MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 38 (166) / October 10, 2005

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Divers Bulletin no. 38 (166) / October 10, 2005
News

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATED IN ROMANIA 

“AVOIDING AN ANTI-SEMITE ATTITUDE IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY FOR 
ROMANIA” – interview with general major dr. Mihail E. Ionescu, director with 
the Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania

NAZI SIGNS DRAWN AT THE SYNAGOGUE IN TIRGU MURES

ROMANIA TAKES PRESIDENCY OF ROMA INCLUSION DECADE 

AGREEMENT WITH UNDP COMES INTO FORCE TO APPLY THE STRATEGY FOR ETHNIC ROMA 


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News

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATED IN ROMANIA 

IASI - Romania held a Holocaust Remembrance Day on October 9, to honor the 
memories of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Gypsies who were persecuted by 
the country's pro-Nazi regime during World War II. 
During a ceremony in the city of Iasi, the site of an anti-Jewish pogrom in 
June 1941 in which 14,850 Jews were killed, Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan 
Ungureanu said the government would work to educate the young so that such 
things would never happen again.
"During 1938-1944 in Romania, Jews were persecuted, they were killed, and 
intolerance, hate and lack of understanding toward their culture and religion 
were the engines of these crimes," he said. 
Ungureanu also took part in the opening of a Jewish Studies Center at the local 
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. 
On October 9, 1941, the Nazi-allied government led by Marshal Ion Antonescu 
began deporting Jews to camps located in Transnistria, an occupied area in the 
former Soviet Union. Less than a year later, the government began deporting 
Gypsies to camps in the same region. 
An international panel of historians set up last year said the wartime regime 
of Marshal Ion Antonescu was responsible for the deaths of up to 380,000 Jews 
and more than 11,000 Gypsies. 
Author: DIVERS
summary“AVOIDING AN ANTI-SEMITE ATTITUDE IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY FOR 
ROMANIA” – interview with general major dr. Mihail E. Ionescu, director with 
the Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania

Reporter: What is the Institute aiming to do for studying the Holocaust in 
Romania?
Mihai E. Ionescu: The National Institute for studying the Holocaust in 
Romania “Ellie Wiesel” was established, according to a government decision, in 
August this year and aims at identifying, gathering, archiving and publishing 
the documents related to the Holocaust, in general, and to the Holocaust in 
Romania, in particular. In addition, it will deal with solving some scientific 
problems related to the Holocaust as well as with drawing up and implementing 
some educational programs related to this historic phenomenon. (...)
We are conducting surveys and researches countrywide and abroad, we purchase 
any kind of testimony or document related to the Holocaust, we identify, 
conserve and turn into good account the necessary paperwork, we publish the 
results of the survey, we draw up educational programs to make known these 
results, targeting the youngsters and the fact they must know their past. We 
organize scientific manifestations and we make training with history teachers. 

R: What is kind of projects aiming the Institute to develop?
M.I: One of the projects I am very fond of is that aiming to identify the name 
of the victims of the Holocaust in Romania.
Wiesel report tried to identify the number of the victims, which is very hard 
because little facts are known in this field. For now, the report indicates 
between 280,000 and 380,000 persons. Further researches will get us closer to 
the truth. Altogether, it is taken into account the constructions of a memorial 
of the Holocaust in Romania.

R: Can we talk about anti-Semitism in Romania?
M.I: Today’s anti-Semitism is a phenomenon that must be studied and understood. 
The Institute is not justified, it is a wrong approach trying to understanding 
the existence and activity of the institute through the existence of the 
phenomenon of anti-Semitism in Romania. The Institute was established by the 
Government of Romania for studying a page of the history of the country, as our 
history must be known by the younger generations. (...) The Institute was not 
established tbased on a supposed developing anti-Semite attitude in Romania.

R: You have recently said that “avoiding the anti-Semite attitude is a matter 
of national security for Romania”. Can you give any further details?
M.I: The national security has been recently understood as a complex phenomenon.
Security means stability and the identity of the respective society. The 
security also means the security of the national borders and the respect of 
other people towards the others. Why is the anti-Semitism a problem of national 
security? I will answer you to that with other questions. Where did the anti-
Semitism thought as state policy bring us between 1938 and 1944? Where did it 
bring us the anti-Semitism professed by the government back then, which took 
into account the need for an ethnic purification by any means through expelling 
out of the country the Jewish, the ethnic Roma and other minorities? The result 
was a tragedy that Romania experienced during the Second World War with the 
price of hundreds thousands lives, of some invaluable lost material values. Out 
of this perspective, avoiding such noxious phenomenon, such as the Holocaust, 
which is a product of the anti-Semitism, is a matter of national security. 
Author: DIVERS


NAZI SIGNS DRAWN AT THE SYNAGOGUE IN TIRGU MURES

TIRGU MURES – Four youngsters, one from Tirgu Mures and three from Singeorgiu 
(central Romania) entered during the night of October 1, in the courtyard of 
the Synagogue in Tirgu Mures and drew in black paint, three swastikas, local 
press reports. 
The four men, subsequently identified by the Police, also drew during the same 
night “the swastika” on the base of the fence of two dwellings on Bradului 
Street in Tirgu Mures.
The sings were discovered on Saturday morning by the members of the Jewish 
community in the city coming to take part in the ceremony. “We cannot suspect 
anything because this is a unique case, we have no knowledge that such things 
had ever happened at the synagogues. I cannot imagine what could they have with 
the temples, with a saint dwelling. 
We hope the perpetrators are found. According to the new legislation in 
Romania, the authors of the inscriptions on the Synagogue will suffer from 
rather drastic sanctions, if discovered”, said Alexandru Ausch, the secretary 
of the Jewish community in Tirgu Mures.
The members of the Jewish community in Tirgu Mures remember that a couple of 
years ago, the Jewish cemetery in the city was desecrated, anti-Semite 
inscriptions being drawn on its fences.
Tragically, one of the four youngsters investigated by the police committed 
suicide on Wednesday, October 5. Marius Girbelt, 21 years old, committing 
suicide in the family garage.
The last person seeing him alive was his close friend, neighbor and work 
colleague, Attila Papp. He said that Marius visited him at home and he was very 
cheerful, telling him that during the night the Nazi sings were drawn on the 
synagogue, he was a part of a group of 30 people and he only witnessed the 
event. 
Author: DIVERS


ROMANIA TAKES PRESIDENCY OF ROMA INCLUSION DECADE 

BUCHAREST - Romania has taken presidency of the Roma Social Integration Office 
and will coordinate and complete projects and social policies to improve the 
situation of the Roma people, along with the authorities of the eight European 
states that are part of the office.
The president of the National Agency for the Roma, Mariea Ionescu, who is going 
to be the head of the European Office, on October 4 met with the former 
Hungarian president of the office, Laszlo Teleki. Ionescu said she will 
continue the programs of her predecessor and also complete other projects to 
improve the social condition of the Romas.
She emphasized the necessity to improve the strategy for Romas, developed by 
Romania's former Social Democratic government under Adrian Nastase. Ionescu 
added that the National Agency for the Romas has set as a goal to become a 
mediator of the relationships between ministries and Roma organizations, in 
order to get both of them deeply involved in completing the National 
Development Plan for 2007-2013.
Another priority of the agency is normalizing the situation at Hadareni, which 
has been the cause of a trial at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 
Ionescu said that the government is going to monitor the situation there to 
make sure that the decision of the ECHR is followed and that the Romas are no 
longer discriminated against.
Representatives of the World Bank and the European Commission Delegation to 
Romania along with NGOs were present at yesterday's meeting. 
The Roma Social Integration Office, which was launched in February 2005, runs 
several government and non-government programs to improve the situation of the 
Roma, financed from state as well as external funds. The office is supported by 
the European Community.
Author: DIVERS


AGREEMENT WITH UNDP COMES INTO FORCE TO APPLY THE STRATEGY FOR ETHNIC ROMA 

BUCHAREST – In the Official Gazette on September 30, it was published the 
Decision on enacting the Memorandum of understanding General Secretariat, 
National Agency for Ethnic Roma, Program of the United National for Development 
(UNDP) on the co-financing and administration of the Program “Activities to 
enforce and monitor the Strategy for improving ethnic Roma status, Partnership 
to support the ethnic Roma – 2005”. Signed on September 21, 2005, the 
Memorandum supposes the transfer of 1,810,000 (RON) to UNDP to enforce and 
monitor programs contributing at the good social integration of the ethnic Roma 
people. UNDP contribution at this program is of USD60 thousands.
The money are especially meant to the public local institutions in partnership 
with ethnic Roma organizations (or groups of initiative) to develop projects in 
the following fields: income-generating activities; small infrastructure, 
rehabilitation of dwellings, purchase of agricultural fields and their 
cultivation; vocational training. 
Author: DIVERS


DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is edited 
every week by MEDIAFAX, with the financial support of King Baudouin Foundation, 
Belgium and Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Partial or full 
reproduction of the information contained in DIVERS is allowed only if the 
source is mentioned. You can send messages and suggestions regarding the 
content of DIVERS bulletin at MEDIAFAX, Str. Tudor Arghezi, Nr. 3B, Sector 2 - 
Bucharest, tel: 021/ 305.31.91 or at the e-mail address: divers@mediafax.ro 


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