Dear Professor Chatterley: I am a Jewish Israeli and, among other activities, I am associated with the Jerusalem School in Beit Hanina. Last spring, I gave a seminar to 11th and 12th graders on non-violent resistance and I have been asked by the coordinator to talk to the kids about anti-Semitism.
I stumbled on your website and the course on the History of Antisemitism and the Holocaust. I am specifically interested in the roots of anti-Semitism and its perpetuation. I am looking for suitable material so that I can try and explain the developing of the fear and loathing of Jews and the inherent hatred that developed and expanded long after the general European population became educated and well-informed. I can manage very well with the Holocaust and contemporary anti-Semitism but I lack information on the earlier periods. Can you help me out? * * *
Dear Dr. Chatterley: I have been given your name as a contact and I'm wondering if you could advise me. I am helping to write a book for a woman who had a horrific experience in Toronto in the 50s. Many people won't believe that there was hatred of this magnitude in the city at that time. What resources would you suggest that might have some information about post-war Toronto and the Jewish situation? I'm quite interested in reading your book and wondering if you've covered any events in Toronto. Do you know of others that did? Or anyone I might contact?
Dear Professor Chatterley: Firstly, Id like to say your class is amazing. It is easily the best class I've taken, and now that i am learning more about the subject I am finding how little friends, family, and even other professors at U of M know on the subject of the holocaust. For example in my class today the subject of apartheid in South Africa came up and the prof. kept saying that this is the most severe circumstance in history where a government implemented racially driven laws, from your class I know this not to be the case. Your expertise and enthusiasm in the course is much appreciated!! * * *
I had a very enjoyable experience in your class. The lecture that has stuck with me the most was the one on second generation survivors. I am not sure why I didn't bring this up, but my grandfather was involved with the Latvian Legion during the War. It personally stuck with me because when I got home after the lecture, I realised that the stories where the parent was very quiet on the subject and the children pushed for answers and explanations was exactly what went on in my family. My father always pushed him for more information because he was interested in it. I also never knew about this until a few years back. Thank you so much again for the experience. * * *
I did want to ask you about something in class tonight but maybe you'll mention it next week. I went to a Holocaust exhibit at Westminster United Church this week. Have you heard of it? The interesting thing is, almost nothing seemed familiar to me. It was supposed to be about Dachau so I figured seeing as we discussed Dachau in class something would have been familiar. I guess my question is, do you have any other information about the exhibit? I was really interested in it beforehand but when I got there was really disappointed with the lack of explanation provided. I would love more information on it if you have any. I'm assuming you had nothing to do with this exhibit as you usually mention talks or exhibits in class, so if you know nothing that's fine I was just curious. * * *
Dr. Chatterley, I just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for a great course. My knowledge of the subject was seriously limited back in September, and I owe you thanks for broadening my perspective, not only of Jewish matters, but also of my own faith, Roman Catholicism. I found the course to be very engaging and interesting, particularly the trip to the synagogue and the material relating to Zionism and the Islamic antisemitic movement. Anyway, great course. Have a nice summer. * * *
I know that one of your objectives in class is to provide balanced learning about Antisemitism and critical thought. I believe you are a success in that endeavor. That is something which I admire so greatly about you. I will once again thank you for doing what it is you do. It is such Important work and the fact that you do this from Winnipeg makes a great impact to the cultural capital of this city. It is a certainty that you could be at another center more prominent and cosmopolitan, but we need people like you in our midst. Carry on. Best regards always.
Thank you for "Disenchantment." A wonderful book. I am a lifelong educator in the Shoah and am of Jewish/non-Jewish parentage. My dad's family burned at Treblinka like most Polish Jews. I offer courses in continuing education now in my retirement from Simon Fraser University and the University of BC called "Images of the Jew in Western Literature" so I am impatiently awaiting your forthcoming book on Antisemitic Imagination. Do you have a publication date? * * *
Thank you for introducing me to George Steiner. Your book deserves to be widely read. * * *
I wanted to tell you that my colleagues and I have been reading your work on Steiner and discussing ideas related to your lessons within the text. What you explore about humanity and the collapse of Western society resonates so strongly. I can only hope that we all learn from these ideas. One part of your text that really impacted my thoughts centered upon the collapse of language under the weight of the history. That was so powerful and striking in the number of ways in which such a collapse might occur, how so, and with whom. What makes me most fearful is when those individuals who control language and media forms can use that sort of phenomenon for ill-gains and propaganda.
Re: Press Coverage
Dear Dr. Chatterley, I was pleased and excited to read a column in the Toronto Star today about your special work on Christian anti-semitism. This became a special interest of mine some years ago and I spent about a decade trying to figure out the source of anti-semitism in Christianity. At the end of my study, I wrote a kind of summarizing essay, which I attach. Perhaps it can be useful. I am a retired Lutheran pastor living in Toronto.
Re: Winnipeg Events
The members of our Survivors Drop-In Lunch Program were delighted by your willingness to be so open about your reasons for becoming such a strong advocate for them and for our community. It is with the utmost appreciation that we say thank you and look forward to hosting you again as soon as your busy schedule will allow!
Re: Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism Lectures in Toronto & Montreal
Thank you again for a well delivered and thoughtful talk. It is not only a pleasure to listen to you, but there is always something to think about or learn from your arguments. I did want to thank you for stating that students and many Christians really are not aware of the history of antisemitism. So true. But even more important, is your premise that Holocaust education is being promoted as anti-racism, bigotry, bullying, getting along & making nice with our differences. Personally, I have a lot of difficulty hearing the phrase “civil society” every time someone wants to talk about why we study the Holocaust. There is a time and place for this term, but please let’s first deal in facts. I commend you for calling a spade a spade and exposing the ignorance of students (and their parents) and the diluting of the Shoah by educators who couch the raison d’être of Holocaust studies in softer universal terms. Your argument is not the norm today. Good for you. Keep making it- it needs to be out there. * * *
I was at your wonderful talk at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto on May 15. I am the person who asked the last question about educating people about antisemitism in churches, and I met you briefly just to thank you.
Antisemitism is a subject that I have struggled to understand for many years. When you said that people don’t realize what antisemitism really is because they have never been taught what it is, you spoke one of those suddenly self-evident truths that rings such a clear bell, once you have heard it.
There was so much information in your talk, I would love to have a copy of it, if possible, to read more fully to absorb everything you said. Thank you so much for starting this Institute. I wish you all success with it, for the sake of peace amongst all people. * * *
I attended the lecture that you delivered at the Beth Tzedek Synagogue in Toronto last week. Like many others, I was very moved by your empathy for a phenomenon that does not threaten you personally and for the passion which you bring to fighting against it.
I was born in Toronto in 1944 and lived in Israel for almost 44 years. I am the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and also studied enough Jewish history to be fully aware of the horrors of antisemitism. Today, for anyone who genuinely cares about Israel's well-being, the intellectual ability to distinguish between "legitimate" criticism of Israel and hostility towards Israel based on antisemitism is crucial to anyone who wants to protect Israel - both from its enemies without and from those within who inadvertently (in most cases) cause it more harm than good. * * *
I have attended many lectures in the last four years concerning Judaism, Israel, terrorism and the dangers to Western Civilization. However, until last night, I have never heard so much honesty. Although I know it was very uncomfortable for the moderator to hear, you spoke the truth about the present Pope.
You are so right that the students you need to reach are the ones with no opinion - they need to be reached before they're brainwashed by professors, who unlike you, choose to use their platform to indoctrinate, rather than inform. I hope that your organization becomes very well known and that other professors will join you in educating Canadian youth. * * *
I attended a meeting on Tuesday May 15 at Beth Tzedec synagogue on the subject of anti-Semitism. The idea that I should listen to a scholar talk about anti-Semitism, which I assumed I knew well, seemed redundant. I could not have been more wrong.
Jews know the concept, they know the results of its practice, but they know very little about the details of this "Lethal Obsession", to borrow a title from a scholarly book on the subject.
Dr Catherine Chatterley, a non-Jew, a history professor from the University of Manitoba, an acknowledged expert on the subject, has made the study of anti-Semitism a life-long passion, and her lecture on the subject literally blew the minds of all in the audience with details. Chatterley has started a foundation called CISA, the Canadian Institute to study Anti-Semitism, and her long-term plan is to promote a course on anti-Semitism in every Canadian university. CIJA should encourage her in her efforts. * * *
It is we who are indebted to you - not only for your participation in this program but for the exceptional work you have been doing - with an impact that reaches far beyond Winnipeg. The feedback I have received from many who heard your presentation is uniformly positive. Indeed, one individual who is quite fluent with the issue offered that your review of anti-Semitisim was the most lucid and comprehensive treatment she had ever heard. You can't do much better than that! Again, many thanks - I'm sure our paths will cross again sooner than later and that we will be benefiting from your expertise again before too long. * * *
Your commitment to the cause of fighting antisemitism and bigotry and educating the young ones is commendable and deserves support. * * *
It truly was my pleasure to have met you and hear your vision for CISA and the study of Antisemitism. You're a treasure to all of us in the so-called sane world. Let's hope people will listen to you and support what you are trying to accomplish. * * *
Re: Winnipeg Events
Your talk at the Women's Endowment Fund Luncheon today was outstanding and enlightening. I think that we are in for some very rough times ahead. I am glad we have people like you. * * *
Gloria Greenfield’s film is extraordinary. And your work through CISA is outstanding. I was glad someone asked how the film is going to be distributed. I hope it will be widely viewed. I hope senior school divisions can be persuaded to show it, as well as other community organizations. Again, thanks for bringing it and its director to the Berney Theatre. * * * Thank you for last night. The film was very informative and indeed depressing. It is very powerful to see this material in one sitting, much more so than the odd story here and there. A pattern has emerged, now if we can just get people to accept it. Why does it feel to me like history is repeating itself? * * *
The movie was exceptional. Would love the film maker to do one specifically on campus antisemitism. I especially appreciated the voices of Gerald Steinberg; Hillel Neuer; Itamar Marcus; Anne Bayefsky; Wistrich; Rabbi Sachs. * * *
Gloria impressed me with her passion and dedication -- it must have been some job pulling all that together, but she is very single-minded. It's all very depressing. Anyway, the audience was certainly pleased and the turnout must have been gratifying for you. * * *
Congratulations on the success of your Institute’s first event. We all thought it was an incredible turnout. And that is an amazing accomplishment, considering the usual apathetic response to so many important events on [the University of Manitoba] campus. You must be very pleased. * * *
We all thought Hillel Neuer was amazing, incredibly well spoken and informative. We were happy to be a small part of this. * * *
Easily one of the most interesting talks-- the hour flew by. Listening to Hillel Neuer is a great way to learn about the UN and its maze of agencies and organizations while gaining insight into specifics. * * *
Re: CMHR and the Pig Postcard
Dear Editor, Thank you for publishing Dr. Chatterley's article regarding the controversy surrounding the exhibits at the new Human Rights Museum. I, too, am shocked that such an issue would arise at this point and time in history, and I am especially amazed that it would arise surrounding this type of museum. I guess this proves, once again, that antisemitism is alive and well - even in a "progressive" country such as Canada.
As a former student of Dr. Chatterley, I have become more aware of the scope of this perpetual hatred, antisemitism, which has manifest itself in various forms throughout history. Truly, antisemitism is unique in that it is humanity's longest hatred. Unfortunately, the circulating postcard that Dr. Chatterley speaks out against in her article, is just another piece of evidence that testifies to the scope of this hatred. As she suggests, this incident proves that there is a need for more awareness to be created regarding antisemitism. * * *
Dear Catherine Chatterley and members of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism,
Thank you so much for writing "The war against the Holocaust". Your editorial was informative and a needed defense of what I to believe in as a citizen of Canada and Winnipeg. I live a short walk from the CMHR and supported it both financially and in its vision to educate, discuss, debate and hopefully change the future for the better. While I am not of Jewish descent (my parents immigrated from Scotland after WWII), I support the importance of understanding and acknowledging the unique and tragic result of the coordinated and machine like extermination policy and its implementation, and how it could possibly have happened and could again if we are not vigilant as humans. I also want to thank you for drawing attention to the divisive tactics used by the UCCLA. The post card was an outrageous and dangerous attack in my mind. Sadly, I doubt that will end, but we can only hope. Education is our most important path to freedom. Thanks for speaking out and furthering my education. * * *
Dr. Chatterley, I just read your editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press in regards to the postcard. I must admit that I am shocked those were mailed, seems to take the entire misguided debate to another level, that of blatant as opposed to latent antisemitism. We are sharing the piece with the 60 March of Remembrance and Hope students, as a way of discussing the uniqueness of the Holocaust and continued forms and expressions of antisemitism. * * *
Dear Dr. Chatterley I was most impressed by your editorial in the Free Press. As a native ‘Winnipegger’, and as a child of Jewish Ukrainian immmigrants to canada, it warms my heart to know that we have an advocate in you. (Close to 40 members of my family are buried in a mass grave in Kremenets, Ukraine.)
Any museum/institution devoted to human rights is desperately needed in our current world. However, I believe to successfully address multiple genocides requires so much tolerance, understanding and education on the part of those planning the structure. I was particularly impressed with your sensitivity and knowledge pertaining to the origins of the word ‘genocide’.
As a Holocaust scholar/artist/educator, I resonate with everything you say in your article. My own work is dedicated to what I call ‘the aftermath’ of the Shoah: keeping alive the memory of that event and reconciliation between Christians and Jews. On behalf of my family, and if I may be so presumptuous, all Ukrainian Jews, let me thank-you Dr. Chatterley for your outstanding work. Bravo! * * *
Happy Birthday. Article is brilliant. Got a call from a good friend this morning- she knew nothing about the postcard- was appalled – thought the article was so damn effective- appreciated the contextualizing a great deal – wanted to thank you. M. is on the phone with another friend now- same response – so damn important – you continue to open the day . . . * * *
I am writing from Jerusalem, where I am on sabbatical leave, to support strongly Dr. Catherine Chatterley's recent Winnipeg Free Press critique of the Ukrainian Canadian Council for Civil Liberties' disturbing attack on the Canadian Museum of Human Rights-proposed Holocaust Gallery.
The UCCLA widely distributed a postcard on the issue, with a picture of a pig indicating that the Museum was somehow "monopolizing" the Gallery by focusing in it on the extermination of over 6 million Jews by the German Nazis. The Museum of Human Rights, conceived of and initiated by the late Izzie Asper and his family, has in fact quite properly focused on what has come over the last half-century to be called "the Holocaust", a term specifically denoting the destruction of European Jewry, and which has become emblematic of a series of genocidal campaigns which have come, sadly, to characterize modernity.
In so doing, the Museum has in no way denigrated other genocides--like Stalin's murder of millions of Ukrainian farmers, the Turk's annihilation of over a million Armenians, Pol Pot's decimation of his own Cambodian citizenry, the Rwanda genocide, and so, unfortunately, on and on. Indeed, these terrible events will, precisely because of the existence of the Museum, be acknowledged, represented, and carefully studied.
Indeed, it is precisely the existence of the Museum which will throw into stark relief events still unknown by many Canadians, and it will do so precisely because they will be studied in conjunction with the Holocaust.
For the UCCLA to resort to pig imagery, used in negative association with Jews from the ancient world forward, in pagan, Christian and Islamic sources, in their postcard campaign is, explicitly as well as implicitly, to invoke one of the hoariest of antisemitic images. (See, inter alia, Schaefer, Peter, Judeophobia: Attitudes towards the Jews in the Ancient World; Stern, Menachem, Jews and Judaism in Greek and Latin Literature, 3 vols., passim; and Marcus, J.R., The Jew in the Medieval World).
That a Canadian organization, in the early twenty-first century, should resort to such venomous imagery is indeed deplorable, and doubly so given the Jews' experience in Europe at Ukrainian hands prior to and during the Holocaust . (Here it is good to hear Prof. Chatterley, a Winnipeger, state her informed sense that ordinary Canadian-Ukrainians do not share in the UCCLA's racist campaign.)
The Asper family-inaugurated Museum of Human Rights has, rightly, won the support of many different religious and ethnic groups. Because of the Aspers' initiative, light will be thrown not only on the Holocaust, its Jewish specificity, and the nature of antisemitism (clearly still alive and kicking), but also on all the sad record of man's inhumanity of man. And, it should be noted, that ,light will fall as well on the strength and courage of the Western, and Canadian, struggle for liberty and human rights.
The Aspers, and those groups supporting them, are to be congratulated for their excellent and selfless work on behalf of the Museum initiated by the late Izzie Asper. So too should Catherine Chatterly be commended for bringing her scholarly expertise and moral courage to bear on the ignoble campaign to vilify this outstanding Canadian initiative. Indeed, the episode demonstrates the need for the Museum and competent scholars to continue to work closely together in mounting both the permanent, and specialized, exhibitions in the future.
Sincerely, Professor Frederick Krantz Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research * * * You are a star. I was proud today. * * *
Thank you for your intelligent, concise article in the Free Press about the uproar over the Holocaust gallery at the CMHR. Finally, somebody worded it precisely. All the vague undertones of Antisemitism have been apparent but nobody has had the courage to say so. I did not know about the postcards being distributed…..it makes me shudder that it took place in Canada in 2011. Will that particular Ukrainian committee be fined for hate crimes? * * *
Catherine Chatterley’s scholarly rebuke directed to those in opposition to the dedicated Holocaust gallery at the Canadian Human Rights Museum, (Winnipeg Free Press, April 2, 2011) is outstanding because it is based upon solid history and fact. Before reading her editorial I had not really been aware of the ugly political component of the opposition to the Holocaust gallery. She exposes that component. * * *
I read your editorial in the Free Press this morning and I loved it!! It was brilliant!! I was horrified to learn of the postcard that is being distributed. Thank you so much for keeping the public informed about the unique nature of the Holocaust. * * *
Your article was amazing. I can't believe the postcard. How can anyone deny the persistence of antisemitism now, and therefore the need for the Holocaust gallery and your Institute? * * *
A former student via Facebook: “professor, great editorial.” * * *
Splendid article in today’s Winnipeg Free Press. Well done. I will send it out to others.
I just checked the Free Press website and there are two negative comments posted. This only reinforces the thrust of your central argument. * * *
Dear Dr. Chatterley,
I would like to congratulate you on your strongly worded editorial in the Free Press this past weekend. Equally, I would like to congratulate you on founding the Canadian Institute for the study of Antisemitism. The CISA has accrued a strong board of directors and I am certain that you will be successful. If I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact my office at your convenience. * * *
Dr. Chatterley: I read your most interesting article in Saturday's Free Press, on "The War Against The Holocaust", and I must say I found it to be extremely logical and well-written.
As you say they are "levelling human history for political reasons", and this is most unfortunate. I was not previously familiar with the Insitute or its founding director, and am pleased to know of its existence, although I am neither Jewish nor Ukranian. * * *
I loved the article. Thought you did a wonderful job of the whole thing and I particularly appreciated the explanation about how human rights and genocide studies actually began. No one knows that. I am absolutely horrified by the postcard. * * *
Dear Editor, Catherine Chatterley’s powerful and measured essay, “The War against the Holocaust” (Winnipeg Free Press, 2 April 2011) is a major contribution to the current international debate on human rights, genocide and what is increasingly known as Holocaust Obfuscation, the deeply disturbing trend to write the Holocaust out of history without denying a single death, by way of a vast array of ruse. Our website, www.DefendingHistory.com is dedicated to exposing and combating this dangerous campaign.
Like the three Baltic countries, Ukraine produced for Hitler thousands of voluntary killers of Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust. Because these mass murderers of a peaceful civilian minority were also “anti-Soviet”, they are sometimes regarded in post-Soviet Eastern Europe as some kind of “freedom fighters”. Glorification of the killers is closely intertwined with attempts to eclipse and derail honest Holocaust history, and to use the very successes of human rights progress and Holocaust education as one of the newer weapons in the tired and hackneyed arsenal of antisemitic discourse.
Let it not be forgotten that courageous men and women of honour throughout Eastern Europe have risen to tell the truth about the Holocaust in the region; verily, all our countries’ histories have shameful episodes. It is very sad that some governments, and some North American communities hailing from the region, abuse their voices to obfuscate the Holocaust in a thinly veiled new antisemitic, ultranationalist onslaught.
The countries that freed themselves from the evil Soviet yoke have every right to justice for victims of Soviet crimes, to the inclusion in world history and knowledge of the crimes of Soviet misrule, and to iron-clad guarantees from the West for their own future security, what with the huge unpredictable post-Soviet bear to the immediate east. None of that, however, justifies the mangling of history and obfuscation of the Holocaust by those who harbour a wish to cover up for the massive and voluntary local participation in the Holocaust’s genocide in parts of Eastern Europe, much less for those who want to regard the Holocaust as one of a bunch of equal events in the region, which it was not. It was a genocide that resulted in the near-extinction of East European Jewry.
Dr. Chatterley’s bold and meticulously constructed expose of the shameful efforts to bring down the Holocaust component of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights could not have come at a more opportune moment in the international debate. The far-right in Eastern Europe succeeded in 2008 and 2009 in ramming down the throat of Europe various declarations and resolutions that would “equalise” Nazi and Soviet crimes, most notoriously the “Prague Declaration” of 2008. By July 2009, even Canada and the United States added their names to a document into which the East European far right had slipped two references to the bogus equivalence. Yes, the ins-and-outs of today’s politics can lead generally sensible parties to sign on to the abject nonsense that those who liberated Auschwitz are equal to those who slaughtered all its victims.
At last the tide began to turn in Europe in late 2010. A 25 November 2010 letter to the president of Lithuania, signed by the ambassadors of seven nations, and protesting resurgent antisemitism in Lithuania (including a court’s 2010 legalization of public swastikas) contains the pivotal line: “Spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result.” The letter was signed by the ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Why not Canada?
Yours sincerely, Dr. Dovid Katz Editor, www.DefendingHistory.com Chief Analyst, Litvak Studies Institute, Vilnius, Lithuania * * *
The editorial was right on. There is so much misconception and half truth out there. The word Holocaust and Jews rarely used but certainly underhandedly referred to. Thank you for bringing it into the public forum. * * *
You have posted a copyrighted postcard image on the website of the "Canadian Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism" without securing the prior agreement of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association. You do not have a permission to reproduce it, in whole or in part. Remove the card from your website immediately. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. L. Luciuk
We are counsel to CISA.
We understand that on April 3, 2011, you wrote to our client requesting that it remove a postcard image from its website on the basis of copyright infringement. The postcard image was contained within an article written by Dr. Catherine Chatterley posted on the CISA blog.
CISA is a charity that is operated on a non-profit, non-commercial basis. The primary purpose of the blog is to provide critical commentary and analysis. In her article, Dr. Chatterley identified the source of the image and the name of the author/creator.
Accordingly, we are of the view that the use of the image falls within the exemption to copyright infringement that permits fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review.
TDS LLP * * *
Re: Israel Apartheid Week
Dear Dr. Chatterley, One hopes that the intelligent and responsible approach taken toward IAW by U. Winnipeg and Lloyd Axworthy will be “ a model for other university administrations in Canada and worldwide,” as you suggested. Thanks. * * *
We could not have asked for a more engaging, articulate, knowledgeable and good-natured presenter! The first webinar is always a challenge as we get comfortable with the technology after a year’s hiatus, but it was clear from the questions – both the content and the number – that the students’ attention never flagged, and that you got them thinking in new ways about what antisemitism is, and about their understanding of the Holocaust. I hope this was the first of many opportunities for us to learn from you! We will definitely promote CISA – an extraordinary undertaking on your part. * * *
I want to wish you good luck with CISA. Your speech at the Etz Chayim Synagogue today was enlightening, and highlights a real need which you are addressing. As someone who works on the campus of UM I have been aware of the total lack of educational events and speakers on the subject of Israel and Antisemitism. I always feel very uncomfortable during "Israeli Apartheid Week" and wonder why there are no voices putting forth another position. Again, good luck. You are doing important work.