Please join the Harriman Institute for a discussion on “The Corrosive Effect of Genocide Denial in Post Genocide Societies.” Moderated by Tanya Domi.
The scope of the discussion will address the following: “Genocide denial not only abuses history, including contemporary history, but it also insults the survivors and extends the original crimes. Denial is the final act that never ends for the survivors. This discussion seeks to dive into contemporary genocide denial in the Balkans and beyond in discussion will also examine some of the parallels of contemporary genocide denial and its parallels to Holocaust distortion that is sweeping Europe and beyond.
Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
Menachem Rosensaft, Professor, Columbia Law School
Velma Saric, Founder and President of Post Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo; Founder of the Western Balkans Coalition for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention
Tanya Domi, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; Affiliate Faculty Member of the Harriman Institute
Alice Wairimu Nderitu of Kenya is Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Ms Nderitu is a recognized voice in the field of peacebuilding and atrocity crimes prevention. As mediator of armed conflicts, she served as a member of the African Unions Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (Fem-Wise), the Women Waging Peace Network and Global Alliance of Women Mediators. She contributed to defining the role of women mediators, as one of the few women who are signatories to peace agreements as a mediator. She notably, led several processes as mediator, including as the only woman in a 16-month peace process involving 100 elders and 3 mediators, resulting in the Nakuru County Peace Accord signed by 10 ethnic communities in Nakuru, Kenya. Ms. Nderitu then became the lead mediator in a peace process in Kaduna State, Nigeria leading to the Kafanchan Peace Declaration, signed by 29 ethnic communities. She was also the lead mediator in a process in Plateau State in Nigeria, leading to the Southern Plateau Inter-Communal Peace Declaration signed by 56 ethnic communities. She also led the founding of Community Voices for Peace and Pluralism, a network of African women professionals preventing, transforming, violent, ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts worldwide.
Born in 1948 in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany, the son of two survivors of the Nazi death and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, Menachem Z. Rosensaft is Adjunct Professor of law at Cornell Law School, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and General Counsel Emeritus of the World Jewish Congress. He is the author of Poems Born in Bergen-Belsen (Kelsay Books, 2021) and editor of God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2015). He delivered the keynote address at the commemoration for the Srebrenica genocide at the Srebrenica Memorial Center in Potočari on July 11, 2022 and July 11, 2023. On July 12, 2023, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina for his “contribution to raising awareness of the genocide against Bosnians in Srebrenica and the Holocaust, through the fight against the denial of crimes and the falsification of historical facts, and for contributing to peace building and the development of a culture of remembrance.”
Velma Sarić is a researcher, journalist, peacebuilding expert, and human rights defender from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Velma has around 20 years of work experience and is currently, the Founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Diskurs. Velma holds an MA Degree in Political Science from the University of Sarajevo. At the beginning of her career, she worked for five years as a researcher at the Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law in Sarajevo, primarily focusing on investigating the crime of genocide and other mass atrocities. Velma is a journalist, trained at the BBC Reporting School. As a journalist at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in London and The Hague, Velma spent eight years reporting on war crimes trials and investigating transitional justice processes in the former Yugoslavia. Additionally, she spent three years working as a court reporter at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Association of Court Reporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, covering court procedures at the local and national levels.
Tanya Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is an affiliate faculty member of the Harriman Institute where she has taught in the Balkan Studies program since 2008. Prior to her faculty appointment at Columbia, Domi served in the United States Army for 15 years and later worked as a Congressional aide and military policy advisor to the late Congressman Frank McCloskey, a leading champion for U.S. intervention in the Bosnian war. She also worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including media development, human rights, and human trafficking. She has expanded her research to include genocide, conflict related sexual violence and prevention of atrocity crimes. Domi was seconded by the U.S. State Department to the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996 where she served in various roles, including as Spokesperson and counsel to former Ambassadors Robert Frowick and Robert Barry. Professor Domi is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the New Lines institute for Strategy and Policy, Washington, D.C; Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Washington; President of the Advisory Board of the Post Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Senior Advisor for International Relations at the Institute for Strategic Analysis, University of Sarajevo. She is also a member of the Columbia University Global City Diplomacy Lab Scientific Committee, focusing on Balkan cities.