Romania took over from Hungary the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in a solemn ceremony held on Tuesday at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin.
Romania will hold this position for one year, with Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu (photo) effectively handling the responsibilities of the office. “The takeover of the IHRA chairmanship reflects Romania’s strong commitment to assuming its own past, honoring the memory of Holocaust victims, fighting xenophobic and anti-Semitic manifestations,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The priorities of the Romanian IHRA chairmanship are working with the media and social media to promote awareness of the Holocaust, but also to combat Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, racism, extremism, discrimination and xenophobia; strengthening Holocaust education in the organization’s member and observer states and promoting academic research on the Holocaust. The three priorities of the Romanian chairmanship underpin the fundamental objectives of IHRA – Holocaust remembrance, education and research.
Romania will also pursue arising awareness within the Romanian society, particularly among the new generations, of a tragic chapter in national history and admitting to it; increasing young people’s interest in the research of the Holocaust; creating a more consolidated approach to studying the Holocaust at university level; strengthening knowledge on the subject among institutions.
Attending the chairmanship takeover ceremony were members of the Jewish community from Germany, representatives of the German political life, the diplomats accredited to Berlin, Romanians living in Germany.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally. IHRA was initiated in 1998 at the initiative of former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson.