The international Board of Trustees of the EVZ Foundation met for a consultation session on March 16. In addition to new funding projects, the committee chaired by Annette Schavan approved the following at the digital meeting:
- The Foundation will be making up to 160,000 euros available for emergency coronavirus relief. The resources will be allocated to project executing agencies in Belarus, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine to alleviate the impacts the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the situation of survivors of National Socialist persecution. Depending on the specific situation in the countries, the resources will be used, for example, to support access to vaccinations and health information or to offset acute need caused by the pandemic.
- The Foundation will use resources from Germany’s federal government to launch an education initiative on National Socialist injustices. This initiative will address all forms of National Socialist persecution and all groups of victims affected by it. Through its work, the EVZ Foundation will help prevent discriminating ideologies in our current times through innovative funding measures, digital channels, and new alliances with stakeholders in civil society. A funding program for Holocaust education will also be set up in partnership with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
- The Foundation will be aligning its activities with the working definition of antigypsyism going forward as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Adopted in October 2020, the definition describes antigypsyism as a specific form of racism that has been directed against Sinti and Roma for centuries. Antigypsyism denies these communities equal access to rights, opportunities, and participation in social and economic life.
Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, had the following to say in his video message to the members of the Board of Trustees: “We need to create an awareness of the fact that antigypsyism calls into question our European values and our principles of democracy and rule of law in a radical way. For this reason, a condemnation of antigypsyism must also be seen as a task for society as a whole. A binding working definition of antigypsyism is a very good tool in this context.”
The Board of Trustees of the EVZ Foundation will meet again in June 2021. The agenda will include approving the Foundation’s future agenda.