It is with great sadness that the IHRA and its Austrian delegation announce the passing of our much loved and esteemed colleague, Dr. Heidemarie Uhl.
Heidemarie was an active and dedicated IHRA delegate for over two decades. As a member of the Museums and Memorials working group, she contributed invaluable expertise on the topics of memory culture and memory politics, especially reflecting on Austria’s role in National Socialism.
Her dedication to Holocaust remembrance saw her take part in many activities to support the IHRA’s vision of a world that remembers the Holocaust. For example, she met with Canadian educators who traveled to Austria to talk to them about sites of Jewish heritage, culture, and remembrance as well as sites of destruction associated with the Holocaust.
Heidemarie’s active status in many working groups and committees demonstrated her commitment and dedication to the IHRA’s work. As well as regularly attending the IHRA Museums and Memorials working group meetings, she chaired a sub-committee dedicated to Holocaust Memorial Day. She also served several times on the Grant Review Committee, ensuring IHRA funding was being allocated to projects necessary in the field for advancing education, remembrance, and research of the Holocaust and genocide of the Roma.
Understanding the importance of protecting Holocaust-related sites, Heidemarie Uhl joined a group of experts concerned about contemporary threats facing sites. This group established the IHRA Safeguarding Sites project, which since 2019 has been working on a Charter to safeguard sites of the Holocaust and genocide of the Roma. Until she stepped down in 2022, Heidemarie served as one of five core team members, who worked intensively with internal IHRA experts as well as external experts and organizations.
The Safeguarding Sites project team could count on Heidemarie to react to all information and questions diligently and provide thoughtful responses and suggestions. She was always a friendly addition and an eager participant in group discussions. Her contribution to this landmark resource will not be forgotten.
The Charter will be finalized and brought forward for adoption by IHRA Member Countries at the end of this year and will serve as an important legacy of Heidemarie’s work at the IHRA.
Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues. Her contribution to the IHRA and her dedication to Holocaust remembrance will be remembered well into the future.