Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs (Press Release)
Plassnik: "International outcry against denial of holocaust"
Foreign Minister on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Vienna, 27 January 2007 - "This resolution is an outcry against any attempt to deny the horrors of the Shoa," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik following the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in which the community of states clearly condemns any denial or belittlement of the holocaust.
The wording of the resolution had been formulated with committed Austrian participation against the background of the so-called "holocaust conference" held in Iran last year.
"This event and the completely unacceptable statements made by Iranian President Ahmadinejad prove that there are repeated attempts to deny the systematic obliteration of 6 million Jews and other severely affected groups of victims, their persecution, mass killings, deportation and death camps. We must emphatically counter this frightening expression of intolerance, anti-Semitism and racial hatred," emphasised Plassnik.
"We have the obligation to heighten awareness of the greatest genocide in history, pass on the memory and educate our young generation to be tolerant and respect human rights. We must encourage them not to evade the traces of the past," continued the Foreign Minister.
In this context Plassnik referred to the Fund of the Future administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This fund promotes projects and academic work in the interests and in commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime, recalling the threat posed by totalitarian systems and despotism. She also referred to the longstanding cooperation between Austria and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem in the further training of Austrian teachers and innovative measures in the field of historical and political education such as the "www. erinnern.at" project for teachers and the "Political Education Days".
"Our international commitment is especially underlined by Austria’s membership in the International Holocaust Task Force, which comprises 24 states and to which we contribute by developing and implementing programmes relating to education, commemoration and research. These programmes also enable us to explain the Austrian efforts on behalf of victims of the Nazi regime to a public that has become more sensitive to this issue," concluded the Foreign Minister.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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