The planned National Museum of the History of the Romanian Jewry and the Holocaust is vital to “an authentic fight against latent negationism,” president Klaus Iohannis said, at a ceremony held on January 28 to decorate several Holocaust survivors.
The museum, set to open in the capital’s Old Town, will showcase the history, culture and traditions of the Jewish communities in Romania.
The president said he hoped the project of the museum would become a reality soon.
“I am convinced that this museum will be more than a symbolic space, will work as an important educational resource, especially for the younger generations. Education is the most powerful weapon that a society has to withstand attempts to poison democracies through extremist, populist, anti-Semitic and xenophobe manifestations,” Iohannis said.
Romania made notable progress to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to combat anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance, the president said, mentioning the update and strengthening of the legislation in the area and the support for the Holocaust Museum.
“My encouragement to the authorities, but also to the citizens, is to not stop here, to continue! We need to persevere in these efforts because there still is, unfortunately, an alarming rise of nationalistic and extremist trends; more, we are confronted at a European level with an intensification of violent manifestations, of hate, of anti-Semitic and xenophobe tendencies. All these side-slips are unequivocally against a culture based on fundamental European values and are a consequence of a lack of knowledge and information,” he said.
At the ceremony, the president offered the National Order of Faithful Service, the Knight rank, to Davidovits Rachel, Pardău Lea, Schwartz Paul, Segal Sandra, Shai Meir, Szinetar Iudita Agneta and Vainer Anette. He also offered the Faithful Service National Medal to Andrei Klein.
In September 2016, the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania undertook the setting up of the museum. Last year, the institute announced a contest for the setting up of the museum’s permanent exhibition.
In 2009, a Holocaust Memorial was inaugurated in Bucharest, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust in Romania.