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IHRA Handover Video


Watch a video of the IHRA Handover. On 9 March 2015, Hungary assumed the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The outgoing Chair Sir Andrew Burns from the United Kingdom handed over the Chairmanship to Szabolcs Takács, State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office of Hungary. The handover ceremony, attended by the diplomatic corps and the media, took place at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin.


In his speech, Sir Andrew Burns, who is also the UK Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues, recapped the main activities of the UK Chairmanship. Key achievements in 2014 included Albania, El Salvador, and Moldova joining IHRA as observer countries and outreach activities to the Vatican and other IHRA and non-IHRA countries. The UK Chairmanship sought to increase cooperation between the expert and political level and strongly supported and encouraged more content-focused, project-based activities within IHRA.

The concrete outcome of this project-based approach is the first publication in the IHRA series, “Killing Sites. Research and Remembrance” which was coordinated by the Steering Committee of the Multi-Year Work Plan on Killing Sites. The publication was presented at the Handover event and the full press release can be viewed on the IHRA website.

In his address Sir Andrew stated: “It has been my pleasure to act as Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance on behalf of the United Kingdom. I would like to express my thanks to the IHRA delegates whose invaluable support has made this year such a success. The unique mix of academics, curators, survivors and political representatives is what makes IHRA special and encouraging cohesion and exchange between these two normally distinct areas is what facilitates lasting, wide-spread change on an international level.”

Incoming Chair Szabolcs Takács outlined the priorities of the Hungarian Chairmanship stating that the Chairmanship will endeavour to put combating antisemitism, and education about the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma at the centre of its programme.

In his speech Takács said: “This year began with shocking events in Paris and lately in Denmark by fanatics who, with stunningly bold violence, demonstrated their intolerance of the views of others. Sadly enough all these phenomena of harsh violence and extremism are coupled with old and new forms of antisemitism. Education is the main, almost the only tool to effectively counter this. This is why the role of IHRA is even bigger than we may think:  through Holocaust education and remembrance, a tolerant society should and could be built. That is the stake of our common work, to which I, as the Hungarian Chair of IHRA ask for your support, trust and cooperation.”

Read Sir Andrew Burns' speech and Mr. Szabolcs Takács' speech at the Handover ceremony on the IHRA website.

The Handover ceremony was followed by the opening of an exhibition entitled "Synagogue Architecture in Central-Eastern Europe between 1782-1944."

Hungary was an original signatory of the Stockholm Declaration in 2000 and became a member of IHRA in 2002. A National Holocaust Memorial Day was established in 2000 and 2004 saw the inauguration of the Holocaust memorial Centre in Budapest and the new permanent Hungarian exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Hungary first held the IHRA Chairmanship in 2006.

More information about Holocaust education, research and remembrance in Hungary can be found on the IHRA website.

The Hungarian Chairmanship will host two IHRA Plenary meetings during the course of the year, in Budapest in June and in Debrecen in November.