Germany and Israel denounce Holocaust denial and initiate a UN resolution

On the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the German Ambassador to Israel, Susanne Wasum-Rainer, and the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, published a joint op-ed article in the German paper “Tagesspiegel” and the Israeli daily “Maariv” denouncing the denial and trivialisation of the Holocaust.

The two ambassadors lament the fact of the Shoah and its exceptional historical character are still being denied and distorted, and empasize that the denial is not only widespread among political radicals, but is a social and international phenomenon.

For this reason, Israel and Germany intend to jointly initiate a resolution at the United Nations this Thursday, 20 January 2022, 80 years after the Wannsee Conference where senior Nazi officials decided on the plan to eradicate the Jewish people, known as “The Final Solution”.

Political leaders worldwide are called upon to support the resolution, which  “should be a sign of hope and inspiration for all states and societies that stand up for diversity and tolerance, strive for reconciliation and understand that the memory of the Holocaust is indispensable for ensuring that such crimes are not repeated.”

The Op-ed by the two ambassadors goes on to say that the denial of historical facts of the Holocaust is not only an attack on the victims of the extermination and their descendants, but also on Jews all over the world and on the State of Israel. It is also an attack “on the basic condition of peaceful societies and peaceful coexistence worldwide”.

The ambassadors also made proposals for measures to combat Holocaust denial. These include a uniform definition of antisemitism, investment in education and awareness-raising, and measures to prevent the questioning and relativisation of the Holocaust on social media.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged the country’s Foreign Office’s share of responsibility in the murder of Jews by the Nazis and stressed that the critical examination of the role of the Federal Foreign Office during National Socialism is an integral part of staff training together with the training on antisemitism.

Meanwhile, Felix Klein, Federal Government’s Commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and the fight against antisemitism, called for the study of the Holocaust and antisemitism to become a compulsory part of the teacher-training course throughout Germany. This can include compulsory visits to the House of the Wannsee Conference and former concentration camp sites.

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