The University of Aachen in Germany fired historian Vladimir Iliescu for claiming the Holocaust never happened in Romania.
The institution “cancelled the teaching contract” of Iliescu “immediately after statements he made to the Romanian Academy became known,” a spokesperson for RWTH Aachen told JTA on Tuesday, adding that the university was “appalled” by his words.
"In Romania there was persecution against Jews, 20,000 Jews died, but this is not a Holocaust," Iliescu said last month during an address organized by the Romanian Academy in Bucharest.
The 87-year-old Iliescu was temporary professor of Ancient History at RWTH Aachen in 1985 and was appointed supernumerary professor in 1993.
“In recent years, he delivered survey lectures on Eastern European history without remuneration," RWTH Aachen wrote in a statement." As far as the University knows, Iliescu does not have any publications on the topic of the holocaust."
"The Holocaust in Romania is a huge lie," Iliescu said at his Bucharest lecture, which was filmed. "The Holocaust happened in Germany and Hungary, since only from these countries Jews were sent to Auschwitz. However, all the Jews who were deported to Transylvania by Marshal Antonescu returned home and lived an almost normal life.”
Romania, an ally of Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1944, had a Jewish population of about 757,000 before World War II, when “extreme anti-Semitic tendencies escalated,” according to Yad Vashem.
The Israeli Holocaust museum's website says that Romanian and German troops murdered 380,000-400,000 Jews in areas controlled by Romania during the rule of Ion Antonescu.