More than six million Jews were systematically murdered during Nazi rule in Germany. The goal of the Nazis was to eliminate all European Jews. Seventy-six years after the end of the Second World War, only a few eye witnesses remain who can tell of the horror of that period. At the same time, conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and trivialisation and antisemitism are on the increase again in many countries of the world. The United States and Germany want to take an active stand against this. On 24 June 2021, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed an agreement on establishing a joint Holocaust dialogue. At the signing, Foreign Minister Maas emphasised:
Future generations will no longer be able to benefit from personal encounters with contemporary witnesses. What a great loss! But at the same time, what a great undertaking for us, to find new forms of remembrance which do not allow the stories of individuals to fade from our consciousness. That is something we owe both to those who were murdered and to the survivors. And we owe it to our children and grandchildren, whom we want to prevent as far as we can from repeating the errors of the past.
Joint culture of remembrance
Germany and the United States have many years of experience with a culture of remembrance. To this end, both countries already cooperate at bilateral and multilateral level, for example, in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Now the two countries intend to intensify this dialogue further. The goal of the German-American Holocaust dialogue is to take a stand against antisemitism and Holocaust denial and trivialisation throughout the world. With this in mind, cooperation on developing new forms of education and remembrance is planned. In addition, further training on Holocaust issues is to be carried out for civil servants and military personnel, among others. Regular consultations are to be launched to put the dialogue on an institutional footing. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe are to be included in these consultations.