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Presentation of Boris Pahor's work at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance meeting

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The plenary meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 28 November to 1 December 2022. The Slovenian delegation presented the life and work of one of the most important chronicler of the historical events and tragedies of the 20th century, writer Boris Pahor, who passed away in May 2022 at the age of 108, to the Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity.

As part of the presentation, the Slovenian delegation screened a clip from the documentary titled A Stubborn Memory (Trmasti spomin), followed by panellists from Slovenia, Italy and France shedding light on the life and work of Boris Pahor from different perspectives. The thoughts of his friend Evgen Bavčar were read out and the first and last editions of his most famous book, Necropolis, were available for viewing.

Thus, the international community – through the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – commemorated Boris Pahor's efforts to raise awareness and his concern that "when he is gone, no one will take notice of the horrors that happened and could happen again", with a view to making the public aware of his life's work and efforts to ensure that the darkest parts of history are never repeated. 

As Boris Pahor said, "every person has the choice between good and evil". Therefore, Slovenia has joined IHRA's efforts to bring his messages and literary output of more than 40 works, including novels, short stories, essays, diaries and polemical writings, to as many people as possible. His terrible personal experience, the persecution of Slovenians by the fascists and his suffering in Nazi concentration camps, which he linked to the fate of his people, left visible traces in his prose. Throughout his life, he warned of the dangers of totalitarian regimes, of which he too was a victim, and kept pointing out that one needs to remain confident and upright in any circumstances. The IHRA's work aims to make the present generation aware of past atrocities so that we can prevent in time the factors that may once more lead to such atrocities. These are described in graphic detail in Boris Pahor's works and can serve as a model for the entire international community.