Thursday 20 June 2019
University of Cambridge academic and well-known archaeologist and historian Dr Gilly Carr has been appointed as the first representative for Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney in the UK's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
The States of Guernsey and the States of Jersey have agreed to jointly fund this role.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) describes itself as an organisation that 'unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance and to uphold the commitments to the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.'
The IHRA (formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, or ITF) was initiated in 1998. Today the IHRA's membership consists of 33 member countries, 'each of whom recognizes that international political coordination is imperative to strengthen the moral commitment of societies and to combat growing Holocaust denial and antisemitism.'
Dr Carr has spent much of her career researching the history of the Channel Islands during the Second World War, and working with the States and local schools to inform and educate the Island community. Her role as representative for the Channel Islands to the IHRA will help ensure our islands' history is also understood better by the international community, and that any best practice from other countries is fed back to the Islands.
The appointment follows a decision made by the States of Deliberation in 2016, when it agreed that the Holocaust should be recognised in Guernsey. At the same time, the States of Deliberation also resolved to work with the UK in its participation in the IHRA.
'The impact of the Holocaust on the Channel Islanders is an emotive subject and we may not yet fully understand it. But we need to encourage an honest, open effort to understand an important, albeit difficult, part of our history. More widely, the holocaust and its consequences have clearly been defining in how the post-war world has been shaped. That is still the case, particularly as many of our European neighbours work to address ongoing antisemitism. In a small, friendly community like ours, these issues seem far from home but we should never be complacent about the dangers posed by extreme ideologies, past, present and future.
Dr Carr was recently involved in producing Guernsey Museum's exhibition "On British Soil" and her leadership in helping to establish and maintain standards internationally on how issues related to the Holocaust are handled and communicated sensitively and truthfully will prove of great value to us.'
-Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Minister for External Affairs