Romanian Minister of Education Alexandru Athanasiu (right) and Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev at Yad Vashem today
04 March 2004
Today, Romanian Minister of Education, Research, and Youth Alexandru Athanasiu and his senior staff visited Yad Vashem. Athanasiu met with Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and staff of the International School for Holocaust Studies.
The focus of Athanasiu’s visit was cooperation on Holocaust education in Romania. Athanasiu committed to partnering with Yad Vashem on the development of new Holocaust curricula for Romanian schools, further development of teacher training seminars for Romanian educators (intensive programs in Israel and follow-up programs in Romania), programs in Israel and at Yad Vashem for Romanian high school students (to enable them to become closely acquainted with the Jewish People and the Holocaust), and development of a standard Romanian-language Holocaust textbook.
Avner Shalev said, “Yad Vashem will be pleased to serve as pedagogical consultant and provider of educational services and content for the Romanian Ministry of Education. This cooperation is an important part of Romania’s coming to terms with its past.”
Athanasiu said he wants the Romanian people to relate to the Holocaust with deep human understanding, and not as a distant set of dry facts and statistics. In order to accomplish this, he favors Yad Vashem’s approach of humanization. This includes reconstruction of the identities of the individual Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, using advanced tools such as the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. The Central Database will become accessible to the general public this summer via Yad Vashem’s website.
Athanasiu also toured the Yad Vashem campus, including the construction site of the new Holocaust History Museum (to be completed at the end of this year). The Minister laid a wreath for the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust in the Hall of Remembrance.
For more information on Yad Vashem’s cooperation with Romania on Holocaust education and related issues, please visit: