Romania’s foreign minister has warned about rise of Holocaust denial around the world in recent years at a meeting where 34 countries recommitted to step up efforts to counter antisemitism.
Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu spoke this weekend at a meeting of the International Alliance for Memory of the Holocaust which is chaired by Luxembourg.
“Twenty years since the adoption of the Stockholm declaration, we are witnessing in a deeply regrettable way a growth in antisemitism and denial of the Holocaust in our societies,” he said.
The meeting in Brussels brought together ministers from 34 countries in Brussels to re-affirm their commitment to strengthen and advance Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
The ministers met to mark 20 years since the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration.
The Stockholm Declaration set the precedent for governmental responsibility for Holocaust education, remembrance and research as well as the fight against antisemitism.
Ministers agreed that since the turn of the century, as technology and civil society has advanced, so too have Holocaust distortion, denial and antisemitism, and the new manifestations require new responses.
The ministers agreed on 14 points including to “accept responsibility as governments continue to work together to counter Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles,” and “lead efforts to promote education, remembrance and research on the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma to counter the influence of historical distortion, hate speech and incitement to violence and hatred.”
They also pledged to “identify, preserve and make available archival material, testimonies and authentic sites for educational purposes, commemoration and research,” the Independent reported.
Aurescu said Romania was striving to become “a real regional model regarding taking responsibility for the past and promoting the memory of the Holocaust.
Romania’s Jewish population has plummeted from 800,000 before World War II to fewer than 10,000 today.
Between 280,000-380,000 Jews were killed on Romanian-held territory during the war
Data from 2015 and 2017, found that just 39% of Romanians would accept a Jewish person as a family member.