EMMIR: Applications for 2012-2014 Now Open

An overview of governmental practices


Preface


The Holocaust was a watershed event in modern history. The genocide carried out against Jews
and Roma and Sinti, and the mass murder of so many others demonstrated graphically that the
worst manifestations of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance remain a continuing danger. This
is why, almost 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps, international co-operation
on Holocaust remembrance is more important than ever.

All OSCE participating States have committed themselves to promote remembrance of the
Holocaust. Many have joined the Taskforce for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF). Most participating States have established national days of remembrance to encourage governments, parliaments, civil society, religious communities, schools and citizens in general to honour the victims and reflect on the causes and implications of this tragedy. Commemoration activities serve as a powerful reminder of the need to continue our vigilance against anti-Semitism and all other forms of intolerance, and to engage with the moral challenges of our time.

This is the third edition of Holocaust Memorial Days in the OSCE Region. It updates and expands on previous editions, providing an overview of how and when OSCE countries commemorate the Holocaust. In addition to providing facts and figures, it presents a collection of good practices and ideas that may reinforce and inspire public officials and others engaged in
this area.

This publication is unique in that it is based entirely on official information provided to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and to the ITF by governments.

It shows the significant role governments play in sponsoring Holocaust remembrance activities and how these activities can help ensure that Holocaust commemoration is accepted and practised widely as a foundation on which to build human dignity, mutual respect and tolerance.

In particular, the many educational activities underway in OSCE participating States show that governments and educators are aware of the importance of engaging the next generation in efforts to remember the past in order to build a better future. Assisting OSCE participating States in these efforts will remain a priority for ODIHR.

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