“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
Learn more about the activities of IHRA Chair Dr. Mario Silva in his latest blog post below.
New Post – 13 December 2013
On December 3rd, I returned to Berlin to take part in discussion with our Permanent International Partners and to further develop a proposal for a joint project. I have made it a key mission of the Canadian Chairmanship to have further co-operation with our Partners. The meeting took place at Permanent Office and was organized by the Executive Secretary and the HoD for Canada and included the Troika countries of Belgium and the UK and the participation of Hungary as the 2015 Chair. I am grateful for the participation of Ambassador Jan Deboutte, Sir Andrew Burns and Gergely Prohle. I look forward to implementation of a project with our Permanent International Partners in 2014.
Following Berlin I traveled to Brussels for meetings with EU officials and to raise IHRA’s concerns about the potential negative impact of the EU's proposed data protection legislation on the archiving of Holocaust-related materials. I was accompanied Ambassador Deboutte, Dr. Wichert ten Have of the Academic Working Group and Jarrett Reckseldler from the Canadian Embassy. Our meetings with Richard Szostal, the data protection advisor of European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, and Dr. Ralf Bendrath, principal data protection advisor to German Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht (the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the proposed data protection legislation) were very positive. We raised IHRA’s concerns and received confirmation that these views have been acknowledged by the three main EU institutions. I intend to continue close cooperation with the incoming UK Chairmanship on this issue.
The following week I went to the United States and had the privilege in Atlanta, Georgia, to meet with representatives of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, to tour the Anne Frank exhibition, and hear about the Holocaust Learning Trunk Program, which featured information and materials related to the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division’s liberation of Westerbork Transit Camp in the Netherlands on 12 April 1945. I also had the pleasure of visiting the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University and the William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum. I’m greatly impressed with the work being carried out in Georgia to educate and remember the Holocaust.
While in Atlanta, I also gave a key note address at the Galloway School in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the presence of many Holocaust survivors. I could not help but reflect on the lives of two giant champions of human rights, those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. I wish to express my thanks to Canadian Consul General Stephen Brereton for asking for a moment of silence in honour of Mr. Mandela and to the Canadian Consular staff in Atlanta, Judith Costello and Robert Pengelly, for all of their hard work in helping organize my visit.
I wish everyone all the best for the holidays and Happy New Year.