New York, NY, August 19, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the decision of the Romanian National Bank to honor an anti-Semitic former Prime Minister and Patriarch with a commemorative coin. The League urged Romania's President to ensure that information about the anti-Semitic actions of Miron Cristea be included with each coin.
In a letter to Traian Basescu, Romanian President, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director condemned the Romanian National Bank's decision to honor Miron Cristea, a past Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Prime Minister, in its series of commemorative coins of the church's Patriarchs. Foxman urged President Basescu to ensure that the National Bank include an educational pamphlet with each coin that describes the anti-Semitic actions of Cristea.
The letter stated:
We are shocked and disappointed that the National Bank of Romania has decided to honor Miron Cristea, even after consideration of his anti-Semitic actions and statements. As Prime Minister on the eve of World War II, Miron Cristea called upon Romanians "to fight the Jewish parasites" and stripped 225,000 Jews of their Romanian citizenship. Having been a Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church does not excuse his anti-Semitism and the crimes he committed against Romanian Jews.
While we emphatically condemn the National Bank's decision to persist with the Cristea coin, we hope the effort to promote Holocaust education and remembrance among the Romanian people can benefit from the National Bank's lapse of judgment.
Since 2004, Romania has committed itself to Holocaust education and remembrance, and you, Mr. President, have been a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism. Today you can provide yet another example of that leadership and help fulfill Romania's commitment by using all authorities at your disposal to ensure that the National Bank includes an educational pamphlet with each coin of Cristea, so that no one who gazes upon him in appreciation can claim ignorance of his crimes.
ADL's partner and affiliate in Romania is "MCA Romania - The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania."