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IHRA Chair speaks in Iasi


On 28 and 29 June, IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, participated in the commemoration of the Iași Pogrom that was organized in Iași, Podu Iloaiei și Târgu Frumos.

The commemoration marks the 75th anniversary of the pogrom and was organized by the "Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust with the support of the local authorities and the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania.

At the commemoration ceremony, Ambassador Constantinescu stated: "on behalf of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, I take this opportunity to pay my deepest respect to the victims of a horrendous tragedy that happened 75 years ago and it is known as the Iași Pogrom. The night of 28/29 June 1941 needs to be remembered as the beginning of the most tragic episode in the history of modern Romania […] The Romanian IHRA Chairmanship recommends that IHRA Member Countries actively and attentively confront the lessons of the past with the current realities and challenges in order to make all possible efforts to ensure that tragedies like Iași Pogrom can never happen again. Holocaust education is the chief instrument to be used in such cases and this Chairmanship is promoting this objective ,both in Romania and worldwide, and striving for full political support in fulfilling it.”

At the ceremonies dedicated to the Iasi Pogrom, participatns included representatives of the Romanian Government, Romanian Presidency, local and regional administration, members of the diplomatic community in Romania, survivors of the Iași Pogrom, and members of the Jewish Community.

A special ceremony was organized for survivors of the Iași Pogrom (Mr. Iancu Țucărman, Leonard Zăicescu and Marcel Fischel) who were awarded by the President of Romania, H.E. Klaus Werner Iohannis, with the National Order Faithful Service.

The deportation of the Jews from Iași - where 45.000 Jews were living on June 29, 1941 – was part of a plan to eliminate the Jewish presence in Bessarabia, Bukovina and Moldavia. The Iasi Pogrom against the Jews was carried out under express orders of Ion Antonescu that the city be cleansed of all Jews. For more information, see the Final Repor of the International Commission for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania "Elie Wiesel".

Other Commemorative Events

The series of events organized to mark 75 years since Iași Pogrom also included academic roundtables, opening of an exhibition on the Iași Pogrom, an exhibition on the activity of Benjamin Fondane, inauguration of two squares in Iași in the honour of the victims and those who saved lives during the pogrom.

o   16 June – 1 September 2016: a series of 12 episodes called ”Memories from Hell”, with testimonials from Holocaust survivors.

o   29 June 2016 – TV channels TVR International (at 9.00 p.m.) and TVR 2 (at 12.00 a.m.) broadcasted the documentary ”How long do cranes live”. The documentary focuses on the story of movie director Andrei Călărașu, survivor of the trains of death.