Holocaust Institute Calls on Romania Not to Rehabilitate War Criminal

The Elie Wiesel Institute for Holocaust Study says the move could affect 'the memory of tens of thousands of Jewish and Roma victims'

A bust of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel in Bucharest, Romania, October 9, 2018.
Vadim Ghirda/AP

 A Holocaust institute has called on Romanian authorities to not rehabilitate a war criminal convicted for his role in the slaying of Jews and Roma in the former Soviet Union.

The Elie Wiesel Institute for Holocaust Study said Friday it hoped authorities in the eastern county of Vrancea wouldn't move to restitute land to the family of Gheorghe Alexianu who was governor of the Trans-Dniester region during World War II.

It said the move could affect "the memory of tens of thousands of Jewish and Roma victims," deported there from Romania.

In 2008, Romania's highest appeal court rejected an attempt to rehabilitate Alexianu, convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death in 1946.

Last year, a judge in Vrancea ordered authorities to return the land to Alexianu's family.