Category Archives: Romania

(DW) Romania to open first national Holocaust museum

(DW) Romania had long swept under the rug its role in the Holocaust. The museum is meant to educate and raise questions about the country’s role in the deaths of Jews and Roma during the time it was allied with Nazi Germany.

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday approved the creation of the country’s first Holocaust museum in Bucharest aimed at informing the public and shedding light on the Nazi-allied regime’s role during World War II.

“The history of Jewish Romanians, their contribution to the country’s development and the tragedy experienced during the war… represent a legacy which was hidden from us for decades,” Iohannis said Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Holocaust survivors.

“This museum will not so much bring answers as raise more questions,” he added.

“The Romanian state demonstrates consistency in meeting the goal aimed at recovering the memory of the Holocaust, strengthening the education about the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism,” Iohannis said.

  • Remembering Nazi genocide of Sinti and Roma Serving the fatherland Many German Sinti fought for Germany not only in the First World War but also in the Wehrmacht from 1939 on. In 1941 the German high command ordered all “Gypsies and Gypsy half-breeds” to be dismissed from active military service for “racial-political reasons.” Alfons Lampert and his wife Elsa were then deported to Auschwitz, where they were killed.

Elie Wiesel’s role

The country had long downplayed any role in the Holocaust, but in 2004 an international panel led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel estimated that between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews perished from territories under Romanian administration.  It also found 11,000 Roma were killed.

Only 3,200 Jews still live in Romania, according to the last census in 2011.

The new museum, coordinated by the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, will be located in an eight-storey building in central Bucharest.

Romania switched sides in the war in 1944. The communist regime that later followed did little to uncover crimes committed during the Holocaust.

(EUobserver) Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

(EUobserver) German chancellor Angela Merkel personally intervened and called Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis in April urging him to stop plans by Romania’s social-democrat lead government to move Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post reports that Merkel also called other European politicians as part of a campaign to block the relocation of European embassies to Jerusalem. The US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem in May.

(AFP) Romania stops Black Sea boats carrying 200 migrants

(AFP)

Romanian authorities have now intercepted four ships in the Black Sea since mid-August, sparking fears of a new migrant route to Europe (AFP Photo/Andreas SOLARO)

Romanian authorities have now intercepted four ships in the Black Sea since mid-August, sparking fears of a new migrant route to Europe

Romanian authorities have now intercepted four ships in the Black Sea since mid-August, sparking fears of a new migrant route to Europe (AFP Photo/Andreas SOLARO)

Bucharest (AFP) – Romania’s coastguard has intercepted two fishing boats in the Black Sea that had more than 200 migrants onboard, border police said Saturday.

The coastguard seized one of the boats on Saturday morning, carrying 97 people — 40 men, 21 women and 36 women who “said they were Iranian and Iraqi nationals”, police said, adding that the vessel was stopped one nautical mile from the Bulgarian coastline.

The boat, which was taken to the southeastern port of Mangalia, is the fourth to have been found carrying migrants in the Black Sea since mid-August.

Authorities have opened an investigation to determine where the boat came from, Ionela Pasat, coastguard spokeswoman in the Black Sea city of Constanta, told AFP.

A second “suspect” fishing boat which had been heading towards Romanian waters was intercepted on Friday night carrying around 120 people, police said. The coastguard blocked the boat until their Turkish counterparts arrived to take over.

EU member Romania is not part of the bloc’s passport-free Schengen zone and until now has largely avoided the kind of influx of refugees and migrants seen elsewhere on the continent over the last few years.

But Bucharest fears that the Black Sea could become an alternative route for migrants seeking a new life in Europe as the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean becomes increasingly difficult, not least since Libya has sought to restrict charities carrying out rescue missions off its shores.