Thursday 27.06.2019, 7.00 p.m.
Lecture by Ian Buruma
Human progress often emerges from catastrophe. The history of World War II not only effected the postwar period but in many ways still effects the present. Along with the violence, civil strife and humanitarian disasters that arrive in the wake of any major war, some valuable lessons are sometimes learned. But did the victors learn the wrong lessons?
Ian Buruma will focus on the lessons learned from World War II, and how we are now in danger of losing sight of them. The liberal internationalist order, established by the Anglo-American victors is being dramatically dismantled by the leaders of those very same powers. The social democracies that transformed countries that were once under Nazi rule have been eroded by less liberal regimes and ideologies. US presidents have embarked on wars under the guise of spreading democracy, believing that they could repeat the triumphs against Germany and Japan. Brexiteers in Britain use popular nostalgia for Britain's “Finest Hour” to break away from Europe. Young citizens of the EU no longer feel that peace in Europe is enough justification for European integration.
Ian Buruma is a dutch writer, historian and public intellectual. His talk is the keynote speech of the academic conference “Postwar Violence 1945–1949”.
The lecture is held in English.