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.
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.
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.