BUCHAREST—Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has approved the creation of the country’s first Holocaust museum in Bucharest aimed at aimed at reviving the memory of the Holocaust, strengthening education around the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism.
“The history of Jewish Romanians, their contribution to the country’s development and the tragedy experienced during the war… represent a legacy which was hidden from us for decades,” Iohannis said last week at a ceremony in the Romanian capital attended by Holocaust survivors.
“This museum will not so much bring answers as raise more questions,” he added.
“The Romanian state demonstrates consistency in meeting the goal aimed at recovering the memory of the Holocaust, strengthening the education about the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism,” the president said.
The National Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust in Romania will be in an 86,000-square-foot, eight-story building on the central Calea Victoriei avenue in Bucharest.
Romania had long downplayed any role in the Holocaus but in 2004 an international panel led by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel estimated that between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews perished from territories under Romanian administration. It also found 11,000 Roma were killed.
Wiesel, who was born in Romania, chaired the Wiesel Commission, which was established to report on Romania’s involvement in the Holocaust.
The new museum will be coordinated by the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania,