Access to Archival Documents
The Australian government’s best practice guide to collecting cultural material directs collecting institutions to international databases of stolen art, including the INTERPOL Stolen Works of Art database, Art Loss Register, and national databases within relevant countries. Certain Australian galleries have established their own databases documenting the provenance of their collections. For example, the National Gallery of Australia’s Provenance Research Project, Art in Europe 1933-1945, transparently documents the provenance of all works in its collection presumed to have been in Europe between 1933 and 1945.
Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites
In June 2019, Australia became a full member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). In a statement, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said, “Australia’s IHRA membership demonstrates our continuing commitment to combating anti-Semitism and protecting freedom of religion.” Ceremonies marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day were held in Sydney and Melbourne on January 27, 2019, and a presentation by Holocaust survivors at the Sydney Jewish Museum was fully subscribed.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) reported that learning about the Holocaust is mandated in Australia’s national curriculum and in the curricula of every Australian state and territory, which public and private schools are required to follow. For example, students in Year 10 (high school sophomore equivalent) examine “significant events of WWII, including the Holocaust.” The inclusion of the Holocaust as part of the mandatory Year 10 curriculum was advocated by the ECAJ and included in the national curriculum beginning in 2008.
At least three institutions in the country have permanent exhibitions dedicated to Holocaust education and remembrance. The Sydney Jewish Museum hosts a permanent Holocaust exhibition tracing the persecution and murder of European Jews and the new lives forged by survivors in Australia. Perth hosts the Holocaust Institute of Western Australia, and Melbourne hosts the Jewish Holocaust Centre, a museum and resource center that exhibits photographs, artifacts, and documents donated by Melbourne Holocaust survivors. The Holocaust is also documented as part of the Second World War Gallery at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which welcomes more than one million visitors per year.
The Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and Other Victims of Nazi Persecution
Private social welfare organizations provide support to Holocaust survivors, including JewishCare Victoria and JewishCare New South Wales (NSW), both of which have received grants from the Claims Conference. For example, JewishCare Victoria’s Holocaust Survivor Support Program assists eligible Holocaust survivors with tailored services, including in-home and personal care, therapies, and medical assistance. Service providers such as JewishCare receive financial support from the Australian government. According to the Claims Conference, JewishCare NSW serves 1,800 Sydney-based Holocaust survivors, most of whom are from Central Europe, and JewishCare Victoria serves approximately 1,500 Holocaust survivors in the state of Victoria. In 2015, the Claims Conference budgeted 16,646,630 U.S. dollars for programs in Australia, consisting of direct compensation; social welfare services; and Shoah education, documentation, and research.