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January 31, 2023

IHRA’s Chair Constantinescu: We should stay alert to fight the age-old Archfiend, the anti-Semitism

Pupils with schools countrywide were awarded on Sunday diplomas and books at the end of the ‘Holocaust Memory – National Stage’ contest which took place at the ‘Gheorghe Lazar’ National College in Bucharest, in the presence of ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“Allow me to address you, in the name of the IHRA, an organization that gathers more than 30 member states and 10 observer states, whose chairman is held this year by Romania through the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE). What I believe the pupils have learned from this exercise is that that nothing could be more dangerous for our societies, for our country, for Europe, for the international peace and stability but indifference. Nothing could justify irresponsibility and indifference when they harm the dignity and life of each and every one. Which is why I find it that the active involvement of each of us, of each of our young who today are educated in our schools in fighting against any kind of extremism, intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism is today a critical responsibility that regards the entire society,” Mihnea Constantinescu emphasized.

“Likewise, we learn from this exercise that we must stay alert to fight against the age-old Archfiend, that is the anti-Semitism and intolerance, which probably we shall not defend soon, through the efforts of all societies, but this means that we have a duty to not let it infect the mind and soul of the young, the life and path forward to democracy of our societies. Besides, this is a responsibility we are remitted to through the years by the one whose name is related to the activity of the ‘Elie Wiesel’ institute, the one who this year has passed away but whose activity has inspired at the end of the day all this correction of our history from the perspective of the tragedy of Holocaust,” the ambassador stressed.

He added that this is the lesson that has to be learned by all of us, alike, representatives of the public authorities, educational staff, pupils, from this exercise about “the tragic lessons of history.”

The event was also attended by Alexandru Florian, the managing director of the ‘Elie Wiesel’ National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania, officials of the Education Ministry, educational staff, pupils

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