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Holocaust Remembrance Day: "The Problem of Holocaust Appropriation: On Pro-Life Organization Live Action's Comparison of Abortion and Genocide" by Ilina Nikolovska

Our third undergraduate research feature for Holocaust Remembrance Day is "The Problem of Holocaust Appropriation: On Pro-Life Organization Live Action's Comparison of Abortion and Genocide" by Ilina Nikolovska. 

As Ilina explains, 

This essay critically examines (and denounces) an Instagram post by pro-life organization Live Action that compares Holocaust victims with aborted fetuses. It pulls primarily from historian Norman J. W. Goda’s research on the Holocaust, as well as that of other Holocaust historians, philosophers, and neuroscientists. In so doing, it highlights the reasons as to why such a comparison is both factually and ethically wrong. Essentially, it reduces Jews’ humanity to that of unborn beings, erases the role of racism in the Holocaust’s creation, and disregards the torture that Jews faced within concentration camp walls. In furthering this discourse on Holocaust trivialization, this essay hopes to inspire readers to educate themselves on the reality of the Holocaust and to actively denounce instances of Holocaust trivialization when they encounter them. While it mainly focuses on the Instagram post’s misrepresentation of the Holocaust and antisemitic implications, it is also important to reflect on the ways in which pro-life rhetoric and policies harm women and non-binary people.


In honour of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Department of History is featuring undergraduate student research from Tuesday, January 24th through Friday, January 27th. The department asked students to submit their work for consideration, and we have selected four different pieces that highlight the history of the Holocaust, the reconstitution of Jewish life in its aftermath, and the various problematic ways that the history of the Holocaust has been appropriated on social media in recent years. These four students completed their research papers in their History courses: HIST 295: The Holocaust taught by Dr. Gord Dueck and HIST 400: Transnational History of Jewish Migration taught by Bader Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Amy Fedeski. 

Each day this week, we will publish one of these student projects deemed to be the strongest of the many exceptional projects we received during our open submission call. We hope you enjoy reading our students’ work. The Selection Committee would like to thank all of those who submitted their work for consideration.

Department of History, Queen's University

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Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.