I get goose-bumps as Tali Nates, founder and director of Johannesburg’s Holocaust & Genocide Centre, talks: "My father was a teenager on Schindler’s list. I am here today because of the choice made by a German, a member of the Nazi party." In the early-morning sunshine, in a trendy Sandton café, it seems impossible that a government sought to eradicate Nates, her family and her people from this earth.

The project behind the centre was begun in 2008, to prompt awareness of such realities. Nates explains that the founders dreamt of a centre in the heart of Johannesburg "with a mission about education, memory and lessons for humanity". She says it’s because of SA’s own background that it needs this centre. "It is hard for a country to look at its own painful, deadly history, especially when it is recent. Talking about other people’s past liberates you to speak about your own. There are so many parallels between Nazi Germany and the apartheid state." Ten years after inception, the...

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