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Unintended consequences of censorship


Why we need to speak about genocide
Peter Mayer Publisher
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When I went to visit Auschwitz, which I would recommend to everybody who has a serious concern for how… what the extremity of the proposition may be of discrimination, we're sort of against discrimination, we're against prejudice, we're against bias, but the furthest you can take the proposition of otherness can be, that's as far as you can go.  And there was genocide as we know, in Cambodia it was of a class sort, there was the genocide of the Armenians; genocide is not reserved for the Jews. But this was a modern nation – Germany – that was involved in this.  We also know that many of the Eastern European countries that Hitler invaded took part, before they were attacked, took part in the genocide.  This is something for a nine-year-old or a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old or a 12-year-old, who hears these stories, at the dinner table, to take in.

Peter Mayer (1936-2018) was an American independent publisher who was president of The Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc, a New York-based publishing company he founded with his father in 1971. At the time of Overlook's founding, Mayer was head of Avon Books, a large New York-based paperback publisher. There, he successfully launched the trade paperback as a viable alternative to mass market and hardcover formats. From 1978 to 1996 he was CEO of Penguin Books, where he introduced a flexible style in editorial, marketing, and production. More recently, Mayer had financially revived both Ardis, a publisher of Russian literature in English, and Duckworth, an independent publishing house in the UK.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Auschwitz

Duration: 1 minute, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014-January 2015

Date story went live: 12 November 2015