We regularly comment on current events that overlap with the IHRA's mandate. Statements can come from the IHRA Chair, IHRA Secretary General, or, when consensus is reached among all Member Countries, by the IHRA in the form of an IHRA Statement.

20 May


IHRA Chair on Freiburg “Hygiene Demonstrations”


IHRA Chair Ambassador Michaela Küchler says, “The use of National Socialist icons at the Freiburg ‘Hygiene Demonstrations’ is only the most recent manifestation of a sickening phenomenon where Nazi Germany’s efforts to exterminate Europe’s Jews are compared to today’s measures to contain the coronavirus. From Freiburg to Vienna to the United States, the measures taken by democratic governments to protect their populations and save lives are being equated with the murderous policies of the National Socialist regime, thereby diminishing the latter. This obscene trend reflects a grave lack of understanding of the dimensions of the Holocaust and must be taken very seriously. 

“References at these demonstrations to the National Socialist slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’ and to the Star of David badge Jews were forced to wear dilute the meaning and history of these symbols, relativizing the Holocaust to spread misinformation and hatred. The appropriation of these symbols is not only insulting to the memory of victims and survivors of the Nazi regime, it denies and distorts the Holocaust as well.

“The German Presidency of the IHRA has made the fight against Holocaust denial and distortion a priority, placing the issue on the top of its agenda and establishing a Global Task Force to combat this harmful trend. At a time when Jewish people across the globe are facing rising antisemitism, the IHRA condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms and calls upon all to stand up against antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion.

23 March


IHRA Chair Statement on Holocaust remembrance during pandemic


IHRA Chair Ambassador Michaela Küchler says, “We know that the current COVID- 19 situation is posing a great challenge for people and institutions across the globe, including museums, educational institutions and civil society organizations focusing on the topic of the Holocaust. It is difficult to keep the focus on the importance of remembrance, education and research about the Holocaust at a time when so many fear for their health and financial existence. The IHRA community, too, is still adjusting to this new reality.

In these difficult times, we are deeply grateful to all those organizations caring for and taking steps to protect survivors of the Holocaust. As with all elderly people around the world, it is important that we do everything within our means to protect Holocaust survivors who may find themselves particularly vulnerable to the serious health complications of COVID-19.

The IHRA calls on communities around the world to follow government advice to slow the spread of COVID-19 and we stand in solidarity with those institutions working to educate young people, protect survivors and keep the memory of the Holocaust alive against the backdrop of this global pandemic.”

26 February


IHRA Chair commends passing of law to protect Staro Sajmište


Ambassador Georges Santer, Chair of IHRA, commented: “The IHRA commends the Serbian government and the Parliament – which supported the relevant law without any votes against – for their efforts to preserve the memory of the Serbian, Jewish and Roma communities murdered at Staro Sajmište. Memorial sites play a crucial role in educating current and future generations about the historical facts and causes of the Holocaust, while honouring the memory of the victims and survivors. The Serbian people deserve an authentic site of remembrance for the crimes of the Holocaust and so safeguarding memorial sites, such as Staro Sajmište and Topovske Šupe, is a necessity and obligation for all of our member countries, and the IHRA and its experts will continue to support Serbia with advice and expertise during the implementation phase of the law.”

24 February


IHRA Executive Secretary condemns antisemitic displays at Aalst and Campo de Criptana Carnivals


Dr. Kathrin Meyer, IHRA Executive Secretary, comments: “The annual carnivals in Aalst and Campo de Criptana, featuring antisemitic and Nazi-themed displays and floats, are deeply offensive to the Jewish community and to Holocaust victims, survivors and their families. The tradition of carnival has typically focused on mocking powerful institutions such as the church or the state – not on humiliating minority groups who are once again being threatened and murdered throughout Europe.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) works tirelessly to counter Holocaust distortion and antisemitism and this year’s parades were unacceptable with their historically stereotypical representations of Jewish people and members dressed in SS uniforms. We commend Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes’ and the town council of Campo de Criptana for their clear condemnation of these events and we call on the carnival organizers and the cities to ban such displays in future. We also commend the Campo de Criptana carnival group for its immediate apology and willingness to engage in a conversation with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain about how to avoid trivialization and distortion of the Holocaust. The IHRA will continue to work with all Member Countries to ensure such examples of antisemitism are not repeated.”

21 February


IHRA Chair Statement on shooting in Hanau, Germany


“The racially motivated murders of 9 people in Hanau, Germany, leaves us deeply troubled. It is difficult to find words to express the sadness, anger and shock we feel in the face of such a despicable act just a few weeks after we commemorated the victims of the Holocaust, the unprecedented genocide that left deep scars in all European societies.

In the name of all 34 Member Countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, I express my sincere condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the deadly shooting.

The attack in Hanau is the latest in a long line of deadly incidents that were motivated by ideologies of hatred, such as antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Gypsyism and other forms of racism: Hanau, New York, Halle, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Christchurch. We cannot pretend that these murderous assaults fell from the sky. Right-wing extremism is on the rise in too many of our countries. In its extreme, this leads to the killing of people and we can no longer stand idly by. People are being killed in their homes, places of worship, restaurants and in the streets of our cities. These are also attacks on all of us, on our democratic freedom.

It is often said that words do not kill. But we know from the past and we see it again that discriminatory language and hate speech pave the way for physical attacks and murder.

We have to stand up against right-wing extremism and all other murderous ideologies as governments, individuals and civil society. On 19 January 2020, our Member Countries adopted the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration and pledged to counter “all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles”.

While these are also words, we need these words to guide us in the fight against the hatred that motivated the racist killing of 9 people in Germany. This fight has to take place now. We owe this to the victims, their families and friends. While words do not kill, silence does. If we want to secure our open, democratic societies, we have to take concrete action in order to defend the values that allow us to live in peace, prosperity and dignity.”

Ambassador Georges Santer
IHRA Chair

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

03 February


IHRA Chair commends Holy See on opening of Pope Pius XII Archives


The IHRA Chair, Ambassador Georges Santer, said: “We commend the Holy See’s official opening of the Pope Pius XII Archives today. Archival access is a key aspect of Holocaust remembrance, and contributes directly to safeguarding the historical record. We all share a responsibility to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust and the Second World War, and we very much appreciate the constructive talks we had in the past with Cardinal State Secretary, Pietro Parolin, and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

For decades a significant amount of documentation bearing on the Holocaust and its historical context has been scattered, endangered, and in many cases inaccessible. By adopting the IHRA 2020 Ministerial Declaration on 19 January, 35 countries committed themselves to identifying, preserving, and making available archival material, testimonies and authentic sites for educational purposes, commemoration and research. We therefore call on all countries to follow the example of the Holy See.”

01 January


IHRA Executive Secretary statement on Vandalism of Jewish Cemetery in Geilenkirchen, Germany


Dr Kathrin Meyer, Executive Secretary of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) said: “It is deeply worrying to see that more than 40 Jewish graves have been vandalised in the town of Geilenkirchen in western Germany. The incident, which took place on the second-last day of Hanukkah, comes amid a worrying rise in antisemitic threats and attacks throughout our Member Countries and beyond.

We condemn this hateful act and we will continue to work with Germany and all our 34 Member Countries to counter this antisemitism in order to ensure the peaceful co-existence of all members of our societies and to honour the memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.”

12 December


IHRA Chair’s Statement on Shooting in New Jersey


Ambassador Georges Santer, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) said: “It was with deep shock that I learned of the fatal shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket on 11th December in New Jersey. I express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those murdered in the attack, as well as its survivors, and the whole Jewish community across New Jersey.

We condemn this abhorrent and antisemitic hate-crime. IHRA works tirelessly to counter antisemitism in all of its forms. We are calling on political, social and religious leaders to speak out against all hate crimes, acts of violence or incitement, and to support social and educational efforts to address them. We also urge all members of society to stand together in order to ensure that we can all live in security and peace and put a stop to the rising tide of antisemitism. Antisemitism is not a Jewish issue. It is an issue for all societies in which it grows.”

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