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Timothy Snyder to Visit Williams to Discuss Links between Environment and Holocaust

"Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning" urges us to pay close attention to growing ecological panic and increasingly widespread governmental destabilization; image courtesy Penguin Random House
"Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning" urges us to pay close attention to growing ecological panic and increasingly widespread governmental destabilization; image courtesy Penguin Random House
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;" the link between scarcity and Genocide (photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org)
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;” photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University, will present a talk titled “Black Earth: The Ecological Politics of the Holocaust”­­­­­ as part of the year’s Confronting Climate Change Initiative at Williams College on Monday, Sept.19, at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. This event is free and open to the public.

🔊 LISTEN to our interview with Dr. Timothy Snyder,

 

which aired just after the release of

 

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

 

and read more about his work.

Snyder’s most recent book, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Tim Duggan Books, 2015), presents a new explanation of the Holocaust that highlights the role of environmental concerns and demagogic exploitation of those fears. He traces back the beginnings of the ideology that allowed the Holocaust to happen and devotes much of the book to examining the few people who aided Jews without institutional support. He concludes that due to growing current preoccupations with food and water, along with political unrest, today’s society is coming to resemble that of the early twentieth century period that saw the rise of the Nazi ideology. His talk will look at the structural causes for how Hitler’s ideology could and can function, and how today we might face similar risks due to climate change and state collapse.

Snyder was born in southwestern Ohio. He received his B.A. from Brown University and later his doctorate from University of Oxford. He has written five books and co-edited two, and has published essays in numerous publications including the Journal of Cold War Studies, the International Herald Tribune, New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and the Times Literary Supplement. His book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010) has earned him 12 awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding and the Hannah Arendt Prize.

This event is sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, the Department of History, and the Center for Environmental Studies.

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Plenty #3 — Timothy Snyder Warns of Next Genocide

Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;" photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;" photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;" photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale, and author of “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning;”
photo by Ine Gundersveen, courtesy timothysnyder.org

We spoke with Timothy Snyder about his recent work examining two necessary conditions for the Holocaust: disintegration of the state and ecological panic. The Yale history professor explains the connections between perceived resource scarcity, the dissolution of political order, and the assignment of blame to vulnerable foes. The result in World War II, of course, was a genocide that claimed over six million lives. Today, with far more pressing ecological worries and transcontinental geopolitical instability, a genocide could begin in any number of regions. Indeed, from the chaos of failed or failing states, a refugee and migrant crisis as urgent as any in history is underway right now. How long can it be before humanity responds in troubling, familiar ways?

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