Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for Southeast Asia

The genocide targeted Jews and Roma particularly during the Second World War, but its significance is universal. Holocaust denial is a form of genocide denial which is dangerous across the world. There are numerous examples of Holocaust distortion in Southeast Asia. The project deals with various forms of Holocaust distortion and denial spread in the region of Southeast Asia, e.g., the usage of Nazi imagery, the normalisation of the image of Hitler and Nazi Germany in popular culture; conspiracy theories scapegoating minorities and blaming the victims (including the Jews) for past crimes and historical conflicts; the dangerous globalisation of genocide denial, including the rise of ‘multi-deniers’ who distort both the Nazi crimes and other cases of genocide, such as the crimes of the Khmer Rouge or anti-Rohingya violence. The project draws on the regional experiences of the Second World War and further instances of genocide in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand to inspire critical memory discourses and develop capacities to counter Holocaust and genocide distortion in the region. The project’ s audience is diverse; it includes opinion-makers and multipliers such as faith leaders, academics, the staff of museums and memorial sites, among others. The project’ s activities include research, seminars, a digital exhibition, publications, and awareness raising through social media. The project’ s idea comes from the region itself, and has been developed in cooperation with local supporters and partners of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

‘NEVER AGAIN’ has extensive experience in activities in the region of Southeast Asia. Through seminars on the Holocaust for local audiences, we have identified challenges and widespread misperceptions and we develop counter-arguments and strategies.

‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association activities in Southeast Asia:

 

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The project has been supported by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA):

 

 

 

Main project partner: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Cambodia: