“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
October 9 has been the national Holocaust Remembrance Day in Romania since May 2004 and marks the day when the deportations of Romanian Jews to Transnistria started.
On this day, local and central authorities as well as educational institutions organized various activities in order to honour the memory of the Holocaust victims in Romania, but also to raise awareness about the dangers of repeating such tragedies. In 2016, the interest of the local and national media for the activities organized on this occasion was considerable higher, one of the reasons being the commemoration of 75 years since the Bucharest Pogrom in January 1941, 75 years since the Iasi Pogrom in June 1941 and 75 years since the inception of the deportations in Transnistria. A list of the most relevant activities in Romania dedicated to October 9 can be consulted here.
The IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, attended the national ceremony which was organized at the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest and laid a wreath. The ceremony was also attended by the Presidential Counsellor Andrei Muraru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lazăr Comănescu, the State Counsellor from the Ministry of Justice Gabriela Scutea, representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense, of the Bucharest City Hall, Jewish and Roma communities, but also children from Lauder Reut Highschool and Ion Creanga Highschool in Bucharest.
The national ceremonies were followed by the inauguration of the Elie Wiesel Square, which was organized by the Mayor of Bucharest, Mrs. Gabriela Firea, honouring the legacy of Elie Wiesel who constantly fought so that the tragedy of the Holocaust can be remembered for ever. For the city of Bucharest, the location of the square bears importance as the Pogrom in January 1941 started from a nearby street