This is a speech made by Romania’s prime minister, Nicolae Ciuca to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day which is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
Romania’s National Opera held a concert on Thursday to mark the commemoration which this year starts on April 27. The musical event was supported by the Israeli embassy and featured Israeli conductor, Ethan Schmeisser and Polish flutist Ania Karpowicz.
<<Tonight, here in Bucharest, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, we remember with grief and compassion the millions of victims of the Holocaust, killed by the Nazis and their collaborators.
The Holocaust was the greatest tragedy of humanity in the history of the world, and the memory of the victims of Yom HaShoah creates a strong connection with the State of Israel today, with the legacy of the memory of the Jewish people, the Jewish Diaspora and the entire world who mourn the sufferings and victims of the Holocaust.
The words of Elie Wiesel will endure for eternity: „Why have so many citizens betrayed humanity, theirs and ours, choosing to persecute, torment and kill innocent and defenseless men, women and children?”
That is why we must continually reaffirm our responsibility as citizens, today and always, to never forget the horrors and crimes of the Holocaust. This duty is essential in order to honor the victims, to permanently condemn the acts of the murderers and their accomplices, but also to lay the foundations for a reconciliation built on truth and remembrance.
But Yom HaShoah is also about success and survival. We also honor those who overcame suffering and death, but also their saviors and protectors. The Jews who survived the Holocaust, enduring cold, hunger, death trains, ghettos, extermination camps and individual or collective executions, left us a colossal legacy. They talked for decades about the Hell they went through, about forgiveness and pain; they wrote a history that they bequeathed to us for eternity. Holocaust survivors and their testimony are the most important resource for education and deep remembrance of the urge to be vigilant and not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Also, today, we cannot remain silent in the face of the horrors that are being committed away from us, and certainly of those that are happening right across the border.
The recent terrorist attacks in Israel, where innocent people were brutally killed, the illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed every day by Russian forces, the killing of Holocaust survivors there or the attacks against the symbols of the Holocaust, all this shows us that our mission to combat anti-Semitism, extremism, hatred and racism needs new allies and institutions.
Denying, distorting or trivializing the Holocaust, praising war criminals, historical revisionism, chauvinistic nationalism, conspiracy theories produce or are themselves part of narratives that seriously damage our democracy.
Romania, which assumed its participation in the Holocaust in the years of World War II two decades ago, is today a democratic and stable nation, fighting for the values of freedom, together with our European and transatlantic partners.
That is why it is my duty, as Prime Minister, to reaffirm the firm and unconditional commitment of the Romanian Government to preventing and combating anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hate speech and all forms of political or symbolic violence.
Finally, I want to tell you that I openly welcome this cultural and civic memorial initiative organized by the Bucharest National Opera and the Israeli Embassy. Through every such gesture, of moment of remembrance, their memory, of the victims of the Holocaust, is honored and preserved in a place of honor.
The memory of the Holocaust is a permanent duty, therefore, the initiative of you and other institutions that through concerts, through public actions and events honor both the international day of commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust, the national day, but also Yom HaShoah represents a pious tribute to the victims, a comfort to the survivors and a reaffirmation of our collective commitment, not to forget!
Let us remember all those who perished in the Holocaust and pray every day for their memory to remain with us!
AM YISRAEL CHAI [The Nation of Israel lives]!>>