US/World News

Survey: 1 in 4 Romanians want their country free of Jews

(JTA) – Nearly a quarter of Romanian respondents on a survey on Jews said their country should have no Jewish residents. The results of the survey among 1,000 Romanian adults were published last week by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania, which commissioned the Centre for Opinion and Market Studies to conduct the poll in June. Eleven percent described Jews as “a problem for Romania” and 22 percent said they would like them only as tourists. Romania had a Jewish population of over 750,000 before its pro-Nazi regime, led by Ion Antonescu, collaborated in the murder of about half of Romanian Jewry in the Holocaust. Antonescu’s troops also massacred 120,000 Jews in present-day Ukraine. Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they had heard of the Holocaust – a 12 percent increase over a similar poll conducted in 2007 – but only a third of those respondents who knew about the Holocaust believe it happened in their country. Only 19 percent of respondents who were aware of the Holocaust and said it occurred in Romania said Antonescu’s government was responsible. Some 54 percent of survey respondents called Antonescu as “a patriot.” Romanians who survived the Holocaust mostly left for Israel. Romania now has only a few thousand Jews, mostly living in Bucharest.

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