Without Memory There is No History, Here’s why
If an event happens and there is no one to witness and remember it, does it become part of history? If memory is eliminated is it possible to write or understand history? When FRDH host Michael Goldfarb researched his book Emancipation, about Europe’s Jews in the century and a half between being liberated from the ghetto and the Holocaust he came across stories of many interesting people in obscure places, completely forgotten because the community that might have remembered them had been eradicated. They were no longer part of history. Restoring them to the record became his obligation.
In this archive recording, originally made for the BBC, he tells the story of Gabriel Riesser.
It is particularly relevant to what’s happening in America today. This is about the ephemeral nature of civil rights laws, the tarnished promise of integration, how racial hatred is never dead and buried, and finally the foundation of all history writing: memory.