Hungary assumed the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

The outgoing Chair Sir Andrew Burns from the United Kingdom handed over the Chairmanship to Szabolcs Takács, State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office of Hungary during an official ceremony at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin on 9 March 2015.

Incoming Chair Szabolcs Takács outlined the priorities of the Hungarian Chairmanship stating that the Chairmanship will endeavour to put combating antisemitism, and education about the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma at the centre of its programme.

In his speech Takács said: “This year began with shocking events in Paris and lately in Denmark by fanatics who, with stunningly bold violence, demonstrated their intolerance of the views of others. Sadly enough all these phenomena of harsh violence and extremism are coupled with old and new forms of antisemitism. Education is the main, almost the only tool to effectively counter this. This is why the role of IHRA is even bigger than we may think:  through Holocaust education and remembrance, a tolerant society should and could be built. That is the stake of our common work, to which I, as the Hungarian Chair of IHRA ask for your support, trust and cooperation.”

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 currently has 31 member countries, eight observer countries and seven Permanent International Partners. The IHRA has an annually rotating Chairmanship, and the appointed Chair is responsible for the overall activities of the organization.  The Chairmanship is supported by the Executive Secretary, who is the head of the Permanent Office located in Berlin.  The IHRA also has an Honorary Chairman, Professor Yehuda Bauer, and an Advisor to IHRA, Professor Steven Katz.

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