Tag Archives: The Netherlands

Amsterdam: A Place of History – by Victoria Hansen. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Amsterdam: A Place of History – by Victoria Hansen. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

[A picture of the outside of Anne Frank’s house]

When I thought about the city of Amsterdam before visiting it, the first two things that came to mind were the many canals that flow through the city and its supposedly seedy red-light district. I didn’t even think about all the history that the city held, especially since it had been taken over by Nazi Germany during World War II. While on this trip, I saw the reality of what life was like during World War II through two of the museums that are found in Amsterdam: the Anne Frank House and the Dutch Resistance Museum.

Many people know of the book A Dairy of Anne Frank, written by a young girl during World War II but many people don’t realize that the Diary was written in the heart of Amsterdam. The city of Amsterdam is where she and her family hid for two years in a secret annex during the war. Today it is still set up just the way it was while they were in hiding and it has the added bonus of being home to the original Diary of Anne Frank. As you can imagine this site is extremely touristy, so to get in we had to stand in line for three whole hours. But the second you step through that hidden doorway behind the book shelf you are transported back in time, back to days when Nazi soldiers roamed the streets below and the families in hiding held their breath out of fear of being found out. Each room tells a different story of what life in hiding was like. From the shared bedrooms to the bathroom which couldn’t be used during the day in case someone down below was to hear the water running and realize that people were being hidden there.

[The actual book case that stood in front of the entrance of the secret annex during the war]

Not far from the Anne Frank House there is another museum that is lesser known of called the Dutch Resistance Museum. The Dutch pride themselves on their open-minded values so when Germany invaded them in World War II they fought them every step of the way. From hiding many Jewish families to smuggling them out of the country, many Dutch citizens put their lives on the line to help out the families that need it. They also organized many protests which were carried out even when their safety was threatened. These protests were always deemed illegal and therefore punishable by law but they got around that by simply telling the police that they hadn’t participated in them. Although the Dutch resisted the Germans, they still felt as though they could have and should have done more to protect their Jewish citizens throughout the war and in 2010 the Dutch Government went as far as to formally apologize to all of its Jewish citizens for not protecting them better.

[One of the posters from the Dutch Resistance Museum]

Amsterdam has so many bright and cheerful places, from the palace of Amsterdam to the I Am Amsterdam that tourists flock to like birds but there is forever a dark spot left on that city. The Anne Frank House and the Dutch Resistance Museum serve as a reminder of the devastation of World War II on the people of the Netherlands. Both museums tell a story about World War II, but they tell the story in two very different ways. One museum tells the story through the eyes of a young Jewish girl and the other tells the story through the many voices of the Dutch citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that lived through those dark years. Amsterdam doesn’t hide its history, it boasts it so that it is remembered.

[The sign above the Dutch Resistance Museum]

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports. Eleni Birhane and Matthew Breeze, Assistant Managing Editors, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Twenty-Six, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Twenty-Six, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

By Ethan Scrivner, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Report #4

This week is the last before the ICTY goes on recess for the summer, during which time everything apparently all but shuts down. I have just finished a project and anticipate being able to take some time as things wind down for the summer to read through some of the Judgments and get a better grasp on both the application of the Statute of the ICTY and the legal reasoning behind several of the recent, controversial acquittals. I am also going to use the time to look through some of the materials produced through the Outreach office of the ICTY. These materials, whether produced by Outreach or gathered by the Outreach office from those living in the former Yugoslavia, are very interesting because they act as a sort of gauge that reflects how the work of the Tribunal is being received in the region and the interaction between this institution and those who live in the Balkans. Some of the materials which come from the region also give a fascinating insight into the collective construction of memory in the former Yugoslavia. At a children’s festival in Sarajevo several weeks ago, the Outreach field office located in Bosnia and Herzegovina asked children to make drawings which reflected what they thought about the conflict and the work of the ICTY in general. What I found most striking were some of the fairly graphic, detailed drawings of war and destruction that were made by children who were not born until a decade after the conflict ended. This seems to suggest a strong potential for persistence of memory of events in the region. Whether this is “good” or “bad”-likely to lead to reconciliation or further discord-is not something easily determined. One of the drawings of a burning village has a caption at the bottom which translates roughly as “so it will not happen again,” essentially analogous to the phrase “never again” often associated with the Holocaust. It remains to be seen what place the work of the ICTY will have in the establishment of long-term coexistence and rule of law in the Balkans region.

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The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Summer Reports.

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

This summer we will re-tool and re-design the collaborative program, drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This summer The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here throughout the summer, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, June, 2013

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 6, Spring, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Twelve, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

The North Star Project, Summer Report Number Twelve, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

By Ethan Scrivner
The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Report #2

I will be working at the media department of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) this summer. The work of the Tribunal is the prosecution of war criminals from the former Yugoslavia. The ICTY’s statute gives provides jurisdiction to hear cases involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Tribunal has been in existence for twenty years at this point and is in its final stages of operation, with all trials scheduled to be finished here by 2016.

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Right now is a particularly interesting time to have come here. The ICTY has been getting quite a bit of coverage over the last several weeks as more acquittals of accused war criminals were handed down just prior to the leak of a private letter from one of the judges here which essentially accuses the ICTY’s president, Theodor Meron, of exerting pressure on his fellow judges to procure favorable judgments for the accused. The reasons given, though not yet verified, are that Meron is pushing an agenda which would be more favorable to the United States. The judgments in which Meron is said to have exerted undue influence were for high-ranking officials who were on trial for their command responsibility for crimes committed during the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. The implications this kind of command responsibility could carry are seen as potentially damaging to US officials who have ordered or at least knowingly allowed torture or other criminal behavior to take place under their command. Several NGO’s as well as the country of Rwanda, where Meron sits as presiding judge over the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, are calling for Meron’s resignation and retrials in instances where he may have pressured fellow judges for acquittals. If these allegations are true, it largely delegitimizes much of the recent work of both Tribunals and of course calls into question whether justice can in fact be achieved in cases of individual criminal acts carried out by those in power.
For all of the North Star Project Summer Reports, see HERE

The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Summer Reports.

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

This summer we will re-tool and re-design the collaborative program, drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This summer The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here throughout the summer, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, June, 2013

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 6, Spring, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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The North Star Project, Summer Report Number Seven, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia by Ethan Scrivner

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The North Star Project, Summer Report Number Seven, The Hague, The Netherlands — United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

I am currently about a week into my work in the media department of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). So far, the work has consisted primarily of updating information on the ICTY’s website and ensuring that all of the information listed has been legally established as factual through court proceedings. The work itself can be somewhat tedious but it has given me an opportunity to delve into the legal processes of the Tribunal as well as the factual background of various cases at a level of detail that I would not likely have done on my own. One of the main concerns of the media department-now that those who work here have realized that generating good PR in order to establish a positive public image is nearly impossible-is to build and preserve a record of what has transpired both in the Balkans and here at the Tribunal. It is an interesting task in the sense that one has a feeling of editing history to some extent. All of the Judgments of the Tribunal, as well as other court documents, will remain publicly available but, given that Judgments are usually in excess of 300 pages each, will probably not be widely read by the public. As a law student interested in exactly the issues the ICTY concerns itself with, I have yet to read a Judgment in full, despite sorting through them for information on a daily basis. It seems most likely that the condensed and easily digestible information that is selected and presented through this office will in many ways be a large part of the de facto public record of the crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide that occurred as Yugoslavia disintegrated. Selecting which information is “valuable” or “interesting” enough to be included in this record can prove to be challenging at times.
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For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see https://mgjnorthstarproject.wordpress.com/
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=10

The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also welcome Duluth East High School, Dodge Middle School and other schools around the world to the North Star Project. The North Star Project has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see recent articles in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2014/embracing-oa-universities-adopt-open-access-policies-for-faculty-journal-publications

The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. We have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star Project students and teachers.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA

(c) 2013-present The Middle Ground Journal. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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