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December 3, 2022

76 years since the Iasi Pogrom: Holocaust education should be granted deserving place, says President Iohannis

Holocaust education should be given the deserving place in the future as well, reads a message from President Klaus Iohannis to the 76th anniversary of the Iasi Pogrom.

The message was delivered on Thursday in Iasi by Presidential Adviser Andrei Muraru from the Department for Relations with Public Administrations and the Civil Society to an event that commemorated 76 years since the Iasi Pogrom.

“It is almost eight decades since the Iasi Pogrom, but the remembrance gradually amplifies the tragic nature of the moment. We feel the dramatic burden of the events of 76 years ago, all the more so as the number of witnesses decrease from one year to the next. Forgetfulness tends to corrupt and pervert history. When witnesses disappear, capitalising on places remains one of the most important pillars or the memory,” said Iohannis.

He quoted late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel as saying: “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.”

“These words summarise by their simplicity our moral duty and respect that each of us should have toward those who fell prey to dictatorial and totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. Moreover, getting to know the lessons of the past, taking responsibility for them and passing them on cannot be done but by actions that generate actual results, and Romania has proved it has fully understand that,” said Iohannis.

He went on to talk about the importance of the memories of such event being preserved.

Iohannis said he is encouraging local administrations to rally around Romania’s achievements over the past years, while continuing the procedures that will turn Iasi into a real symbolic place that will reflect the tragedy of the June 1941 events.

He also mentioned the project for the opening of a Holocaust museum in Romania.

Iohannis pointed out that early this year, Romania held the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances (IHRA). “We have managed to consolidate our achievements of the past decades in the fight against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and discrimination.”

He added that formal Holocaust education should be given its deserving place, and in that sense the public administration and the civil society have to understand that actual procedures should continue.

“For that to happen, an as broad a support as possible is required, of all the decision-makers, because memory defines our present and reflects our identity as a nation. May the memory of the victims stay with us in our hearts forever!,” concluded Iohannis in the message delivered in Iasi by Presidential Adviser Andrei Muraru.

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