Denmark

1 Recognition of the Genocide

1.1 Recognition, official texts

Denmark observes 27th January as the official Auschwitz Day of Holocaust and Genocide Remembrance. The day commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides, including victims of the Genocide of the Roma. The date was established in 2002 and has been observed every year since 2003. In addition, the primary day of commemoration of World War II is 5th May, which is marked across the country and includes remembrance of the victims of National Socialism.

1.2 Data (camps locations, Remembrance places, measures etc.)

Frøslev Camp (Danish: Frøslevlejren, German: Polizeigefangenenlager Fröslee) was an internment camp in German-occupied Denmark during World War II. In order to avoid deportation of Danes to German concentration camps, Danish authorities suggested, in January 1944, that an internment camp be created in Denmark. From mid-August until the end of the German occupation in May 1945, 12,000 prisoners passed through the camp's gates. Most of them were suspected members of the Danish resistance movement, Communists and other political prisoners. Living conditions in the camp were generally tolerable, but 1,600 internees were deported to German concentration camps, where 220 of them died (approximate numbers).

1.3 Specialised institution, commission, research centre etc., dealing with this issue

There are several relevant Danish institutions: the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Froslev Camp Museum, the Danish Jjewish Museum and the Museum of Danish resistance.

Danish centre for Holocaust and genocide studies:
The web site Holocaust Education has developed by Brian BM Larsen and Peter Vogelsang, both M.A. in History from University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The resource is developed under the auspices of the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Supervisor and consultant is Associate Professor Karl Christian Lammers, Department of History, University of Copenhagen. The purpose of this web-based teaching resource is to provide teachers and students at upper secondary education institutions with the best possible interactive tool for teaching and learning about the Holocaust. It includes a special section dedicated to Roma Genocide but the text is rather imprecise. Moreover there is no focus on Danish Gypsies. Roma victims are not mentionned; Denmark's history is marked by Danish Jews being deported and saved. It also contains a section for teachers/students with suggestions for syllabus. The documents on the Holocaust are only available in Danish. It provides useful guidelines for the use of the internet on this topic.

1.4 Official initiatives (campaigns, actions, projects, commemoration days, museums)

Every year, the Municipality of Copenhagen organizes a key event that takes place in the Glass Hall of the Tivoli Gardens. The event features speeches and music, and is usually attended by the Danish Jewish community and the diplomatic corps.

2 Teaching about the Genocide of the Roma

2.1 Inclusion of the topic in the school curriculum

It is not mandatory to teach the Holocaust in Denmark, and there are few set subjects in the school curriculum. However, one subject that history teachers are required to address is that of October 1943 and the rescue of Danish Jews to Sweden. This subject is taught in upper secondary school, when school children learn about World War II. The topic is addressed again in high school.

2.2 Inclusion of the topic in the school textbooks

It is unknown whether the Genocide of the Roma is specifically dealt with in textbooks.

2.3 Training of teachers and education professionals

In Denmark, teachers are offered seminars on the teaching of the Holocaust which are coordinated by the Ministry of Education. Still it is unknown whether they receive particular training on the Genocide of the Roma.

2.4 Particular activities undertaken at the level of education institutions

Educational activities related to Auschwitz Day include seminars offered to upper secondary school and high school students, as well as teacher-training seminars. The programmes reach an average of 6,000 students each year. In addition, educational websites offer information and educational materials about the Holocaust and other genocides. With more than 250,000 annual visits, the websites have become the main source of information for students on the Holocaust and other genocides.

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS):
DIIS provides knowledge and research-based education on the dynamics of the Holocaust and other genocides and the challenges connected with preventing genocide. These activities are coordinated and executed in cooperation with teachers and include: seminars for students and teachers with experts or eyewitnesses to genocide, film screenings of the documentary film "THERESIENSTADT - Danish Children in Nazi Captivity" (DIIS, 2010), guided visits to the Danish Jewish Museum as well as educational material about Holocaust and other genocides. Furthermore a series of multidisciplinary educational material mainly for high school students, but also for students at secondary school, is offered. The educational materials include three websites (www.folkedrab.dk, www.holocaust.dk and www.theresienstadt.dk - in Danish only). These educational websites can be used by both teachers and students and feature articles on the Holocaust, Holocaust denial and other genocides, source material, assignments, eye witness accounts and suggestions for further reading.

Since June 2011, DIIS - Holocaust and genocide, has recently embarked on a new educational project about antisemitism and other forms of intolerance. The aim of the project is to further raise awareness in Danish schools about intolerance and to support teachers in dealing with the subject in the classroom. The project is supported financially by the Danish Ministry of Integration. One part of the project contains a study of the use of the educational material "Intolerance in Europe - past and present" published by DIIS in 2008 in corporation with the OSCE and the Anne Frank House and supported by the Danish Ministry of Integration and the Ministry of Education. The new project also examines the challenges and problems faced by teachers and students in education about intolerance. On the basis of the initial findings, DIIS - Holocaust and genocide, has been developing an educational tool for use in lower secondary schools and primarily in subjects such as History, Civics, Danish and Christian studies. The educational tool intends to support educators in teaching about antisemitism and intolerance in a historical perspective as well as to deal with present-day expressions of intolerance and discrimination.

In November 2012, DIIS has launched an English version of the educational website Theresienstadt.dk. This website offers students and teachers the possibility to stream the documentary "THERESIENSTADT - Danish Children in Nazi Captivity," a film about six Danish Jewish children deported to Theresienstadt during World War II. The film is subtitled in English. The website also contains photos, drawings and background articles about the deportation of Danish Jews, their incarceration in Theresienstadt, and their homecoming. Theresienstadt.dk and its material is intended for upper secondary school and high school students and offers educators a unique resources when teaching the Holocaust with a cross-disciplinary aim.

2.5 Remembrance day

There is no official remembrance day in school for the Genocide of the Roma.

3 Official contacts and resource persons

3.1 Responsible person in the Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education
Frederiksholms Kanal 21
1220 København K
Telephone: +45 3392 5000
E-mail: uvm@uvm.dk

3.2 Resource persons - list of experts and historians

Brian BM Larsen and Peter Vogelsang, both M.A. in History from University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

4 Initiatives of the civil society

4.1 Relevant projects having a real impact on the people and/or the wide public

5 Point of view of the Roma community - including survivors' testimonies