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The National Day of the Holocaust in Romania


On 8 October a commemorative ceremony was held to mark the "National Day of the Holocaust in Romania" at the Holocaust Memorial  in Bucharest.

IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns, accompanied by Dr. Kathrin Meyer-Executive Secretary of IHRA, addressed the audience, stating:

"The memory of the victims should remain at the core of all our commemorative actions." The full address can be read here.

Ambassadors of Israel, US, the UK, Russia, Poland, Germany and Czech Republic were among the participants that came together to honour the memory of over 300,000 Jews and over 11,000 Roma exterminated during World War II. The event was organized by The "Elie Wiesel" National Institute for the Study of Holocaust under the direction of Professor Alexandru Florian.

Also in attendance were Valeriu Zgonea, the President of The Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Titus Corlateanu, the Minister for the Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Bucharest, and representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of Justice.

Other guests included Mr. Aurel Vainer, the President of the Federation of the Romanian Jewish Communities, Mr. Liviu Beris, the Head of the Holocaust Survivors Association, Mr. Jose Iacobescu, the President of Bnai Brith Romania, Mr. Maximillian Marco Katz, Founding Director of MCA Romania, Mr. Israel Sabag, JOINT representative for Romania, Mrs. Tova Ben-Nun Cherbis, the President of Lauder Foundation in Romania along with students from the Lauder School and other members of the Jewish Community.

Sir Andrew later had the opportunity to speak at a Parliamentary Session. His speech can be read here.

In the interval 8-15 October 2014, the National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania  "Elie Wiesel "  organized a series of events dedicated to the National Day of the Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust in Romania. On 8 October Sir Andrew attended the opening of the exhibition “Witnesses and Testimonies”, at the Elie Wiesel Institute. At the event, students from the annual art course organized by the Institute, exhibited their work which were focused on Holocaust survivors and perceptions about the Holocaust. You are invited to visit the site, dedicated to the Romanian Jewish visual artist who lived during the dark times of the Holocaust.

Other events included the opening of the book and engraving exhibition “Cum a fost posibil?” (How was it possible?”) on 10 October 2014. The exhibited works were by Romanian and Macedonian artists that had participated in the workshop organized in July 2014 in Busteni by the Elie Wiesel Institute and its partners ( Yad Vashem, UNESCO, Federation of Jewish Communities). The works depict the artists’ vision of the Holocaust in the two countries. The exhibition was open to the public until 31 October 2014.

The conference “Munca obligatorie in Transnistria 1941-1944. Cazul deportatilor romi si evrei” (« Forced labour in Transniestria 1941-1944. The case of the Roma and Jewish deportees”), was also organized on 10 October 2014 in cooperation with the Roma Cultural Center.

Finally, the premiere of the theatre play inter@ FATA was held. The performance was inspired by the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and was produced by dramAcum in partnership with the Elie Wiesel Institute, based on a concept by Alexandru Berceanu.
The National Day of the Holocaust, Romania