(AP) Romanian police began an investigation on Saturday after antisemitic graffiti appeared on the house of the late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel in north-west Romania.
The probe was launched after comments in bright pink paint were scrawled overnight on Wiesel’s small house – a protected historical monument – in the town of Sighetu Marmației. One of the comments said Wiesel was “in hell with Hitler”.
The group Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania called it an act of vandalism against the “memory of Elie Wiesel, the memory of the Holocaust victims and the souls of the Holocaust survivors”.
The WJC strongly condemns the despicable anti-Semitic vandalism of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel’s home in Romania. We stand with our community in welcoming the quick start of the investigation and hope that justice will swiftly be served. pic.twitter.com/678tqJskBv
— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) August 4, 2018
The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania called for a thorough inquiry. It said Romania’s president and government have pledged to fight antisemitism and Holocaust denial in Romania, where some have denied or downplayed the country’s role in the Holocaust.
Along with 14,000 Jews, Wiesel and his family were deported in May 1944 to the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz from the town, formerly called Sighet. His mother and younger sister died there while he and his two older sisters survived.
Wiesel died in 2016. His 1960 book Night drew on his experiences in the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, becoming a testament to Nazi crimes. He won the Nobel peace prize in 1986.
Romania deported 150,000 Jews and 25,000 Roma people to Nazi concentration camps in a part of the Soviet Union that was controlled by the Axis powers from 1941 to 1944, when the country was run by pro-Nazi dictator Ion Antonescu.
Romania currently has a population of around 19.6 million, including about 6,000 Jews.