The Living History Forum is a Swedish public authority established by the Swedish parliament with the aim of increasing understanding of contemporary events in the light of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. Our brief is to promote tolerance, democracy and human rights. We work closely with various experts to support people who seek to raise awareness amongst young people of the importance of respecting the fact that everyone is of equal value. With the aid of lessons from history, we also seek to help people reflect on issues such as intolerance, democracy and personal responsibility.
In 1997 a Swedish survey commissioned by The Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations in co-operation with The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention found that many young people in Sweden were not convinced that the Holocaust had actually happened. A debate in the Swedish parliament in early summer 1997 resulted in a political consensus on the need to initiate an information campaign on the history of the Holocaust and the processes that led up to it. The aim was for this to form a starting point for discussions concerning the need for democracy and tolerance.
A number of different activities were organised under the campaign umbrella which have gained a very favourable response from the general public. One such initiative was the book titled “…Tell ye your children …” (P. Levine, S. Bruchfeldt) which was translated into all nine of the main ethnic minority languages in Sweden. Over 1.3 million copies of the book have now been distributed.
The campaign was made permanent in 2003 with the establishment of the Living History Forum, a public authority falling under the Swedish Ministry of Culture.