BY Mike Wagenheim, Jewish News Syndicate—
The first time, it was about remembrance. This time, it’s about preserving those memories.
On Thursday, an Israeli-led resolution calling for a clear definition of Holocaust denial and concrete steps to fight it, passed the U.N. General Assembly by consensus. A total of 114 countries joined in as co-sponsors, including a deluge in the final moments before its passage, on a project that Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan called his most important initiative in New York. Even diplomatic foes like Ireland and Turkey were early supporters of the resolution.
Symbolically, Germany asked in the early stages of the resolution’s drafting to place its name as a co-sponsor. Jan. 20 marks the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, when Nazi leaders met at a villa on the shores of Berlin’s Wannsee Lake to discuss the systematic murder of as many as 11 million Jews in Europe. The minutes from the 1942 meeting have been preserved to this day, making it a symbol of the genocide that was already underway at the time.
The resolution calls for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, which includes provisions on Holocaust denial. It also resolves for U.N. member states and U.N. agencies to promote Holocaust education and awareness. Continue Reading…