The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

1995 Audit of
Anti-Semitic Incidents

Documentaries Highlight Hate

On 28 February 1995, CTV aired the show "Hearts of Hate", a documentary on the inner workings of the Heritage Front. While the film was made with the intention of exposing the hate and violence of the group's leaders, some accused the film of serving as a recruitment tool for the racist right.

The film maker's decision not to provide a countervailing voice to the speeches of Wolfgang Droege and George Burdi, particularly scapegoating minorities and immigrants on the steps of the parliament buildings, made the neo-Nazis seem more important and credible than they actually are. In the week following the airing of "Hearts of Hate", there were seven major incidents of vandalism directed at synagogues and Jewish schools across Canada.

Although opinion is still sharply divided on the merits of the programme, there appears to be a direct correlation between the showing of "Hearts of Hate" and a spate of anti-Semitic violence in Canada. As the programme is rebroadcast around the world and youngsters are exposed to it in their living rooms without guidance, there is considerable anxiety regarding possible reactions to the show.

A Teacher's Guide has since been created, as the film has proved to be a useful teaching tool when used by skilled educators in the right context. Indeed, the League uses the film frequently in workshops and presentations to raise awareness of the dangers of hate group recruitment and the nature and extent of their activities, but balanced with practical strategies to counter their hate propaganda with the facts about minority groups, immigration, employment equity, and the Holocaust.

Other recent documentaries include "Profession Neo-Nazi", "Hate and Hate Crimes", "Crimes of Hate", and "The Faces of Hate". All of these films should be used with appropriate preparation by educators in order that they do not have exactly the opposite effect that was intended by the producers.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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