A ceremony to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day in Romania was marred by anti-Semitic messages which were placed near a Holocaust memorial during a ceremony.
The Israeli embassy organized an event Thursday morning to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.
During the ceremony, two men placed a wreath inscribed with messages downplaying and mocking the Holocaust.
”Romania saved 400,000 Jews during the Holocaust” read one message. The second message, in English said. “Let’s not forget: half the truth is a lie.”
Police have opened a criminal case.
If found guilty, the perpetrators face prison sentences of up to three years.
The Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust filed a complaint.
“A group of people came who wanted to place a wreath. They were told they couldn’t, so they put it outside,” Elie Wiesel chairman Alexandru Florian said.
”On a day when we speak about the victims of the Holocaust, a Bucharest’s Holocaust Memorial, there are anti-Semitic manifestations under the eye of the gendarmerie,” the institute wrote.
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.
Israeli ambassador, David Saranga, anti-Semitism czar, Alexandru Muraru, and Holocaust survivor Octavian Fulop were among the people who took part in the event.
Gendarmes and the anti-terrorist brigade provided security.
After being reprimanded for allegedly turning a blind eye, the gendarmes later said they “condemned the Holocaust and any denial of this historic tragedy.”
Separately Thursday, a nationalist party, AUR, which is facing a criminal probe over Holocaust denial shot to second place in the INSCOP monthly opinion poll, with about 20% support. It was its highest score ever. The center-left Social Democratic Party was on top with 34%.
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day when the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims.
The the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex was liberated on January 27, 1945.