Romania Commended For Admitting Role in Holocaust and Establishing Commemoration Day
New York, NY, October 13, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Romanian government for commemorating its first Holocaust Memorial Day and expressed appreciation to Romanian President Ion Iliescu for his address to a joint session of parliament, reversing nearly 60 years of governmental denial and admitting Romanian involvement in the Holocaust.
"We commend you for the first commemoration of the destruction of Romanian Jewry during World War II," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director in a letter to President Iliescu. "The establishment of a day for remembrance of the Holocaust in Romania, set on the anniversary of the mass deportation of Jews, is a significant step in the Romanian recognition of its full history from that dark period. We further salute your important address to a joint session of parliament marking the commemoration, on the necessity of coming to terms with Romania's involvement in that historic tragedy. Your statements speak well of your commitment to historical honesty, and the harmonious relations between ethnicities and religions that are so important in free societies."
October 9 has been officially deemed "Holocaust Day" in Romania; it is the anniversary of the 1941 deportation of Jews to ghettos and forced labor camps. This year's events were scheduled for October 12 so they would not coincide with Jewish holiday observances. Approximately 420,000 Romanian Jews were deported and killed during World War II.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.