National Holocaust Remembrance Day in Romania

On 9 October every year, Romania commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, by virtue of Government Decision 672 of 5 May 2004. The day signifies the beginning of the deportation of Jews to Transnistria in 1941.

The series of official events on 9 October, 2018, started with a wreath-laying ceremony organized at the Memorial of the Victims of the Holocaust of Romania, in Bucharest, by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. The Prime-Minister of Romania participated and held a speech. She emphasized the importance of Holocaust education and remembrance activities as well as Romania’s efforts in adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism during the Romanian IHRA Chairmanship. Also mentioned was the recent adoption in June 2018 of a special law on combatting antisemitism that directly transposes the IHRA Working Definition into Romanian law. Representatives of the Presidential Administration, Chamber of Deputies, diplomatic corps, Jewish and Roma communities, civil society, pupils from high schools and schools attended the event to lay wreaths.

Elie Wiesel Bust
Unveiling of Elie Wiesel Bust. Credit: INSHREW

The series of events also included the unveiling of a bust dedicated to Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, organized by the Mayor’s Office of Bucharest in cooperation with the Elie Wiesel Institute. The ceremony was held in the Elie Wiesel Square in Bucharest, a landmark inaugurated during Romania’s IHRA Chairmanship in October 2016.

The Presidential Administration hosted several events at the Cotroceni Palace, which included the awarding of distinctions to Holocaust survivors by the President of Romania and a movie projection of the Radu Jude movie dedicated to the Odessa massacre “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” (original title “Imi este indiferent daca in istorie vom intra ca barbari”).

In addition to official events, many other events were held in towns throughout Romania, such as exhibitions, conferences, cultural and educational events in schools, libraries, and institutions.

 

Prime minister Viorica Dăncilă laying wreath at Memorial of the Victims of the Holocaust of Romania, in Bucharest. Credit: Government of Romania