While the Sand Creek Massacre has been the subject of numerous books, much less attention has been given to two heroes of this horrific event: U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer.
These were men who rejected the violence and genocide inherent in the “conquest of the West.” They did so by personally refusing to take part in the murder of peaceful people, while ordering the men under their command to stand down. Their example breaks the conventional frontier narrative that has come to define the clash between Colonial settlers and Native peoples as one of civilization versus savagery.
It was big-budget, American TV starring Meryl Streep. And in 1979 the mini-series Holocaust transformed how Germans saw their own history.
It brought the horrors of Nazi crimes into people’s living rooms and turned the word “Holocaust” into a commonly-used term in the German language.
This month the drama has been shown again on German TV – and it is as relevant as ever.
Georges Loinger used all his skill and cunning – and a large dash of chutzpah – to rescue Jewish children from deportation and near-certain death during the second world war.
The French Resistance hero, who has died at the age of 108, would set up ball games for children along the Swiss border in France. Having trained the children to run like the wind, he would throw the ball over the border and tell them to chase after it and then keep running.