UPDATE. Romanian nationalist politician defends pro-Hitler wartime leader

Foto: Wikipedia

Pro-Hitler leader Marshal Ion Antonescu and the leader of a fascist group were ‘martyrs’ who have been misrepresented by history, a leader of a nationalist party said.

Fascist leader

Călin Georgescu, the honorary chairman of the nationalist Alliance for the Union of  Romanians, defended war criminal Antonescu, and another fascist leader during a television broadcast.

”History was mystified,” he said late Monday on Antena 3. He said it was the job of historians to set the record straight ,  News.ro reported.

“Our history had good deeds, and other (deeds) I can’t comment on. An authentic leader is the one who says the truth. If you don’t say the truth, you can’t be a leader,” he said.

Romania’s anti-Semitism czar, Alexandru Muraru said the latest comments showed the party was set on „replacing the true heroes in Romanian history with war criminals and leaders of paramilitary-fascist movements.”

Hitler ally Antonescu is considered responsible for the deaths and deportations of thousands of Jews and Roma. He was executed as a war criminal in 1946.

The Elie Wiesel International Committee for the Study of the Holocaust published a report in 2004 saying that Romanian authorities were responsible for the deaths of 280,000 to 380,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma from 1940 to 1944 during World War II.

The latest comments are likely to cause alarm for Romania’s pro-European government, as the nationalist party which took fourth place is 2020 parliamentary elections, is now second place in opinion polls.

Domestic fascism

The other ‘martyr’ mentioned was Corneliu Zelea Codreanu who led an ultranationalist and violently anti-Semitic organization, the Legion of the Archangel Gabriel in the interwar period. It was seen as the main variety of domestic fascism.

The Legion carried out assassinations of politicians it viewed as corrupt, including Prime Minister Ion G.  Duca. Codreanu was killed allegedly trying to escape prison which gave him almost mythical status among some young Romanians at the time

Mr. Muraru called him „an odious criminal.” His group has become a symbol for Neo-Nazi movements.

Asked whether he was concerned about being blacklisted domestically and internationally due to his views, Calin Georgescu, an agronomist known for his pro-Russian views, tried to justify himself.


“I can’t say anything against martyrs, but I can say that  they are part of our history and they remain part of our national history,” he said.

”You have to respect suffering anywhere and I kneel down before the suffering of the Romanian people,” he said, avoiding answering a question about the Holocaust.

Alexandru Florian, the director of the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust,  Maximilian Katz, the director of the Center for Monitoring and Combatting anti-Semitism and Muraru criticized his remarks.


Muraru who is the government adviser on anti-Semitism and xenophobia said: “A political party today officially has the mission of rehabilitating the Legionnaire Movement which led Romania to genocide and catastrophe.”

The party is associated with anti-mask and anti-vaccine protests. It promotes anti-establishment views.

Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Romania marred by anti-Semitic messages



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