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Tali Nates replies to Estelle Pfeiffer

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Thank you for your letter to the editor of the SA Jewish Report, and for sending a copy to our education centre.
by Tali Nates, Founder and director Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre | Feb 06, 2020

As a centre that educates thousands of school pupils and members of the public about the evils of the Holocaust and other genocides of the 20th century, the artefacts of the victims, survivors, bystanders, resistors, rescuers, and yes, a few of the perpetrators, serve as an excellent entry point to do just that.

We teach history in order to learn about the events of the past, but also to learn its lessons. Our exhibition primarily teaches this history and its lessons through the eyes of the victims, however, this specific object of the perpetrator serves as a warning about the devastating role and influence of extremist ideology and propaganda, and the consequences of it: the mass murder of six million Jews – men, women, and children. Genocide always starts with words of hate. We must all remember that, and learn to be upstanders in the face of evil.

Thank you for thinking about this issue deeply, and for voicing your opinion strongly. Critical thinking and action, as you showed in this instance by writing this letter, is a wonderful way to encourage others to speak about this even if we don’t all agree with each other.

The next time you are in Johannesburg, you are invited to visit our centre, and I look forward to continuing the conversation. 

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