatic or catastrophic event must be remembered and how must we remember? What are the aesthetical, ethical and political implications of the narratives or representations of traumatic events of recent pasts? What are the limits of these representations?

    Carlos Pabón is professor of History at the University of Puerto Rico. He is the author of the books Nación postmortem. Ensayos sobre los tiempos de insoportable ambigüedad (San Juan, Ediciones Callejón, 2002); Polémicas. Política, intelectuales, violencia (San Juan, Ediciones Callejón, 2014); and Mínima política: textos breves y fragmentos sobre la crisis contemporánea (San Juan, Ediciones La Secta de los Perros, 2015). He is editor of the collection of essays titled El pasado ya no es lo que era. La historia en tiempos de incertidumbre (San Juan, Ediciones Vértigo, 2005); and has published a great number of articles and essays on nationalism, globalization, intellectuals, historiography and memory. 

    At present he is working on a book on the ethical and political implications of the representations of genocide and other forms extreme violence in the Twentieth Century; and the problem of history and memory of traumatic events in Latin America.
    (Continue Reading)
  • Exhibition on View - "Displaced: Photos and Remembrances of Maxine Rude: 1945-1946"

    Displaced: Photos and Remembrances of Maxine Rude: 1945-1946

    Exhibition now on view!
    Eiger-Zaidenweber Holocaust Resource Center, Sabes Jewish Community Center 
    4330 Cedar Lake Rd S, Minneapolis, MN 55416

    Maxine Rude was a photographer for the United States Army and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), an organization formed to help the approximately 21million people displaced throughout Europe following World War Two.

    Photography can be a crucial component to news items, providing a visual narrative that has a life and power independent from written journalism. Over time, such photos can become icons, being the primary way people think about and imagine historic events. Photojournalism is therefore potentially quite powerful, shaping our understanding of history and the world.

    In the exhibit CHGS Director Alejandro Baer reflects on displaced persons in current contexts: "Comparisons to the Holocaust and the events that led to it have become commonplace when examining current events. The recent refugee crisis raises a range of comparisons between historical opinions about Jewish refugees before the Holocaust and opinions about contemporary refugees in America."

    Please visit the exhibit during open hours of the Sabes JCC.  Ask at the security desk for help in locating and accessing the exhibition space on the second floor of the JCC. 
    (Continue Reading)

View all Center News »