Romania’s Government Resolution No 672/May 5, 2004 approved the date of October 9, which marks the beginning of the Jews deportations to Transnistria in 1941, for the official commemoration on a national level of the Holocaust Remembrance Day.
*President Iohannis: Honouring Holocaust victim is Romanian state’s fundamental duty
Honouring the victims of the Holocaust is a fundamental duty of the Romanian state, President Klaus Iohannis says.
“However, above all, it is a clear sign of normalcy which shows that our Romania has learnt from the lessons of the last century. The fact that Romania is part of the international bodies in the area and, more than that, that this year it took over the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance can only highlight our successes in this area. It is a great achievement that shows, from this point of view, too, that Romania is deeply attached to Europe’s fundamental values,” reads the message sent on Monday by President Iohannis on the occasion of the National Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In the message presented by presidential adviser Andrei Muraru at the commemorative ceremony organised at the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest, the head of state underscored that the custom of the Romanian state bringing a pious homage each year to all the victims of the great tragedy of the last century – the Holocaust – has already become a tradition.
“On the occasion of the National Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, this year too I am directing my thoughts to those who perished in ghettos and concentration camps, downed by bullets, suffocated in the trains of death or killed by the squalid condition which they were brought to. At the same time, I am voicing my compassion for the survivors, for those who lost their relatives – husband, wife, children, grandparents – , but who had the necessary strength to live on, however without forgetting,” Iohannis says.
He showed that this year Romania has made an extremely important step in respect to the Holocaust, as the institutional grounds for the establishment of a Holocaust and Jewish History in Bucharest having been set.
“I am positive that the Romanian authorities will see this demarche through, which proves that we are fully determined to become regional leaders in promoting awareness on the Holocaust,” the head of state points out.
Iohannis says that the museum must be a serious institution, a true place of remembrance, a landmark in the European network of museums devoted to the Holocaust history.
“The museum must become a true cultural space devoted to the history of the Jewish people history and the history of the Jews during the WWII,” the head of state adds.
He voices his hope that the future museum and the ‘Elie Weisel’ Institute will further develop wide educational programmes, which also entail the expansion of the educational programmes for public workers, magistrates, politicians, diplomats, the staff of the public order and safety structures.
“Due to all these concrete steps we are appreciated by our partners as a stable, trustworthy society, capable of accepting its past and combating in the future any extremist, discriminatory, xenophobic, racist or anti-Semite actions. I have spoken and will continue to speak about all these, as they are a commitment of the Romanian state to the memory of the Holocaust victims,” Iohannis concludes.
PM Ciolos: Commemorating Holocaust victims of Romania, moment of reflection on dark episodes of history
The commemoration of the Holocaust victims of Romania represents a moment of reflection on “the dark episodes of the national history,” reads a message Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos sent on Monday.
“On October 9 each year we pay homage to the memory of the Holocaust victims of Romania. The year 2016 is a year charged with significations for our recent history, as we commemorate 75 years since the legionnaire pogrom in Bucharest of January 1941, 75 years since the pogrom in Iasi of June 1941 and since the deportations to Transnistria of October 1941. The moment of commemorating the Holocaust victims of Romania is a moment of reflection on the dark episodes of the national history, a moment of learning from the lessons of the past, so that these tragedies never repeat under any circumstance,” PM Ciolos’s message sent to Agerpreson Monday points out.
According to the Prime Minister, “no feature film seen or book read can capture the pain suffered by those deported.”
Ciolos maintains at the same time that from the Holocaust survivors one can learn best “why the extremist, racist, anti-Semite, discriminatory attitudes must be completely eliminated from our society.”
“From them we can learn about the courage of facing history and fighting against the negative phenomena which lead to historic tragedies. I believe that the vital answer for the democratic cohesion and health of our society is education, a profound, comprehensive and responsible education. Education is the most efficient instrument to spare the nations from the illness of ignorance, intolerance and indifference,” the Prime Minister says.
In the message, the Prime Minister underscores that “through education in school, at home or through the media” each citizen becomes responsible and aware of the dangers which the extremist challenges bring to the society.
“It is our duty, the duty of all of us, not to cease telling the youth the truth about history so that the young people never lose their courage in front of history. From this perspective, the chapter referring to the ‘Holocaust in Romania’ must be a part of learning Romania’s history. I congratulate the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania and the ‘Ellie Weisel’ National Institute on the Holocaust in Romania for their contributions to bringing to the attention of the youth the memory of these history lessons,” the release reads.
Ciolos brings to mind that one of the recent actions devoted to the memory of the victims of Transnistrian deportations took place last week, with marking the places from where thousands of Romanian Jews were deported from the stations in Bucovina region.
“In 2004, there were presented the recommendations of the final report of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania headed by Elie Weisel. Romania made efforts, acknowledged on a national and international level, to meet these recommendations. Moreover, our country assumed the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016,” the PM points out.
At the same time, he says that through the activities this year conducted in the education, remembrance and research area, as well as those in the area of combating anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination, “Romania consecrated its profile of consistent promoter of the values of tolerance, multiculturalism and democracy.”
“Our duty, 75 years after the tragedies that marked Romania’s history, is that of making sure that the memory of the Holocaust victims of Romania remains dignified and untainted by attempts of re-writing or denying history. Let the memory of the Holocaust victims in Romania be kept alive forever in the conscience of all Romanians!,” Ciolos concludes.