Antisemitism and antigypsyism are jeopardising social cohesion in Europe by condoning human rights violations and stirring up hatred. They have a long and disquieting tradition. In the National Socialist era they paved the way for the murder of the European Jews and Roma. Against the backdrop of this history, the Foundation EVZ supports the systematic and long-term examination of discrimination, marginalisation and hatred practised against Roma and Jews in Europe.
To strengthen civil society in dealing with anti-Semitism and anti-gypsyism, the EVZ Foundation is funding specific practical projects and a series of conferences.
Since 2016, the Foundation has been funding country-specific projects in Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary as well as a transnational online toolbox. The funding activities also include further forms of discrimination. The focus of the funding is on coalition building, qualifications for important professional groups and counter-speeches against hate comments.
Stories that Move is a new online toolbox designed to fight discrimination. Education experts from seven countries have developed it in cooperation with young people. The materials are available in seven languages.
In 2019-2020 EVZ Foundation promotes the dissemination and application of the Toolbox with trainings, webinars and campaigns in Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.
The Tool Box
“Tartós eltáv” – “On the leave”. In a Roma community in Northern Hungary, empowerment for Roma in dealing with anti-gypsyism is combined with theatre and thematic workshops as well as training courses for mentors. The groups in the cooperation include NGO Autonomia Foundation, the famous Katona József Theater Budapest, a local Roma self-organisation and local authorities.
This is a successful partnership being implemented between the self-organisations Haver Informal Jewish Educational Foundation and Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation in Budapest. Young Jewish people and Roma hold voluntary training sessions for youth and teachers at schools, acting as a “living library” against discrimination and thus sending out a signal of solidarity between the minorities.
Together with the Roma organisation Dialog Pheniben Foundation, the Auschwitz Jewish Center trains teachers in a one-year academy, preparing them for project work in schools against anti-Semitism, anti-gypsyism and hate comments, also providing supervision and coaching.
Together with the Roma organisation Dialog Pheniben Foundation, the POLIN Museum holds training courses for police, administrations, teachers and trainees.
Two projects in Romania and the Czech Republic are taking action against hate commentaries in social media and on the Internet.
With the touring exhibition on the story of Anne Frank, peer guides are working at schools in Moscow, Voronezh and St. Petersburg on anti-Semitism, tolerance and human rights.
The Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, working together with the Jewish community, the Roma Community Centre Vilnius and the organisation The Falcons in Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevezys, Siauliai and other places, has laid more than 14 “stumbling blocks” commemorating the murder of Jews and Roma in the Nazi era. In addition to high-profile ceremonies achieving a great media response, there are school projects on biographies and teacher training courses integrating ways of addressing current forms of anti-Semitism and anti-gypsyism. The project addresses current debates about perpetrators and victims, contributing to a positive change in Holocaust education.
Research and NGO teams in Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary have evaluated existing data and projects and developed recommendations for action regarding policy and civil society. The reports are available in national languages and as English summaries.
Lithuania (english summary from page 112)
Ukraine (english summary at the end):
An international working group headed by the Pears Insitute for the study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London has used existing data to investigate the relationship between immigration, particularly from the Middle East and North Africa, and anti-Semitic and other xenophobic and racist prejudices in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and to develop recommendations. The research results are available as an overall report in English; the country reports are available in English and as the summaries in the national languages.
Projects focusing on different forms of antisemitism in Western Europe were supported in 2018/2019.
The Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism (KIgA) implemented two dialogue and networking events: In October 2018, a German-American conference on “Building alliances, strengthening Jewish-Muslim dialogue” was held in Berlin; In December 2018, a European network conference was launched on the theme “Combatting Antisemitism Through Education”.
The conference, hosted by the History Department at the University of Salzburg, was held at the end of February 2019. International experts looked into current forms of antisemitism and the people/organisations behind this, analysed the similarities and differences, and discussed various questions regarding the methodology of academic research on this theme.
In 2019, the Anne Frank education centre in Frankfurt am Main is conducting an analysis into the suitability of incorporating digital simulations into historical-political education. The aim is to examine how simulations that were designed to combat radicalisation in England can be adapted for use in Germany. Antisemitic and revisionist historical arguments will also be examined. The results will be channelled into the further integration of digital formats in our programme work.
The conference series called "Blickwinkel (Perspectives). Anti-Semitism-critical forum for education and science" looks at current analyses and discusses innovative educational approaches, highlighting elements in terms of critical discourse analysis.