WJC President Lauder condemns ‘despicable and deliberate’ anti-Semitic vandalism of Elie Wiesel house, calls for swift investigation and penalty

NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress strongly condemns the anti-Semitic vandalism carried out over the weekend at the childhood home of late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel in Romania.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said: “The World Jewish Congress unequivocally deplores the despicable and deliberate anti-Semitic act targeting the Elie Wiesel Memorial House. This was a clear gesture of hate that spits in the face of the Jewish community and the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust.” Elie Wiesel.

“Over the course of his life and legacy, Elie Wiesel stood as a moral compass to the world, teaching that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. We must not stay silent or remain indifferent as the childhood home of the man who illuminated this message is desecrated in a callous act of enmity. This was an attack not just against the Jewish community, but against the very principles of morality and humanity for which Wiesel stood and dedicated his life to teaching.”

“It is essential that this incident be treated with severity it deserves, to send a clear message that such acts will not be tolerated,” Lauder said. “We stand with our community in Romania in welcoming the quick start to the investigation and hope that the perpetrators will be caught, and that justice will swiftly be served.”

Dr. Aurel Vainer, President of the Board of Leadership of the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania, said in a statement:The efficiency with which authorities have acted to erase the anti-Semitic messages from the facade of the memorial house is meritorious and worthy of being underlined, but we draw attention to the fact that the anti-Semitic acts and feelings are harder to erase than a barbaric inscription on a wall… It is imperative for these manifestations to be condemned also by the civil society, because only this way we can continue to defend Romania from cruel and violent anti-Semitic acts, as the ones happening not long ago against Jews in other European states.”



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