It is with a very heavy heart I note the passing of my friend Iancu Ţucărman. Iancu was a Romanian hero. Some two months ago, I was privileged to have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate Iancu at the US Embassy on the occasion of his 98th birthday. Iancu was a kind, gentle man. He was a survivor in many senses: he survived the death Trains of Iasi, he survived the horrors of Nazi concentrations camps, and he survived the years of the iron chains of Communism. And yet, despite the misery and depredation of those experiences, he persevered. He was a kind soul, an agronomist, and a musician. He never lost his passion for life. In later years, he sought out young, aspiring musicians and worked to support them and to help them realize their dreams.
His passing is truly tragic, but in his life we can all find the light of perseverance of the spirit, the spirit of a single man, faced with hardships few of us can truly appreciate, a man who rose above the genocide and deprivations in which he found himself. Iancu was a man who always tried to do the right thing.
I can only hope that we, in trying to measure up in some small sense to his example, can carry on and work to ensure that all people should be able to reach their full potential and that none of us, ever again, need experience the abominations which he so valiantly endured.
זכר צדיק וקדוש לברכה
(May the memory of the righteous and holy be a blessing)