’It is crucial to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day’

Castle Oud-WassenaarCastle Oud-Wassenaar
This week is dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust. Lorena De Vita is Assistant Professor in the History of International Relations. Her research focuses on international diplomacy in the aftermath of the Holocaust, and on reparations after mass human rights violations and genocide.

According to Lorena De Vita we can learn a lot from commemorating the Holocaust. "It is crucial to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It rests on us to take a moment and keep in mind the relevance of those crimes and those pages of history that are not comfortable to confront and to look at - but have a lot to teach us."

Lorena de Vita is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, where she was recently elected as a Member of Wolfson College. At Utrecht University, she works as Assistant Professor in the History of International Relations Section, where she is leading a five-year research project on.

Reparations after genocide relatively new

The belief that victims of massive human rights violations deserve some form of reparation is relatively new. Agreements to this effect only took shape in the course of the 20th century, in the aftermath of the Holocaust. "I am developing a new line of research investigating the history, law and politics of repair in the aftermath of mass human rights abuse, with particular attention to issues of reparation", De Vita explains.

De Vita examined the history and context of the negotiations between Germany, the Claims Conference, and Israel. These negotiations were held in secret, in the Netherlands in 1952, in Castle Oud-Wassenaar. German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett later that year signed a ground-breaking treaty in Luxembourg.

Het geheim van Wassenaar, VARAgids (January 16, 2023)

Read more about the documentary ’Reckonings: "The First Reparations’

Bombrieven konden Wiedergutmachung in Den Haag 70 jaar geleden niet stoppen, NOS (September 10, 2022)

70 Jahre Luxemburger Abkommen: Das moralische Fundament der Bundesrepublik, Tagesspiegel (September 13, 2022)

Entstehungsgeschichte Luxemburger Abkommen 1952, Deutschlandradio (September 22, 2022)