IHRA Chair’s Statement on Comments of Italian Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini

IHRA Chair Ambassador Sandro De Bernardin expresses deep concern at Mr. Salvini’s comments, insisting on resisting hate speech and discrimination.

“As Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), I was deeply troubled by the comments made by Matteo Salvini, Italian Minister of Interior, on 18 June 2018 in which he suggested a census be taken of Roma and Sinti in Italy and spoke disrespectfully of Roma.

The IHRA is committed to countering distortion and preserving the historical record. Raising awareness of the prejudice towards Roma and Sinti before, during and after the Second World War as well as demonstrating the link between the history of persecution and the present situation of the Roma is a key objective of the IHRA and its dedicated Committee on the Genocide of the Roma. Our 31 Member Countries advocate for policymaking which is informed by history and the proposal to take a specific census of Roma and Sinti evoked memories of what preceded past racial laws and tragedies.

We must strengthen the moral commitment of our peoples, and the political commitment of our governments to stand up to hate speech and I commend the Italian Prime Minister and other representatives of the Italian Government and Italian civil society on their immediate and clear response to these comments.”

Ambassador Sandro De Bernardin, IHRA Chair

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research worldwide and uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.