New Holocaust memorial unveiled in Romania

New Holocaust memorial u

Romania on Thursday unveiled a monument in memory of some 300,000 Jews and Gypsies killed during the Holocaust in the country, which at times denied that the extermination even happened. Romanian President Traian Basescu said it was his country's duty to "recognize the genocide during World War II" and to honor the victims. Basescu was joined by Holocaust survivors, both Jewish and Gypsies, and other leaders during the unveiling the €5 million (US$7.35 million) marble and concrete tomb-like monument. Romania today has only 6,000 Jews. The country's role in the Holocaust and the deportation of Jews were ignored by the Communists and minimized by subsequent governments after communism collapsed in 1989. "This monument is full of symbolism. Hundreds of thousands were killed who would have contributed to the cultural and economic prosperity of Romania," said Rabbi Menachem HaCohen, Romania's chief rabbi.