update desk

Germany and US announce ‘significant progress’ on Holocaust dialogue

Washington and Berlin continue to collaborate on several initiatives to educate the public about and better understand Holocaust denial.

A display in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.
A display in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.

The United States and Germany announced jointly that their dialogue on Holocaust issues, which began in 2021, has made “significant progress.”

The conversation seeks to “counter the rise in Holocaust denial and distortion—a dangerous development that undermines freedom, democracy and security—and to contribute to a world in which knowledge about the Holocaust is abundant, based on facts and serves as a foundation for tackling today’s challenges at an early stage,” per the statement.

To date, the dialogue participants—the U.S. State Department, the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum—have made progress in three areas.

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies—a partnership of the U.S. Defense Department and the German Federal Ministry of Defense—made Holocaust studies a permanent part of its “flagship” applied security studies program.

“Over 100 senior military and civilian officials from more than 30 countries attended the pilot module in 2022, which was designed to help professionals apply lessons from the Holocaust to their own work of protecting life and democratic principles while working in a multinational context,” stated Germany and the United States.

The U.S. State Department also conducted a “landmark” study of online Holocaust denial and distortion across 12 languages, and the German Federal Foreign Office is now conducting a “complementary study” on the same topic.

“The two studies will contribute to a solid, quantitative base from which to develop policy recommendations,” the countries said.

Participants in the dialogue have also addressed attempts to “rehabilitate” and heroize Holocaust war criminals, and a study is planned on that topic as well. There is also a discussion about the Marshall Center potentially creating a “program on the history of the Holocaust in Ukraine.”

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