Romania’s anti-Semitism czar has called out the country’s top academic forum for „eulogizing” a physiologist who said Jews should be exterminated.
Alexandru Muraru on Tuesday said the Romanian Academy, which groups the country’s elite intellectuals and scientists had last week „eulogized Nicolae Paulescu,” in a special event. It failed to „mention his virulent anti-Semitism.”
Prof. Paulescu, a Romanian medicine professor educated in Paris who did important work on diabetes more than a century ago, had a darker side.
He wrote about the „biological inferiority of Jews” in the 1920s. He also founded the National Christian Union and later the far-right National Christian Defense League in Romania.
Mr Muraru called him „a notorious anti-Semitic ideologist and activist… who laid the groundwork for mass extermination of the Jews.”
Mr. Muraru, is an adviser to the Romanian prime minister on anti-Semitism. He said that the Romanian Academy „can’t ignore the anti-Semitic political activity of NC Paulescu.”
The adviser added that Prof Paulescu’s „scientific merits” including his work on diabetes should be showcased. However his achievements should be regarded „together with his political actions where as a professor he used his anti-Semitic theories based on pseudo-science about the biological inferiority of the the Jews as an argument for discrimination, persecution and extermination.”
„The lack of an honest approach…. is like the kind of attitudes they had in the communist period”, Mr Muraru, a Liberal lawmaker said.
Ignoring his anti-Semitic and anti-democratic views and choosing to emphasize his scientific work is „an exoneration and a huge responsibility.”
Nicolae Paulescu wrote „the Degeneration of the Yiddish Race” in 1928. He adopted „the xenophobic ideologies in the interwar period.” He died in 1931 before the Holocaust.
His theories are based on „elements of biological racism. He didn’t hesitate to use medicine for ideological purposes.”
The statement said he called „Greater Romania” referring to the territories Romania gained after World War I „a splendid fruit, if only it didn’t have a parasite which sucks the life out of it.”
„This sleeping worm, the Jew, which poisons its sons…. which kidnaps its daughters and make them barren…. steals bread from the mouths of poor Romanians,” he wrote in 1925.
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.