Worse than War


 
"Worse Than War" a documentary film by Daniel Goldhagen will be appearing
on PBS as a two hour documentary in mid April.


 
"Worse Than War" a documentary film by Daniel Goldhagen will be appearing
on PBS as a two hour documentary in mid April.

PBS: About The Film

With his first book, the #1 international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen – then a professor of political science at Harvard University– forced the world to re-think some of its most deeply-held beliefs about the Holocaust. Hitler’s Willing Executioners inspired an unprecedented worldwide discussion and debate about the role ordinary Germans played in the annihilation of Europe’s Jews.

A decade later – and more than half a century after the end of World War II – Goldhagen is convinced that the overall phenomenon of genocide is as poorly understood as the Holocaust had once been. How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner? These and other thought-provoking questions are explored in a new documentary film, WORSE THAN WAR.

A co-production of WNET.ORG and JTN Productions and funded by The Pershing Square Foundation, The Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, and The Goren Family Foundation, WORSE THAN WAR, based on Goldhagen’s book of the same title, which has been hailed as “magisterial” by the New York Times, “convincing” and “wholly original” by Kirkus, “pathbreaking” by Die Presse, and “masterful” by the Daily Telegraph, is the first documentary to step back and focus on the general phenomenon of genocide – offering viewers profound insights into its dimensions, patterns and causes, and tragic role in politics and human affairs.

“By the most fundamental measure – the number of people killed –the perpetrators of mass murder since the beginning of the twentieth century have taken the lives of more people than have died in military conflict. So genocide is worse than war,” reiterates Goldhagen. “This is a little-known fact that should be a central focus of international politics, because once you know it, the world, international politics, and what we need to do all begin to look substantially different from how they are typically conceived.”

Premiering on PBS during National Holocaust Remembrance Week on April 14 at 9 p.m. (check local listings), WORSE THAN WAR documents Goldhagen’s travels, teachings, and interviews in nine countries around the world, bringing viewers on an unprecedented journey of insight and analysis. In a film that is highly cinematic and evocative throughout, he speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers, and journalists, all with the purpose of explaining and understanding the critical features of genocide and how to finally stop it.

In Rwanda, perpetrators of genocide speak candidly about their participation in mass murders, and Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama discusses the perpetrators’ willingness, the world’s failure, and how we can prevent other countries from suffering the same fate. In Guatemala, Goldhagen explores the concept of “overkill” with the country’s leading forensic pathologist, and in an extraordinary interview, he confronts former President José Efraín Ríos Montt, the person in power during the genocide of Maya in the early 1980s. In Bosnia, he attends the annual commemoration of the massacre at Srebrenica, the worst mass-killing in Europe since World War II, and has a candid discussion with the nation’s president Haris Silajdžić about his efforts to convince U.S. and world leaders to intervene when it became apparent that “ethnic cleansing” was underway. And in Ukraine, Goldhagen returns with his father Erich (also a scholar of the Holocaust) to the town where Erich was nearly killed during the Holocaust.

Goldhagen also conducts probing and revealing interviews with Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Francis Deng, UN Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide; and Clint Williamson, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.

Directed by the award-winning Mike DeWitt, the film not will only leave viewers changed, it should have a galvanizing effect on the public and, most importantly on, our political leaders.

 
 
3 comments
  1. I was deeply moved by this
    I was deeply moved by this film. It is a serious work. I think it’s also a work of art. I especially like the element at the end where we look at the faces of people. Each person is precious. He introduces us throughout the film to the humanity of those who have suffered, and those who have killed, and those who ordered the killing, and those who stood by and watched, and those who want to do more. A very powerful, moving work.

  2. Very Unprofessional

    I watched your documentary film “Worse than War” and I applaud the goal of putting an end to genocide. However, the film has really disgusted me and made me write this letter to you. I’m assuming that you made this film this way because you haven’t gathered enough relevant and true information, and you have put all the guilt on Serbian people on purpose. You are spreading western propaganda to make money off your books and films! You are building your career on tortured Serbian people who have stood up against slaughters throughout the ages.
     
    As a teenager I survived the war in Bosnia and I lived with these people in that time. I felt the right and wrong on both sides! You are putting all the guilt on Serbian people without even mentioning Serbian victims! I agree that the genocide in Srebrenica should be forejudged if it happened, but I have got the feeling that this has been exaggerated because of political reasons!

    In the film you don’t say why the attack by Serbs happened in Srebrenica! Why? Srebrenica was the protected zone and the only armed forces should have been the UNITED NATIONS. However, the UN was hiding the Muslim armed forces under the command of Naser Oric. He was taken to court in Hague, but was released even though he killed women and children.  He slaughtered around 3500 Serbs in villages around Srebrenica to provoke the Serbs! When the Serbians had to put a stop to the genocide against them, the western politics meddled in, it was prepared and accused the Serbian side in the media to justify the NATO military action against the Serbs. Muslims increased the number of  the victims in Srebrenica by brining bodies from different locations, people  murdered in other front lines far away from Srebrenica.
     
    You mention in your film that your father survived and thank God for that. Ratko Mladic was not that lucky. When he was two years old his father was killed in World War II by “ustase” (the Muslim and Croatian soldiers who were fighting for Hitler). 
     

    This is the truth Mr. Daniel about Srebrenica in short lines, if you care about the truth?
     
    From 1991 to 1995, 8000 to 10000 Serbs were killed in Sarajevo
    130,000 Serbs died in Bosnia from 1991 to 1995.

    In your film you haven’t mentioned thess huge losses, rather you only talk about Srebrenica and this is the only incident you have pulled out from history of the area. You use this incident to make Serbian people look really bad in you film. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who commited the genocide in Srebrenica should be punished; but who will punish those that have killed Serbs?

    Didn’t the Serbian victims deserve to be mentioned in your film?

    When you have already decided to mention the genocides in the Balkan, why did you skip to mention Jasenovac? Do you know what happened there in World War II? Do you know that Jasenovac was the only camp for children in the world? Do you know that around 20,00 children were murdered in Jasenovac?

    700,000 people were killed in that factory of death on the river Sava. Most of them were Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia along with 33,000  Jews and 80,00 Roms. Part of my family too perished. There is no Serbian family in Western Bosnia that has not lost someone in that death camp – Jasenovac.


    You have said that you worked on this film for 10 years and I really don’t understand how you could miss the history of Jasenovac where your Jewish people were murdered beside my Serbian people? The only reason that I can see is that your film is politically motivated. Most of this film has been dedicated to the Muslim victims of Srebrenica but you do not mention Serbian victims at all.
     
    Every year in Donjoj Gradina there is a prayer for all the victims killed in Jasenovac and Donjoj Gradina. For the last 2 years we have visitors from Israel. He is a Chairman of the Ex-Prisoner of War Lobby Erim Balaila Ram Doron. He comes with a group of students from Israel to attend the prayer for all, including the 33,000 Jewish victims.
     
    You sit with Haris Silajdzic and interview him, the only war leader left on the political scene in Bosnia. Your interview is with the biggest war lobbyist, with a man who is responsible for the war in Bosnia. Serbia has issued to the Interpol a Warrant for Haris Silajdzic, because he is responsible for the genocide in Bosnia! For the same Genocide there is the Interpol Warrant for Ejup Ganic who was arrested in London a couple of months ago. Serbia is waiting for his deportation and trial.
     
    Once again, I say I am against any genocide but really don’t know what do you want from Serbian people.
     
    Serbians are one proud nation that didn’t deserve this rude discrimination and humiliation from the West. Serbians have never attacked other countries in their history, but on their territory they have defended themselves from almost all the countries that bordered them. Since 1389 when the Serbian territory was attacked by Turkey (Battle of Kosovo) Serbs have been only defending themselves and from that time on problems arose for Serbians. After the Battle of Kosovo, Turkey  occupied all Serbian territories including Bosnia in which Serbs were the big majority. Muslims didn’t even exist in Bosnia at that time.

    The present Muslims in Bosnia are ex-Serbs that were converted under pressure. The majority in Bosnia now are the Muslims and they want to get rid of all the Serbs in Bosnia and to rule in Bosnia. Don’t think that this is not possible. Croatia, for example, with the help of NATO in 1995 banished 400,000 Serbs from Croatia even though they lived there for thousands of years. Muslims in Bosnia have been declared as a nation in 1974 and from 1995 and on they call themselves “Bosnjaci”. Even today most of the Muslims have Serbian last names but Muslim first names. This is the proof that they were converted to Islam.
     

    I just want to tell you that in you film you have humiliated Serbian, Rom and Jewish victims with your unprofessionalism because you haven’t mentioned them although you have worked on genocide in that area. It’s like making a documentary film about the Holocaust without talking about the massacre of the Jews. I would be ashamed of my work when I would make something unprofessional like that!
     
    I truly hope that you are going to investigate the massacres of Serbs, Jews and Roms in Bosnia and Croatia, former Yugoslav territories, and redress the injustice that you commited because you did not mention them. I would appreciate it if you would visit the concentration camps Jasenovac and Donja Gradina mentioned above.  Find out yourself what happened there. You started to dig into this, you should finish it properly.
     
    1. Yugoslavia program
      Danny,

      The invasion of Yugaslavia and the dismantling of that country once again demonstrated that there is no justice in international politics, and all the talk about territorial integrity is just that–talk. Serbians were punished by the U.S. and its allies because Serbians remained friendly with Russia. By dismantling Yugoslavia, the U.S. got closer to Russia’s borders.

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