Alfred-Maurice de Zayas

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Alfred-Maurice de Zayas
Potsdam1 Bildarchiv Alfred de Zayas.JPG
Alfred de Zayas, Potsdam, 2005
United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order
In office
Personal details
Born (1947-05-31) 31 May 1947 (age 72)
Havana, Cuba
NationalityUnited States and Swiss (since 2017)
OccupationHuman rights expert, law professor

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas (born 31 May 1947, Havana, Cuba) is an American lawyer, writer, historian, expert in the field of human rights and international law and retired high-ranking United Nations official. Since 2012, he has been the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council).[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

De Zayas was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Chicago, Illinois (US). He earned his juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School, then a doctorate of philosophy in modern history from the University of Göttingen (Germany).[4] He holds both US and Swiss citizenships.[citation needed]

He was also a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tübingen in Germany and research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany.[citation needed] He worked with the United Nations from 1981 to 2003 as a senior lawyer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights[5][6] and the Chief of Petitions.[citation needed]

Since 1996, de Zayas has been married to Carolina Jolanda Edelenbos, a Dutch national and UN official, with whom he had a son, Stefan (deceased).[7][8]

Scholarly work[edit]

De Zayas' work focuses inter alia on the judicial protection of peoples and minorities.[9] He has written and lectured extensively on human rights, including the jurisprudence of the United Nations Human Rights Committee,[10][11] the Armenian Genocide,[12][13][14][15] the Holocaust,[16][17] the US-run detention centers at Guantanamo Bay,[18][19] ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia,[20] the expulsion of Eastern European Germans after the Second World War, the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974,[21][22] the rights of minorities,[23] the right to freedom of opinion and expression,[24] and the rights of indigenous peoples.[25] De Zayas' work into the expulsion of Germans from their areas in eastern Germany and Eastern Europe at the end of World War II is extensive.[26][27][28][29][30]

De Zayas has written scholarly articles that were published in the Harvard International Law Journal,[31] the UBC Law Review, the International Review of the Red Cross, the Netherlands International Law Review,[31] the International Red Cross Review,[31] the International Commission of Jurists Review,[31] the Historical Journal[31] and the East European History,[31] to name but a few.[31] He has co-authored and co-edited several books such as The International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms.[31] De Zayas has published chapters in books "Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe" co-edited by Steven Várdy, and Hunt Tooley.[31] In "International Humanitarian Law: Origins", edited by John Carey, de Zayas wrote the chapter "Ethnic Cleansing, Applicable Norms, Emerging Jurisprudence, Implementable Remedies".[31] His chapter in Spanish "El crimen contra la paz" was featured in the book "La Declaración de Luarca sobre el Derecho Humano a la Paz", edited by Carmen Rosa Rueda Castañón and Carlos Villán Durán.[31]

De Zayas has written entries in the Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford), the Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Oxford) and the Encyclopedia of Genocide (Macmillan), including entries on prominent personalities such as Simon Wiesenthal, Aryeh Neier, Kenneth Roth. Nelson Mandela, Raoul Wallenberg, Jose Ayala Lasso and Bertrand Ramcharan.[32] He has also written on the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Spanish Civil War, the Guantanamo Naval Base and the Marshall Plan.[32]

In 1975, he published a study in the Harvard International Law Journal, questioning the legality of the expulsion of possibly as many as 15 million Germans from their homes after World War II, invoking the Atlantic Charter, the Hague Conventions, and the Nuremberg Principles.[33][non-primary source needed] The article was followed by the book Nemesis at Potsdam (Routledge und Kegan Paul, 1977) which focused on what, if any, responsibility the British and U.S. governments had for decisions which purportedly led to the expulsions of these ethnic Germans.[34][non-primary source needed]

In 1977 he published his first book, Nemesis at Potsdam, with the scholarly house Routledge in London and Boston, with a preface by Eisenhower's political advisor, Robert Murphy, a participant at the Potsdam conference. British historian Tony Howarth reviewed it in the Times educational Supplement : "a lucid, scholarly and compassionate study". Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz wrote in the American Journal of International law, "a persuasive commentary on the suffering which becomes inevitable when humanitarianIsm is subordinated to nationalism". The New Statesman "in his well researched, closely reasoned work, de Zayas leaves little doubt that there have been fee hostorical parallels to this record of modern mass atrocity". In the same year, an enlarged German edition was published by the legal publisher C. H. Beck, becoming a bestseller.[35] In this book, Zayas took an interdisciplinary approach to the phenomenon of "population transfers" and examined the situation of the ethnic Germans from both a historical and legal perspective.[citation needed]

De Zayas was reportedly the first American historian to address this topic.[36] Deutsche Welle reported in 2007: "He wrote the first scholarly work on German expellees to appear in English, breaking what had long been a taboo topic."[37] The German Federal Minister Heinrich Windelen wrote in the foreword to de Zayas's book Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung: "It is thanks to De Zayas that the debate on The Expulsion has been reopened [...] In the subsequent period, a number of authors have drawn on the work of De Zayas. Thus, he has contributed significantly to the fact that discussion of The Expulsion is no longer considered taboo."[38] According to a doctoral thesis on the historiography of the expulsion, "de Zayas was one of the earliest 'respectable' academics to take up the cause of the expellees... De Zayas does not mention the Holocaust, the Jews, or any other minority ethnic groups that suffered under the Nazis except in passing."[39] Professor Doerr in the Dalhousie Review notes: "De Zayas does not ignore the enormity of the crimes committed by Germans during the course of the war, nor does he deny that an anti-German feeling was natural and that punishment was justified, He does, however, question whether one set of crimes justified a second... whether revenge ... was not only extended to the guilty but to the innocent, whether expulsion itself was a crime ...While critical of western leadership, de Zayas leaves no doubt about the agents of the crime-- the Soviet leaders. ...Praised must be de Zayas's reopening of this largely neglected aspect of modern German history." Dalhousie Review, vol. 57, No. 3, Autumn 1977, pp. 582–584. The doctoral dissertation of Dr. Robert Bard, "Historical Memory of the expulsion of ethnic Germans in Europe 1944-1947", University of Hertfordshire, relies heavily on "Nemesis at Potsdam" and "A Terrible Revenge", July 1999.[40]

His second book, written with Walter Rabus, The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, was published in Germany by Universitas/Langen Müller [de], in 1979, and the English translation by de Zayas himself by the University of Nebraska Press in 1989. This describes some of the work of the Wehrmacht-Untersuchungsstelle, a special section of the legal department of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, which investigated Allied and German war crimes. The authors argue that the Bureau carefully investigated war crimes and was largely free of Nazi ideology.[41] De Zayas was the first[citation needed] researcher to work with the 226 extant volumes (about half of the total, the rest apparently having been burned in Langensalza, Germany, near the end of the war.[42]). The book was savagely attacked in the media of the Soviet Union and its satellites.[citation needed] In a review of the book in the Cambridge Law Journal, Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge and judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Christopher Greenwood considered the book to be "excellent" and that "the authors deserve the gratitude of all those interested in the laws of war but unable to read German for bringing out an English edition."[43] He goes on to add that "Throughout the book the authors emphasize that all the cases they examined have to be seen against the background of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by the German armed forces and SS."[43] In the Fletcher Forum, Alfred Rubin stated that "De Zayas is undoubtedly one of the world's leading legal scholars addressing forced population transfers ... [his] work provides massive confirmation of the truism that atrocities are committed in war by all sides, that many go unpunished, and some are part of national policy....the possibility that truth might be misused in argument by the devil is not a reason to suppress truth. I have no personal doubt that this book is a useful attempt to preserve an important truth. By writing it, the author -- whose own humanitarian sympathies are beyond question, as is Levie's scholarly detachment --has done a service to scholarship."[43] Dieter Fleck, in Archiv des Voelkerrechts, underlined that "this well-written book is based on thorough research of original sources."[43]

His third book was A Terrible Revenge, The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950, published in the United States in 1993 by Palgrave Macmillan and in Germany in 1986.[35] According to Robert Bard, this book "was, as [de Zayas] says, written 'to generate interest in this hitherto ignored tragedy [the German ethnic expulsions] and lead to a new respect for these forgotten victims and to more compassion and understanding for our neighbours.' De Zayas in his introduction states that the book originated in a 1981 'prime-time television broadcast in Germany' which dealt with the expulsions, and in which he took part."[39] The book was described as "problematic" by historians Konrad Jarausch and Michael Geyer.[44] The Historian Matthias Stickler, reviewed it positively in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and called it "fast ein Klassiker" (almost a classic).[45] reviewing a later edition, historian Henry Stanhope wrote in the Times (London) "De Zayas's moving plea is that one's home should be a human right. As frontiers once more shift in Eastern Europe and families flee in Bosnia, he could hardly have chosen a better moment to deliver it."

The review by Bernward Dörner in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described it as an "attempt to deny contemporary perceptions of genocide", while the Frankfurter magazine Menschenrechte (Human Rights) called it a "ein gelungenes wissenschaftliches Werk, umfassend in seiner Kontextualisierung, und verdient eine breite öffentliche Diskussion, ohne Tabus." (a successful scholarly work, comprehensive in contextualizing the events and deserving of broad public discussion without taboos". (Nr 1/2011 "Menschenrechte" Frankfurt a.M. p.. 29: Dr. Gunther Nitsch in the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung praised it as thoroughly researched book with sources and proofs to establish that a wide majority of the German population did not know and could not have known about the systematic murder of six million Jews.(3. September 2011, S. 23.).

Historian Ernest Fisher reviewed it in the US Army magazine Army "The author has given the history of these expulsions a dramatic immediacy through a series of eyewitness accounts ...The remarkable sequel to this recital of inhumanity is that this displaced population has, in the 50 years since the war, managed to find a new home in a reunited Germany where nearly 20 percent of the population is made up of first- or second-generation descendants of these exiled millions."[46] De Zayas' book Nemesis at Potsdam, likewise received a positive review in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung by Historian Patrick Sutter.[47]

Publishers Weekly noted: "De Zayas, a lawyer, historian and human rights expert specializing in refugees and minorities, has uncovered testimony in German and American archives detailing these atrocities, adding a new chapter to the annals of human cruelty. His carefully documented book serves as a reminder that many different peoples have been subjected to ethnic cleansing."[48]

In 1994 he co-authored with Prof. Cherif Bassiouni, The Protection of Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice. Transnational Publishers, New York and UN Centre for Human Rights, Geneva.[49]

In 2009, de Zayas in collaboration with Justice Jakob Möller published the book United Nations Human Rights Committee Case Law 1977-2008.[31] The first Chairman of the Human Rights Committee, Andreas Mavrommatis, wrote a fine preface for the handbook.[31] The book was formally presented at a reception on 15 July 2009 at the Château de Penthes in Geneva, attended by many prominent members of the Human Rights Committee. In a review published in the UN Special magazine by former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan, the latter offered the following description of the book: "It is staggering how much the Human Rights Committee has influenced the human rights jurisprudence of the world, as is striking from reading this exceedingly important book.... From the outset of its work in 1977 there have been two Secretariat pioneers in developing the case law of the Committe when it considers petitions from individuals claiming violations of their rights: Jakob Möller (Iceland) and Alfred de Zayas (USA). Möller was the first Chief of the Petitions branch of what is today the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and de Zayas was his colleague, who eventually suceeded him as Chief. ...Every lawyer, every judge, every public-spirited citizen will want to consult this fascinating book, because it tells us what is legally right and legally wrong, how to judge our governments, our societies, our United Nations and ourselves."[31]

His 2011 book Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis (Genocide as State Secret) with a substantive preface by Karl Doehring, Director of the Max Planck Institute for International Law in Heidelberg, explored the issue of who knew what when about the Holocaust. He is the first historian to have reviewed the issue in the light of published and unpublished Nuremberg documents, and in the light of interviews with Nuremberg prosecutors and defense attorneys, Holocaust survivors as well as German military judges and politicians. He argued that the policy of exterminating the Jews was "Geheimereichssache" , and treated pursuant to Hitler's Order Nr. 1 (Führerbefehl Nr. 1) as a "state secret". Accordingly, although there were diffuse rumours about killings, no one except a very limited number of persons knew exactly what was going on. The German magazine Menschenrechte in a long review (no. 1, 2011, p. 29) wrote: "methodoligically de Zayas is impeccable. He evaluates prudently and walks the reader through the Nuremberg records, the documentation of the Manstein trial, interviews with prosecutors and defense counsel. He is the first scholar to systematically examine the Nuremberg documents on the issue who knew what when and how much about the Holocaust. He confronts witnesses with their testimonies and pokes further. This is a solid scholarly work."

Historians Dan Diner and Joel Golb write that the tendency of "allow[ing] the Germans to perceive themselves also as victims" is "manifest in the work of the best-selling author Alfred-Maurice de Zayas".[50] A 2004 article in the scholarly journal German History describes his work as being "entertained enthusiastically at meetings of compatriot organizations, [but] brought very little that was new into academic discussion."[51] Nottingham Trent University Bill Niven writes that de Zayas is "often cited in support of the comparability thesis", i.e. the argument that crimes committed by Germany during the war were equivalent to crimes committed against it.[52][53][53] A review of his The German Expellees in the scholarly journal Central European History describes it as having a "distinctively revisionist flavour", "consist[ing] of some highly dubious platitudes", "resort[ing] to unwarranted hyperbole", and wrongfully claiming that previous scholars have ignored the evidence on this period.[54]

Civic activities[edit]

De Zayas was co-president, with Jacqueline Berenstein Wavre, of the Association Suisses et Internationaux de Genève from 1996 to 2006.[55][56][57][verify]



Since the 1979's de Zayas has also focused on the then still relatively little known genocide against the Armenians, Greeks of Pontos and Assyro-Chaldeans under the Ottoman Empire before and during the First World War and continuing during the Turkish Republic. He participated in a genocide conference at the University of Pittsburgh in March 2000 and published the chapter "The first genocide of the twentieth century" in the Columbia University book "Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth Century Europe" edited by Professor Steven Vardy, in 2005 he spoke at the American University in Yerevan, Armenia, a lecture which resulted in Zayas' book "the Genocide against the Armenians."[63] In 2007 he published an article on "The Istanbul Pogrom of September 1955."[64] He advocates the creation of a Constitutional Convention for Cyprus and published a proposal together with Professors Malcolm Shaw and Andreas Auer[65] and published relevant articles in the Cyprus Yearbook of International Law 2006 and 2007. In 2011 he published a chapter on the Ottoman genocide of Christian Minorities in the 2011 book edited by Tessa Hofmann, "the Genocide of the Ottoman Greeks" (Caratzas, New York, pp. 311– 341), and in 2019 participated in the international genocide conference in Athens, where he delivered two papers[66][67]

de Zayas is an active member of many ngo's and has been in the a avant-garde of the movement to recognize Peace as a human rights.[68][69]

For decades de Zayas has taken on the causes of "unsung victims", among them the Mujahedin of Iran, in particular the MEK members held in camps Ashraf I, II and III. In July 2019 Zayas joined European dignitaries in showing their solidarity with the victims of the Mullahs.[70] He has also been on several UN Panels dealing with the human rights situation of the Iranian people and condemning decades of impunity.[71]

de Zayas has called for a peaceful solution to the dispute between India and Pakistan in accordance with pertinent UN resolutions and the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris.[72][73]

de Zayas has advocated the rights of many minorities and indigenous peoples to autonomy and self-determination in United Nations fora and before parliamentarians in the European Parliament, including the Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh, the Saharaoui population of Western Sahara, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, the Bubis of the Island of Bioko/Equatorian Guinea, the Catalans of Spain, and the Igbos and Ogonis of Nigeria.[74][75][76][71][77][78]

de Zayas is an advocate of the human right to peace,[79][80][81] and of the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and a World Court on Human Rights.[citation needed] Since his early retirement from the UN in 2003, de Zayas has become a vocal critic of the 2003 Iraq War[82][83] indefinite detention[84] in Guantanamo, secret CIA prisons,[citation needed] nuclear pollution,[citation needed] and extreme poverty[citation needed]. In 2015, he was condemned for saying the November 2015 Paris attacks were caused by the United States, Western colonialism, capitalism, and "Israeli settlers" and "a response to grave injustices and ongoing abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries".[85]

On 29 September 2017, de Zayas, alongside another UN independent commissioner, David Kaye, issued a statement in which they considered the attitude of the Spanish government as "violating fundamental individual rights, limiting the flow of public information at such a critical moment for the Spanish democracy" during the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.[86]

De Zayas is a registered Republican voter, although he supported Bernie Sanders in 2016.[87] Writing in 2018, he has criticised "Antifa" activists, saying "They engage in 'hate speech' against those who cite the Bible to oppose the imposition of gender and LGBT ideologies"; and has described a "new wave of totalitarianism is sweeping through Germany with the collusion of the mainstream media" originating in the 1968 student revolts, which leads the "mainstream media" to be biased towards topics such as "multiculturalism" and against groups such as Pegida.[88] On several occasions de Zayas has been invited as an expert before German courts and before the Rechtsausschuss (legal committee) of the German Bundestag, invited by the CDU/CSU.[89] In 2019 he spoke as an expert before the Menschenrechtsausschuss (Human Rights Committee) of the Bundestag, in March on the issue of humanitarian aid, in September on the issue of impunity.[90] On this occasion de Zayas was invited as an expert by the AfD to speak on multilateralism in the 21st century, a lecture which he gave in the aula maxima of the University of Tuebingen in May, 2019.[91]

United Nations Independent Expert[edit]

In 2012, de Zayas was elected as the Independent Expert by the Human Rights Council, after being nominated by the President of the council, Laura Dupuy.[2][failed verification] His appointment led to some controversy; the NGO UN Watch reported several of his controversial comments.[92][93][94] For example, they noted he had described the Nuremberg trials a "Pharisee tribunal".[95]

He presented his first report to the UN Human Rights Council at its 21st session in September 2012, calling for uniform application of international law.[96][97] On 2 November 2012, he presented his interim report to the UN General Assembly in New York. Doc. A/67/277.[citation needed] On 10 September 2013 he presented his second report to the Human Rights Council A/HRC/24/38, and, in October 2013 his second report to the GA . A/68/284, to the UN General Assembly exploring initiatives and enforcement mechanisms to further advance a democratic and equitable international order.[98]

The Swiss cartoonist Philippe Becquelin (Mix&Remix) devoted one of his cartoons to Alfred de Zayas.

On 10 September 2014, his third report, A/HRC/27/51.[99] to the council.[citation needed] On 27 October 2014, he presented his third report to the General Assembly on the right to self-determination (A/69/272) In the press release issued the following day, he stated: "The realization of the right of self-determination is essential to maintaining local, regional and international peace and must be seen as an important conflict-prevention strategy."[99]

On 10 September 2015 he presented his fourth report to the Council on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements on a democratic and equitable international order, and on 26 October 2015 to the General Assembly on the issue of investor state dispute settlement.[99] The main observations of these reports were reported by news outlets such as Reuters,[100] The Guardian,[101] The Huffington Post,[102] Russia Today (RT),[103] and The Independent.[104] In 2015, the US based magazine of global politics, Foreign Policy, consulted with the UN Independent Expert on the application of the right to self-determination in the Indonesian region of West Papua.[105]

During his mandate, he addressed multiple contemporary world issues, welcoming the Arms Trade Treaty and urging States to regulate not only trade but also production of arms.[106] In 2015, following a press release, de Zayas urged trade negotiators to address the Doha Round commitments to promote equal and fair trade at the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.[107][108]The Guardian published his op-ed on adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements.[109] In the following year, the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order submitted his report on the adverse impact of World Bank policies on human rights and the realisation of a democratic and equitable international order to the UN Human Rights Council.[110] On 21 July 2017, de Zayas presented his last report to the UN General Assembly on the human rights impact of IMF policies and practice.[110] The report was sent to the UN Human Rights Council on 25 January 2018.[110] On 15 March 2018, he formulated his 23 principles of international order.[111]

In 2017, a 1982 photo of de Zayas in blackface which he had posted on his website was described as "racist and offensive" by UN Watch.[112] On his website, the photo caption reads: "Ten years later Mardi Gras in Geneva, 1982 - imitating Al Jolson,the jazz singer, celebrating UNESCO world intangible heritage of mankind - Colombia's inter-racial Carneval de los Negros y los Blancos -".[113]

On 25 February 2018, The UN Independent Expert issued a memorandum that states: "I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (The Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of laws by the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom) not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States)."[114][115]

On 3 August 2018, UN Independent Expert's report on his mission to Venezuela and Ecuador was published by the UN.[116][non-primary source needed] More than eighty Venezuelan organizations questioned de Zayas' conclusions that there was not a humanitarian crisis in the country. In a public statement, the organizations denounced that before finishing his mission in Venezuela and without having processed the information provided by the organizations, de Zayas formed an opinion prematurely and assumed the government's point of view, which blames the "economic warfare" and "blockade" for the food and medical supplies shortages. The organizations denounced that in two years, among twenty two experts from twelve international organizations, de Zayas' report was the only one to deny the humanitarian crisis in the country. Alí Daniels, director of the NGO Acceso a la Justicia (Access to Justice), declared that Venezuelan and Ecuadorian organizations concluded that since the mission was not prepared according to independence standards of the United Nations, it could not reach valid or acceptable conclusions for the UN Human Rights Council. Daniels argued that this lack of balance was demonstrated in his report, where twelve pages are dedicated to Venezuela and only two and a half to Ecuador.[117]

During the 167th session of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, during a discussion of health and nutrition in Venezuela, the Venezuelan state representative screened an interview by state broadcaster Telesur with de Zayas, in which he assured the audience there was not a humanitarian crisis in the country and that to solve the economic problems the "economic war" must end and that the "economic sanctions placed by the U.S., Canada and the European Union" should be lifted.[118] Nutrition expert Susana Raffalli [es], advisor to PROVEA and Caritas Organization of Venezuela, voiced her concern, noting that de Zayas was only one out of forty rapporteurs, and declaring that during his visit to the country and after meeting with civil society organizations, de Zayas only took pictures of the counter of the charcuterie in front of his hotel. Raffalli also added that by then, four United Nations rapporteurs declared about the "grave" situation in the country.[119][120]

Literary endeavors[edit]

Apart from his scholarly work in the fields of history and law, de Zayas has published poetry in English, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch,[citation needed] has translated the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke into English, French, and Spanish,[citation needed] and has translated works by Joseph von Eichendorff[citation needed] and Hermann Hesse into English.[121][failed verification]

As a member of the International Rainer Maria Rilke Society of Sierre, Switzerland, de Zayas published the first English-language translation of Rilke's "Larenopfer", 90 poems dedicated to Rilke's homeland of Bohemia and his home city of Prague[122][123] Zayas has lectured on Rilke in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. On 2 May 2011, he delivered a lecture at the Salon du Livre de Genève (Geneva bookfair) on "Rilke, poète de la Heimat"[124]

He has published in the literary journal of the PEN Club Suisse Romande L'Escarpe (renamed 2008 Pages Littéraires) in 2007-08.[citation needed] A member of International PEN since 1989, he was Secretary-General of the Centre Swiss Romande of PEN PEN Club in 2002–06, and its president 2006–10; 2010-13 he was a member of the Centre's executive committee, and in 2013 was again elected President through 2017.[125] Zayas was coordinator of the three Swiss PEN Centres Switzerland 2008–10, and, again, 2013-14.[126] De Zayas served for fifteen years as president of the United Nations Society of Writers, Geneva.[citation needed]

From 1990 to 2005 he was president of the United Nations Society of Writers (UNSW) and editor-in-chief and founder of its literary journal Ex Tempore.[127][128][129][130][131][132][133] In December 2017 he was reelected editor-in-chief of Ex Tempore.[134][135][136][137][138]


On 26 July 2008, de Zayas was awarded the Cultural Prize (Kulturpreis) of the city of Geislingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) for his Rilke and Hesse translations.[141]

De Zayas was awarded the Educator's Award 2011 by the teacher- and civil society organization Canadians for Genocide Education (CGE), on 31 March 2011, at the University of Toronto.[142][145][144]

Selected works[edit]


  • 80 Thesen zur Vertreibung. Aufarbeiten anstatt Verdrängen, together with Konrad Badenheuer, Verlag Inspiration, London and Berlin, 2019: ISBN 978-3-945127-29-2
  • Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis [Genocide as State Secret], Olzog Verlag, München, 2011; ISBN 978-3-7892-8329-1
  • The Genocide against the Armenians and the relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention, Beirut, Lebanon: Haigazian University Press, 2010; ISBN 978-9953-475-15-8
  • The United Nations Human Rights Committee Case Law 1977-2008 (together with Jakob Th. Möller), N.P.Engel Publishers, Kehl/Strasbourg, 2009; ISBN 978-3-88357-144-7
  • 50 Thesen zur Vertreibung London/Berlin: Verlag Inspiration Un Limited, 2008; ISBN 978-3-9812110-0-9 (50 Theses on the Expulsion of the Germans from Central and Eastern Europe, Verlag Inspiration Un Ltd.: London and Berlin, 2012; ISBN 978-3-9812110-4-7
  • Rainer Maria Rilke. Die Larenopfer Bilingual English-German edition with commentary. Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2005; ISBN 1-59709-010-7; second revised edition with a preface by Ralph Freedman, 2008.
  • International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms (with Gudmundur Alfredsson and Bertrand Ramcharan). The Hague: Kluwer, 2001; ISBN 90-411-1445-9. New revised edition, Brill 2009; ISBN 978-90-04-16236-5.
  • Heimatrecht ist Menschenrecht Universitas Verlag, 2001; ISBN 3-8004-1416-3
  • Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice (with Cherif Bassiouni), New York, Transnational Press: 1994; ISBN 0-941320-87-1
  • Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans from the East Routledge (1979) ISBN 978-0897253604; 7th ed. Rockland, Maine: Picton Press, 2003; ISBN 0-89725-360-4. 14. revised German edition Die Nemesis von Potsdam, Herbig, Munich 2005.
  • A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994; ISBN 1-4039-7308-3; second revised edition, Palgrave/Macmillan, New York 2006.
  • The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 (with Walter Rabus). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989; ISBN 0-8032-9908-7. New revised edition with Picton Press, Rockland, Maine; ISBN 0-89725-421-X. German edition: Die Wehrmacht Untersuchungsstelle, 7th revised and enlarged edition Universitas/Langen Müller, Munich 2001; 8th revised and enlarged edition Lindenbaum Verlag, 2012; ISBN 978-3-938176-39-9.
  • The Protection of Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice (with Cherif Bassiouni). New York: Transnational Publishers, 1994 ISBN 094-1-320-87-1.

Articles and chapters[edit]

  • 4 entries in Dinah Shelton (ed.) Encyclopedia of Genocide. Macmillan Reference, 2005, "Aggression", "Ismael Enver", "Nelson Mandela", "Raoul Wallenberg".ISBN 978-00-28-65847-6.
  • 6 entries in David Forsythe, Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Oxford 2009): P.E.N. International and Human Rights, Jose Ayala Lasso, Aryeh Nyer, Kenneth Roth, Simon Wiesenthal and Bertrand Ramcharan; ISBN 978-0-19-533402-9.
  • 18 entries in the Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, edited by Rudolf Bernhardt, Amsterdam: Elsevier, Vol. 1–5, 1992–2003, including "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights", "Combatants", "Spanish Civil War", "Population Expulsion", "Repatriation", "Open Towns", "Curzon Line", "United States Dependent Territories", "European Recovery Program", etc.
  • "Freedom of Opinion and Freedom of Expression" (together with Aurea Rolda) in the Netherlands International Law Review vol. LIX, 2012, pp. 425–55
  • "Die amerikanische Besetzung Guantánamos", Institut für Rechtspolitik an der Universität Trier, Rechtspolitisches Forum Nr. 28, 2005, ISSN 1616-8828.
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See also[edit]


  1. ^ Experto de la ONU visita Venezuela y Ecuador para evaluar el avance económico y social
  2. ^ a b "Human Rights Council concludes nineteenth session". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. ^ Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,; accessed 14 December 2015.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed 15 December 2015.(in German)
  5. ^ A. de Zayas "Human Rights, United Nations High Commissioner for" in H. Volger (ed.) Concise Encyclopedia of the United Nations, Kluwer, the Hague, 2002, pp. 217–23, reviewed by Ruth Wedgwood in the American Journal of International Law, vol. 99, pp. 284–87, at 285;
  6. ^ A. de Zayas, "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights" in Rudolf Bernhardt (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, Vol. 4, 2000, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 1129–32
  7. ^ "United Nations Society of Writers, Geneva : Sociedad de escritores de las Naciones Unidas, Ginebra: Ex Tempore" (PDF). p. 124. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  8. ^ Tom Hostage, Fordham University Class of 1967, 50th Reunion Yearbook, Bespoke Press, New York, 2017, p. 70
  9. ^ Yoram Dinstein, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, 1993, p. 416
  10. ^ Jakob Th. Möller/Alfred de Zayas, The United Nations Human Rights Committee Case Law 1977-2008, N.P. Engel Publishers, Kehl/Strasbourg, 2009; ISBN 978-3-88357-144-7
  11. ^ "The Procedures and Case-Law of the United Nations Human Rights Committee" in Carlos Jiménez Piernas, The Legal Practice in International Law and European Community Law, Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden 2007
  12. ^ De Zayas, Alfred. "The Principle of Reparation in International Law: A lecture delivered at Armenian Genocide Conference UCLA". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  13. ^ Alfred de Zayas. "Armenians Have Strong, Legitimate Claim for Reparations: comments given by Prof. Alfred de Zayas (Geneva School of Diplomacy) via videoconference". Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  14. ^ "El Genocidio contra los Armenios y la relevancia de la Convención para la prevención y la sanción del delito de genocidio" with a Prologue by the International Commission of Jurists, Buenos Aires, 2009; ISBN 978-950-895-277-6
  15. ^ "Google Books". Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  16. ^ Johannes van Aggelena1. "review of A. De Zayas, Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis: Vom Wissen über die 'Endlösung der Judenfrage' im Dritten Reich, Olzog Verlag, Munich 2011; ISBN 978-3-7892-8329-1". Netherlands International Law Review Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  17. ^ Von Arnulf Baring (29 September 1941). "Staatsgeheimnis - Kultur". (in German). Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  18. ^ "The Status of Guantanamo Bay and the Status of the Detainees" (PDF). University of British Columbia Law Review. 37: 277–342. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2009.
  19. ^ "Wem gehört Guantanamo Bay", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 29 December 2003
  20. ^ "Ethnische Säuberungen und das Internationale Kriegsverbrechertribunal für das ehemalige Jugoslawien" in Archiv des Völkerrechts, Band 35 (1997) pp. 29–72, "Der Krieg im ehemaligen Jugoslawien aus völkerrechtlicher Sicht" in Tilman Zülch (ed.) Ethnische Säuberung, Luchterhand Verlag, 1999
  21. ^ "Self-determination. Turkish settlers and Cyprus referenda" in Andreas Auer (ed.) A Constitutional Convention for Cyprus, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin, 2009; ISBN 978-3-86573-423-5
  22. ^ "Turkey must apologise" Cyprus Weekly, 25 February 2011, p. 14
  23. ^ "Minority Rights in the New Millennium", The Geneva Post Quarterly, May 2007, pp. 155–208
  25. ^ "The International Judicial Protection of Peoples and Minorities" in Catherine Brölmann Peoples and Minorities in International Law, Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht 1993, pp. 253–88.
  26. ^ Zayas, Alfred-Maurice de: A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the Eastern European Germans 1944–1950, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994
  27. ^ Kittel, Manfred (2007). Die Vertreibung der Vertriebenen. Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag. pp. 119, 158, 164.
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  29. ^ MacDonough, Giles (2007). After the Reich. London, UK: John Murray Publishers. pp. 126, 556, 585 ff. There is a similar lack of documentation in English on events in Czechoslovakia. The best remains Alfred M. de Zayas's Nemesis at Potsdam (London 1979)
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  33. ^ Zayas, Alfred-Maurice de. "International Law and Mass Population Transfers". Harvard International Law Journal. 16: 207–58.
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External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]