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February 5, 2023

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day honoured in Bucharest. Ambassador Tamar Samash: The Holocaust – attempt to annihilate Jewish culture and civilization

The Ambassador of the State of Israel to Romania, Tamar Samash, believes that the Holocaust was aimed at annihilating the Jewish culture and civilization, but the Jewish spirit and tradition have triumphed.

A commemorative event dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and homage to those killed or who have suffered during the Pogrom in Bucharest in January 1941 took place on Friday at the Great Synagogue in the Capital.

The program opened with a moment dedicated to the former chief Rabbi of Romania’s figure during the WWII, Dr. Alexandru Safran (1910 – 2006), taking place in front of the Synagogue by inaugurating the square that bearing his name. Alongside Aurel Vainer, there were present the Mayor of Bucharest District 3, Robert Negoita, the Ambassadors of Israel, the USA, and Germany to Bucharest, Tamar Samash, Hans Klemm and Cord Meier-Klodt, respectively, other representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest.

During the event, a Jewish religious remembrance ceremony took place.

“Not only that a minority was killed with brutality in the concentration camps, but actually what was attempted was also an annihilation of the Jewish culture and civilization. Contrary to all expectations, we had the strength, so the Jewish spirit and tradition have triumphed. Therefore, we have succeed to find in suffering and sadness the strength to build the Jewish State, (…) so it became a safe place for the Jewish across the world, and we have made sure that such a tragedy could never take place again,” the Ambassador said, in the opening of the symposium on “New historical discoveries – the 1941 Pogrom in Bucharest,” taking place on Friday at the Great Synagogue in the Capital.

She brought to mind the victims of Holocaust from Romania, underlining that this remains “one of the darkest pages” of our country’s history. In her opinion, this “should be known in order to avoid repeating such mistakes,” through education, which has “a fundamental role in combating the ignorance and prejudices, but also in forming new generations in the spirit of democracy and cultural pluralism.”

Tamar Samash expressed “deep appreciation” for the strong involvement of the Romanian authorities in the fight against anti-Semitism.

“In this regard, authorities of Romania have proved a strong involvement in the fight against anti-Semitism and the denial of the the Holocaust, and for this I want to express my deep appreciation. Romania has numerous achievements this year during its Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and I hope that they will intensify,” the Ambassador of the State of Israel also said.

Evoking the bloody days of the Pogrom is Bucharest of January 1941, the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER), Dr. Aurel Vainer, expressed his sincere belief that these horrors will not repeat anymore, while the State Secretary for Cults Victor Opaschi asked for reflection at the history classes, underlining the necessity of assuming the past.

Opaschi stressed the firm position adopted by the Romanian authorities in what regards observing the legal provisions that do not allow the escalation of manifestations of racism, discrimination, and intolerance,” but also in connection with the demarches in the area of education and keeping the memory.

Director of the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania, Radu Florian, pleaded for a “rapid reaction against all that nowadays refers to anti-Semitism,,” militating for building in the Capital some public monuments dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust.


Foreign Ministry: Youth must understand consequences of discriminatory, anti-Semitic and racist actions


Paying tribute on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to the worldwide victims of these appalling crimes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) also expresses solidarity with the survivors of the tragic events of WW II.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs fully supports efforts to educate the young generation in the spirit of fundamental human rights and freedoms, so that young people understand the consequences of discriminatory, anti-Semitic and racist actions,” reads a Ministry release on Friday.

The Ministry shows that this line of action fully complies with Romania’s mandate at the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) over March 2016 – March 2017, and reiterates that the promotion of diversity, respect for each other, equal opportunities are principles that are key to the development of a democratic society.

MAE also reaffirms its determination to contribute further through the tools of diplomacy to strengthening legislative and institutional instruments designed to prevent and penalize anti-Semitism, as well as any other manifestations of racism, xenophobia, racial discrimination and intolerance.

In this regard, the Ministry expresses support for the promotion of the working definition of anti-Semitism adopted in May 2016 by the IHRA plenary session, to be used by institutions in charge of preventing and combating this phenomenon.


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