UNESCO forum to discuss role of Holocaust education in fighting prejudice

30 January 2012 – Historians and researchers will gather in Paris tomorrow for a United Nations forum designed to address the impact that Holocaust remembrance can have in stemming the tide of intolerance around the world.

The conference, which will be hosted by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will provide an opportunity to debate the role of Holocaust education in the global fight against racism and anti-Semitism. It will also allow the attending experts to discuss the need to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in areas of the world where it is less well known.

Last week, the UN marked the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which is observed annually on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

In a declaration marking the occasion, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova emphasized the need for Holocaust education as part of the overall fight against intolerance.

“Transmitting the memory of the Holocaust is a vital part of the struggle to combat ignorance and prejudice through education in humanist values, the sharing of cultures and knowledge of history,” Ms. Bokova said.

“Education is a key front in this struggle and also UNESCO’s unique contribution, through our work for youth, training of teachers and curriculum design,” she added.

The UNESCO conference will feature debates and lectures from leading international Holocaust experts as well as a talk delivered by Henri Borlant – a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The forum will also feature a special ceremony focusing on the theme of “Children in the Holocaust” to pay tribute to the estimated 1.5 million children who perished during the genocide.


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