The representatives of the Jewish community in Romania have reacted to the recent statement on the Holocaust made by the new interim Education Minister, Daniel Breaz, also minister of Culture, but also to the row stirred by the photos featuring President Iohannis next to a girl, after one of PM Dancila’s advisers compared Klaus Iohannis to Adolf Hitler.
MP Silviu Vexler, representing the Jewish minority in Romania, has condemned the statements by minister Breaz regarding the Holocaust.
In a recent speech during a ceremony on the Holocaust Monument in Bucharest, the minister of Culture said that “over time, there have been some delicate moments, let’s not call them difficult (…) when certain minorities suffered, which find us in such moments as the one today, when we re-bring into the attention of the Romanians and of entire Europe the fact that we respect these minorities”.
“Hunted, discriminated, humiliated, persecuted, arrested, deported and killed in mass numbers. These were <the delicate moments> during Holocaust for 280,000-380,000 Romanian-born Jews and around 11,000 Roma people, according to an official document assumed by the Romanian State-the Final Report of the International Commission for the Study of Holocaust in Romania. These numbers don’t comprise those who managed to survive, but who endured the same suffering,” Silviu Vexler retorted on Facebook.
He said “it is totally unacceptable that a high ranking official of the Romanian State is using these phrasing when referring to the Holocaust”.
“Trivialising this dark period of the history and deriding a suffering that cannot be described in words is very dangerous, especially when, bu such an attitude, a false impression can be sent that relativisation is acceptable”, the Jewish deputy added.
At the same time, Vexler condemned the comparison the premier’s adviser on Roma issues, Dana Varga made between president Iohannis and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The representative of the Jewish community argued that the Romanian president “is the opposite of a person who has Nazi or anti-Semite convictions”.
“I noticed Mrs Dana Varga, state adviser of the prime minister has shared on her Facebook page the photo montage comparing Adolf Hitler to Klaus Iohannis. I cannot accept that, regardless of the moment and context, the act is unforgivable and absurd, to compare Romania’s president to one of the greatest murderers in the history of mankind. In my view, Mr Iohannis is the opposite of a person who has Nazi or anti-Semite convictions. I appreciated his support granted to the Jewish Communities in Romania and to the Holocaust survivors,” Silviu Vexler pointed out.
“No matter how strong is a conflict, there are limits. The memory and drama oft he Holocaust itself have no place in a political conflict, by any means,” his message concludes.
First vice-president of the National Liberal Party, Raluca Turcan has also asked PM Viorica Dancila to dismiss her adviser on Roma issue, Dana Varga, for the collage comparing Iohannis to Hitler. Following criticism and comments, Varga deleted her post.
President Klaus Iohannis has been involved in a controversial photo shooting taken by photographer Simion Buia with his girl at Cotroceni Palace, and posted by the photographer on Facebook. Buia’s post has also been deleted later on following tough comments.