20 October, 2023

Statement from the Director of IHRS

On October 7, the terrorist organization Hamas launched a massacre on civilians in Israel which led to more than 1200 murdered and close to two hundred Israelis taken hostage. The attack is the single largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and behind every number there is a human being – a child, a mother, a father, a grandparent. It is understandable that our feelings of sorrow and hopelessness take over as there are no words to express the devastation. That goes also for me as I find myself wordless.

But as a scholar in the fields of Holocaust and Antisemitism, I must have faith in the only tool available to me: words, and in the difference that research can make. It is precisely that knowledge of antisemitism and its evolvement throughout the centuries which is necessary to examine and understand the merging of extremism from political left and right, united in their hatred for Jews, so explicitly expressed in the recent anti-Israeli demonstrations that followed the massacre.

IHRS was founded in 2021 by children of Holocaust survivors who came to Sweden after the war. Our primary aim is to initiate and conduct comprehensive research on all aspects concerning the Holocaust, focused on material and topics relevant to Sweden. Our secondary aim is to make sure that the results of our research is disseminated to the public. Despite the sorrow and pain, we will continue with our research and work. In these difficult times, our task is more urgent than ever.

Karin Kvist Geverts, Associate Professor in History and Director of the IHRS

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