Access to Archival Documents
In 1992, the government announced that it would open the archives related to Nazi arrivals in Argentina, extradition requests for Nazi war criminals, and laws that prevented Jewish immigration during the same period. In 2017, the government initiated the digitalization of the archives for convenient access and further study. It has shared copies of these digitized archives with DAIA and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and researchers can access the documents through these organizations.
The government created the Truth Commission for Nazi Activities in Argentina in 1997 to investigate Nazi immigration to Argentina and possible government acquiescence at the time. A study published by the commission found 180 cases of confirmed Nazi war criminals who entered Argentina. The government did not repeal a 1948 law barring Jewish immigration to Argentina until 2005.
Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites
Argentina’s active civil society organizations take a multifaceted approach to Holocaust remembrance. Concerning Holocaust primary source education, Argentina’s Museum of the Holocaust is at the forefront of compiling oral testimony from survivors. Through the institution’s “Apprentice Project,” these survivors entrust their stories to new generations that in turn are expected to further disseminate them to their younger peers to keep the memory of the Shoah alive. NGOs also remember the Holocaust in ceremonies they sponsor, sometimes with the Israeli embassy or connected to events commemorating the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).
In 2006, Argentina became the only Latin American country to be a full member of IHRA. In keeping with that membership, the government hosts a yearly Shoah memorial event on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is organized on a rotating basis by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology; the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. The latter ministry hosted the 2018 event at the Shoah Memorial Plaza in Buenos Aires at which President Mauricio Macri became the first sitting president to attend as a speaker, along with the DAIA president and a Holocaust survivor. Other provincial capitals hosted the event in prior years, illustrating a commitment to encourage all levels of government to participate in Holocaust remembrance.
Argentina also established a Permanent Advisory Council in 2002 that functions as the local chapter of the IHRA. The presidency of this council rotates among the aforementioned three government ministries and includes the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism, as well as many civil society organizations. Chief among these NGOs are DAIA, AMIA, B’nai B’rith Argentina, the Anne Frank Center (Centro Ana Frank), the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Plural Jai, the Holocaust Museum Foundation, the Center for Holocaust Studies, the Argentine Judeo-Christian Confraternity, and many more. The Council convenes monthly to exchange information and discuss initiatives such as remembrance events, workshops, seminars, production of documentary material, and academic curricula.