Public Discussion “75 Years Since: ‘Blindspots’ in World War II History”

Event Details

  • Event date: 06/05/2021 – 06/05/2021
  • Venue: Online

On 2 September 2020, the world marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII), a war that remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes in the memories of nations across the world. This discussion seeks a broader understanding of WWII beyond the mainstream narratives, and draws lessons from human sufferings and injustice that are often overlooked.

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and its history programme Confronting Memories, continues its series of discussions on World War II and ongoing socio-political debates on postwar memory-making. In this discussion, we shall look into three geographical ‘blindspots’ in WWII history – North Africa, the Middle East and South America – with topics that have not been discussed adequately.

The speakers will address issues relating to the following questions:

  • In contrast to the Holocaust in Europe, the displacement and sufferings of the Jewish communities in North Africa during WWII has rarely been discussed. How has the history of these Jewish communities been remembered in North Africa?
  • How much of history on ‘ratlines’ to South America has been taught in schools or through the public education system in the respective countries?
  • How have national identities as part of state formation influenced the historical narratives on WWII among different Middle Eastern countries?
  • What lessons can be drawn from these various experiences of WWII in North Africa, Middle East and South America for current challenges today?


Kristina Smolijaninovaitė, EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, Germany


Joseph Bahout, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Aomar Boum, University of California, USA/Morocco

Ernesto Bohoslavsky, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina


Alexis Dudden, University of Connecticut, USA

The discussion will be in English; interpretation into Russian will be available.


To join the event, please fill in a short registration form via the link until 5 May 2021: