11 November 2004
Today, at 5:00 p.m. members of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania presented its final report to Romanian President Ion Iliescu at a special ceremony in the Presidential Palace in Bucharest. Nobel Prize laureate and Vice Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Professor Elie Wiesel chairs the Commission. The 400-page report details the history of the Holocaust in Romania as well as the Commission’s conclusions and recommendations on how the government can foster Holocaust awareness, remembrance, and education in Romania.
Yad Vashem has been involved in the Commission’s work since its establishment in 2003. Yad Vashem’s public support of the Commission also included putting its research at the Commission’s disposal and hosting the Commission at Yad Vashem in September, when the report was finalized.
Chairman of the Directorate Avner Shalev welcomed the Commission’s report. “This is an important step in Romania’s confrontation with its past, and I hope that the Commission’s conclusions will lead to more awareness among Romanian society of the Holocaust in Romania,” he said. “It is important to stress that the Commission’s work represents only a starting point in an important and meaningful process whereby the Commission’s recommendations will be implemented.”
Yad Vashem, through the International School for Holocaust Studies, offers the knowledge, expertise and pedagogical tools that it has developed to widen and professionalize Holocaust education in Romania. Following the visit of Romanian Minister of Education Alexandru Athanasiu this March to Yad Vashem, a seminar for Romanian educators was held at the International School this fall. “We hope that the cooperation with Romania in the field of Holocaust education will continue and expand as the Commission’s recommendations are implemented,” said Shalev.