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Cablegate: Romanian Extreme Nationalist Party Newspaper

Published: Fri 15 Jul 2005 04:12 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS BUCHAREST 001567
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH
EUR/0HI - JOHN BECKER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM SOCI RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIAN EXTREME NATIONALIST PARTY NEWSPAPER
PRAISES WWII DICTATOR FOR "SAVING" JEWS
REF: BUCHAREST 1348 (AND PREVIOUS)
1. (SBU) The headline of a first page article in the July 12
"Tricolurul," a daily newspaper controlled by extreme
nationalist and Greater Romania Party (PRM) leader Corneliu
Vadim Tudor, declares that World War II-era fascist dictator
Ion Antonescu "saved the lives of at least 600,000 Romanian
Jews." The brief article, accompanied by a color photograph
of Marshall Antonescu in a uniform that apparently includes a
German Iron Cross decoration, purports to cite distinguished
Romanian writer and philosopher Emil Cioran. The article
quotes Cioran as writing that "Perhaps Antonescu was crazy,
but...he saved the lives of at least 600,000 Romanian Jews.
Not a word of recognition, no monument, no street in Israel
mentions his name." (Note: Cioran was associated with the
ultra-nationalist Iron Guard in his youth but later renounced
the organization and apologized for his engagement in
extremist politics. End Note.)
2. (SBU) Comment. Antonescu's signing of deportation orders
and active collaboration with the Nazis during World War II
directly contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands
of Romanian Jews and Roma. Although Tudor has mounted a
superficial attempt over the past two years to portray the
PRM as a mainstream center-right party and himself as a
"philo-Semite" (Ref), "Tricolorul's" front-page paean to
fascist dictator Antonescu illustrates the viewpoints of what
many view as the "real" Vadim Tudor. The article may also
reflect a conscious attempt by Tudor, whose party faces
declining poll ratings and recent defections, to shore up his
support with extreme nationalists, the PRM's most hardcore
supporters. In December 2004, former President Ion Iliescu
awarded Tudor the "Star of Romania," one of the country's
highest accolades. The current government has not revoked
the award, although an independent commission has been set up
to review all recipients of the medal in past years and,
according to sources in the Romanian president,s office, has
authority to revoke awards. End Comment.
3. (U) Amembassy Bucharest,s reporting telegrams are
available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website:
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest.
TAPLIN
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