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Upcoming IHRA events


Take a look at the conferences and activities IHRA has planned for 2015/2016.

IHRA’s main focus at present is the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and its potential conflict with the commitments enshrined in the Stockholm Declaration. The Stockholm Declaration obligates member states to “take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening of archives in order to ensure that all documents bearing on the Holocaust are available to researchers.” While the current GDPR legislation provides some exemptions for historical and scientific research, there has already been evidence that the imprecision of the language in GDPR has preempted archives to restrict access to sources before the law has even been passed. Supported by IHRA’s Archival Access project, IHRA is moving to have specific language related to the Holocaust incorporated in the regulation. In addition, IHRA’s 31 member countries have agreed to undertake a review of all restricted materials held in government-funded archives.

The Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial has recently made progress regarding the initiative on the Microsoft Word auto-correction of the word antisemitism. The unhyphenated spelling is favored by many scholars and institutions in order to dispel the idea that there is an entity ‘Semitism’ which ‘anti-Semitism’ opposes. The IHRA Permanent Office in coordination with the Committee was able to have Microsoft change the autocorrect function to accept ‘antisemitism’ as a legitimate spelling of the word. This indicated that the approach could also be successful elsewhere and the Committee aims to proceed to approach dictionaries and style guides in the near future.

Following the success of the first IHRA publication ‘Killing Sites- Research and Remembrance’, published in March, the IHRA project on killings sites plans to launch a database containing information pertaining to organisations and individuals active in the area of killing sites. Possible ideas for the future include a travelling exhibition on the topic and a follow up workshop for those who attended the successful conference hosted by the Pedagogical University of Krakow, which took place in Krakow, Poland from 22-23 January 2014.

In September 2015 an outreach initiative for teachers, teacher trainers and educators, in both formal and informal education, will take place in Moldova. The project aims to offer a comprehensive program for professional development for educators in formal and informal education on the Holocaust and related issues (the genocide of the Roma and Sinti, Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, Holocaust and other genocides) and will target around 30 educators. The project is being run by IHRA's Professional Development Outreach Steering Committee in cooperation with OSCE/ODIHR, one of IHRA's seven Permanent International Partners, as well as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova.

In September 2015 the Committee on the Genocide of the Roma will present the result of their project to compile both an annotated bibliography of material on the genocide of the Roma and an overview of organizations working on the genocide of the Roma and contemporary issues concerning discrimination. Following the first attempt to compile a bibliographical summary on this topic by Gabrielle Tyrnauer in 1989, no further summaries on the topic have been carried out. The goal of the bibliography is to provide an overview of all published materials which present or analyse primary sources, or provide interpretative perspectives. The overview of organisations will aim to serve in the first instance IHRA delegates, but also a wider audience of people involved in making the history of the genocide of the Roma better known. The organisations will be divided into three section; international governmental organisations, international civil society organisations, museums and memorial sites with a special focus on the genocide of the Roma. Both the annotated bibliography and the overview of organisations will be made available to the public.

In August 2015, work will begin on the second book in IHRA’s publication series. The publication is entitled ‘Bystanders, Rescuers or Perpetrators? The Neutral Countries and the Shoah’ and is based on the conference papers of the international conference which was held in November 2014. The conference was originally funded through IHRA's Grant Programme and received the ‘Yehuda-Bauer Grant’ because of its particular emphasis on the multilateral aspect.

From August-November 2015, IHRA’s Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity will carry out a survey to provide insight into existing institutions, museums, governmental and non-governmental organizations that offer programs using a comparative approach to teach about the Holocaust and genocide, within IHRA countries but also outside. The results of the survey will be presented to the IHRA Plenary in 2016.

On 6 November 2015 a conference will be held in Budapest on the topic "Holocaust-related Language and Imagery in Public Discourse", both in historical context and in current usage. The conference is organized by the IHRA Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial and is supported by the Hungarian Government. The conference target audience includes those active in the media, bloggers, writers, public intellectuals, diplomats, and government officials and aims to familiarize the target groups with the ways in which the Holocaust is used and misused in the media and in public discourse. Further information regarding the conference program and how to register will be available soon on the Committee's website.

In early December 2015 a roundtable is planned to be held in Hungary on challenges related to preparing Holocaust Memorial Days. The intended target audience of the roundtable is representatives from three of IHRA’s observer countries, Albania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as well as one country not yet affiliated with IHRA. The roundtable is organized by IHRA's project on Holocaust Memorial Days and in cooperation with OSCE/ODIHR.

From 14-17 February 2016 an international conference will be held on education on the Holocaust. The conference aims to provide an overview of empirical research studies on teaching and learning about the Holocaust. The goal is to establish what conclusions can be drawn about the current state of Holocaust education from empirical research, moving beyond anecdotal experiences in order to identify key challenges and opportunities. The conference is the culmination of IHRA's project on education research in which a multilingual expert team examined existing research in over ten languages, and undertook a scholarly, critical review of a selected number of studies carried out in the field of Holocaust education. For more information and to register for the conference, please consult the conference website. The conference is organized in cooperation with the Center for History Teaching & Learning and Recalling the Past at the University of Teacher Education of Central Switzerland.

In March 2016 a conference on the genocide of the Roma is planned, to be held in Hungary. The conference is an initiative of the Hungarian IHRA Chairmanship and will be supported by IHRA's Committee on the Genocide of the Roma.

In spring 2016 an IHRA conference will be held on the topic of the mass murder of people with disabilities and its connection to the Holocaust. The conference will focus on the continuities regarding the methods and perpetrators. The conference aims to include research on murders in Germany and Austria as well as more recent research which deals with murders which took in occupied Eastern and Western Europe. Aside from IHRA delegates, the conference will target experts in the field, journalists and teachers.