World History

Yom HaShoah

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This video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews highlights Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, in Israel. In the video, host Simon Schama visits Israel and stands, along with the rest of the country, in silent reflection during the morning siren that rings every year on Yom HaShoah.

Hitler's SS and Project Giant | Nazi Mega Weapons: The SS

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Learn about the rise of the SS and its actions in Germany before the war. Doctor Tony Pollard explores the ruins of one of the largest construction projects undertaken by the SS. It is one of the last of their projects, but its roots trace back to the beginning of the Nazi rise to power. Hitler created the SS as his own personal bodyguard in 1925. One of the early recruits is Heinrich Himmler, who quickly rises through its ranks to become the SS leader and Hitler's right-hand man. Once Hitler takes control of Germany, Himmler and with him the SS's power grows. He becomes police chief of Munich and creates the first concentration camp to house political prisoners. He also gets rid of competition within the Nazi party by fabricating evidence against them, and having them imprisoned or killed.

Baha'i

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This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly shows two followers of the Baha'i Faith discussing why they chose to embrace the religion and its message of unity, equality and respect. It also covers Baha'i worship practices. Founded in Iran in 1863 by Baha'u'llah, Baha'i emphasizes the oneness of humanity. Worshippers believe Baha'u'llah is the most recent in a long line of divine messengers that also includes Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad.

Judgment And Legacy

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This video from Women War & Peace reveals the verdict of the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal. In a historical verdict, the three defendants, all commanders in the Bosnian Serb army, were found guilty. While the Tribunal could not prosecute everyone involved, the trial was symbolic and the verdict established sexual enslavement as a crime against humanity, setting a precedent for future wars. The trial also raised awareness of the use of rape as a weapon of terror and demonstrated that there would potentially be consequences for anyone using rape as a weapon during wartime.

The Beta Israel

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This video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama tells the story of Aviva Rahamim, an Ethiopian Jew who immigrated to Israel. In an interview with the series host, Rahamim compares her journey to that of the Biblical Exodus, where Moses led the Hebrews from Egypt to the land of Canaan. She expresses her Jewish identity through embroidery, creating elaborate pieces based on Biblical stories.

Ganesha Chaturti | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

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This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly describes the rituals and spiritual significance of an 11-day Hindu celebration called Ganesha Chaturthi, honoring Lord Ganesha. Widely regarded as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord Ganesha is one of the most popular gods of India. On the final day of the festival, Lord Ganesha’s image is paraded through the streets accompanied by drum beats, devotional songs and dancing, and then immersed in a river or sea.

Iwo Jima | Ken Burns & Lynn Novick: The War

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America needed to take Iwo Jima to secure a base for US bombers. The Marines landed on February 15, 1945. The fighting would last for nearly a month, and cost the United States 6,821 lives.

Self-Reliance | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

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The North Korean official state ideology of "self-reliance" was greatly challenged during the Arduous March, a famine that claimed the lives of an estimated two million people. Despite the great losses suffered, the North Korean doctrine of "self-reliance" still holds strong in North Korean people forced to live under the totalitarian government. In this segment from the Wide Angle film "A State of Mind," a member of the Communist Workers' Party discusses what the official doctrine means to him and his fellow comrades.

Shia vs. Sunni—a Political Rivalry | Bitter Rivals

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Explore the modern-day origins of the intense political rivalry between Iran, which is largely Shia Muslim, and Saudi Arabia, which is mostly Sunni, for dominance over the Islamic world, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: Bitter Rivals. While a historical schism between Shias and Sunnis has existed since the 7th century, the violence that has come to characterize the power struggle in the region is a more recent product. It began nearly 40 years ago, with the Islamic Revolution led by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s doctrine was based on Islamic law and the rejection of Western domination. Because Iran perceives Saudi Arabia to be an ally of the United States, Iran is strongly opposed to the House of Saud.

Foot and Mouth | Wide Angle

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The government of Botswana’s official motive for building a fence along its border with Zimbabwe was to halt the spread of foot and mouth disease among its cattle. Animals infected with the deadly disease drifted over the border into Botswana, nearly collapsing its cattle industry. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Border Jumpers," learn about the foot-and-mouth outbreak from Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister and meet a farmer whose livelihood was destroyed by the disease.

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