U.S. and Germany Announce New Dialogue on Holocaust Issues, With Focus on Educating Younger Generations

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass are seen at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, June 24, 2021.

June 27, 2021

Amid rising Jew-hatred worldwide, the United States and Germany have launched a new dialogue on Holocaust issues, with a focus on education.

The dialogue was launched on Thursday at an event at Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe attended by German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

One goal of the dialogue is to deal with the global surge of antisemitism that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A recent study found that during the pandemic, antisemitic content online increased seven-fold in French, thirteen-fold in German,” said Blinken, the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, in remarks on Thursday.

With Holocaust denial increasing across the globe, the U.S. and Germany are also seeking to teach youth the lessons of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

“Today, as in the past, Holocaust denial and other forms of antisemitism often go hand-in-hand with homophobia, xenophobia, racism, other hatred,” Blinken noted. “It’s also a rallying cry for those who seek to tear down our democracies, which we’ve seen in both our countries is often a precursor to violence. That’s why we have to find innovative ways to bring the history of the Holocaust to life not only to understand the past but also to guide our present and to shape our future.”

Senior-level consultations involving representatives from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Germany’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe will begin later this year.

With the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling, the need for collaborative educational programming on the topic is growing more acute.

“It is more important today than at any time since the end of World War II to ensure there is an accurate understanding of the Holocaust, the forces that brought it about, and its tragic consequences,” a U.S. State Department statement said. “Complacency and lack of preparedness allowed the rise of fascism, antisemitism, and racism that led to the Holocaust.”