Romania’s prime minister has appointed an advisor in charge of fighting anti-Semitism and preserving the memory of Holocaust and communism.
Prime Minister Florin Citu said Thursday the new position will be filled by Alexandru Muraru, a Liberal lawmaker, as the government’s special envoy in charge of coordinating the issues.
As special representative, Mr Muraru will represent and advise the prime minister on coordinating and developing policies to fight against anti-Semitism, extremism and hate speech.
He will also initiate policies that will increase public awareness and “encourage a culture of memory founded on democratic principles,” truth and civic responsibility, a statement said.
Mr Muraru, 38, is a historian who specializes in the Holocaust and communism.
He will be tasked with coordinating with Romanian authorities and international bodies on the issues and will develop programs with education officials to teach awareness about anti-Semitism and its consequences.
An important part of the job will be working with ministries and government agencies involved in two forthcoming projects: the National Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust and the Museum of Communist Horrors in Romania .
Other European states have been developing similar policies to both identify and commemorate the history of the last 80 years in Europe.
Special envoys have become a mainstay for governments and civil society in countries that that seek to target and isolate anti-Semitism in their countries and institutions.
Other European states, the U.S. and international organizations already have similar positions.
The envoy will facilitate dialogue and projects with similar bodies in the European Union, the U.S. and elsewhere.
The creation of the position “consolidates Romania’s highest-level commitments concerning …. democracy, the protection of human rights, the promotion of tolerance… d respect for civil rights, the prevention and fight against various forms of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and extremism,” a press statement said..
The Romanian government created the new position, which is not remunerated, following recommendations by the EU Commission, the European Parliament, to develop public awareness about the Holocaust and fight anti-Semitism and hate speech which have became more strident during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Muraru is a well-known political scientist and historian, a former Fulbright fellow, a past fellow of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and also past fellow of The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI).
He is the brother of historian Andrei Muraru, who was head of a government agency tasked with investigating crimes committed under communism. He won domestic and international acclaim after he initiated investigations into some 35 former communist prison guards, dubbed “torturers” by the Romanian media.
Two ex-guards, Alexandru Visinescu and Ion Ficior, were the first officials from the early communist years to go on trial and were sentenced to prison where they died. The trials exposed not only their cruelty but the brutal regimes of the communist prisons.