Leshu Torchin: Creating the Witness: Documenting Genocide on Film, Video, and the Internet (2012)

2 September 2013, dusan

“Since the beginning of the conflict in 2003, more than 300,000 lives have been lost in Darfur. Players of the video game Darfur Is Dying learn this sobering fact and more as they endeavor to ensure the survival of a virtual refugee camp. The video game not only puts players in the position of a struggling refugee, it shows them how they can take action in the real world.

Creating the Witness examines the role of film and the Internet in creating virtual witnesses to genocide over the past one hundred years. The book asks, how do visual media work to produce witnesses—audiences who are drawn into action? The argument is a detailed critique of the notion that there is a seamless trajectory from observing an atrocity to acting in order to intervene. According to Leshu Torchin, it is not enough to have a camera; images of genocide require an ideological framework to reinforce the messages the images are meant to convey. Torchin presents wide-ranging examples of witnessing and genocide, including the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust (engaging film as witness in the context of the Nuremburg trials), and the international human rights organization WITNESS and its sustained efforts to use video to publicize human rights advocacy and compel action.

From a historical and comparative approach, Torchin’s broad survey of media and the social practices around it investigates the development of popular understandings of genocide to achieve recognition and response—both political and judicial—ultimately calling on viewers to act on behalf of human rights.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2012
Visible Evidence series, Volume 26
ISBN 0816676224, 9780816676224
296 pages

Author’s discussion of the book

PDF (updated on 2021-1-24)

Edwin Black: IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, 2nd ed. (2001/2002)

9 November 2011, dusan

Published to extraordinary praise, this provocative international bestseller details the story of IBM’s strategic alliance with Nazi Germany. IBM and the Holocaust provides a chilling investigation into corporate complicity, and the atrocities witnessed raise startling questions that throw IBM’s wartime ethics into serious doubt. Edwin Black’s monumental research exposes how IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enablling technologies for the Nazis, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.

Publisher Dialog Press, 2001
Second edition published in 2002
ISBN 0914153102, 9780914153108
551 pages

review (Michael Hirsh, Newsweek)
review (Christopher Simpson, Washington Post)
review (Richard Bernstein, The New York Times)
review (Jack Beatty, The Atlantic)

reponse from IBM, addendum

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-7-25)
PDF (EPUB; added on 2012-7-25)