The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
The Anatomy of Hate - Boston Conference - 1989

Beyond Hate, the first conference in the "Anatomy of Hate" series, was co-sponsored by Boston University. The seminar-style conference gave scholars, writers and theologians an opportunity to think collaboratively about ways of achieving greater understanding among different ethnic and religious groups.

The participants focused on five aspects of hate: Religion and Hate, Dangers of Hate, Understanding Hate, Diminishing Hate, and Conflict Resolution. "Nationalism and Hate" by Connor Cruise O'Brien, "Hateful Violence" by Robert Jay Lifton, and "Muting Hate" by Jerome Kagan were just a few of the remarkable papers presented.

The Anatomy of Hate - Haifa Conference - 1990
The Anatomy of Hate - Haifa Conference - 1990

Education Against Hate: An Imperative for Our Time was an international conference for educators that brought together Israeli Arabs and Jews. Co-sponsored by Haifa University of Haifa, its purpose was to develop a conceptual framework for transcending decades of fear and mistrust, and to confront the complex issues and challenges involved in this task.

Israel was a particularly appropriate setting for a conference of this nature because it has suffered for many years from a violent conflict between Jews and Arabs, a conflict that has been accompanied by bloodshed, anxiety and despair, agony, and feelings of hatred on both sides.

At the time of the conference, hope for human understanding and for a reduction in the danger of nuclear war was tempered by daily news of hatred and violence. Participants agreed that the costs of hatred are too high for the subject not to be a priority for humankind. A focus on education has the potential for advancing the humane evolution of society. At its best, education promotes humane values. Therefore, it is essential to consider the role education can play in reducing hate among people.

The Anatomy of Hate - Oslo Conference - 1990
The Anatomy of Hate - Oslo Conference - 1990

The Anatomy of Hate: Resolving Conflict Through Dialogue and Democracy was convened by the Foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Former political prisoners and statesmen, writers and scholars from thirty countries - among them Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Francois Mitterrand, and Jimmy Carter - discussed ways of living with ethnic and national conflict and managing regional tensions through dialogue.

A transcendent moment occurred when South African Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Leon Wessels spoke to an audience that included a recently freed Nelson Mandela of desiring "real justice in our land," of wanting to "cast off the apartheid albatross."

Mandela (in the photo above), who was later to become President of South Africa, said in response, "We shall endlessly challenge the infamous seeds of hatred wherever these are found. This is the spirit in which we have come to Oslo. The spirit which has sustained us during the many lonely years of our imprisonment. The spirit which will form the basis of our new society."

"To hate is to refuse to accept another person as a human being, to diminish him, to limit your own horizon by narrowing his, to look at him - and also at yourself - not as a subject of pride but as an object of disdain and of fear..."
            - Excerpt from The Oslo Declaration

The Anatomy of Hate - Moscow Conference - 1991
The Anatomy of Hate - Moscow Conference - 1991

The Anatomy of Hate: 50 years After Hitler's Germany Invaded the USSR, was convened by the Foundation and Ogonyok magazine. This conference, occurring just days before Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's resignation, was attended by heads of state, legislators, scholars, educators, journalists and human rights activists. Its goal was to find new ways of dealing with those conflicts inherent in the transition from totalitarianism to democracy.

Conference Statement:
"In pursuit of justice for all people, the international conference of The Anatomy of Hate urgently called on leaders and citizens of the world to combat the alarming resurgence of racism, and religious and ethnic hatred.

As individuals, as communities, as nations, we are interdependent and share a collective responsibility to ensure that peoples of all countries, races and religions are guaranteed the full range of human rights that are at the heart of freedom and dignity.

Hatred leads to war. We must disarm hatred to assure peace. Denunciation of hatred is an act of global patriotism. Remaining silent undermines everyone's freedom and endangers humanity..."

The Anatomy of Hate - New York Conference - 1992
The Anatomy of Hate - New York Conference - 1992

The Anatomy of Hate: Saving Our Children, organized by the Foundation and Governor Mario Cuomo, brought together a distinguished group of educators, psychiatrists, lawyers, theologians, scientists and others to identify and attempt to minimize those ways in which hate affects the lives of our children. Numerous recommendations were put forth, and a single theme was sounded again and again: strong, affirmative models can play critical roles in developing ethical standards in the individual and the community.

"Hate knows no frontiers, neither racial nor ethnic. Hate is contagious. Wearing various masks, it can be found among all religious and social communities. Like cancer, if unchecked, it will destroy the body which nurtures and carries it. Ultimately hate is both destructive and self-destructive. Hate inevitably leads to self-hate...We are coming to the end of the millennium. We are coming to the end of a terrible century, the bloodiest century that has gone from Sarajevo to Sarajevo. Everything in between is commentary... So what do we do with our memory, our trauma? Can we turn it into generosity? Can we embrace the children of others as our own?"
- Elie Wiesel


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