community against Holocaust distortion
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has held a summit in Brussels attended by representatives from 35 countries who have declared their commitment to fighting Holocaust distortion, antisemitism, antigypsyism, and other forms of discrimination.
The ministerial meeting, which took place at the Residence Palace on 19.01.2020, saw IHRA Member Countries adopt the Ministerial Declaration formed of 14 measures that underpin the ultimate objective of IHRA: to ensure that humankind remembers the Holocaust and works to contribute to a world without genocide.
In times when Jews are being attacked and murdered in the streets and in their places of worship, when Holocaust distortion, antisemitism, antigypsyism, and other forms of discrimination are on the rise globally, the Declaration is a new set of measures and principles that each IHRA Member Country has agreed to support, including fresh commitments to:
- Accept responsibility to counter Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles
- Lead efforts to promote education, remembrance, and research on the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma to counter the influence of historical distortion, hate speech, and incitement to violence and hatred
- Identify, safeguard, and make available archival material, testimonies, and authentic sites for the purposes of education, commemoration, and research
The IHRA 2020 Ministerial Declaration marks the beginning of a historic year, which also sees the 75th anniversaries of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau (27 January 1945) and other concentration and extermination camps, as well as the end of the Second World War in Europe (8 May 1945) and in Asia (2 September 1945).
Kathrin Meyer, Executive Secretary of the IHRA, Floriane Azoulay, Director of the Arolsen Archives and Ambassador Georges Santer, the IHRA Chair.
Ambassador Georges Santer, the IHRA Chair, underlined the importance of the joint declaration: “We are delighted that ministers from around the world have adopted the 2020 Declaration today so that current and future generations do not forget the tragic events of the past and the historical record of the Holocaust is safeguarded. Against the backdrop of rising antisemitism, today’s declaration is absolutely crucial. As the IHRA Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer always says, antisemitism is not a threat only to Jews, but is a destructive force for our societies in general. IHRA Member Countries are obliged to fight these dangerous developments, safeguard the historical record of the past, and honor Holocaust victims and survivors today and IHRA will support all Member Countries to do so.”
Floriane Azoulay, Director of the Arolsen Archives, reminded the participants of their commitment expressed in the Stockholm Declaration to grant access to their archives: “Archives will be relevant only if they are entirely open and if they are interconnected. At Arolsen, we commit to publish the names of all victims documented in our archives and to complete the online publication of our collections by 2025. We are looking forward to providing you unlimited access to our archives, so that together we assemble the pieces of information that will help us reconstruct the biographies of the victims of the Holocaust. To remember the victims and to tell their stories.”