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THE INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCE (IHRA)

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, of which Slovenia is a member country, is concerned with Holocaust education, remembrance and research.


In February 2008, following UN General Assembly Resolution 60/7, the Slovenian Government declared 27 January Holocaust Memorial Day. Commemoration of this day is one of the main activities in the Republic of Slovenia aimed at keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. It involves not only the activity coordinator, the Maribor Synagogue, but also numerous other museum, research, university and other institutions, as well as primary and secondary schools. The Slovenian Jewish Community and the Isserlein Association for Jewish Culture are also actively engaged in a number of related activities.

 

IHRA, formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, was initiated by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson in 1998. The fundamental document on the basis of which it operates is the Stockholm Declaration adopted in 2000. IHRA aims to ensure political and social support for Holocaust education, remembrance and research at both national and international levels. Its work is carried out through permanent working groups (Academic, Education, Memorials and Museum and Communication Working Groups) and regular plenary sessions held twice a year.


Slovenia became a full member of IHRA on 1 December 2011; the Slovenian delegation to IHRA, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was established on the same date. The delegation is comprised of government representatives and external experts participating in the Working Groups.


IHRA currently has 31 member countries (1), ten observer countries (2) and seven Permanent International Partners.  It has an annually rotating Chairmanship, with member countries handing over this role every March (Hungary held the chairmanship from March 2015 to March 2016, when Romania assumed this role, to hand it over to Switzerland in March 2017).

 

Raising awareness of the past

 

The main goal of raising awareness of, research into and education about the past and historical facts is to prevent tragic history from being repeated. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs therefore supports awareness raising campaigns under the slogan NEVER AGAIN.

 

In 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the National Education Institute and several renowned academics and scholars doing research into the Holocaust, carried out an awareness project on the subject. A booklet entitled "Neznane sledi" (Unknown Traces) was produced with the aim of educating the young about the Holocaust on the Slovenian soil. Primary and secondary schools as well as public libraries were provided with printed booklets.

 

Furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs support the issue of publications that shed light on historical facts, such as 'Slovenian Jews: History and the Holocaust' and 'Porajmos: the Silenced Romani Genocide'. It also supports awareness projects all over Slovenia coordinated by the Maribor Synagogue, such as 'Shoah – We Remember' and events like as the Festival of Tolerance in Mini Teater in Ljubljana.

 

In addition to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on 9 December 2015, Slovenia started marking the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, as 2015 was the year in which Slovenia actively supported the UN Resolution declaring this international day.

 

In 2016, at the request of IHRA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared a short text on World War Two to be included in an IHRA publication.

 

In 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the project Guardians of the Spoon, aimed at raising awareness about intolerance and recalling the atrocities of the past. The site Guardians of the spoon presents photographs and testimonies of former concentration camps for Slovenian women and men.


Useful links:

 

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance 

 

IHRA Guidelines on teaching about the holocaust

 

IHRA Teaching about the holocaust without witnesses

 

Museums charter

 

Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation

 

 

(1) Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA (of which, 24 are EU Member States).

 

(2) Albania, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Macedonia, Moldova, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay. Observer status has also been granted to the following international organisations: UN, OSCE/ODIHR, Council of Europe, UNESCO, the European Union EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, ITS (International Tracing Service) and Claims Conference. A memorandum of understanding was signed with the OSCE/ODIHR and with the Council of Europe.