The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has urged the Romanian government to demonstrate its commitment to fighting anti-Semitism by having a newly-appointed minister apologize for his Holocaust denial comments and by improving its law against fascist and racist organizations.
In public comments made last March, Dan Sova, who was appointed Romania’s Minister of Parliamentary Relations on August 6, denied the mass killing of Jews in Iasi in 1941 and stating that “no Jew suffered on Romanian territory” during World War II. Mr. Sova later expressed regret that his statement was misunderstood, but has yet to apologize.
“It is imperative that Mr. Sova make a full and clear public apology for the comments he made in March denying the Holocaust,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
“A public apology by Mr. Sova and his proactive engagement in reforming the law prohibiting fascist and racist organizations will make clear to all that he and the Romanian government are committed to fighting anti-Semitism.”
In a letter to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, ADL urged the government to have Mr. Sova make “a more substantial and lasting impact by moving from words to deeds” by reforming the law against fascist and racist organizations, the use of their symbols, the glorification of their leaders, and Holocaust denial to enable more effective prosecutions.
After Sova made the comments, he was removed from his role as spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party and sent on a three-day study tour to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
On Monday, Aurel Vainer, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, said that Sova’s appointment made him “want to wear a black armband” as a sign of mourning.
He said that Sova’s promotion “did not send the correct message to young people.”