The Romanian parliament has appointed Oana ‘Nancy’ Stanciulescu, a well-known national journalist, to the board of the country’s public television station, TVR.
The appointment has drawn widespread criticism over what has been described by the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest as her openly, “anti-Semitic sympathies”.
The Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania also issued a statement suggesting that the appointment is disrespectful to the, “Memory of Holocaust victims and survivors.”
Her place on the 13-member board and the reactions against it is a reflection of the difficulty Romanians have had in coming to terms with their history in the quarter-century since communism ended.
Romania only began to commemorate the Holocaust in 2004 and some Romanians still doubt the Nazi-allied government’s responsibility and the extent of atrocities that happened on Romanian territory.
Indeed, the Israeli Embassy’s statement suggested, “Ms. Stănciulescu questioned the existence of the Holocaust.”
” We would like to note that such a decision [the appointment to the board] may have a significant negative impact in terms of the objective presentation of historical facts and the promotion of democracy, especially to the young generation, who are vulnerable to any misinformation ” warns the diplomatic representation.
When Stanciulescu’s appointment was debated and approved by the country’s parliament – one MP, Cristina Anghel, praised the Romanian Legionary Movement, implicitly involved in the commission of the Romanian Holocaust of its Jews, while another, Puiu Hasotti, recited the poetry of the notorious Radu Gyr, commander of one of the Legion’s death squads.
During World War II, about 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma were killed in Romania and areas it controlled as an ally of Nazi Germany.
A petition against the appointment of Stănciulescu has been initiated although the government has suggested it is not considering another appointment.