Commissioner at the international conference dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust

“The Holocaust is key to understanding the concept of racism and discrimination, but also the possible terrible consequences that these phenomena have for society”, said Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, at the international conference dedicated to remembering the Holocaust “Active Culture of Remembrance – Together for Results”, which was organized by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), in cooperation with the organization Teraforming and the Swedish Embassy in Serbia.

In the discussion dedicated to contemporary anti-Semitism, the Commissioner stated that, despite the fact that the Holocaust is still strongly present in our collective consciousness, there are indications that fewer and fewer people remember and understand the significance of this event, which is why it is necessary to continue education about the Holocaust, in order to preserve the memory of the victims and raise awareness of the importance of the fight against racism and discrimination. Janković reminded of the marked increase in anti-Semitism, especially on the Internet, which has become a digital battlefield and training ground for the most diverse forms of anti-Semitic propaganda, which often appears in covert and subtle forms, such as mimes and gifs. We must react to each individual incident because everything starts from words, and it can turn into something much more dangerous, the Commissioner pointed out.

Janković pointed out that the principles stated in the Strategy on Combating Antisemitism of the European Commission can be universally applicable and, at the same time, serve as a starting point for further activities on this front, and assessed that the institution of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality successfully copes with the challenges in the fight against anti-Semitism, given its practice and high level of cooperation with the Jewish community in Serbia and beyond.

The conference was opened by Annika Ben David, Ambassador of Sweden to Serbia, Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Aron Fuks, President of the Jewish Community in Belgrade, Dr. Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, Ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law of Sweden and Miško Stanišić, Director of the Teraforming organization. Among the conference participants were Ladislav Trajer, Vice President of the Union of Jewish Municipalities in Serbia, Nataša Tasić Knežević from the Committee for Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality, Krinka Vidaković Petrov, Director of the Staro sajmište Memorial Center, as well as representatives of organizations dealing with anti-Semitism from Sweden and Israel.

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