“Never again the kind of hate and intolerance once destroyed so many lives”
Says U.S. charge d’affaires, Dean Thompson
The special sitting of the Parliament of Romania, hosted by the Chamber of Deputies yesterday, marking the National Day for the Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust and 73 years since the deportation of Romanian Jews to Transdniester was an opportunity to the participating personalities – officials, politicians, foreign diplomats accredited to Bucharest – to pay a pious tribute to the victims of that overcast moment in history. ‘The Holocaust is a shameful page in the history of mankind due to its unimaginable cruelty and scale, to the systematic extermination of human beings. Preventing such tragedies from repeating themselves must remain a major concern for the entire international community’, said Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean at the commemoration sitting organized at the initiative of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania. ‘Romania understood that it must clearly assume its historical past, in the name of the fundamental values of the rule of law‘ To that end, the Romanian State condemns discrimination on grounds of race, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, while encouraging solidarity and the civic spirit as the foundations of a democratic and modern, profoundly European society. The need for commemoration and learning from the harsh lessons of the past made Romania establish by law the date of 9th October as the Day of the Holocaust. Since 2004, our country commemorates the Holocaust Day – an important moment in the historical memory of the Romanian people and a good opportunity to remember the devastating impact of intolerance and anti-Semitism on the entire humanity’, the chief Romanian diplomat further stated.
“October 9, 2014 will mark 10 years since the Romanian government declared an annual day of commemoration for the Romanian victims of the Holocaust. Each year on this day, Romanians and non-Romanians alike come together to reflect upon a barbaric crime unique in human history. Thanks to the tireless work of international archivists and Holocaust researchers and the Wiesel Commission, we now know the role the Romanian regime under Marshall Ion Antonescu played in the systematic murder of more than 250,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews and more than 11,000 Roma,” said U.S. Charge d’Affaires A.I. Dean Thompson.
“Romania’s pre-World War II population of more than 700,000 Jewish citizens has today decreased to less than 4,000. It is important that the significant contributions of Jews to the development of Romania are not lost to the sands of time.
By seeking to understand the history that binds us, our hope is to present a united front against the kind of hate and intolerance once destroyed so many lives and changed our world forever. It is through hope and through action alone that we can keep our promise – never again,” pointed out Mr. Thompson in his remarks.
He also voiced his satisfaction for the work that the Wiesel Institute here in Romania has done with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and the Romanian Ministry of Education to expand Holocaust education in Romanian schools.