Embracing diversity rather than rejecting it is the key to Romania’s future prosperity, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Dean Thompson on Thursday told a debate on the Holocaust organized by the Elie Wiesel Institute.
Thompson stated that a survey conducted this year shows a rise in intolerance against minorities.
This is regrettable, because Romania’s real force resides in diversity. Romania has been for centuries a crossroads for various peoples. This history allows Romania to act as a bridge and play an important role in the region and in the world. Embracing diversity rather than rejecting it is the key to Romania’s prosperity, said Thompson.
He also remarked that the survey reveals an improvement in the knowledge about the Holocaust, and also that compared to 2007, more Romanians realize that Romania too was a part to the Holocaust.
In the opinion of the U.S. diplomat, education plays a very important role in getting to know the Holocaust and combating ignorance and intolerance.
While education is important at any age, it’s the young people we need to focus on. By forming young minds, by teaching them the truth about what happened in history – both the good and the bad things – teaching them to respect their neighbors’ culture, their religion, their way of being, their beliefs, this is the foundation that will allow Romania to make the most of its opportunities, said Dean Thompson, according to Agerpres.
The debate attended by the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Bucharest marked 10 years since the establishment of the Elie Wiesel Institute and was graced by the presence of Institute director Alexandru Florian, historian Radu Ioanid – director of the International Archival Programs Division of the Holocaust Memorial Museum – Washington, and pre-university history teachers who read on Holocaust history.