Article by Stéphane Bou

What is the significance of this massive return to the history and memory of the Holocaust as a point of reference since the October 7 massacres, and what is the significance of the proliferation of the word “genocide” to condemn Israel’s war on Gaza? How should we understand speeches that claim that Israel is instrumentalizing the memory of the Holocaust to justify a war that is considered genocidal, echoing the trope that the victims have become the executioners? We asked Tal Bruttmann to shed some light on these questions.

By filming their crimes themselves, the Hamas terrorists made a spectacle of the massacre they committed on October 7. A 40-minute film documenting the atrocities was produced by the Israeli authorities and has been shown several times (since October 23 in Israel, since November 14 in France) to selected audiences. What exactly is in this film and how should we deal with these images? In a debate organized in partnership with Akadem, Michael Prazan—documentary filmmaker and writer—and Jean-Baptiste Thoret—film historian—examine the history, uses and effects of documentary images of extreme violence on those who view them. 

The great translator André Markowicz had never heard of ‘The Jews’, a forgotten play by Evgeny Tchirikov, written in 1903 after the pogrom of Kishinev. He translated it into French and had it published by Mesures. In partnership with Akadem, we have produced an interview – with English subtitles – which gives an account of the importance and singularity of this work.

Published a year ago, The Memory Monster (Restless Books) is Yishai Sarid’s fourth book, after two crime novels and a novel set in a futuristic dystopia. This penultimate novel, The Third, imagined the destruction of Tel Aviv and Haifa, an endeavor to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and Israel’s transformation into a theocratic kingdom. The Memory Monster is an equally provocative and disturbing story that questions the relationship of Israelis to Europe and the memory of the Holocaust.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.