To the Members of the International Historical Commission

I am pleased to inform you that, at the initiative of President Ion Iliescu, Romania has resolved to create an international historical commission to examine the history of the Holocaust in Romania, and I have agreed to accept the position of chairman of this commission.

It is our expectation that the Commission will examine thoroughly and critically the events that took place between December 1937 and May 1945 that relate to the discrimination, isolation, internment, deportation and physical destruction of Romanian Jews, as well as the persecution of Roma. Attached you will find the adopted Statement of Purpose and Work Plan, which lay out in detail the full scope of the Commission’s work and its anticipated schedule. We are committed to the principle that the findings of the Commission will be accepted as definitive on this subject in Romania and throughout the world.

In order to achieve this goal, I respectfully invite you to join a select group of historians and representatives of key international organizations as a member of this commission. While there will be need for occasional face-to-face meetings of the commission, every effort will be made to conduct work via email and conference calls to lessen the burden on its members.

If you are willing to serve on this important commission-or if you require more information-I ask that you inform Dr. Radu Ioanid, who has been designated a vice chairman of the commission. A formal announcement of the commission’s creation will be made by President Iliescu in Bucharest on October 22, and the work should begin in earnest shortly thereafter.


Elie Wiesel