Call to countries: Don't shake off the past

Ministers from 34 countries gather to ratify their commitment to fight against historical revisionism and growing anti-Semitism.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Anti-Semitism in Poland
Anti-Semitism in Poland

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, ministers and senior officials from 34 countries, members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), published a statement condemning distortion of the Holocaust and historical revisionism.

The statement “encourage[s] all countries and societies to address their respective pasts by dealing openly and accurately with the historical record.”

The statement was published at the organization's conference in Brussels and saw the participation of officials as high-ranking as foreign ministers. It is intended to ratify commitment to combat distortion of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and other manifestations of discrimination.

The new section, which did not appear in the organization's 2000 declaration, is aimed at a number of countries that have in recent years acted to shake off their responsibility for the destruction of the Jews and distort the memory of the Holocaust. These countries have done so, among other means, by enacting laws, establishing museums, and whitewashing Nazi criminals.

In recent years, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania have been in the spotlight over their attempts to deny their respective pasts.

Poland enacted a law that prohibited implicating it in Nazi crimes. Hungary was accused of attempting to obscure its responsibility for the extermination of Jews in the country through the establishment of a special Holocaust Museum (“House of Fates”) and Lithuania was accused of clearing the name of a Nazi criminal recognized as a national hero.