Romania to open first Holocaust museum

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has backed the creation of the country’s first Holocaust museum, 75 years after the end of World War II.

Thee National Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust in Romania will feature Jewish heritage in the country, Iohannis said Tuesday.

Up to 380,000 Jews were killed in Romanian-controlled territories during World War II and 11,000 Roma, according to Yad Vashem — The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The museum will be located in Bucharest and will be coordinated by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and aims to recover the memory of the Holocaust, improve education around the mass murder of Jews and combat anti-Semitism, the president said.

„Young generations will never cease to wonder how the Holocaust was possible,” he said. „Many of us have tried to understand what cannot be understood.”

With the creation of the museum, Iohannis said, Romania is defending the history, heritage and culture of Jewish people in Romania, who contributed to the building of the nation,

The museum will be housed in an 86,000-square-foot, eight-storey building on Calea Victoriei, a prominent avenue in the capital.  

Romania had a Jewish population of about 757,000 before World War II, according to Yad Vashem.

In 2003, the Romanian government finally recognized the role previous administrations played in the Holocaust.

Around 3,200 Jews still live in Romania, according to the last census in 2011.

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