Dayan: We are approaching a post-survivor era, Yad Vashem warns

Dayan criticized “Holocaust distortion” at the hands of governments amidst rising tensions between Israel and Poland on Holocaust Remembrance matters.

Dayan: We are approaching a post-survivor era, Yad Vashem warns

“We are approaching a watershed moment in Holocaust remembrance,” Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan warned during The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Monday.

“We are approaching the post-survivor era.”

“It is inevitable and I’m very afraid that when that happens, it will mark a happy moment for deniers and distortions,” he added. “For this reason, it is important that we strengthen our work.”

Before his appointment to Yad Vashem in 2021, Dayan served as Israel’s consul-general in New York.

“When I arrived in 2016, I thought that fighting antisemitism was pretty low on the agenda of priorities, but then reality slapped me in the face” he said, recalling how 15 Jews were murdered in multiple attacks over the next few years.

To combat antisemitism, the US must also combat anti-Zionism

According to Dayan, to fight antisemitism in America, it is very important to focus on anti-Zionism. “I am very afraid of definitions of antisemitism that exclude one of its most important manifestations,” he said.

Asked about the tensions between Israel and Poland regarding Holocaust remembrance, Dayan criticized “Holocaust distortion” at the hands of governments.

“Overall in the world, Holocaust denial is a marginal problem,” he said. “At the same time, we see a very serious problem of Holocaust distortion promoted by governments, saying the Holocaust happened, but their countrymen did not do anything wrong.”

According to Dayan, in Poland the situation is worrisome, with the Polish government ready to cut funds and sanction academics and institutions that do not conform to its narrative.

“We are not going to change our way,” he said. “We will continue to honor the Polish Righteous Among the Nations and we will continue to demand from Poland to remember the heinous actions committed by other Poles.”