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Filming the Eichmann Trial (Day 1)

An international conference exploring the impact of film and radio and TV broadcasts of the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem

Sunday, February 22, 2009
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
James Bridges Theater
Melnitz Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Historians, literary critics, legal scholars, and filmmakers agree on the importance of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a high-ranking Nazi official charged with the logistics of mass deportation to the death camps. Kidnapped from Argentina by Israeli agents in 1960, Eichmann was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people in the Jerusalem District Court. His trial lasted from April 11 to August 14, 1961. One hundred and eleven witnesses testified in the case. Eichmann was found guilty and hanged on June 1, 1962.

The Eichmann trial is important for many reasons. It was the first transnational narrative to construct the genocide of the Jews as a distinct event of World War II, and it marked the foregrounding of victims as witnesses who produce historical accounts.

Conference participants include historians, filmmakers, media historians, film critics, and legal historians from France, Israel, England, and the US who will screen their films and analyze subsequent visual and legal histories.

Participants include:

Valerie Hartouni, University of California, San Diego
Tom Hurwitz, Cinematographer
Tamar Liebes-Plesner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Sylvie Lindeperg, Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle
Amit Pinchevski, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University
Eyal Sivan, University of East London
Susan Slyomovics, University of California, Los Angeles
Annette Wievorka, Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques

Abstracts of the presentations to be made at the conference are available by clicking on the highlighted name of the presenter.


10:00 am        Welcome and Introduction
                       Eric Sundquist, UCLA


                      Hurwitz in Jerusalem
                      Sylvie Lindperg, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
                      Annette Wieviorka, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

12:00 pm       Lunch Break

1:30 pm         SESSION II

          Who was Leo Hurwitz in 1961?
          Tom Hurwitz, Cinematographer

3:30 pm        COFFEE BREAK

4:00 pm        SESSION III

                     Thinking Truth, Memory and Film Editing Following the Eichmann Trial Filmed Archive
                     Eyal Sivan, University of East London

6:00 pm        Thoughtlessness and the Optics of Moral Argument: Screening the Spectacle of Eichmann
                     Valerie Hartouni, UC San Diego

Image: Leo Hurwitz, director of the Eichmann Trial tapes (photo still from videotaped interview by Susan Slyomovics, 1986)


Cost : Free

PeterSzanton, Center for Near Eastern Studies

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA Mellon Program on "The Holocaust in American and World Culture"

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