Representatives of Romania and Israel commemorated the 80th anniversary of the deportation and murder of tens of thousands of Jews in Transnistria.
“We must never forger”, declared Nachman Shai, Israeli Minister of Diaspora during a ceremony held at the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest, in the presence of Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, and the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER), Silviu Vexler MP.
“We must continue to act firmly against antisemitism and against all forms of extremism,” Mr. Aurescu declared.
“Developing the Jewish life, preserving and protecting the memory of all Holocaust victims is a sacred duty, as is supporting the few Holocaust survivors, education is the foundation and chance of our society. It is an essential step in building the future, a future that each person and together can build,” said Mr. Vexler.
According to the Elie Wiesel Institute, which is in charge of Holocaust studies in Romania, tens of thousands of Jews from northeastern Romania were deported starting in October 1941 to Transnistria, a region occupied by the Romanians and their German allies that was the scene of numerous mass killings.
“Between 1941 and 1943, between 115,000 and 118,000 Jews from Transnistria, another 105,000 and 120,000 Romanian Jews and 11,000 Roma died in the Transnistrian ghettos and concentration camps,” the Institute recalled in a statement issued today on the occasion of the commemoration.
Between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews living in Romanian-administered territories were killed during World War II.
Before the war there were some 800,000 Jews in Romania, about half of whom were killed by Romanian, German and Hungarian forces or by antisemitic movements and individuals during the Holocaust years.
A photo gallery of the ceremony is available here (Via: FCER)