Romania’s government on Thursday named its anti-Semitism czar to the board of a European research institute.
The mission of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) is trans-national Holocaust research, commemoration and education.
“The government has an unwavering commitment to fight anti-Semitism both at home and internationally as well as implementing EHRI measures,” said Alexandru Muraru after his appointment.
Romania has seen a rise in anti-Semitic speech and incidents since the pandemic began and a nationalist party came fourth in December 2020 parliamentary elections.
Mr Muraru said as the „government’s representative for fighting anti-Semitism and xenophobia, I will continue to give special attention to these aspects.”
“In particular, (I will focus on) the need to ensure coordination between institutions and specialized structures for education and the memory of the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism.”
The recent rise of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and aggressive nationalism demonstrate that Holocaust research is never a purely academic concern, but a prerequisite for open and non-discriminatory societies across Europe and beyond, EHRI said.
The current EHRI Preparatory Phase project (EHRI-PP) runs from 2019-2022.
The EU-funded EHRI was added to the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap in 2018. It is currently transforming itself from a project into a permanent organization that will help secure the future of trans-national Holocaust research, commemoration and education.
“Romania is a regional model as far as taking responsibility for its past and combating Holocaust denial,” Mr Muraru said.
Currently, EHRI has 27 partners, representing archives, libraries, museums and research institutions. The project also relies on a large network of cooperating partners and many other individuals and organizations in the broad fields of Holocaust studies and digital humanities
It is coordinated by the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD), in the Netherlands. Romania has been a partner since 2017.