04 August 2003
The Romanian Ambassador to Israel, HE Dr. Valeria Mariana Stoica met today with Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev in order to discuss Romanian participation in an international commission to investigate the Holocaust period in Romania. The commission was initiated by Shalev in a letter to Romanian President Ion Iliescu on July 27 following remarks made by the president downplaying the Jewish Holocaust in Europe. Stoica ensured Yad Vashem that Romania will work to establish the commission. Shalev encouraged Romania’s suggestion that Prof. Elie Wiesel head the commission. Yad Vashem has already put forth Dr. Jean Ancel - who recently published two books of research on Romania - as a representative of Yad Vashem.
Stoica announced Romania’s intention to bring a group of young politicians representing all political parties in Romania (excepting Romanian Mare - the Greater Romanian Party) to Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies in October. They will participate in a weeklong seminar on the history of the Holocaust in Romania and the significance of Holocaust education in their country. The ambassador also reiterated her earlier commitment that the newly appointed Minister of Education would visit Yad Vashem in October to discuss further cooperation in Holocaust education.
Stoica and Shalev also discussed Romania’s intention to institute a national Holocaust Remembrance day to take place in June, marking the pogroms in Jassi, Romania in June, 1941. It will be officially marked in the Romanian Parliament as well as in all major cities throughout Romania.