High Governmental Representatives of the Member Countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted its 2020 ministerial declaration ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
“We promise to never forget those who resisted the Nazis and those who protected or rescued their persecuted fellow human beings. Today, the world still faces genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and continued threats to pluralistic, democratic and inclusive societies,” IHRA wrote in the introduction to the declaration.
The declaration starts with the IHRA promising that Holocaust victims and survivors will not be forgotten, and emphasizing that keeping their memories alive is “the responsibility not only of governments but of societies as a whole.”
IHRA also makes a point in the declaration of acknowledging the genocide of the Roma and the “concern that the neglect of this genocide has contributed to the prejudice and discrimination that many Roma communities still experience today.”
The Nazis killed half a million Roma people during the genocide.
Those who resisted the Nazis and the Righteous among the Nations are also recognised in the declaration as well as “others who protected or sought to rescue those who were in danger.”
Beyond World War II, IHRA expressed concerns about the growing amounts of antisemitism across the globe.
The member states signed to the agreement accepted the responsibility to “continue working together to counter Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles.” They also pledged to not only preserve the memory of the Holocaust, the genocide of the Roma and other victims of Nazi persecution, but also to promote educational programmes about these people.
Furthermore, they committed to commending other governments and societies that “commemorate the Holocaust and share good practices” as well as encouraging “all counties and societies to address their respective pasts by dealing openly and accurately with the historical record.”
This new declaration comes days before more than 40 foreign leaders convene in Jerusalem for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem.