Romania's President honours Holocaust survivors

9th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2007, Bucharest (dpa) - Romanian President Traian Basescu bestowed state honours on 11 Holocaust survivors in ceremonies Tuesday in Bucharest.

9 October 2007

Bucharest (dpa) - Romanian President Traian Basescu bestowed state honours on 11 Holocaust survivors in ceremonies Tuesday in Bucharest.

In ceremonies marking the Holocaust, Basescu said the suffering of the Jews in Romania was a result of the racist and anti-democratic laws, xenophobia and a lack of civil courage.

October 9 became Romania's official day to commemmorate the country's own 400,000 Holocaust victims just four years ago. Before then, authorities had denied there had been a Holocaust in Romania.

But in 1904, Romania accepted the findings of a report issued by an international commission chaired by 1986 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and novelist Eli Wiesel, a Romanian-born Jew who survived the Holocaust.

The report concluded that former Romanian civilian and military authorities were responsible for the deaths of between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian Jews. In addition, 25,000 members of the Roma ethnic group were deported during the Holocaust, about half of whom died.

Next week, Basescu intends to also decorate representatives of the Roma minority who survived the Holocaust.

October 9 was chosen as the official commemoration day, because it was on October 9, 1941 that massive deportations of Jews to concentration camps in the Dnjestr Region began.

Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944. Before World War II, about 800,000 Jews lived in Romania. About half of them were killed by Romanian, Hungarian and German Nazis.

Many survivors emigrated to Israel, so today the Jewish community in Romania counts only 11,000 members.

DPA

Subject: German news

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