Outrage in Romania over political party statement that Holocaust is ‘minor topic’
Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea
Israel’s ambassador said a a political party claims that Romania’s Holocaust was a „minor topic” in the education curriculum was “insulting,” adding his voice to outrage about the nationalist party.
A “ fair and objective knowledge over the horrors that took place during the Holocaust in Romania” is necessary “to avoid repeating such tragedies,” David Saranga, ambassador to Romania tweeted on Tuesday.
Romanian nationalist party known by its acronym AUR on Monday called for the Holocaust to be taught within other classes and not as a subject in itself, despite a recent law which makes study of the slaughter of Jews and Roma on Romanian soil compulsory learning in schools.
The party went further saying that teaching Romanian pupils about the thousands of Jews and Roma who died under Romania’s Nazi-allied government was “a systematic action to undermine the quality of Romanian education.”
But the Elie Wiesel Institute, which keeps the memory of the Holocaust alive, said.
„How can genocide, the destruction of a community based on ethnic criteria be considered a minor subject?”
There is widespread ignorance in Romania about the Holocaust and Romania’s role in the atrocities which is why Holocaust study has become part of the school curriculum.
The Elie Wiesel International Committee for the Study of the Holocaust published a report in 2004 saying that Romanian authorities were responsible for the deaths of 280,000 to 380,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma from 1940 to 1944 during World War II.
The ambassador tweeted that Romania’s “ young generation must thoroughly learn about this dark page in the history of humankind” and praised the law making study of the Holocaust compulsory.
Alexandru Muraru, the government adviser on anti-Semitism issues, who has constantly criticized the party and called for it to be outlawed said it “persists in denying and relativizing the Holocaust.”
He accused party leaders of promoting “neo-Legionnaire (fascist) ideas and concepts and national revisionism.”
“Without a doubt that they are outside the legal framework,” He said.
The party came from nowhere to win fourth place in 2020 parliamentary elections. It has promoted anti-vaccine messages, has homophobic overtones and says Romania must retain its „sovereignty” in the face of the EU and NATO.
Its statement on Monday came after Parliament adopted a law on November 16 making study of the Holocaust compulsory.
Mr Muraru accused AUR of using Parliament “to eulogize war criminals. It has insulted the memory of the victims of the Holocaust with symbols. Party members frequently make anti-Semitic statements online or deny and distort the Holocaust.”
Two weeks ago, AUR supporters breached the Parliament’s perimeter and a protester drew a Swastika on a European Union flag. They were protesting plans to make green passes compulsory at many workplaces.
The ambassador praised the law making the Holocaust a compulsory class. „(It) offers students a chance to understand this terrible episode and the importance of compassion.”
He said AUR’s statement is “outright proof of either a lack of taking responsibility, or of ignorance,” and also in line with the official definition of Holocaust-denial. @TheIHRA
”To deny the Holocaust, hiding behind parliamentary immunity, means to keep anti-Semitic hate alive, and the political consequences (of that ) led to the Holocaust,” the Elie Wiesel Institute said.
Romanian nationalist party says schools shouldn’t teach special classes on Holocaust. It’s a ‘minor topic’