The signatories of this protest – private persons and civil society organizations – took note with utter consternation that PSD senator Dan Şova was appointed as a delegate minister in charge of the relation with the Parliament.
We consider this political decision, validated by ad-interim president Crin Antonescu, to be a serious error and a most worrying signal for Romania’s efforts to take responsibility for its past and the Holocaust, expressed among others by official documents of the Romanian state, such as the Final Report of the international committee for studying the Romanian Holocaust, chaired by Mr. Elie Wiesel.
We must remind that senator Dan Şova made the following statements in a TV program: “No Jew had anything to suffer on the Romanian territory”, “24 Jews were killed during the Iaşi pogrom”, “the German army is responsible for the Iaşi events”, completely ignoring the historical consensus on the tragedy suffered by Jewish people in Romania and quoting from negationist historians.
In that respect, the Final Report contains extensive information on the Iaşi pogrom (pp. 118-124), facts that a Romanian senator and graduate of the History Faculty should not ignore. Moreover, as a law professional, Mr. Dan Şova should have known that, as provided by Law no.107/2006, article 6, “public denial of the Holocaust or its effects represents a “felony and is punished by 6 months to 5 years in prison and the restriction of certain rights”. Instead of being politically sanctioned, Mr. Şova is rewarded with a position in the Romanian Government.
Assertions as the ones made by Mr. Şova are not merely false from a historical perspective, but also deeply offensive to the memory of Holocaust victims and their descendants, representing and undeletable affront to the Jewish community in Romania and all over the world.
We consider that not clemency but, on the contrary, immediate withdrawal of political support and removal from the official position would be the adequate measures for statements as serious as senator’s Dan Şova. Only by sanctioning selective negationism and irresponsible statements of high-level politicians can the Government prove it observes the recommendations of the Final Report, in a United Europe that does not tolerate amnesia or ambiguity when it comes to the major 20 th century traumas.
We hereby reiterate our protest published on August 6 th , regarding Mr. Dan Şova’s promotion as minister, after he irresponsibly launched false assertions regarding a journalist of the Radio Romania Actuality station, an act considered to be an attack against freedom of expression and an attempt to intimidate a member of the press.
The Group for Social Dialogue
Freedom House Romania
ActiveWatch – the Press Monitoring Agency
The Center for Independent Journalism
The Center for Legal Resources
The Institute for Public Policies
Bogdan C. Iacob, doctor in History, central European University
Damiana Otoiu, lecturer, Bucharest University, associate researcher Université Libre de Bruxelles
Cristian Vasile, historian, researcher