Member country since: 2004
Remembrance Days: 27 January (International Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Julie Pruzan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – Head of Delegation
Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke (Danish Institute for International Studies) – Deputy Head of Delegation
Jeppe Haugaard Vandtved (Ministry of Justice) – Academic Working Group
Anders Jerichow (Humanity in Action) – Education Working Group
Morten Revsgaard Jensen (Ministry of Education) – Education Working Group
Anders Kristensen (Ministry of Education) – Education Working Group
Mathilde Silje Helø (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – Academic Working Group
Janus Møller Jensen (Danish Jewish Museum) – Museums and Memorials Working Group
Christian Axboe Nielsen (School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University) – Academic Working Group
Otto Rühl (Danish Institute for International Studies) – Education Working Group
Morten Christiansen (Ministry of Culture) – Museums and Memorials Working Group
The last decade of IHRA membership has brought about two main developments in Denmark. Firstly, civil society organizations have become increasingly involved in organizing activities related to the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ‘Auschwitz Day’, as well as to other historical events. This increased participation signals that keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive is not only an obligation for states, but also for civil society. Secondly, IHRA membership has helped keep a political focus on the importance of bringing the Holocaust, as well as related issues of antisemitism, discrimination and other forms of intolerance, into the classroom.
Denmark issued a statement to the IHRA membership clarifying their position on the working definition of antigypsyism/anti-Roma discrimination.
In January 2022, the Danish Government presented an action plan against antisemitism.
Key facts about Holocaust education, remembrance, and research in Denmark
All IHRA Member Countries are asked to complete a basic questionnaire with key facts about the state of Holocaust education, remembrance, and research in their country. The answers to the questionnaire are provided by the national delegations, who are also responsible for keeping the information up to date.
As general background, it should be highlighted, that the exact number of Roma persons living in Denmark is unknown as ethnicity is not registered. The number of Roma living in Denmark is estimated at a couple of thousands out of a total population of 5.8 million. The majority of the Danish Roma came to Denmark in the 1960s and the 1970s. Given their small numbers and relatively short history in Denmark – and probably also given the historical circumstances surrounding Denmark’s non-involvement in the Holocaust – attention to this important aspect of the Holocaust has so far been modest in Denmark.
1. What are the most important policy statements on the Holocaust, the genocide of the Roma, and genocide made by your government over the last seven years? Please include the name of the statement, the body who issued the statement, the date the statement was made, and a link.
- We are not aware of any relevant statements.
2. Please list, with links, a short description (200 words) of any action plans, statistics, etc. related to countering Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and antigypsyism/anti-Roma discrimination.
On January 25 2022, the Danish Government presented a comprehensive plan to fight antisemitism in Denmark. The overarching goal of the plan is to strengthen the general resilience against antisemitism and to ensure that antisemitism does not take root in Denmark. The plan – among other things – looks at how we make sure, that future generations remember Holocaust and learn about Jewish life and history. The plan focuses on how schools and institutions educate children and young people about antisemitism and contains a strengthened focus on better guidance in connection with antisemitic incidents in schools and workplaces. The plan also strengthens monitoring of antisemitic incidents and through research increases our understanding of contemporary forms of antisemitism and how we define antisemitism. The plan aims at improving the way the Danish authorities handle antisemitic incidents in order to improve support for victims of antisemitism. Moreover, the plan strengthens the cooperation and coordination among relevant Danish authorities and the Danish Jewish Society, and contains increased foreign policy focus on combating antisemitism (link).
In addition to the comprehensive plan to fight antisemitism the Danish government decided early 2022 to compile an anti-racism action plan.
Denmark does not have an integration policy specifically aimed at the Roma population. Danish authorities do not register ethnicity. Consequently, it is not possible to collect and quantify data dis-aggregated on ethnic groups. On an equal footing with every other person residing legally in Denmark, Roma have access to the universal welfare state’s services (childcare, education, health care, employment effort etc.) largely funded by the general taxation. In addition, Denmark’s emphasis on abiding by general principles of equal treatment ensures recognition of political, civil, social etc. rights of the Roma population. Any target for education level, employment rate and health (including COVID-19) - as well as its monitoring mechanisms - in Denmark apply to Roma as well as to everyone else. These principles, which form the bedrock of Denmark’s approach to Roma inclusion, were reaffirmed in Denmark’s national strategy on Roma equality, inclusion and participation submitted on December 22 2022 in pursuance of the recommendation of the European Council of 12 March 2021 on Roma equality, inclusion and participation (link).
3. How numerous and widespread are annual Holocaust remembrance events and remembrance events dedicated to the genocide of the Roma?
It is estimated that a few events organized by citizens take place annually.
4. Are there any specific academic programs or permanent professorships dedicated to the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma? Y/N If yes, please provide details.
There are no designated academic programs or permanent professorships dedicated to the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma in Denmark. However, the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma is a prevalent topic in broader courses, lecture series and elective courses at Danish universities and other institutions.
5. Has any noteworthy research been published on the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma in the last seven years? Y/N. If yes, please provide details.
Research publications in Denmark have mainly focused on broader themes such as genocide, racism or Nazi Germany. Below is a brief list of the most noteworthy research publications on the subject.
Research publications since 2015:
- Claudio Fogu, Wulf Kansteiner, Todd Presner (2016), Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture (Harvard University Press, 2016)
- Anders Jerichow & Cecilie Felicia Stockholm Banke (eds.), Advarsler før Folkedrab (Columbus, 2018)
- Thomas Brudholm & Birgitte Johansen Scheperlern, ’The Memory of Prevention: European Anti-Hate Crime Policy and Holocaust Remembrance’ in International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 32, 2 (2019)
- Therkel Stræde, Reimer Möller & Martin Jensen Overby, Stutthof Maritime Evacuations Project: Academic Report (Report, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, 2021)
6. Have any surveys been conducted to assess the post-war public understanding of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma? Y/N. Please provide links.
We are not aware of any surveys.
7. What are the most used textbooks and teaching materials on the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma, and when were they published and/or updated?
The main textbook for secondary Education on the Holocaust is by Jacob Halvas Bjerre and was originally published in 2010, with the latest revision in 2020. This book includes the genocide of the Roma.
Besides the newest book on world history (Peter Frederiksen: Vores Verdenshistorie 3, forlaget Columbus, 2020) also mentions the genocide on the Roma in the chapter on Holocaust.
The website created as part of the Danish ministry of education’s commitment to the Stockholm declaration, folkedrab.dk, has been widely used and has several teaching resources on the genocide of the Roma.
In primary school, we do not have the opportunity to have a systematic overview of the teachers' use of, or knowledge of teaching materials.
We know these materials are available for children (A series of three books). They are reviewed in the teacher's magazine Folkeskolen.dk:
Further examples om materials available for children:
• ROMAER - Europas største etniske mindretal af Malene Fenger-Grøndahl. - Århus : Turbine Forlaget, 2012. med kapitlet om Danmark: Den, der lever skjult... romaer i Danmark" https://faktalink.dk/titelliste/sigo
• Sigøjnere er ét folk af Jørn E. Albert. - 1. udgave, 1. oplag. - Kbh.: Forum, 1982. Den danske udgave nyskrevet efter: Thomas Acton: Gypsies.
• Sigøjnere af Kirsten G. Andersen (f. 1929) - Munksgaard, 1971.
8. Have any surveys or other educational research been conducted to assess the effectiveness of teaching and learning about the Holocaust and/or the genocide of the Roma? Y/N. If yes, please provide details.
We are not aware of any surveys.
In January 2022, the Danish government launched a national plan of action against antisemitism, which includes a number of initiatives aimed at teaching and learning intended to raise awareness of the Holocaust.
There has been a number of publications, including websites, intended for educational purposes at primary and high school levels:
- Julius Tromholt-Richter & John Nielsen Præstegaard, Auschwitz skal stoppe folkedrab (Seismo, 2021)
- Kari Astrid Thynebjerg, Holocaust og andre Folkedrab: Temabog (DigTea, 2018)
- Solvej Berlay & Anne Wøhrens, Med elever i Auschwitz: guide til undervisere på studietur i Auschwitz-Birkenau (DIIS, 2015)
9. What public or private museums, memorials, archives, and/or sites in your country are dedicated to the Holocaust and/or the genocide of the Roma? Please provide details, including the role of central, regional, or local public bodies. Are these institutions listed in the IHRA Overview of Holocaust-related Organizations, in the EHRI Portal, or other databases?
• Dansk Jødisk Museum (Danish Jewish Museum) is a state approved museum that focuses on the consequences of the Holocaust for the Danish Jews in their exhibitions and educational program as a part of the general history of 400 years of Jewish life in Denmark.
• Frihedsmuseet (Museum of Danish Resistance) is part of the National Museum of Denmark tells of the flight and rescue of (most of) the Danish Jews in October 1943.
• Holocaust UndervisningsCentret (Holocaust Educational Centre) is dedicated to telling the story of Holocaust to school and high-school children. It is part of Sydvestjyske Museer and is located in Esbjerg and is active for the region.
10. What steps has your country taken towards implementing the International Memorial Museums Charter?
As of now, Denmark does not have a dedicated memorial museum for the victims of Holocaust or any other genocides. However, the Danish Jewish Museum, is organizing the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day – in Denmark called Auschwitzdag – on behalf of the municipality of Copenhagen, which currently has some status as the official Danish event marking the day. The museum is currently in the process of creating a network of all of the museums in Denmark working with different aspect of the Second World War in general and Holocaust and its consequences in particular. In this work the International Memorial Museum Charter plays a significant role. The museum is further more involved in marking other memorial days of other genocides for instance the genocide in Rwanda – and is in this particular respect working on making the marking the annual day of the genocide against the Roma and Sinti people become a matter of attention and focus in the future.
11. If an overview exists, how many and which organizations that work in the field of Holocaust and genocide of the Roma education, remembrance, and research receive public funding?
In 2006, the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies became a unit within The Danish Institute of International Studies until its closure in 2013. It maintained a a website until 2018 albeit primarily for research-based educational purposes. The responsibilities for producing teaching materials and other educational purpose publications has been reassigned to aldrigmere.dk.
12. What are the most important policy statements on genocide or mass atrocity crimes over the last seven years? Please include the name of the statement, the body who issued the statement, the date the statement was made, and a link.
On January 19, 2017, the Danish Parliament (Folketing) passed decision V 26 On the Armenian Genocide (https://www.ft.dk/samling/20161/vedtagelse/v26/index.htm), which in an unofficial translation reads as flows:
‘The Folketing confirms its resolution No. V 54 of 19 May 2015 regarding the tragic and bloody events that took place in eastern Anatolia in the period 1915-1923. The Folketing finds that the best way to reconciliation will be an open dialogue on history on the basis of free and uncensored historical research, including the release of all official documents from the period. The Folketing regrets that Turkish law prohibits citizens and the media from using the term 'genocide' about the events, and finds that this constitutes an unreasonable restriction on both research freedom and freedom of expression without thereby relating to the use of this term. The Folketing thus maintains its parliamentary tradition of not issuing judgments on historical events.’