(JTA) — A Holocaust education center will open in the childhood home in Romania of Nobel Prize-winning author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
The Holocaust Cellar is scheduled to open Sunday in the old Jewish ghetto of Sighet in Maramures County. The learning center will be dedicated to the 13,000 local Holocaust victims.
The opening is sponsored by the government of Romania, the City of Sighet, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Romanian Jewish Federation and Limmud FSU. It is the first in a series of events to mark 70 years since the expulsion of the last Jews of northern Transylvania to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“I am honored and deeply moved that my cherished home in Sighet has become a place Romanians and others can learn about the crimes of the Holocaust, and how the Jewish community was wiped out,” Wiesel said in a statement. “The opening of the Holocaust Cellar supports my life’s efforts to ensure that humanity never forgets the evil that took place there and throughout Europe.”
In 1944, the Jews of Maramures County in northern Transylvania were rounded up and forced into 13 ghettos. Most of the 131,639 Jews from Marmures County deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau were exterminated.