Romania approves Holocaust museum aimed at shedding light on its WWII role
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Romania approves Holocaust museum aimed at shedding light on its WWII role

Panel headed by late Elie Weisel found 280,000 Romanian Jews and 380,000 Ukrainian Jews died in Romanian territory in Nazi era, along with 11,000 Roma

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila (L) lays a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance on April 25, 2018, during her visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila (L) lays a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance on April 25, 2018, during her visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)

BUCHAREST — Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday gave his green light to the creation of a Holocaust museum in Bucharest aimed at shedding light on the country’s controversial role during WWII.

The capital’s city council had initially rejected the plan in March, drawing accusations of anti-Semitism.

“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 Shoa survivors.

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

Benjamin Netanyahu (R) holds a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Jerusalem on March 7, 2016. Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

The country had long denied in any responsibility in the Nazi atrocities, but in 2003 accepted to put in a place a panel of experts to investigate its role in the Holocaust.

The panel, headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, found that 280,000 Romanian Jews and 380,000 Ukrainian Jews died in Romania and territories under its control during the war, along with 11,000 Roma.

Romanian Jews attend a commemoration service for Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, at Choral Temple in Bucharest on July 7, 2016. (AFP/Daniel Mihailescu)

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

The museum will be opened in central Bucharest and be managed by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust.

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