The founder of Britain’s first Holocaust museum has a new international role to promote awareness of genocide.
Stephen Smith, who opened the Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, has become Unesco’s first chairman of genocide education.
He remains the executive director of one of the most important audio-visual archives on the Holocaust, the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, founded by film-maker Steven Spielberg.
Despite a funding crisis within Unesco, its commitment to the post was a “good sign,” he said. “This is a programme that they wanted to maintain.”
One of his hopes is to increase the teaching of the Holocaust in the Muslim world and he has already had conversations with Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.
Another project is to establish a chair of Holocaust studies in Poland. “Unesco is trying to enhance Holocaust education in the universities,” Mr Smith said. “Then you can create the possibility of a deeper and higher level across the Polish education system.”