Weatherhead Center: "The Case for the Establishment of Truth Commissions in Europe"


Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


CGIS Knafel Building, K262 (Bowie-Vernon Room)

For more info see the Weatherhead Center website.


Thomas Weber, Professor of History and International Affairs; Director, Centre for Global Security and Governance, University of Aberdeen; Visiting Scholar, Center for European Studies, Harvard University.


Heather Conrad


Panagiotis Roilos, Faculty Associate. George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies; Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of the Classics, Harvard University.


Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Department of Anthropology, and the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University.


This talk makes the case for the establishment of Truth Commissions in Europe to deal with the darkest chapters of the continent’s living past. In the case of Holocaust-era crimes, Weber argues that Truth Commissions would serve the cause of Holocaust education and the historical record far better than court cases where aging death camp guards brought in on stretchers stand a too-high chance of acquittal. Even though dealing with WWII-era crimes is most pressing due to the very advanced age of its perpetrators, victims, and bystander, the talk argues that it is high time Europe and the states of the Mediterranean Basin consider how they can learn from the example of truth commissions in the rest of the world for how best to deal with all the dark chapters of the region’s recent past.