AcasăEurope NewsSilviu Vexler: ''Lithuanian Jews behind the Iron Curtain'' exhibition a first step...

Silviu Vexler: ”Lithuanian Jews behind the Iron Curtain” exhibition a first step in recovering a fragment of history

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A first step in the recovery of a fragment of history that has been very little discussed is one of the objectives of the exhibition „Lithuanian Jews behind the Iron Curtain” mounted by the Embassy of Lithuania jointly with the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER) that opened on Monday at the Romanian Parliament House, potrivit Agerpres.

„Unfortunately, the Jewish communities of Romania and Lithuania share many of the tragedies of the dictatorships that oppressed Europe and the whole world, both during the Holocaust and later, under communism. I say unfortunately because there was extremely rich Jewish life in both countries that changed and modernised both countries. Unfortunately, first during the Holocaust and later under communism, the two dictatorial regimes had a major negative effect on the Jews of both countries and, at the same time, both countries had a very long way to go before admitting everything that happened. What we tried to promote by presenting this exhibition was the value and importance of Jewish life in Lithuania, which is very little known, and at the same time a precursor to a similar exhibition on the Jewish communities of Romania that will be mounted in Lithuania,” said FCER Chairman, MP Silviu Vexler.

At the same time, he added, the exhibition is a special one, distinct from everything that is normally presented.

„There is too limited a discussion, if you will, of what Jewish life meant under communism in both countries and in general in all countries that had a communist regime – the way in which this dictatorship tried to change Jewish life, to control it or use it in their own interest, the way Jews in both countries responded and refused such control, and the massive, even if unseen, national and international efforts made to preserve Jewish tradition and culture in Romania,” he said.

According to Vexler, the event wants to recover a fragment of history with a fundamental role in Lithuania and Romania.

„The exhibition that was mounted at Parliament is, if you will, an almost unique gesture of recovering a fragment of a history that had a fundamental role in Lithuania, just as I said for Romania, and that was much too little discussed. We consider this exhibition as a first step towards recovering the memory and the soul of a much diminished community, and we will continue to take similar steps to preserve, and above all to value and to ensure the necessary recognition for all that these communities meant and continue to mean. I would also like to emphasise that we especially wanted this exhibition to take place in the centre of democracy in Romania – the Romanian Parliament – precisely as a gesture of appreciation and respect that the current Romanian state shows to the memory of the Jewish communities of Romania and around the world and to share with all other people the joy of seeing again these moments, these people, their successes and at the same time, surely, the suffering they had to bear under communism. And I have every confidence that the exhibition about Jewish life during the communist regime in Romania, which we will be mounting in Lithuania, will at least rise to the same level as this wonderful exhibition presented by the National Museum of the Jews of Lithuania,” added Vexler.

Present at the event, which was opened by the ambassador of Lithuania in Bucharest, Violeta Motulaite, was the ambassador of Israel to Romania, Reuven Azar, together with numerous FCER officials. Other ambassadors were also in attendance, including those of Japan and Croatia, as well as other representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest and Ministry of Culture officials.

Agerpres

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