Holocaust remembrance and scholarly research often focuses on concentration camps, ghettos, and death marches. However, many of the killing sites, where 25 to 30 percent of the victims of the Holocaust were murdered by mass shooting, are still relatively unknown. The vast majority of these killing sites were deliberately left unmarked by the perpetrators and many have yet to be located. This emphasizes the need for scholarly research and transnational approaches.

For this reason the IHRA initiated a multi-year project dedicated to research, commemoration and preservation of places where mass shootings took place. The project aimed to raise awareness of this centrally important aspect of the Holocaust and to bring together the organizations and individuals dealing with the subject.

The IHRA’s expert committee dealing with this issue began by commissioning a report to assess the main challenges and obstacles in regard to the preservation of killing sites. Following this, two subsequent international conferences have been held – in Poland (2014) and Lithuania (2017) to advance the issue further, with a publication entitled Killing Sites. Remembrance and Research published in 2014. 

Ponerai killing site in Lithuania. Arturas Morozovas