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PM Orban: Let's make sure memory of Holocaust victims stays dignified, untainted by attempts to rewrite history

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Ludovic Orban

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said today that honoring the victims of the Holocaust is a fundamental duty of the Romanian state, but also a sign of normalcy that shows that our country has learned from the lessons of the last century, according to Agerpres.

"79 years after the tragedies that marked Romania's history, our duty is to make sure that the memory of the victims of Romania's holocaust stays alive, dignified and untainted by attempts to rewrite history, and that the Romanian people resist the temptations of populism, racist and xenophobic cynicism, fundamentalism and various forms of extremism that endanger democratic and human values," Orban said at the ceremony for the 79th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Romania to Transnistria, organized by the "Elie Wiesel" National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania.

"79 years ago, the persecution of the Jewish community in Romania entered its worst stage: deportation to Transnistria. Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and Transnistria were dragged from their homes, deported in death marches, exposed to degrading and destructive conditions, decimated by disease, hunger and physical abuse, victims of a regime that expressed the darkest prejudices and forms of inhumanity Romania had known until then. It took decades for the truth of those years, about the death of Jews and Roma alike, to be recovered and spoken with responsibility, respect and piety in a democratic Romania turned capable of condemning the crimes of the dictatorship and emerge from the hypocrisy of the communist regime," Orban said.

The Prime Minister went on to say that after 1989, historians, national and international opinion leaders, civic organizations have brought to light this "black page" in the history of WW II and in the history of Romania. He also pointed out that the communist regime has delayed for decades the full disclosure of this painful truth, and that attempts were made after Nicolae Ceausescu's fall to hide or minimize the tragedy.

Orban also voiced appreciation for the contribution of the Federation of the Jewish Community of Romania to bring the Holocaust to the attention of the youth and congratulated the "Elie Wiesel" National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania on its 15th anniversary for its research and scientific recovery of the Holocaust truth, but also for its constant contribution to the fight against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

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