Remembering the Holocaust reminds us of the need to step up human rights compliance

Today, 27 January we mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in honour of the memory of the millions of victims - including Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and people with disabilities - that were annihilated by the Nazi regime. On 27 January 1945, the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated.

"History has taught us: to look forward we must look back. Yet again Europe is faced with, rising poverty and greater social unrest. Racism and xenophobia remains a cause for concern and may rise fuelled by the current economic crisis," says FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum. "Therefore raising awareness about the Holocaust is inextricably linked to educating about human rights, and combatting racism and Antisemitism today. The youth of today need to understand the consequence of choices they make for themselves and wider society. This will help ultimately to build a more inclusive society based on respect for and understanding of fundamental rights and European values."

The FRA is actively engaged in Holocaust and human rights education. Having obtained observer status in the International Task Force on Holocaust Remembrance, Education and Research in 2007, the FRA has developed a series of teaching handbooks and toolkits that educators and employees of original sites and museums can use for teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights and for preparing school visits to Holocaust original sites and museums. 

Educating about human rights and the Holocaust goes hand in hand with the FRA's on-going data collection of antisemitic incidents in the EU. Having published annually since 2004 reports on Antisemitism in the EU, the Agency is starting this year a survey on Jewish people on their experiences and perceptions of Antisemitism.

The FRA provides the EU institutions and Member States with independent, evidence-based advice on fundamental rights. It is also developing indicators to help monitor progress in implementing fundamental rights legislation in a number of areas. FRA's overall aim is to contribute towards ensuring full respect for fundamental rights across the EU. Relevant FRA publications include: