Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s reply to a media question about demonstrations of revanchist sentiments in Romania
Question: The recent Holocaust memorial events in Romania inspired some people to air their views and assessments that called into question or distorted a number of historical facts dating back to World War II. What could you say about demonstrations of revanchist sentiments in Romania?
Maria Zakharova: We note with alarm the increasingly frequent Romanian attempts to touch up (with the use of anti-Russian armamentarium) or even reassess the events of World War II. For example, a clearly anti-Soviet and anti-Russian display on the deportation of Transylvanian Germans to the USSR in 1945 was timed to coincide with the quite modest events dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was held in Bucharest not so long ago. The emphasis was on denouncing the “cruel and inhuman” actions by the “Soviet occupation forces” towards innocent Germans. Thereby the well-known facts about Berlin’s and Bucharest’s genocide of Jews and Romani have been swept aside. Indicatively, the German ambassador in Romania, Werner Hans Lauk, kept a high profile throughout the show.
Participants in the opening ceremony at the exhibition said not a word to condemn the Holocaust or commiserate with the fate of Romanian Jews. The historical truth about how the Romanian administration in postwar Romania compiled lists of potential German exiles has been condemned to oblivion. Bucharest’s ulterior motive in doing so was to reduce the weight of the German – and Hungarian (Szekely) – communities in Transylvania in favour of the Romanian population. Who should know his country’s recent history better than its current president, Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German?
Our insistent recommendation to those who still hope to revise the history of World War II is this: Instead of attempting to rewrite history they should better recall the stern facts. According to Romanian official statistics alone, not fewer than 320,000 Jews were killed in Romania and in areas that it controlled as a German ally. No tabs were kept on the number of Romani, who lost their lives as part of the same campaign. It is on this bitter truth and on vows to never allow this tragedy to happen again that the participants in ceremonies on the Holocaust Remembrance Day should have focused. They’d also do well to pay tribute to those who saved other people’s lives, often at the cost of their own life, by releasing them from Nazi death camps.
And one more thing: As we mark the anniversary of the German surrender near Stalingrad, we remember well, whose side the Romanian army was fighting on.
February 4, 2016