New York, NY, December 12, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to a broadcast on Romanian public television featuring Christmas carolers singing a folk tune about the “damn kikes” who should be burned, saying the segment was a “perverse” display and “reminiscent of the anti-Semitism that pervaded Romania prior to and during the war, which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Holocaust.”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, welcomed a statement from Romania’s foreign minister calling on his government’s National Audiovisual Council and other public entities to investigate and punish those responsible for the Dec. 6 broadcast. But he added that an investigation was only the first step in addressing a larger societal problem.
“This pastoral scene of Romanian carolers singing perverse, bigoted and vicious anti-Semitic lyrics utterly shocks the conscience,” Mr. Foxman said. “Something is wrong in a society where virulent anti-Semitism masquerading as Christmas cheer could appear on public television and no one blinks. It is a throwback reminiscent of the anti-Semitism that pervaded Romania prior to and during the war, which led to the death of tens of thousands of Jews in the Holocaust.”
Mr. Foxman added, “The initial steps taken by the Romanian authorities are welcome, but stand in stark contrast to the shamelessness of the carolers and the failure of the TV host who simply thanked the group for their performance. Clearly, more needs to be done by Romanian political, civic and religious leaders to remind all Romanians that expressions of anti-Semitism, bigotry and prejudice of all kinds present a danger to Romanian society.”
Earlier today, Romania’s National Audiovisual Council fined Romanian Public Television 50,000 lei (approximately $15,500) for airing the broadcast, in which a folk ensemble, Dor Transilvan, sang the Christmas carol which included the lyrics: “A beautiful child was born/ His name was Jesus Christ/ All the world worships him / But the kikes / Damn kikes / Holy God would not leave the kike alive / Either in the sky or on the earth / Only in the chimney as smoke / This is what the kike is good for / To make kike smoke through the chimney on the street.”
The television station, which broadcast the Christmas carol performance live as part of its show on winter religious traditions in Romanian villages, issued an apology on Dec. 11, expressing “deep regret” for the carol with “anti-Semitic expressions.”
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.