Romanian and Israeli officials gathered in Bucharest to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the deportation of thousands of Jews to Transnistria where they were murdered.
The event was held at the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest and included Israeli Minister of Diaspora Nachman Shai, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania Silviu Vexler, the Swiss Info news site reported.
“We must continue to act firmly against anti-Semitism and against all forms of extremism,” Aurescu said.
Vexler called the commemoration a “sacred duty.”
“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,” he said. “It is an essential step in building the future, a future that each person and together can build.”
The Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania released a statement to mark the anniversary of the deportations.
“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 said, remarking that the area was occupied by the Romanians and their Nazi allies and was the site of mass murders.
Before the Holocaust, 800,000 Jews lived in Romania, approximately four percent of the population.
According to the Wiesel Commission report released by Romania in 2004, up to 380,000 Jews were killed in Romanian territory during the Holocaust.