Real Anti-Semitism Watch

Where Did Romania's Holocaust Go?

The OZ team reveals that anti-Semitism isn't dead in Europe, and that Holocaust denial can still find a home; this time in the Romanian government.

Daniel Mihailescu / AFP / Getty Images

The statement “no Jew suffered in Romanian territory” sounds as absurd as it is.

But Dan Sova, the new Romanian minister for parliamentary relations, made this remarkable claim earlier this year. And, bizarrely, he had details to back it up. When he was spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), he rewrote his country’s history, claiming that “a total of 24 Jews were killed during the Iasi pogrom by the German army.” Right, and only 8 were killed in the Ukraine during the Khmelnytsky Massacre. What?

First, it’s interesting that Sova believes 24 Jews counts as “no Jews.” Second, it’s not 24 Jews, it’s closer to 13,000 Jews. There’s a not-at-all-slight difference. Anyone who wants to know the number of and way in which Jews suffered in Romania during the Holocaust can read the Report of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania—which, by the way, was written in response to an official statement by the Romanian government in 2003 that “within the borders of Romania, there was no Holocaust between 1940-1945.” Seems like Sova’s not the only one scrubbing history.

So I guess Sova thinks something between 280,000 to 380,000 Romanian Jews just evaporated, rather than being slaughtered by the Romanian government troops, who didn’t require any Nazi pressure to expunge their country of its Jews (and Roma).

In response to his statement, Sova was summarily removed from his role as spokesperson, and sent to Washington “for an educational visit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

And now, Sova’s back and was just appointed minister of parliamentary relations. France has acknowledged and begun to process its collaboration in the Holocaust. We can only hope Romania will do the same.