Topics: Main Topic: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: New Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial, Focus Groups, Policy
Abstract: This qualitative study aimed to address current gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the relationship between modern antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion from a regional perspective. This inquiry focuses on four post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe known as the Visegrád Four. Focus group research was conducted in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to explore how secondary antisemitism is manifested in Holocaust denial and distortion and how secondary and Israel-focused antisemitism (i.e. new antisemitism) can lead to Holocaust denial and distortion in the region. More specifically, the focus group research was meant to explore: (1) how focus group participants in the Visegrád countries contextualize topics related to Holocaust denial and distortion; (2) how these arguments are framed and justified; (3) how narratives of Holocaust denial and distortion are linked to Holocaust remembrance; (4) how such narratives are embedded in the discussion on Israel-focused antisemitism; (5) how Holocaust distortion and new antisemitism can reinforce each other in these narratives; and (6) how social settings can give rise to manifestations of antisemitism, including Holocaust denial and distortion. Drawing on the findings of this research, policy workshops were organized in each Visegrád country to formulate practice-oriented proposals that could inform policy development. The results of the qualitative research and the discussions in these workshops will contribute to the formulation of region-specific survey questions that can serve as a basis for further research on modern antisemitism in the Visegrád countries. This report summarizes the qualitative research, its key findings and the resulting proposals to combat Holocaust denial and distortion in the region.