President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday said that he has launched the idea of an institutionalized educational structure for classes on the history of Holocaust, fight against anti-Semitism, xenophobia and discrimination.
“Anti-Semitism and xenophobia risk to settle down ‘naturally’ in an atmosphere where security lacks. The recent evolutions in the European space unfortunately bring to surface xenophobic and racist slippages. This is why I believe that these things should mobilise the decision-makers and the citizens, to create a new boost, in particular in education, for and about the democratic values. In this respect, I have launched the idea to organizing an institutionalized educational structure for classes and training for public servants, politicians, for the diplomats, for the staff with the public order and safety on the history of Holocaust, on fighting against antisemitism, xenophobia, discrimination, hatred,” Iohannis said after visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
The head of state said it was the first time he visits this memorial and added he was deeply impressed.
“I wished to personally bring a pious homage to all of the victims of the Holocaust and to express my gratitude to this institution of worldwide reputation,” he said.
Iohannis stressed Romania’s special contribution to the museum, consisting in art collections and other historic pieces
The head of state reminded that this year Romania is holding the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
“After the Yad Vashem Memorial, this is the second reputed institution in this field I visit within one month, and this is not a coincidence. The two visits are a very important signal sent by Romania. Firstly, we are very determined in assuming our own past, in honouring the memory of the victims of Holocaust and in fighting against the anti-Semitic and xenophobic manifestations,” he said.
Iohannis also emphasized that he wishes to capitalize the extraordinary potential our country has to be a performing and prepared centre to combatting any kind of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, discrimination and hatred. He reminded that Romania has one of the most modern legislations in Europe.
“I want to be clear: we shall not stop here. Romania is determined to become a regional centre when it comes to assuming its past and strengthening the education of the youth, as well as to train for democracy by knowing the realities of the Holocaust,” added the head of state, as quoted by Agerpres correspondent.
He pointed out that he is fully determined to support the establishment in Romania of a Museum of the Jews and Holocaust.
Iohannis was accompanied by his wife Carmen at the Holocaust Museum, which they visited separately.
The two were welcomed by a survivor of the Holocaust, who told the head of state that he has relatives in Transylvania. “I were once as tall as you are. What a young, beautiful wife you’ve got,” he told Iohannis.