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September 21, 2020
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Roma are the most rejected or unwanted ethnic minority, according to poll

The Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania (INSH-EW) on Thursday released a poll according to which 11pct of the Romanians believe the Jews are a problem for Romania, while 22pct would like them only as tourists.

The research was conducted by the Centre for Opinion and Market Studies (CSOP) in June on a commission by the Elie Wiesel Institute, with 1,000 persons interviewed. It was aimed at revealing the way Romanian citizens relate to minorities and to the Romanian Holocaust, their opinion as regards Marshal Ion Antonescu (military dictator from 1940 to 1944) and the far-right interwar and World War II Legionnaire Movement, as well as their attitude towards the State of Israel and their exposure to similar events.

According to the poll, the Roma are the most rejected or unwanted ethnic minority, followed by the Hungarians, INSH-EW director Alexandru Florian told a press conference on Thursday, according to Agerpres.

As for the Holocaust, the research says 73pct of the respondents declare they have heard about this topic, and among those, 34pct admit it has happened in Romania, too. Its main responsibility is attributed to Nazi Germany, by 69pct, followed at great distance by Antonescu’s Government (19pct).

The interest related to the Holocaust is not very high within the population; only 12pct of the respondents declared themselves “much” or “very much” interested in this topic.

Marshal Antonescu is seen as a patriot and a strategist by 54pct of the interviewees, yet he is also perceived as responsible for crimes against the Roma minority (46pct) and against the Jews (30pct).

The outcome of the research indicates a high proportion of those who are criminalizing the Legionnaire Movement; between 30pct and 50pct of the respondents held it responsible for “crimes against some political leaders” and “against the Jews.” Likewise, the Romanians do remember of the Legionnaire Movement as anti-Communist and, fascist.

Compared to 2007, the number of those who say they have heard of the Holocaust grew by 12pct and the number of those who know that the Holocaust also took place in Romania by 6pct.

The percentage of those who believe that Antonescu’s Government is responsible for the Holocaust’s outburst in Romania is on an uptrend by 8pct as compared to 2007; 10pct less deem Nazi Germany liable for it.

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