07 June 2010

Kampala Diary 6/6/10

I had a quiet day at the hotel, swimming in the pool in the morning and working in my room. There were no meetings to attend, although a couple of new documents were issued (see earlier posts) and there was a lot of scheming going on. Everyone asks you: ‘What do you think will happen?’ Some say: ‘I think the Americans are going to be more flexible.’ But I’m still waiting for signs of that. On Monday, we have a full day of meetings, and we’ll see if a pattern starts to emerge.
Sandra Schulberg, left, with Ben Ferencz, Andrew Clapham, and three Ugandan NGO activists at yesterday's screening of Nuremberg: Its :Lessons for Today.

In the afternoon, I attended a screening of ‘Nuremberg: Its :Lessons for Today’. This was a film prepared by the American government in the late 1940s about the Nuremberg trial. It was shown in Germany, but never released in the United States. Sandra Schulberg, who is the daughter of one of the producers of the original film, Stuart Schulberg, has revived the old film and prepared a modern version that will soon be available on DVD. She has organized several screenings of the film, in conjunction with the Review Conference. Sandra explains how the film was made and shown, and why the US authorities decided not to release it to the American public. One of the explanations is that there was opposition from some senior military figures who were unhappy because Nuremberg had convicted four general and admirals who were (they said), ‘only following orders’. The whole story is on her website.
On Friday, Sandra had scheduled a showing at a church in Kampala. But just before it was to begin, Ugandan police arrived and seized the film. The story is covered in yesterday's Sunday Vision newspaper. They came to see Sandra on Sunday morning to apologize. When they asked her if she would accept their apology, she said: ‘Only if you organize a showing of the film for the police.’ She hasn’t had an answer yet.
In the evening, the Ugandan government hosted an ‘African Gala Night’. A huge stage (like the ones at rock concerts) was erected, and there was music, dancing and lots of food and drink. I even managed to get a Guinness. The advance programme said there would be ‘remarks by the chief guest’, and there was speculation that President Museveni might come and speak. But in the end, there were no speeches.

Top left, the African Gala Night stage. Top right, Don Ferencz chatting with Michael Tate of the Australian delegation. Below, Harold Koh and Meg de Guzman.

No comments:

Post a Comment