On 2 May 1968, the far-right magazine Minute wrote: “This Cohn-Bendit thinks he is the new Karl Marx because he is Jewish and a German."
Also in l’Humanité, the organ of the Communist Party, Georges Marchais wrote that the students were being led "by the German anarchist Cohn-Bendit.”
Students at the Sorbonne subsequently chanted "We are all German Jews."
Paul Goossens, student leader in Leuven in 1968, looks back at this slogan in a notable essay published in De Standaard: “This was no empty cry against authority, but a slogan that opened up a new path. Not ethnic, not national, not religious. This was a path that wanted to put an end to the roots of the holocaust and European self-destruction. This was our "never again". This was our alternative to nations, states and regimes that thought themselves so superior that it was worth paying the price of wars, concentration camps and dictatorships. With this we picked up the thread of the Enlightenment, but also of the multinational project the European Union."
According to the American historian Samuel Moyn, human rights are our last utopia. But human rights continue to come under pressure. How can we protect them? Should we update them? And can the struggle for more human rights be separated from the struggle for more equality?
Justine Lacroix, professor at the ULB, is an eminent expert on human rights. Sergio Jaramillo Caro is the Colombian Ambassador to Belgium. A man with "hands on" experience, as it was he who in 2017 headed the negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC armed rebels. Brigitte Herremans is Policy officer Middle East and North Africa at BOZAR.
Discussion moderated by Karl van den Broeck (BOZAR).