“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On 28 November 2017, within the framework of the IHRA Plenary meeting in Bern, the IHRA Committee on the Genocide of the Roma hosted a discussion with eight organizations representing Roma in Switzerland. Participants included representatives of the following organizations: Verein Romano Dialog, Rroma Foundation, Roma Visionen Konkret Association, Association of the Swiss Sinti and Roma, Roma Jam Session Art Kollektiv, and Association J.M.S (Jenische, Manouche, Sinti).
The discussion during the meeting focused on education about the Holocaust and genocide of the Roma, and the relationship between this history and topics such as racism, and stereotypes against Roma in the media and in the public arena.
"It is a little known fact that in Switzerland more than 50 mainly smaller monuments recall the Shoah. While large memorials deal with the history of the Second World War and the Shoah in neighboring countries, Switzerland hosts mostly discreet signs of memory, telling small stories."
From 27 - 30 November, 2017, the biannual IHRA Plenary Meeting held in Switzerland convened delegations from 31 Member Countries and provided a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss projects and challenges within the field of Holocaust education, remembrance, and research.
On 16 November, 2017, the acting IHRA Chair, François Wisard, presented the Swiss Chairmanship’s projects and the IHRA’s latest activities to ambassadors of IHRA Member Countries and others on the occasion of a special tour of the exhibition “The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors”. The event was organized by the Gamaraal foundation, headed by Anita Winter, who came up with the concept for the travelling exhibition, which was also displayed the IHRA Plenary in Geneva.
On 6 December 2017, the Swiss Embassy to the United States will hold a panel discussion entitled "Holocaust Education, Youth and Social Media" within the framework of the Swiss Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The event is hosted by Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States, Dr Martin Dahinden and includes the participation of Head of the United States Delegation to the IHRA, Thomas Yazdgerdi.
What do we really know about Holocaust education? On what basis can we plan for the future?
Switzerland is contributing to the preservation of the former extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with a donation of one million euros to the foundation responsible for the maintenance of the site.
This week in Bern, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is hosting the Third Regional Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.