Sir Andrew Burns, Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues of the United Kingdom visited the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest on September 10. He was welcomed by Prof. Dr. György Haraszti, chairman of the Board of the Center, Prof. Dr. Szabolcs Szita, managing director, and Dr. János Botos, deputy managing director of the institution.
Sir Andrew Burns was appointed to his position in June 2010. He works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organizations in the UK. He deals with a whole range of Holocaust issues, especially those relating to education, opening of archives and ensuring continuous support to Holocaust victims and their families. His role also includes a focus on the restitution of art and immovable property and promoting the implementation of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets.
Among the objectives of his present visit to was to get acquainted to the system and practice of Holocaust education in Hungary and to understand better the attitude of the Hungarian society toward the history of Holocaust. During the talks at the Holocaust Memorial Center, he was informed about the efforts of the institution to promote Holocaust education, and to get teachers and students actively involved in Holocaust studies. He shared the view of his hosts that the cornerstone of the holocaust education is taking responsibility, the ability to face the historical developments. Only this can ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten.
The fact that next year the United Kingdom takes over the chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance gives an additional significance to this visit.