Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project: "Forget You Not"™





preserving the past to protect the future ...


Bucharest, Romania: Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest, Romania
.Holocaust Memorial Unveiled in Bucharest, Romania 


(with Editor's editing and commentary on the offensive memorial plaque posted)

October 8, 2009

 Romanian Jewish leaders at Holocaust Memorial

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Romania today unveiled a monument in memory of some 300,000 Jews and Romanies [better known by their derogatory name Gypsies] killed during the Holocaust in the country, which until 2004 denied that the extermination even happened.

President Traian Basescu said it was Romania's duty to ''recognize the genocide during World War II'' and to honor the victims.

Basescu was joined by Holocaust survivors, both Jewish and Romanies, and other leaders during the unveiling the marble and concrete tomblike monument, which cost $7.4 million.

Romania today has only 6,000 Jews. The country's role in the Holocaust and the deportation of Jews were ignored by the Communists and minimized by subsequent governments after communism collapsed in 1989.

Chief Rabbi of Romania Menachem HaCohen


''This monument is full of symbolism. Hundreds of thousands were killed who would have contributed to the cultural and economic prosperity of Romania,'' said Rabbi Menachem HaCohen, Romania's chief rabbi.

<==== Chief Rabbi of Romania Menachem HaCohen says prayer during memorial inauguration. (Photo: AP)

Romanian authorities set up the Elie Wiesel International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania in 2003 after one ministry in the Social Democratic government denied there had been a Holocaust in Romania during World War II.

Some Romanians still admire pro-Nazi Marshal Ion Antonescu, whose administration was responsible for the deaths. They see him as a hero who fought against the Soviet Union to recover Romanian territories.

''It is important that Romania acknowledges its past. It's not an easy past,'' said Radu Ioanid who has written several books on the Holocaust in Romania. ''There are still people opposing this,'' he said.

Historians have documented several pogroms in Romania, including one in June 1941 in the northeastern city of Iasi, where up to 12,000 people are believed to have died as Romanian and German soldiers swept from house to house, killing Jews. Those who did not die were systematically beaten, put in cattle wagons in stifling heat and taken to a small town. Of the 120 people on the train, only 24 survived.

Other Romanian Jews were deported from Transylvania by Hungarian fascists to Nazi concentration camps. The Northern part of Transylvania was controlled by Hungary during World War II.

Nobel Peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who was deported to Auschwitz, called on Romanians not to forget their past.

''Passer-by, stop and remember,'' he said in a message read out. ''In this wonderful country and in Trans-Dniester under the criminal regime of Antonescu, hundreds of thousands of Jews were persecuted and assassinated in bloody pogroms.''

Critics say that Romanians are beginning to learn about the Holocaust.

''Romania has made great strides in recognizing the past, especially the government educational institutions,'' said Michelle Kelso, director of the Association for Dialogue and Civic Education. ''However to win the hearts and the minds of people, there needs to be more education campaigns especially on the lessons of the Holocaust.''



Photo Credit: AFP, Copyright © 2009 AFP.

decal of Site --From the Editor

   A Call for the Government of Romania to Recognize that

   the Posted Holocaust Memorial Plaque Must Be Modified   

   To Acknowledge Both the Victims and the Romanian Regime

   Responsible for the Commission of Crimes Against Humanity   

Editor's Commentary:

In the sole Memorial Plaque of the Holocaust Monument, stunningly, no mention is provided as to who and how many people were murdered that became the victims of the Holocaust in Romania. That undoubtedly is of a great comfort to those who --while acknowledging the existence of the Holocaust-- claim, to this day, that within the territories of Romania there was no Holocaust. Also, not a word about who was responsible for those victims that are being memorialized.

That Plaque unveiled on October 8, 2009, with the Monument's opening in Bucharest, is in fact a gross display of a Cult of Personality that Romania still harbors, being a remnant from its Communist past era. It is an affront to all human decency, making a mockery of the Romanian Holocaust victims and of the entire multi-million dollar project.

Holocaust plaque at Holocaust Monument in Romania

In lieu of all that missing memorial text, a prominent place is given to the "author" Peter Jacobi. That, respectfully, is not only absurd but, within this context, quite obscene. Mr. Jacobi's portrayal is, in fact, a grotesque display of cynicism and egocentrism.

Making no mistake: every day, every hour, every minute, every second that Jacobi's plaque stands --in solitude-- at the Monument is an affront to all the Holocaust victims of Romania and their tragic remembrance.

Accountability of this botched Holocaust Monument needs not be buried in sand nor be covered under some lame excuses. What was the reason and the complicity behind that inexcusable omission of not having an adequate Memorial Plaque at the opening of the Monument? --is a question that needs not remain unanswered, as speculations need not be part of this address. We, in here, most certainly support the questions and the line of inquiry posted by Samuel Gruber in his blog:
"... we can certainly wonder why the decision was taken to dedicate it before its completion. Was it simply that the government sponsors thought the deadline of the local Holocaust Remembrance day would force the contractors to hurry up? Or were there other reasons? Has rushing the dedication in any way diminished the impact of the monument?"

but not the speculations, in the hope that answers and accountability will be able to emerge.

The "principals" that were entrusted with millions of dollars for this Holocaust Memorial Monument need to come out from their "hiding places" and perhaps explain why they need not be charged with Criminal negligence for their incredulous oversight. An adequate Memorial Plaque is really not that much to ask and be expected to be in place at the opening day of a National Memorial Monument of Remembrance.

If negligence is claimed not have existed, then a more sinister and diabolic picture will emerge. In either situation, it is mandatory that a credible investigation to take place.

Participants at the opening of the National Holocaust Monument in Bucharest, Romania
Are We Missing Something From Our Bewilderment?:
Not one single person from the participants at the opening ceremonies of the Monument
appears to be offended by the non-existence of an adequate Memorial Plaque

From left, 1sr row: Liviu Beris, President of the Romanian Jews Association and Holocaust survivor; Dumitru Tranca, Representative of the Romani ("Gypsy") Community and survivor of Transnistria; Traian Basescu, President of Romania; Menachem HaCohen, Chief Rabbi of Romania; ... ; Sara Bloomfield, Director of the USHMM; ... ; ... ; ... ; ... ; ... ; Theodor Paleologu, Minister of Culture and Cults of Romania; and last (half picture, far right), Mihail E. Ionescu, Director of the "Elie Wiesel" Institute in Romania.

Participants at the opening of the Holocaust Monument in Bucharest
An appropriate wording for the Memorial Plaque would be perhaps this one:
Holocaust Monument, Romania



Holocaust Monument, Romania
The conservative figures presented herein are from the 2004 Report of the Elie Wiesel International Commission sponsored by the Government of Romania, and from the work of the late Marcu Rozen --an author, a dear friend, and a Holocaust survivor of Transnistria.

Respectfully submitted,

K. K. Brattman
Managing Editor
Dated: October 11, 2009
Added: November 5, 2009

Note: The picture of the Plaque was taken from the website <HolocaustMemorial.ro> with permission from MCA Romania.

Holocaust Monument, Romania

Special Selected Link:
Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

Images of the Holocaust in Romania
Murdered Jews, Iasi Pogrom in Romania
.Jews murdered in the Iasi Pogroms of Romania
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

Dead bodies, Iasi Pogrom, Romania
.Romanians halt a train to throw off the dead bodies during the Iasi Pogroms

Holocaust Monument in Romana