In a survey about the Holocaust in Romania, more than a third of people questioned said they have little or no knowledge about what it meant.
Another 25% of respondents said they didn’t know or didn’t want to respond what the Holocaust was in general.
The survey was carried out the Romanian Avangarde market research institute from April 29-May 7, gauging Romanians’ knowledge about the Holocaust. It was published on Wednesday.
Ignorance about the Holocaust is widespread in Romania. It is taught as an optional subject in schools, and many are unaware about Romania’s role in the Nazi mass extermination of Jews, Roma and others.
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.
In 2004, a commission of international Holocaust experts concluded that “Romania bears responsibility for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself.”
Asked “what was the Holocaust in Romania?” only 3% of respondents mentioned pogroms and 4% said „deportations to the Soviet Union.”
.About one-fourth said the Holocaust in Romania meant the deportation of Jews to camps in Nazi Germany. Romanians will often say that the Holocaust meant the deportation of Jews to Nazi concentration camps from territory that had been seized by Hungary.
Some 72% of people interviewed for the poll said Nazi Germany was responsible for the Holocaust in Romania, while 57% blamed Antonescu.
Romania’s Jewish population plummeted from 800,000 before the war, to fewer than 10,000 today.
Some 900 people were interviewed by telephone for the survey which had a 3.2% margin of error.