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The Interview

History’s worst tragedies: Would you have resisted?

Alain Chouraqui is the editor of a new book published in French, "Pour Resister", which loosely translates as "How to Resist". It draws on the lessons of past atrocities in the hope of preventing future crimes. Chouraqui says the task is urgent in an age where terror, political instability and economic crisis threaten to unleash the dark forces of racism, anti-Semitism and extremism.

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Chouraqui believes there is nothing inevitable about human beings acting barbarically. “What history shows is that man is able to commit atrocities, but he is also able to stop them, to avoid them, if he is able to understand the lessons from the past”, he told FRANCE 24’s Douglas Herbert.

However, he warns that “when democracy fails, a spiral may lead very quickly to the worst, to crimes”.

“Democracy is in danger when rejection of the other is able to dominate the scene, to be at the first level of each discussion in political debate and that could lead very quickly to mass murder”, he explains.

Chouraqui is concerned at hostility to immigrants, Jews and Muslims today, particularly in Europe. "Racism is a way to hide true problems”, he says. “It’s a way of bringing passion to processes in which reason would be the best tool”.

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