CultMin Turcan: Reading brings us knowledge, tolerance, it brings us an understanding of the past

Reading brings us knowledge, tolerance, it brings us an understanding of the past, Minister of Culture Raluca Turcan said on Thursday in a message on the National Reading Day.

“Today is the National Reading Day. Reading brings us knowledge, tolerance, it brings us understanding of the past. Nicolae Iorga said that a people that does not know its past is condemned to repeat it,” said Minister Turcan.

She read a passage from Elie Wiesel’s autobiographical novel “Night,” in which the main character is a fifteen-year-old teenager who attends a Beethoven concert in the evening in one of the Nazi camps, which a Polish violinist gave “for an audience made up of people in agony and dead.” In the morning, the teenager discovers the body of the soloist “crouched, dead,” beside which “lay the violin, trampled over, crushed, an unusual and disturbing little corpse.”

“I chose this fragment precisely to underline how important it is to see where we went wrong in the past, to understand how fine the line was between a trend that seemed popular and the genocide that led to the loss of millions of lives,” says Raluca Turcan’s message on National Reading Day.

On 14 June 2021, the Senate unanimously adopted a legislative proposal submitted in March of the same year by Liberal MP Sebastian Burduja, and signed by 22 National Liberal Party (PNL) MPs, one Save Romanian Union (USR) – Party of Liberty, Unity and Solidarity (PLUS) MP and two PNL senators, establishing National Reading Day on 15 February. The Chamber of Deputies adopted the bill on 21 December 2021. On 14 January 2022, the law on the establishment of 15 February as National Reading Day was promulgated by the President of the country.