“[I]t’s so important that we speak the truth about the past, to protect the facts when others try to distort or trivialize Holocaust crimes, and to seek justice for the survivors and their families.”
– Secretary Blinken, January 27, 2021
Secretary Antony J. Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met today in Berlin at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to launch a new dialogue on Holocaust issues. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minster Maas underscored our shared commitment to combatting Holocaust denial and distortion, and to finding innovative new ways to enhance Holocaust education.
Need for Action
- Seventy-six years after the end of the Holocaust, in country after country and as the last survivors and witnesses are dying, knowledge of the Holocaust is fading. Some individuals and organizations, and occasionally even governments, are engaging in Holocaust denial and distortion.
- Anti-Semitism is rising around the world, and there is a direct correlation between Holocaust ignorance and anti-Semitism.
- It is more important today than at any time since the end of World War II to ensure there is an accurate understanding of the Holocaust, the forces that brought it about, and its tragic consequences. Complacency and lack of preparedness allowed the rise of fascism, anti-Semitism, and racism that led to the Holocaust.
- Hatred and prejudice are inimical to U.S., Transatlantic, and global interests and values.
- Today, the United States and Germany launched a dialogue on Holocaust issues. Formal senior-level consultations are planned for late 2021 and will include representatives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the German foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
- Our shared commitment to a regular dialogue underscores our desire to contribute to a world in which knowledge of the Holocaust is abundant, fact-based, and serves as a foundation for tackling today’s challenges, including those that lead to the normalization of hatred that can result in demonization or persecution of those perceived as “the other.”
- Jointly with Germany, we will produce strategies and tools that governments can deploy to improve education and training on the Holocaust, counter Holocaust denial and distortion, combat anti-Semitism, and ensure policymakers have a strong understanding of these issues and of their responsibility to act.
- We will support innovation in education and commemoration, joint initiatives to ensure understanding of the Holocaust remains grounded in historical fact, and training activities for stakeholders in democratic societies on Holocaust issues.
By launching this bilateral consultation, and by raising public awareness about anti-Semitism and the hatred of “the other” that paved the way for the horrific crimes of the Holocaust, we can stand together as Transatlantic partners to ensure such atrocities never again occur.