Recognizing and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Recommendations for Policy and Decision Makers

About the Recognizing and Countering Holocaust Distortion Recommendations

Published in January 2021 in partnership with UNESCO, the IHRA's publication, "Recognizing and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Recommendations for Policy and Decision Makers," represents an important first step toward tackling this serious issue.

Learn more about the IHRA's Recommendations below.

Why should we counter Holocaust distortion?

Holocaust distortion is a critical threat to Holocaust memory and to fostering a world without genocide.

References to the Holocaust that mischaracterize and distort its history and relevance are an insult to the memories and experiences of victims and survivors. Holocaust distortion erodes our understanding of this history and nourish conspiracy theories, dangerous forms of nationalism, Holocaust denial, and antisemitism.

Through their pledge to uphold the tenets of the Stockholm Declaration, IHRA Member Countries have been at the forefront of developing and supporting research, educational, and commemorative engagement with the subject of the Holocaust. Through these efforts, the IHRA has become increasingly concerned over the ways
by which misuse of the Holocaust and its legacy undermine history and threatens social, political, and cultural coexistence.

Over the course of the past decade, Holocaust distortion has grown in intensity. It manifests in multiple ways that have a negative influence on efforts to confront hate, and threatens the long-term sustainability of the relevance of the Holocaust as a subject of common reflection. It is therefore essential that IHRA Member Countries raise awareness of distortion and advance better ways to identify and respond to it.

Policymakers and government officials within the IHRA community are essential partners in this endeavor. Understanding Holocaust distortion in all of its concrete, nebulous, and subtle forms can inform and strengthen policymaking on multiple fronts, from the cultural and educational to the legal. Yet this is not just a responsibility for governments and policymakers. There is a pressing need for media, social media, civil society partners as well as law enforcement at the local, national, and international levels to increase their awareness and strengthen their responses to this growing problem.

These guidelines and recommendations reflect the IHRA mission to promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research. In order to fulfill this mission, IHRA Member Countries promote international efforts to combat Holocaust denial and antisemitism.

The IHRA presents these recommendations as a first step toward responding to and strengthening awareness of Holocaust distortion.

Recognizing and Countering Holocaust Distortion Contents

  1. Identifying and Monitoring Holocaust Distortion
  2. Training to Tackle Distortion
  3. Strengthening Institutions that Address the Holocaust: Safeguarding the Historical Record
  4. Recognizing and Responding Online