05BUCHAREST1567 / 2005-07-15 04:12:00
Embassy Bucharest
                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, biographic information, Press Summary, Jews 
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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