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Date: 2021
Abstract: Overt state-sponsored antisemitism ended in Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union. Antisemitic attitudes, however, remain prevalent in Europe, and some European political actors have instrumentalized antisemitism for political gain. This report examines both the conscious use of antisemitism in European politics and the calculated tolerance of antisemitism, demonstrating that the oldest hatred remains a modern political tool.

Unlike antisemitic incidents of violence, vandalism, or insults, the political use of antisemitism does not target Jews themselves. Instead, antisemitic propaganda targets domestic or foreign audiences as a means of gaining political support. Demonstrating tolerance for antisemitism is another tactic of attracting political support. Polling data shows that these strategies have a rational basis. ADL’s 2019 Global 100 survey of antisemitic attitudes found that one in four Europeans polled harbored antisemitic beliefs.

Antisemitic propaganda has as its goal to energize and attract followers. Antisemitic propaganda is also used to tarnish political opponents in the eyes of a specific audience by intimating that someone is Jewish, supportive of Jewish causes or of the State of Israel. Other times, political opponents are slandered as antisemites or Nazis to diminish their reputations with specific audiences. Each of these techniques will be covered in this report, which focuses on the conscious choice of instrumentalizing or tolerating antisemitism for political gain. Antisemitic rhetoric by political actors as an indicator of bias is a much broader topic, and this report does not cover those instances.

The broad categories of the politicization of antisemitism include (1) politically motivated accusations of, or uses of, antisemitism against political opponents; (2) political appeals to antisemitic beliefs among the public, including the conspiracy theories about Jewish control of government, economy, media; and (3) tolerance of antisemitism within political movements as a strategy for increasing popular support. This list not exhaustive of the political instrumentalization of antisemitism, but this report provides illustrative examples from recent years in these broad categories.

Why is this report important? While violent antisemitic attacks receive wide publicity – and rightly so – the politicization of antisemitism can also severely impact Jewish communities. The British Jewish community provides a compelling example.

In January 2015, 11% of British Jews were considering emigrating, according to a poll by the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. That survey was conducted before Jeremy Corbyn, widely regarded within the British Jewish community as an antisemite himself, was even a leadership candidate for the Labour party. In September 2018, after antisemitism had become a serious problem in the Labour party under Corbyn, the Jewish Chronicle poll found that 39% of British Jews were considering emigrating. And in an October 2019 poll by the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, just prior to the UK General Election, 47% of British Jews said they would “seriously consider” leaving the UK if Jeremy Corbyn were to win the election.

Had Jeremy Corbyn won, leading a major party widely recognized as tolerating antisemitism among its members, and had even 30% of British Jews emigrated as a result of that single event, that number of roughly 90,000 Jews would have been similar to the total of all the French Jews who left France over the past 20 years.

The sections below are select examples of the different ways in which antisemitism has been instrumentalized for political gain by various actors. The purposes and tactics vary substantially, but have the common element of politicizing antisemitism:

The Russian government instrumentalized antisemitism in the forms of propaganda and “false flag” operations to influence domestic and foreign public opinion in its conflict with Ukraine.
Polish political campaigns used overt antisemitic rhetoric during elections to win votes.
The Hungarian government used coded antisemitism in political campaigns against EU migration policies.
The UK Labour party consciously tolerated antisemitism to widen its political support from far-left radicals.
Ukrainian nationalists glorified World War II era fighters to promote nationalist narratives, while trivializing their involvement in the Holocaust.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party trivialized the Holocaust as part of their appeal to “Holocaust fatigue” among German voters.
Other political actors have engaged in similar acts of politicization, and their absence from this report is not indicative of any assessment. The cases below are simply the most blatant examples of the types of politicization to be highlighted.
Author(s): Kranz, Dani
Date: 2021
Date: 2015
Abstract: Approximately one-third of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust were murdered in what Father Patrick Desbois has called the ‘Holocaust by bullets’ – mass shootings that largely took place across Eastern Europe in thousands of forests, villages, streets, and homes. In many instances, German perpetrators and their local collaborators eliminated entire communities in a matter of days or even hours.

And yet these Killing Sites remain relatively unknown, both in regional histories and in the larger remembrance of the Holocaust. With the passing of both survivors and witnesses, efforts are underway by a range of actors who are determined to locate and preserve these sites and to name their unidentified victims.

Recognizing the importance and urgency of this work, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) launched a Multi-Year Work Plan project on Killing Sites in 2011 to raise public awareness, offer support and expertise to diverse initiatives in this field, encourage further research, and pursue commemoration for educational purposes. As the first milestone of this plan, IHRA experts convened a major international conference on Killing Sites in Krakow on January 22–23, 2014.

As this volume reveals, the ambitious program brought together an impressive mix of organizations, scholars, and experts who examined a range of subjects, including the state of current research; promising pilot projects; complex national and religious legal issues; developments in forensic archaeology; and regional efforts to integrate Killing Sites into educational curricula, among others. Just as important, however, the Krakow conference highlighted the challenges that remain and the vital importance of the work that must still be done.

This publication includes nineteen articles based on the papers presented at the conference, reflecting both research and fieldwork. The participants in this book share with each other and with the reader the various challenges that they have faced, as well as their successes or lack thereof in overcoming obstacles. They tell of challenges of identifying mass Killing Sites; tracing the story of each site; legal, Halakhic (Jewish law), cultural, and political issues; efforts to involve local people and authorities as well as national authorities in the preservation and commemoration of these sites; conflicting memories that could lead to distorted commemoration, as discussed for example by Father Jacek Waligóra; or a desire to forget the events and the mass killings in some cases.
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: Germany’s acceptance of its direct responsibility for the Holocaust has strengthened its relationship with Israel and has led to a deep commitment to combat antisemitism and rebuild Jewish life in Germany. As we draw close to a time when there will be no more firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust, there is great concern about what will happen when German responsibility turns into history. Will the present taboo against open antisemitism be lifted as collective memory fades? There are alarming signs of the rise of the far right, which includes blatantly antisemitic elements, already visible in public discourse. But it is mainly the radicalization of the otherwise moderate Muslim population of Germany and the entry of almost a million refugees since 2015 from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan that appears to make German society less tolerant and somewhat less inhibited about articulating xenophobic attitudes. The evidence is unmistakable—overt antisemitism is dramatically increasing once more.

The Future of the German-Jewish Past deals with the formidable challenges created by these developments. It is conceptualized to offer a variety of perspectives and views on the question of the future of the German-Jewish past. The volume addresses topics such as antisemitism, Holocaust memory, historiography, and political issues relating to the future relationship between Jews, Israel, and Germany. While the central focus of this volume is Germany, the implications go beyond the German-Jewish experience and relate to some of the broader challenges facing modern societies today.
Date: 2017
Abstract: How is the Holocaust taught in schools? How do students make sense of this challenging subject? How are people affected by visits to Holocaust memorial sites?

Empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust that tackles these and other questions has grown rapidly over the past fifteen years, a period marked by the professionalization and expansion of the field. In 2013, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) decided to carry out a study to establish a picture of this emerging field of research. A multilingual expert team mandated to collect and review research in fifteen languages identified nearly 400 studies resulting in more than 600 publications. Three years of work resulted in the book "Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: A Dialogue Beyond Borders" (March 2017), which carries the field beyond anecdotal reflections and moral arguments.

Download a pdf copy of the publication

This systematic review includes research conducted in most IHRA Member Countries as well as several non-member countries. The multilingual focus of the project enables cross-cultural analyses and the transfer of knowledge between various regions and countries. The book’s two parts present the research first by language and then by selected themes. This innovative transnational, trans-lingual study reflects IHRA’s core mission: to shape and advance teaching and learning about the Holocaust worldwide.

The second outcome is a set of bibliographies in fifteen languages. These bibliographies comprise references to empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust. They also include abstracts or summaries of most of publications. Each bibliography includes research from a single language or related group of languages (both geographically related or linguistically related).
Date: 2017
Abstract: From the Foreword:

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Education Research Project aims to provide an overview of empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust (TLH) with a cross-cultural and multilingual perspective. The outcomes include transferring knowledge between various regions and countries, intensifying dialogue between scholars and educational decision makers and enhancing networking among researchers.

To fulfill these aims, in 2012 the IHRA established a Steering Committee and tasked a team of researchers with skills in a large range of languages. Early in the process, the decision was made to focus upon research which deals with deliberate efforts to educate about the Holocaust and to limit the search accordingly. This decision
meant there was a focus on both teaching and learning. The teaching focused on school settings – although there is also some explicit instruction at museums and sites of memory. Certainly, learning takes place in both school settings and museums/ sites of memory. This focus meant that some areas of scholarship are generally not
included in this collection. Firstly, non-empirical work, which is extensive and important, was beyond the scope of this research. Secondly, analyses of materials such as curricula, films, and textbooks were also beyond the scope.

The Education Research Project culminated in the publication of volume 3 of the IHRA book series Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: A Dialogue Beyond Borders, edited by Monique Eckmann, Doyle Stevick and Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs. The book is available in hard copy for purchase and as a free PDF download.

The second outcome is this set of eight bibliographies. These eight bibliographies comprise references to empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust. They also include abstracts or summaries of most of publications. Each bibliography includes research from a single language or related group of languages
(both geographically related or linguistically related). The research team identified almost 400 studies resulting in roughly 640 publications in fifteen languages that are grouped in the following eight language sets:
German, Polish, French, the languages of the Nordic countries, Romance languages other than French (specifically Spanish, Portuguese and Italian), East-Slavic languages (Belarussian, Russian and Ukrainian), English and Hebrew.

The bibliographies presented here contain titles in the original language and translations in English, as well as abstracts in English that were either written by the original authors, written by the research team or its contributors (or translated into English by the team). This set of bibliographies provides a unique tool for researchers
and educators, allowing them to gain insight into educational research dealing with teaching and learning about the Holocaust, not only in their own language, but also in languages they are not familiar with. We hope that this publication and these abstracts will provide a tool that facilitates research across language borders and contributes to further exchange, discussion and cooperation between researchers and educators as well as the creation of international and cross-language networks.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Antisemitismus in der Schule ist ein öffentliches Thema, dem sich manche schulische Akteure entziehen möchten. Wenn man sich des Themas nur anlassbezogen und sporadisch, beispielswiese in einer Projektwoche, annimmt, kann man Diskussionen über die Frage vermeiden, ob einzelne Kolleg(inn)en im eigenen Lehrkörper Antisemit(inn)en sind, ob es Schüler/-innen gibt, bei denen Antisemitismus ein manifestes Problem darstellt, das nicht mehr pädagogisch gelöst werden kann oder auch, ob Lehrpläne und Unterrichtsmaterialien überhaupt den Ansprüchen genügen, um mittel- und langfristig eine Minimierung von Antisemitismus herbeizuführen.

Das vorliegende wissenschaftliche Gutachten will das Feld „Antisemitismus in der Schule“ systematisch erfassen und aufzeigen, an welchen Stellen welche Erkenntnisse der Forschungen über Antisemitismus und politische Bildung umgesetzt werden müssten, wollte man etwas am Antisemitismus in der Schule ändern. Denn es ist naheliegend, dass die Gründe für die unzureichende Handlungsbereitschaft mancher beteiligter Akteure nicht in erster Linie in Unwissenheit liegt, sondern neben weltanschaulichen Gründen auch materielle und finanzielle eine Rolle spielen.

Das Gutachten wird Erkenntnisse der Forschung systematisch darstellen, offene Fragen benennen und am Ende konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen formulieren - viele davon sind Samuel Salzborn/Alexandra Kurth: Antisemitismus in der Schule 5evident und offensichtlich, ob man sie umsetzen will und wird, hängt von der politischen Prioritätensetzung und damit auch von der Frage ab, ob Antisemitismus als zentrales Problemfeld von und für Schulen erkannt wird oder ob man sich weiterhin auf eine punktuelle, von Prinzipien der Aufmerksamkeitsökonomie geprägte Feuerwehrpolitik orientieren möchte, die von den zahlreichen Herausforderungen kaum eine löst, wenngleich die meisten von ihnen - so die vorweggenommene Grundeinschätzung dieses Gutachtens - durchaus gelöst werden könnten
Author(s): Radvan, Heike
Date: 2010