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Strong Popular Support for ‘Jew-free’ Romania, Survey Suggest

Romanians believe the Jews are a problem for Romania. Study by Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies said they would like Jews only as tourists.



The Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania released a poll according to which 11 percent of the Romanians believe the Jews are a problem for Romania, while 22 percent would like them only as tourists. To Day Romania has only a few thousand Jews, mostly living in Bucharest.

The research was conducted by the Centre for Opinion and Market Studies (CSOP) in June with 1, 000 people interviewed. It was aimed at revealing the way Romanian citizens relate to minorities and to the Romanian Holocaust, their opinion as regards Marshal Ion Antonescu (military dictator from 1940 to 1944) and the far-right interwar and World War II Legionnaire Movement, as well as their attitude towards the State of Israel and their exposure to similar events.

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Romania had over 750, 000 Jewish citizens before the raise of Ion Antonescu, the pro-Nazi regime, collaborated in the murder of about half of Romanian Jewry in the Holocaust. He responsible for the massacre of  120, 000 Jews.

According to the poll, the Roma are the most rejected or unwanted ethnic minority, followed by the Hungarians, INSH-EW director Alexandru Florian told a press conference.

As for the Holocaust, the research says 73 percent of the respondents declare they have heard about this topic, and among those, 34 percent admit it has happened in Romania, too. Its main responsibility is attributed to Nazi Germany, by 69 percent, followed at great distance by Antonescu’s Government (19 percent).

Thier interest in Holocaust is not very high within the population; only 12 percent declared themselves “much” or “very much” interested in this topic.

Marshal Antonescu is seen as a patriot and a strategist by 54 percent of the interviewees, yet he is also perceived as responsible for crimes against the Roma minority (46 percent) and against the Jews (30 percent).

The outcome of the research indicates a high proportion of those who are criminalizing the Legionnaire Movement; between 30 percent and 50 percent of the respondents held it responsible for “crimes against some political leaders” and “against the Jews.” Likewise, the Romanians do remember of the Legionnaire Movement as anti-Communist and, fascist.

Compared to 2007, the number of those who say they have heard of the Holocaust grew by 12 percent and the number of those who know that the Holocaust also took place in Romania by 6 percent.

The percentage of those who believe that Antonescu’s Government is responsible for the Holocaust’s outburst in Romania is on an uptrend by 8 percent as compared to 2007; 10 percent less deem Nazi Germany liable for it.



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