The Origins of Genocide

The Holocaust Podcast | Episode 1:
The Origins of Genocide

The Holocaust was the greatest crime ever perpetrated in the history of human civilisation. In The Holocaust Podcast, created by Standpoint Zero, we want to take a fresh look at the history of the genocide of millions of people at the hands of the Hitlerist Nazi regime to see what lessons we can learn for the times in which we live.

Episode 1: In the first episode of this series on the history and development of the Holocaust we will take an in-depth look at the origins of European antisemitism in the anti-Judaism of the Christian churches of the Middle Ages. As Robert Runcie said, ‘without the poisoning of Christian minds through the centuries, the Holocaust is unthinkable.’ We can trace a direct line from what the Church taught about the Jews to the scenes of horror that unfolded in the Nazi death camps of Majdanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and so many others.

Not only is this about history — about something that happened in the past, the Holocaust is a warning for our future. With right-wing racism on the rise, with racist and intolerant parties and personalities again entering the mainstream of European and American politics, the Holocaust stands as a terrible reminder of what happens when we use hatred and intolerance as instruments to achieve our own patriotic and nationalistic political ends. The Holocaust remains the most important lesson of the twentieth century — and Trump, Brexit, and the war in Ukraine only serve to remind us that this is a lesson we need. The Holocaust Podcast aims to inform us of the past and warn us for the future.

You can download the full transcript here.

Lublin and Majdanek

Jason Michael McCann, M.Phil. (TCD) Conflict Studies
The author holds a postgraduate degree in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, and an academic fellowship in the study of conflict from the University of West Flanders. He has published on the history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and the murder of the Hungarian Jews in 1944.