Timisoara is a city where all ethnic groups have lived together in peace for centuries. But it is also the city of “The Western Gazette”, published for almost a decade now, a newspaper that once felt compelled to mention on its front page that it was a legionary periodical. Even though this statement was subsequently removed, the editorial staff recently found it necessary to send its representatives to a European-scale reunion of the extreme right-wing forces that was held in Poland.
The systematic anti-Semite and racist propaganda slowly but surely affected the beliefs of people in Timisoara, where a group of extremists covered scores of houses with Nazi swastikas in one day. That same day, Prime-Rabbi Ernest Neumann, President of the Jewish Communities of Timisoara, appeared on local TV with a strong reaction against this manifestation, which was not only deplorable by its spirit, but also anti-constitutional. The Directing Committee of The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania sent Mr Neumann a telegram expressing its satisfaction regarding the militancy and the promptness of his reaction against “the anti-Semite and neo-fascist manifestations in Timisoara,â€¦ a phenomenon which has a negative impact on the life of all citizens living together in Timisoara, regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation.”
“Deutsche Stimme” on the coming together of the european extremists
In a recent issue, “Deutsche Stimme” reported about an international meeting held last year in Poland. This meeting was attended by representatives of extremist groups from eight European countries, including the neo-legionary group formed around “The Western Gazette” in Timisoara. According to the newspaper, the meeting was not only about debating doctrinary matters, but also about celebrating 100 years since the birth of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.
This founder of the legionary movement was described by Adolf Hitler as “the father of all European nationalists”, says “Deutsche Stimme”. The use of this quotation without any hesitation in the newspaper reveals once again the political preferences and the doctrinary models of the right-wing extremist groups kindred to The New Force (“Forza Nuova”) in Italy, The National Swedish Youth (“Folktribunen”), I.T.P. (“International Third Position”) in England or to other similar groups in Greece, France, Lithuania and Ireland.
From Berlin, William Totok
(Fragment from an article published in “Romania Libera” -
“The Free Romania”-, March 16th, 2000)
“My conscience forces me to disagree”
”The Free Romania” newspaper published on February 19th, 2000 the photo of the stern statue of Marshal Antonescu that has been placed for several years in the center of the town of Slobozia. Under the headline “The only statue of Marshal Antonescu in the country”, the newspaper noted that the statue lay in front of the headquarters of the county police and of the Romanian Intelligence Service. It was erected with the money that policemen were forced to donate by General Tudor Amza, a former head of the county police. But he is not the only general whose sleep is made uneasy by the nostalgia for the marshal.
”The Monitor” newspaper in Iasi published an article about the request of the 10th Army Corps that the street in front of its headquarters be re-named “The Marshals’ Alley”. The reason is that, under the initiative of the 10th Corps, the street is to be bordered by the statues of Marshals Constantin Prezan, Alexandru Averescu and Ion Antonescu. Thus, the bust in Slobozia will no longer be the only on in the country!
”The Monitor” also published fragments of the intervention made by Mr Pincu Kaiserman, President of the local Jewish Community, in the City Council: “My conscience forces me to disagree to the erection of the bust of Marshal Antonescu, a man who was supposed to defend the integrity of all the inhabitants of Romania, but who nevertheless allowed for more than 10.000 Jews to be sent to a horrifying death in the death trains – of whom more than half perished in terrible torment”. In his intervention (that we ourselves received at the editorial office), Mr Pincu Kaiserman also said: “Keeping alive the memory of those who had outsanding contributions is a sacred duty.
This is why I consider it a well-deserved homage the erection of the busts of Marshals Averescu and Prezan, under whose command fought (among others) and died for their country, Romania, scores of thousands of Jews from mere soldiers to superior officers. Marshals Averescu and Prezan awarded orders and medals to many Jewish fightersâ€¦ As a Romanian citizen, I would add that Marshal Antonescu is also responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Romanians who were sent to fight outside the boundaries of the Great Romania, only because he had given his word to Hitler.”
Of course, it would be absurd to imagine an Alley ofâ€¦ those deported in Transnystria; or an Alley of the death trains… Especially if they would cross the Alley ofâ€¦ Ion Antonescu.