International Holocaust remembrance: Germany assumes the IHRA chairmanship

Germany’s chairmanship began with the handover from Luxembourg on 3 March 2020

Germany’s chairmanship began with the handover from Luxembourg on 3 March 2020, © Thomas Koehler/photothek.net

03.03.2020 - Article

2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the liberation of the concentration camps. This anniversary year, Germany will for the first time hold the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Focus on the fight against Holocaust denial

The German chairmanship will centre on three issues:

  1. The main focus of the German chairmanship in 2020/21 is the fight against any diminishing or distortion of the Holocaust. The aim here is to identify ways to take action against the misrepresentation of facts and trivialisation of the Holocaust in public, at memorial sites and also online. The IHRA will still in 2020 establish a network of international experts that will be tasked with developing, and promoting wide implementation of, counterstrategies. The Federal Foreign Office will support the establishment of this Global Task Force against distortion of the Holocaust with a contribution of one million euros.
  2. Germany will campaign for political endorsement by IHRA member countries of the two working definitions developed by the IHRA with regard to Holocaust denial and distortion as well as antisemitism. The German Government is also supporting efforts to draft a common definition of antigypsyism.
  3. In December of last year, the IHRA unanimously adopted recommendations for teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Germany is supporting the dissemination and implementation of these recommendations. This also applies to their use in Germany – more effective implementation of the recommendations will be ensured by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the Federal and Regional Centres for Civic Education.

Troika with Luxembourg and Greece

Germany’s chairmanship began with the handover from Luxembourg on 3 March 2020 and will end in March 2021 when Germany passes the role to Greece. The German chairmanship is cooperating with both countries, as a troika, with a strong focus on closely coordinating the respective issues and priorities. In 2020, Germany will host two plenary meetings – in July 2020 at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin and in early December 2020 in Leipzig.

United for Holocaust remembrance

The IHRA is the leading international institution to strengthen, advance and promote education, remembrance and research with regard to the Holocaust and the genocide of the Sinti and Roma. It brings together government representatives and experts for the purpose of advancing remembrance and education in this sphere. The IHRA has 34 member countries worldwide, which have committed themselves to forever keeping alive the memory of those who were murdered in, and those who survived, the Holocaust.


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