CSCE :: Statement :: Introducing Legislation to Honor Theodor Criveanu for Saving Romanian Jews During the Holocaust
United States of America
PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 110th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION
Washington, Tuesday, November 13, 2007
House of Representatives
INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO HONOR THEODOR CRIVEANU FOR SAVING ROMANIAN JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST
HON. ALCEE L. HASTINGS
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce legislation with my colleagues and friends Representatives DAN BURTON, CHRIS SMITH, and LINDA SÁNCHEZ that will properly recognize the selfless efforts to save innocent lives during the Holocaust of Theodor Criveanu and all other righteous individuals.
Non-Jews who sacrificed their lives in an effort to save Jews from their fate at the Nazi's hands are known to the world as the ``Righteous Persons.'' The most renowned among these righteous persons is probably Oscar Schindler. Oscar Schindler should rightly be recognized as the altruistic and extraordinarily courageous non-Jew who saved more Jewish lives from the gas chambers than any other.
But many other brave individuals risked their lives by rescuing Jews during the Holocaust that have still yet to be recognized.
Thousands of these hero's stories have remain untold because the Nazis mercilessly ended their lives. For those that survived the Holocaust and for those that did not, I rise today to honor their heroism and their memory.
In 1963, Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Israel, initiated a worldwide project to grant the title of Righteous Among the Nations to individuals who were not Jewish and who risked their lives to rescue and protect Jews and others during the Holocaust. To date, more than 21,000 heroic individuals have been honored as Righteous Among the Nations.
Theodor Criveanu was one of such courageous righteous individuals.
When serving as a reserve officer in the Romanian military, he was assigned the task of presenting military authorities with a list of Jews who would be given work permits to work in the ghetto instead of being deported to Transnistria. Risking his life to defy Nazi orders, Mr. Criveanu secretly issued work permits in numbers that exceeded the work permit quota and to Jews who were not essential to the workforce, saving countless of innocent Jewish lives.
The brave efforts of Mr. Criveanu have not gone unnoticed. On August 8, 2007, Yad Vashem named Theodore Criveanu as Righteous Among the Nations, posthumously honoring him for his courageous work to block the deportation of Romanian Jews to Nazi death camps.
Today I rise to honor these individuals for their bravery and humanity. Mr. Criveanu and other such individuals deserve to be remembered and revered by the United States Congress.