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HRC Holds Panel on History Teaching and Memorialization Processes
September 9, 2014

Panel on History Teaching & Memorialization Processes
Statement by the United States of America
As Delivered by Lisa Brodey
27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
September 9, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States welcomes today’s panel discussion on history teaching and memorialization.  Our ability to remember past events and learn from them is an integral part of what makes us human and shapes our identities as individuals, communities, and nations.

As the special rapporteur on cultural rights noted, our understanding and interpretation of history may change over time.  However, we remain very concerned at historical revisionism that seeks to call into question proven historical facts, such as the all-too-common denial of the Holocaust.  Similarly, we are concerned about historical labels from the past being applied in the present by government officials to totally unrelated persons or groups, such as the flagrant and unwarranted use of the term “Nazi” in an attempt to disparage a person or group.

We have two questions for the panelists:

How can the United Nations best work to promote the teaching of the history of the Holocaust, so that we can ensure such crimes against humanity are never forgotten or committed again?

Are there ways the UN can better give voice to the marginalized and to the victims of human rights violations so that their histories can also be preserved and remembered?