As the number of survivors who lived through and bore witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust (Shoah) diminishes, it is increasingly important for the world to safeguard the memory of the Shoah. Advocating on behalf of Holocaust survivors, promoting Holocaust awareness and education, and fighting against not only Holocaust denial but against any distortion, trivialization or other falsification of that history has long been a priority, and it has arguably never been more important.
It is up to the post-Holocaust generations to transmit the memories of the survivors, together with their moral legacies, into the future.
The WJC will never allow the Holocaust to be universalized so as to diminish its Jewish essence, and at the same time remains committed to fight all forms of racism, bigotry and xenophobia directed against other national, religious, ethnic, or racial groups. As the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel stated eloquently, “the Holocaust was a unique Jewish tragedy with universal implications.”
What we’re doing
For most of the seven decades following the end of World War II, the WJC has worked closely with Holocaust survivors in commemorating the Holocaust and in safeguarding the sites where the Holocaust was perpetrated and at forefront of initiatives to preserve the memory of the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. In fact, in the months following the end of World War II, Jacob Robinson, the director of the WJC’s Institute of Jewish Affairs, served as advisor to Justice Robert H. Jackson in preparing the prosecution’s case regarding the mass murder of European Jewry at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
WJC President Ronald S. Lauder has long been the driving force behind the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. In January 2015 and 2020, the WJC brought more than 100 survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau to Poland on the 70th and 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, and Ambassador Lauder gave a keynote address there on behalf of world Jewry.
The WJC has taken strides to implement effective initiatives by providing multilingual resources aimed at global audiences. Such efforts are progressed and disseminated in partnership with international organizations, such as UNESCO, governments, academic institutions, and other entities within the framework of #WeRemember, as a well-recognized and frequently used ‘brand’ for Holocaust remembrance activities.
The World Jewish Congress has partnered with Facebook and TikTok to prompt social media users searching for Holocaust related terms to learn more at AboutHolocaust.org, a comprehensive website containing authoritative information about the attempt to exterminate European Jewry
AboutHolocaust.org is an educational resource developed jointly by WJC and UNESCO. The website is now available worldwide in over a dozen languages.
As the survivors of the Shoah sadly fade from the scene, the WJC will continue to ensure that the memory of the Shoah will remain at the forefront of the consciousness of the Jewish people and the international community, and remains committed to fight against all manifestations of Holocaust denial, trivialization, or minimization, or any distortion, falsification, or misrepresentation of Holocaust history. The WJC understands that it is up to the post-Holocaust generations to transmit the memories of the survivors, together with their moral legacies, into the future, a task that remains all the more critical at a time when efforts are being made, especially in different parts of eastern and central Europe, to misrepresent the facts of the Holocaust as part of a political or social agenda.