BUCHAREST, Romania — The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized President Shimon Peres on Friday for thanking Romania for saving Jews, saying he should have condemned the Romanian state for the tens of thousands of Jews who were killed there during World War II.
On Thursday, Peres publicly thanked Romania for helping 400,000 Romanian Jews emigrate to Israel during the communist regime that ended in 1989. Peres did that while making the first visit to Romania by an Israeli head of state since 1948 when Israel was formed.
Peres was speaking at a news conference with Romanian President Traian Basescu, who said that Romania would be a loyal partner of Israel and NATO, if there was a conflict with Iran. During that event, Peres did not mention Romania's role in the Holocaust.