International Holocaust Remembrance Day: United Arab Emirates now teaches Holocaust in schools

Primary and secondary school students will learn about the history of the Holocaust in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE normalized relations with Israel in 2020 with the so-called Abraham Accords. In the Arab world, only Morocco and Bahrain had already taken this initiative.

Since these agreements, the Emirates had already inaugurated in 2021, at the “Crossroads of Civilizations” museum in Dubai, a permanent exhibition commemorating the six million Jewish victims of the genocide. These various initiatives are carried out in cooperation with Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

Former deportees testify

In recent months, survivors of the Final Solution have been regularly invited to the Emirates to testify. This is the case of Ruth Cohen, 92, a former deportee at Auschwitz-Birkenau, who recently spoke to students at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. “This type of event is important for learning lessons from history,” she insisted.

For the leader of the Jewish community in the Emirates, Alex Peterfreund, these lessons on the Holocaust are in line with history: “Jews living in the Emirates can only say they are proud of this type of project.” But today, Emiratis are critical of this decision. Some denounce a political manipulation of the Holocaust by Israel to evade the Palestinian question.

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