Romanian police are on Sunday investigating Sunday death threats made against award-winning film and theater star Maia Morgenstern and her children at the start of Passover celebrations.
Ms Morgenstern, one of Romania’s best-known actresses who is also the director of the Jewish State Theater in Bucharest, published an email she in which the author threatens to violently kill her and her children, as well as set fire to the Jewish theater and its staff.
Far right party
The email was signed „on behalf of the far right Alliance for Uniting Romanians (AUR).” Party leader George Simion condemned the threat, saying it didn’t come from the party, and urged authorities to quickly find and punish its author.
Police said they were tracking the IP address of the email sender. Digi24 reported later that police were questioning a 25-year-old man about the incident.
Israel’s ambassador David Saranga called the threat: “Sad evidence of latent racism and anti-Semitism.”
The actress’s parents were Holocaust survivors and her grandfather died in the Auschwitz death camp. The threat was the second anti-Semitic attack on her this month.
The nationalist AUR party was formed a year ago and was the surprise of December elections, after it became the fourth-largest party in parliament.
Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany until August 1944, when it changed sides.
Under the pro-Nazi rule of Marshal Ion Antonescu, 120,000 Jews were deported from Romania to Trans-Dniester in the Soviet Union.
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.
The European Union state has only begun to come to terms with its role in the Holocaust in recent years. There is sensitivity towards Romania’s role in the Holocaust and knowledge of it remains patchy.
It was the second anti-Semitic incident this month. The actress said an official used a pejorative term for Jews during a meeting of Bucharest theater directors earlier this month.
Ms Morgenstern played Mary in Mel Gibson’s 2004 passion-stirring biblical epic “The Passion of the Christ.”