Song includes lyric: “This is what the Jew is good for, to make Jew smoke through the chimney on the street.”
Parliament Palace, constructed at the time of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, is reputed to be the world’s second largest building after the Pentagon in the United States
THE JERUSALEM POST – A Romanian public broadcaster distanced itself from a Christmas carol celebrating the Holocaust that aired on the new channel.
TVR3 Verde, a television channel for rural communities, presented the carol on December 5 during its maiden transmission.
Sung by the Dor Transilvan ensemble, it featured the lyrics: “The Jews, damn Jews, Holy God would not leave the Jew alive, neither in heaven nor on earth, only in the chimney as smoke, this is what the Jew is good for, to make smoke through the chimney on the street.”
In a statement Tuesday, TVR3 said it did not select the song but only broadcast those that were chosen and compiled by the Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture, which belongs to the eastern county of Cluj.
TVR considers the selection “an uninspired choice and therefore notified the Cluj County Council of this,” the broadcaster’s statement read.
MCA Romania, a local watchdog on anti-Semitism, has written to Romanian President Traian Basecu and to Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta, to complain about the broadcast.
“We are shocked to see that the Romanian Public Television Channel 3 broadcast an anti-Semitic Christmas song,” Maximillian Marco Katz and Marius Draghici of MCA Romania wrote in the letter. “It is outrageous that none in the audience took a stance against the anti-Semitic Christian song that incites to burn the Jews.”
They added it was “absolutely unacceptable that TVR 3 tried to deny responsibility” by claiming it was the responsibility of Cluj County.
Central-European Religious Freedom Institute wrote to Romanian Ambassador to Hungary, protesting against antisemitism on national television and expressing concern for the state of rights and freedoms of national and religious minorities in Romania. We received a detailed answer from the Embassy in less than 24 hours. Below is the answer in full:
Dear Mr. Jura Nanuk,
With regard to your email of protest towards the anti-Semitic carol aired on a public Television in Romania, allow me to convey to you the following:
The Romanian society and the public authorities are both concerned and outraged about this incident, therefore we have been witnessing strong and quick reactions of public condemnation. The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Titus Corlatean, issued a public message in which he condemned any form of anti-Semitic manifestation (please find below the text of the press release, the English version). At the same time, the National Audiovisual Council of Romania decided to apply a financial sanction of 50 000 RON (aprox. 12 500 Euro) for the TV posts TVR 3 and TVR Cluj, based on the infringement of the Law on audiovisual services which defends and promotes the cultural and religious diversity and prohibits the airing of any kind of anti-Semitic and xenophobic manifestations.
The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchy also issued a public statement through which it affirmed that it disapproves any manifestation instigating to anti-Semitism, religious or ethnical hate.
The Director of the County Center for the Conservation and the Promotion of Traditional Culture has publicly apologized to the Jewish community in Romania for the singing of this carol.
The body in charge with monitoring and sanctioning all kinds of forms of discrimination – the National Council for fighting against Discrimination announced that the case is under its attention, the meeting for the debate being scheduled for the 16 December.
I am convinced that in the coming days, more and more statements to publicly condemn this incident will be made, both at the level of government representatives, political leaders and of the civil society. I will keep you informed on further measures that will be taken on this case, as well as to public reactions.
Reaffirming, once again, the strong belief that no form of anti-Semitic manifestation should be accepted, please receive, dear Mr. Nanuk, my greetings.
Statement by Minister Titus Corlăţean
I consider it utterly unacceptable that in the 21st century anti-Semitism should further be manifest in various forms. I have taken note with concern and indignation of the program aired by TVR3 station on 6 December 2013.
I firmly condemn any anti-Semitic manifestations, particularly if they are propagated, be it even unwillingly, possibly due to ignorance, through a press institution of public interest.
Romania has undertaken, for over a decade now, a coherent and conscious effort at reconciliation with the past and recovering our own history. I believe that the actions undertaken in this time – many of them geared at educational programs – did produce an effect and contributed to educating the younger generations in the spirit of tolerance and truth. Incidents like that at TVR3 show that we should not slow down on our efforts but, on the contrary, we must make our messages reach all segments of our society.
Moreover, I would like to underscore that Romania has a good legislative framework with respect to fighting anti-Semitism, the denial of the Holocaust and promotion of personalities guilty of war crimes.
That is why I publicly express my legitimate expectation that the relevant institutions, the National Audiovisual Council (CNA), the National Council against Discrimination (CNCD), the General Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the specialized committees of Parliament will take the necessary measures and investigate, punish and prevent such entirely blamable situations.