The Participants of the International Terezín Declaration Conference Supported the Fight Against Antisemitism

The International Terezín Declaration Conference was opened in the Czernin Palace by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský. The three-day conference took place on November 2 – 4, 2022 and aimed to support the fight against antisemitism, highlighted the role of education and called for the solving of injustices from the time of the Holocaust. It also dealt with the situation of survivors of the war in Ukraine. The event took place with the participation of representatives from 47 signatory states as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský called in his speech on the representatives of the signatory states of the Terezín Declaration to take the necessary steps to fulfill its obligations: “You are aware of the fact that throughout this year we´ve had to deal with critical issues like energy supplies and prices and security among others. However, we are convinced that even in these times we should firmly advocate human rights and pay close attention to other threats that endanger our way of life, including racism and antisemitism.” In this context, the head of Czech diplomacy also drew attention to the effects of the war in Ukraine or the threat in the form of disinformation campaigns: “We are now facing armed conflict in Europe, which we thought that would have never happened again, and outbursts of racism and national and religious intolerance. If we do not want history to repeat itself we have to keep Holocaust memory alive and not let any room for disinformation or distortion” said Minister Lipavský.

The participants and guests could watch a video message from the US State Secretary Antony Blinken and they were also greeted by the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman and by the President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog. The conference was organized by the Office of the Special Envoy for Holocaust, Interfaith Dialogue and Freedom of Religion or Belief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

In addition to the main program of the conference the Experts meeting was organized by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Jewish Literature, Department of Czech and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. Participants and guests also had the opportunity to personally meet Holocaust survivors, listen to a concert by Terezín composers called Defiant Requiem, and visit the Ghetto Terezín. On the occasion of the conference a Youth Video Contest on the topic: “Why and How to Commemorate the Holocaust Today” was announced and selected young contestants from several countries of the world were invited to participate at the conference.

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