Holocaust » Overview


Since 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar has implemented the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the Program has engaged participants from more than 40 countries on six continents, the majority of which are non-Western countries, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities. The Program has established a network of individuals and NGOs across these countries, and strives to deepen and extend their collaborative work, allowing practitioners to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education and peaceful conflict resolution.

Faced with a rise in violent extremism, policymakers are under pressure to invest in prevention and to show that it works. Structured efforts to reduce extremist mindsets and behaviors have existed for some time, but evidence of effectiveness is often not widely known or utilized. Many interventions require considerable time to affect change, making rigorous measurement of their success over the long-term resource-intensive with sustained political will around an often-unpopular topic. What works? How do we know? And will it work in different geographic, cultural, and political contexts? 

Salzburg Global Seminar’s Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program works across cultures and contexts, including where perceptions and definitions of “extremism” differ widely. The emphasis on grassroots activity within existing institutional budgets anchors projects in their local communities and improves chances for longer-term sustainability. Activities depend on the partners and are demand-driven: the Program provides no financial support to activity implementation, but rather the Program facilitates networks and exchange of experiences across borders to help in-country partners achieve their own institutional mandates, and to help external partners (government, academic, and other interested parties) to have access to practical feedback from on the ground within affected countries and communities.

For detailed information on countries that are not currently part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), please see: Holocaust Education.

For detailed reports from Salzburg Global Seminar sessions and compiled by Fellows, please see: Salzburg Global Publications

For further Holocaust Education resources from our partner, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, please see: Additional USHMM Resources


Updates from the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program

Salzburg Global Initiative Recommendations Presented to International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Salzburg Global Initiative Recommendations Presented to International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Recommendations of the Salzburg Global Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention have been well received by participants at the latest meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The meeting, held in December in Manchester, UK, was attended by Klaus Mueller, chair of the Salzburg Global Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, a joint initiative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and Salzburg Global, whereat he presented the recommendations made by Salzburg Global Fellows during the symposium Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Borders held in June in Salzburg. That symposium brought together predominantly non-Western participants from 29 countries outside the framework of the current IHRA member states. During the symposium, participants reviewed the 2010 IHRA guidelines on Holocaust and other genocides, and developed recommendations from a more global perspective, as outlined in the 2014 session report. Mueller’s presentation on these recommendations to such a large transnational forum provided a unique opportunity to engage colleagues from around the world.  IHRA, an intergovernmental network of currently 31 nations from Europe, North America, Israel and Argentina, supports the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally, and has been a main supporter of the Salzburg Global Initiative. As part of the US delegation to IHRA, Mueller joined, among other meetings, the first gathering of a new IHRA Committee on Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.  The committee – which addresses the growing engagement of Holocaust institutions and memorials in education and remembrance activities on other genocides – invited Mueller to present the outcomes of the June 2014 Salzburg symposium.  The IHRA committee delegates took the Salzburg recommendations very seriously and used them as a point of departure to review and further develop the IHRA guidelines on Holocaust and other genocides, thus integrating the recommendations of the joint USHMM-Salzburg Global Initiative as an outside expert perspective. Among other themes, the Committee members discussed as a follow-up to the recommendations from our 2014 Salzburg participants:
  • Making the guidelines more practical for educators and teachers through lesson plans;
  • Creating a feedback mechanism to understand guidelines as a working document;
  • Working on a draft paper on the use of language within the IHRA guidelines guided by the Salzburg recommendations;
  • Reflecting on the global use of the IHRA guidelines.
The current IHRA chair Sir Andrew Burns from the United Kingdom (who attended the 2014 Salzburg session) and Michael Haider from the Austrian Foreign Office (which has been a key funder from the beginning of the Initiative since 2010) were informed about the session outcomes in separate dialogues hosted by Mueller. 
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
Salzburg Global Seminar 
The report from the June 2014 Salzburg Global Seminar session Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders is now available online.  The program, held as part of the joint Salzburg Global-United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Salzburg Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, brought together 47 educators, museum directors, civil society leaders, policy influencers, public officials and other working in Holocaust and genocide education from 29 countries across the world. You can read more about the session in the report below:
Download the report as PDF
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Salzburg Global Seminar proudly presents its new periodical, The Salzburg Global Chronicle. Replacing the traditional annual President’s Report, the new publication “chronicles” Salzburg Global’s programs at Schloss Leopoldskron and around the world, including profiles on both “up-and-coming” leaders and high profile Salzburg Global Fellows, and features on the impact Salzburg Global Seminar, its programs, staff and Fellows have in the world beyond the Schloss.

Highlights include:

15 Faces for the Future  

Salzburg Global Seminar’s mission is to challenge current and future leaders to tackle problems of global concern. To this end, Salzburg Global brings young, emerging leaders to Schloss Leopoldskron, not only for our Academies programs, but for every Salzburg Global session. Nearly 500 of our 1844 Fellows who attended sessions between 2011 and 2013 were under the age of 40, in addition to the more than 800 Academies participants. Below are just 15 of our remarkable young Fellows.

The Power of Partnership 

Salzburg Global Seminar’s programs would not happen without our partners. Partners provide not only the intellectual capital and input to drive the session forward but often the much needed financial capital necessary to bring Fellows and faculty to Salzburg. But what do partners get out of working with Salzburg Global?

A Distinct History, a Universal Message  

For three days, at a palace once home to the local Nazi party leader, experts from across the globe considered the value of Holocaust education in a global context at a symposium hosted by Salzburg Global and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. They proved the Holocaust is more than just a European or Jewish experience.

Strength in Diversity 

LGBT rights are moving up the international agenda, and while progress is being made, at the same time some countries are passing increasingly regressive laws. In June 2013, Salzburg Global convened its first ever Salzburg Global LGBT Forum addressing LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps, starting a truly global conversation.

An Unlikely Constellation of Partners  

Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Appalachian College Association, member institutions of which serve predominantly white students, do not seem like the most obvious of partners. But this did not stop them from coming together to transform their schools into sites of global citizenship through the Salzburg Global Seminar-led, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Mellon Fellow Community Initiative.

Media Change Makers

Since helping to launch the program in 2007, Salzburg Global President Stephen L. Salyer has taken a hands-on role in the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: helping to devise the program, delivering lectures and mentoring students. This year, he met with student representatives from each region represented at the eighth annual program to find out how the Academy is helping shape them. The Chronicle is available online at chronicle2013.salzburgglobal.org and to download as a PDF and in our ISSUU Library    Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle as a PDF Print copies are available at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron and all upcoming Salzburg Global Seminar events and programs.
Former Resident Director Tim Ryback Publishes New Book
Former Resident Director Tim Ryback Publishes New Book
Jonathan Elbaz 
Timothy Ryback, the former resident director for Salzburg Global, just published a new book about the first victims of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. It's called Hitler's First Victims: The Quest For Justice, and it's currently available to purchase on Amazon. The book follows the courageous German prosecutor, Josef Hartinger, who risked everything to expose the first killers in the Holocaust. The book description explains, "Hitler’s First Victims exposes the chaos and fragility of the Nazis’ early grip on power and dramatically suggests how different history could have been had other Germans followed Hartinger’s example of personal courage in that time of collective human failure." Meanwhile, read reviews of the new book by the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.
Helena Kennedy and Michael Kirby: "A Law Unto Themselves"
Helena Kennedy and Michael Kirby: "A Law Unto Themselves"
Tanya Yilmaz 
Helena Kennedy had not even finished listing attributed qualities when Justice Michael Kirby interrupted her with a good-humored laugh.

“God that makes me exhausted! I didn’t know I’d been accused of so many crimes,” Kirby remarked.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4,
Cutler Lecturer Baroness Helena Kennedy spoke to Salzburg Global Fellow, Justice Michael Kirby, in a new series of talks called “A Law Unto Themselves”. The series will see Kennedy interview four eminent international lawyers and judges whose courage and dedication to protecting the rule of law has helped make societies more justifiable.

Kirby discussed how his life-long pursuit of justice was driven by his own experiences with equal gay rights in Australia which has led him to use his expertise to fight for human rights in North Korea.

He was the first Australian High Court judge to come out as gay in 1999 after he revealed that he had been in a stable same-sex relationship since 1969. Kirby has since campaigned for gay rights which have brought him into conflict with not only politicians but also the church and fellow judges.

As a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, Kirby has attended numerous sessions in the past including, “Biotechnology: Legal, Ethical and Social Issues” and “Telecommunications: Policy Issues and Regulatory Practices.” Kirby also expressed support for (though was unable to attend) the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum in Berlin this year. Whilst in North Korea, Kirby produced a report detailing and investigation into the widespread violations of human rights in the country and to ensure full accountability is evident, particularly, for acts which may be classified as crimes against humanity. In 2014, Kirby penned a letter to the participants of the Salzburg Global session Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experience Across Borders”, where he outlined the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on human rights violations, particularly within the context of North Korea. He not only discussed the modern definition of genocide but also called for participants to engage with new issues such as the global approach to narcotic drug control; human rights issues presented by HIV; the issues of animal rights, protection and welfare. In his letter, Kirby stated: “I applaud the program at which the marvellous Salzburg Global Seminar will address issues presented by Holocaust and genocide education.” When talking with Kennedy about his judicial work within the High Court of Australia and the Court of Appeal of New South Wales, Kirby made reference to how he adopts the rule of law based on his values.

“I do admit that my background, my experience, my education and my sexuality have an impact on your values and values are critically important – the higher you go up the judiciary ladder, the more important are your values because in the spaces left in the ambiguities of law and statues,” Kirby explained.

Baroness Helena Kennedy has also strong ties with Salzburg Global having been the Cutler lecturer at the “Third Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law: ‘Conversation at the Court’”. She also attended Cutler Fellow Program in 2012 as well as the November Board of Directors Dinner in the same year. During the interview, Kennedy described Kirby as the “Great Dissenter”, as he frequently votes against his fellow judges and expresses his personal views outside of the courtroom – something which judges are not supposed to do.

The BBC program also featured speakers such as John Doth and Geoffrey Robertson, who both praised for Kirby’s openness about his sexuality.

Robertson said: “He had two qualities which were remarkable as a judge…He was gay and he came out, and that gave him the perspective of a minority group, it gave him a real, visceral understanding of how law and non-discrimination law was important for different groups of people… [which] marked him as someone who was particularly able to bring the law into the 21st century and into a position where it could better advance human aspirations.”

Doth added that by coming out as gay, Kirby “gave a real respectability to the gay community” and it made a huge difference to public attitudes in Australia. 
To listen to Baroness Helena Kennedy interview Justice Michael Kirby, go to the BBC iPlayer website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bnd0l Download Michael Kirby's letter to Salzburg Global Fellows on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention
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Kofi A. Annan,  Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1997-2006

Honorary President, Salzburg Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention

“I am honoured to have been associated with this project since its inception in 2009. Working together, the Seminar and the Museum have brought together scholars, educators and policy makers from different academic disciplines, and from many different parts of the world, to consider how far, and in what ways, education about the Holocaust and other genocides can actually contribute to the prevention of further such tragedies in the future.”

- Kofi Annan