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Statement at an International Holocaust Marking

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide's statement at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance marking in Brussels.

Colleagues, friends,

The extermination camps and the Holocaust are permanent stains on our collective conscience and a constant reminder of the dangers of antisemitism and hatred.

Norway is home to a small Jewish community with proud traditions. Norwegian Jews participate in all spheres of public life. They are an irreplaceable thread in our social fabric. We must never forget that almost a third of Norwegian Jews were brutally murdered during the Nazi genocide, and also that some Norwegians were complicit in their killing.

In Europe and elsewhere, the scourge of antisemitism is on the rise. Jews are being attacked in the streets and their places of worship are being desecrated.

Antisemitism is a threat not only to Jews. It is a threat to us all. All people who value diversity and tolerance have a moral duty to be vigilant to the dangers of antisemitism. We have an obligation to speak out. And we have an obligation to act.

Norway values the important contribution the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is making to counter this menace.

In 2016, the Norwegian Government launched an action plan against antisemitism. The plan will be updated and extended this year.

One of the interesting initiatives supported under the plan is the Jewish Pathfinders project. It involves young Norwegian Jews visiting upper secondary schools to increase knowledge about the Jewish minority and Judaism in Norway. Other initiatives include efforts to prevent antisemitism in schools, including the development of teaching resources, research activities, and efforts to preserve Jewish heritage both in Norway and in Europe.

The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies carries out research and disseminates knowledge about the Holocaust, other genocides, antisemitism, extremism, and minorities. It also conducts regular surveys on attitudes towards Jews and other minorities in Norway.

As I always emphasize when speaking about the Holocaust: This is recent history. Survivors are still alive.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and others who were persecuted, are not forgotten. The actions we take today must be guided by their memory.

In this way we can ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never allowed to happen again.

Thank you.

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