“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
On 9 May the delegation of the Republic of Slovenia to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) issued a public statement condeming an incident of Holocaust denial in late April in a TV interview Sreda v sredo featuring Bernard Brščič, in which he denied the Holocaust.
In the statement, the members of the Slovenian delegation to the IHRA strongly condemned any denial, disparaging or mockery of the Holocaust, which is prohibited under Article 297 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Slovenia, noting that "such statements are an urgent warning that in Slovenia, the study of, awareness about, and education on, the Holocaust need to by significantly enhanced."
The Slovenian Delegation to the IHRA also expressed its solidarity with Mr Robert Waltl who was the first to respond publicly to Mr Brščič's statement. Robert Waltl is the programme director of the traditional Festival of Tolerance organised by the Jewish Cultural Centre in Ljubljana. The festival plays a key role in raising awareness and improving knowledge about the Holocaust and its consequences.
The statement was publically presented in Ljubljana on 11 May, 2017, at the beginning of a public lecture held in the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts by Professor Yehuda Bauer, IHRA Honorary Chairman.
In October 2013 the IHRA's 31 Member Countries also adopted a working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion. Slovenia has been a member of the IHRA since 2011.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance unites governments and experts to strenghten, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research world-wide and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.
Image: Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts