Holocaust Memorial, Bucharest
Monday, October 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Madam Prime Minister, Members of the Romanian Parliament, Your Excellencies, Doctor Vainer, Doctor Beris, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will try to be brief and not to repeat what has been said before me. As we gather to pay tribute to the victims of this mass act of barbarity and brutality, the Holocaust in Romania, we must also remember the perpetrators, and recognize the forces and circumstances that brought them to be. We must renew our resolve to prevent such an atrocity from ever happening again and demonstrate our commitment to creating a world based on tolerance, respect, and democratic principles.
In Romania, like in other countries in Europe, the horrors and traumas of the last century, including those of the Holocaust, reverberate and intertwine every day with the events of this one.
Unfortunately, dark winds of illiberalism, nationalism, and intolerance are threatening to intensify today across Europe and the West. The dark reverberations of history, now spread by modern technology are chipping away at the foundations of what we created together after a war that let loose the Holocaust in Romania and that began almost 80 years ago to rip this continent apart.
It is in the face of these winds that I speak to you today. It is places like this memorial, days like this day of remembrance, and people like you who can calm those winds by understanding the past, living fully in the present, and envisioning a better future.
Colleagues, friends, in the spirit of this day of remembrance, let us never forget the lessons of the past, but also let us look to the future and envision a world marked by understanding, dignity, and freedom.
Thank you for your attention.