Response to the Address of the President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Screenshot of the website of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Response to the Address of the President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

As delivered by Ambassador Michael Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
January 26, 2023

Thank you, Ambassador Bernes, for your leadership as Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. 

Today we solemnly recall the horrific persecution and systematic murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.  We also remember the many other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses, LGBTQI+ persons, Slavs, persons with disabilities, and opponents of Nazi oppression enslaved and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during their vicious and barbarous rule and in their death camps.  Every single one of the millions murdered was a human being who had a story, a family, a life.  And so did the millions more who survived the Holocaust’s horrors.

Sadly, antisemitism is not just a relic of a dark past.  It is a real and present danger, and it is on the rise around the world, including in many OSCE countries.  My own country is hardly immune to this virus.  I am therefore grateful to North Macedonia for hosting a conference on combating antisemitism on February 6 and 7 in Skopje, and I look forward to attending this important event.  It is imperative that participating States, individually and collectively, condemn antisemitism whenever and wherever it arises, and that we take decisive action against it. 

It is also critical to speak out about Holocaust distortion.  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s recent attempts to compare the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with the Nazis’ Final solution to eradicate the Jewish people is offensive and deeply irresponsible.  Those who also try to compare the current authorities in Ukraine to Nazis cheapen their own countries’ reputation.

The OSCE has a vital role to play in combating antisemitism.  ODIHR and the Chair’s Personal Representative on Combating Antisemitism, Rabbi Andrew Baker, are tremendous resources that can help us ensure OSCE participating States continue to prioritize this issue.  We once again call upon those participating States who have not yet done so, to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition on antisemitism as a practical tool in identifying the many manifestations of antisemitism.  The United States condemns all forms of intolerance and urges others to call out and combat hate in all its forms in the OSCE region.