National initiative to increase knowledge about the Holocaust and antisemitism
In connection with the Government’s International Forum for Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, the Government is allocating SEK 10 million to a national initiative to increase knowledge in schools and society.
“The Holocaust and the crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War must never be forgotten. This national initiative is a continuation of the Government’s strategic and comprehensive work for democracy, tolerance and human rights, and to combat antisemitism, antiziganism and other forms of racism,” says Minister for Education Anna Ekström.
This year, it is 75 years since the end of the Second World War, and 20 years since the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration at the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust. In the Stockholm Declaration, Sweden has pledged to strengthen its efforts to promote remembrance, education and research about the Holocaust. In October, the Government will host an international forum on Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism in Malmö. In connection with this, the Government has allocated SEK 10 million in the Budget Bill for 2020 for a national initiative. It is now clear which four assignments will be included in the initiative:
- The Living History Forum will receive SEK 6 million to implement a national initiative to enhance educational initiatives about the Holocaust, antisemitism, antiziganism and other forms of racism, to particularly target audiences that are rarely reached by the Forum’s activities. Various parts of the school and liberal adult education systems are to be the focus of the efforts. Civic orientation for newly arrived immigrants is also covered by the assignment.
- The National Historical Museums will receive SEK 2.3 million to develop a Swedish-language version of the Dimensions in Testimony installation that allows visitors to converse with Holocaust survivors via pre-recorded answers to questions made possible by artificial intelligence technology. There are few Holocaust survivors left alive today to talk about their experiences. There is therefore a need to preserve the survivors’ testimonies in various ways.
- The University of Gothenburg (the Segerstedt Institute) will receive SEK 1.2 million to prepare a research review and conduct a research seminar on education in the school system that can combat antisemitism and other forms of racism. The assignment is to take both national and international research into account. The research seminar is to be conducted in conjunction with the Malmö Forum in October.
- The Swedish Defence Research Agency will receive SEK 0.5 million to produce a report on antisemitism in social media and other digital environments. The report will be part of the agency’s assignment to conduct surveys and analyses of violent extremist propaganda that is spread via the internet and social media.
“Remembering is not just never forgetting. It must also mean doing everything we can to prevent something similar from happening again. Although history has shown us the ultimate consequences of hatred of one another, discrimination and racism still exist in all parts of society. This is why initiatives like this are so important,” says Minister for Culture and Democracy Amanda Lind.