Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a Romanian member of the European Parliament, denied the Holocaust on television, the country’s National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust said.
The Bucharest-based Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania said in a statement issued Monday that Vadim Tudor, leader of the nationalist Greater Romania Party, said on Oct. 18 that “in Romania there was never a Holocaust” while participating on the talk show Romania a la Raport on the network Realitatea TV. He reportedly added: “I will deny it till I die because I love my people.”
In the European Parliament, Vadim Tudor is a member of the Committee on Culture and Education, and a member of the Delegation to the European Union -Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The Elie Wiesel Institute expressed “outrage” at the remarks. A statement signed by the institute’s director general, Alexandru Florian, said Vadim Tudor’s words desecrated the memory of more than 280,000 Romanian Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The institute also called on authorities to investigate whether Vadim Tudor’s statements violated the law on hate speech.
Additionally, the Institute called on the country’s Audiovisual Council to probe the television network Realitatea TV, which provided Vadim Tudor with a podium for alleged Holocaust denial. The network is owned by Elan Schwartzenberg, a Jewish businessman who had lived in Israel before moving to Romania.
In July, a Romanian politician who said Romanians never participated in the persecution of Jews during World War II was appointed minister for parliamentary affairs. Dan Sova, a Social Democrat, added that only 24 Jews, not thousands, had died during the violent Iasi pogrom, which he attributed to the German army. Sova later retracted his statements.