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Romania: Controversy over 'racist' coin

Started by Figleaf, August 03, 2010, 05:28:09 PM

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Figleaf

Romania Urged To Invalidate 'Racist' Coin
August 3, 2010 (Pen Men at Work)

One of the principal Holocaust organizations has urged that the central bank of Romania take out from distribution a remembrance coin. The rationale behind the discomfort of this organization is that the coin memorializes one of the previous heads of the Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC), who was a rather notorious figure. The notorious head in question is Patriarch Miron Cristea, who was the boss of the ROC for 14 years from 1925 to 1939. The reason behind the notoriety of Patriarch is that he had possessed anti-Semitic standpoints and had demanded that the Jews depart from Romania.

Radu Ioanid happens to be a director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ioanid has divulged that he was appalled by the bank's resolution to cast the coin portraying the controversial Patriarch, who was also the Romanian Prime Minister from 1938 to 1939.

Ioanid has declared that the racist Patriarch was to blame for modifying the Romanian residency law. This law snatched away the Romanian citizenship from 225,000 Jews. This represented approximately 37% of the Romanian Jewish populace.

Ioanid insisted that the bank remove the coin in a personal letter transported to the Mugur Isarescu on July 29. Isarescu happens to be the Governor of the National Bank. Subsequently, the letter was transported to the Associated Press.

The spokesperson of the National Bank of Romania happens to be Mugur Stet. He has mentioned that the divisive coin in question was a component of a collectors' sequence of five coins cast in silver. There would be the five Romanian patriarchs, who have directed the Romanian Orthodox Church since 1925. There would not be a particular coin devoted merely to Cristea.

There are simply 6000 Jews today in Romania. The Romanian Governments have, on occasions, repudiated that the annihilation of some 300,000 Jews and Gypsies even occurred during the Holocaust.

Robert Schwartz happens to be a spokesperson for the Romanian Jews in the city of Cluj. He has asserted that it was unfathomable how the notorious Patriarch was able to move across the filter. Robert has divulged that there are revolting facets related to his feelings for the Jews. Robert has stated that there were other Romanians, who had assisted the development of the Jews, who should have been memorialized.

Source: Thaindian News
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

chrisild

Attached is a (small) image of the piece. This is indeed a five-coin set; more info is here:
http://www.bnro.ro/EmisiuniDetails.aspx?idd=923&WebPageId=1164

Christian

Ukrainii Pyat

That particular issue is one that could have been dedicated to the victims of the fascists in Romania during that time.  More than discriminating against any particular ethnicity or denomination - the fascists discriminated against freedom in Romania and even changed the government there a few times to suit their particular wants.  In the end they would end up taking power, aligning Romania with the fascists governments of Italy and Germany and take Romania down the ruinous path of invading the USSR.  A very short term territorial acquisition was not worth the hundreds of thousands of Romanians that died, and the loss of a Romanian identity until 1989 when Ceausescu was overthrown.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

Figleaf

It is probably possible to put together a collection of anti-semitists on coins, mass-murderers on coins, serial rapers on coins and grand thieves on coins, even the occasional arsonist on a coin. One more or less is not going to make a difference, especially on a funny "coin".

The broader point is that it is absolutely necessary to learn from history in general and your own mistakes in particular in order to prevent recurrence. This hasn't happened in Romania. Those in authority will sometimes even revert to holocaust denial when it suits them and there is no awareness of the crime of neglecting, even persecuting the jews when they needed help. This is not the problem of one man, but a national problem.

I think the point is worthy to be made as strongly as possible, but then let it rest. There are much bigger fish to fry in this area.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Ukrainii Pyat

This is a recurrent problem in several E. Europe countries with ambiguities in their history.  For instance Latvia has commemorated and memorialised some of their soldiers that served with the SS.  In Ukraine there is a lot of controversy over some of the commemorative coins for Stepan Bandera as well as the Ukrainian nationalists army that fought against both the Nazis and the communists in WWII and afterwards.  With changes of governments come changes of what is commemorated, since now Ukraine has a pro-Russian president in Viktor Yanukovych, all that nationalist history is being dust binned again.  Ukraine in particular is a country with a lot of commemorative coins that will chaff off someone or another because there is a lot of ambiguity in Ukrainian history.  Even the coins commemorating Sergei Korolyev were controversial because he was born in Ukraine, but he was ethnically Russian and spent most of his time in Russia designing rockets for the USSR's space programme.  He was also commemorated on a Russian coin the same year.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

chrisild

The problem with such sets is that it would be odd to leave one issue out. For example, I was not exactly happy to see Leopold II honored on a Belgian coin in 2007, but that was a series depicting all Belgian kings. Similarly, I don't think somebody like Andrew Jackson should be honored on a US coin, but again, this is a series featuring all US presidents.

In these two cases, it makes sense to say OK, we simply show them all. As for the set from Romania, well, I would not have "done" a series of coins celebrating the Romanian Orthodox Church anyway ...

Christian

Ukrainii Pyat

You can always commemorate people like Leopold II and Jackson by remembering the awful things they did, in Leopold's case the brutal colonial travesty in Congo, and with Jackson the ethnic cleansing of the SE USA he ordered in 1835-7.  But then again all our leaders are beyond reproach, or some would think so anyway.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

Figleaf

Especially when they think so or when they act as if they are above the law, they need to be put n the ground again. Even as a lowly civil servant, I had to remind myself often that people were nice, friendly and generous to me because of the country I represented, not because it was me. This effect is magnified in parliamentarians, even more in ministers and on a country leader level it can easily turn your head. Some people can take it (President Johnson is a good example), some can't (Ceaucescu is one of the worst examples, closely followed by Ferdinand Marcos.) Most have trouble with it (plenty of examples, ranging from De Gaulle to Willy Brandt.)

Here, though, is a more serious case: a person in a leadership capacity who uses that platform and the moral authority of his church for a crime against humanity. Sure, there is the case of why skip one in a series, but that begs the question "why have the series?". It is indeed a myth that all US presidents were a blessing to their country, so why put them all on a coin?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Prosit

That is so true but we did it to ourselves which is even more pitiful   ;D
Dale

Quote from: Figleaf on August 05, 2010, 03:41:24 PM
....It is indeed a myth that all US presidents were a blessing to their country....
Peter

Ukrainii Pyat

Yep, pearface belongs on a coin so we can mock his ugliness.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

Figleaf

Romania sets up commission to rule on coin
Published: August 06, 2010 9:51 a.m.
                   
BUCHAREST, Romania - The governor of Romania's central bank said Friday that it was not anti-Semitic despite minting a coin commemorating a prime minister who stripped Jews of their citizenship before World War II.

Governor Mugur Isarescu set up a commission to analyze the coin depicting late Patriarch Miron Cristea, who led the Romanian Orthodox Church from 1925 to 1939 and was prime minister from 1938 to 1939. The commission will issue its findings in a few days and could recommend scrapping the coin if it is considered to be anti-Semitic, which is illegal in Romania. The coin is one in a series issued by the bank in July to commemorate five Romanian Orthodox patriarchs.

Last week, Radu Ioanid, who runs the Holocaust museum's international archives, called for the withdrawal of the coin commemorating Cristea.

The patriarch was responsible for revising the citizenship law, stripping about 225,000 Jews — or 37 per cent of the Jewish population — of citizenship.

Isarescu said the memorial coins were made to celebrate Romania's Orthodox Church.

"We respect the values of the nation and democracy" he said

Source: Metro (Ottawa)
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

WillieBoyd2

I refuse to collect coins from Mongolia until their government
apologizes for the war crimes committed under Ghengiz Khan.

:)
https://www.brianrxm.com
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Figleaf

There are more rulers descending from the Mongols. Some made it to emperor of China. Others got to be emperor of India. Plenty of atrocities there too. However, I am sure you appreciate the discussion above.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Ukrainii Pyat

If I refused to collect coins because of atrocities attributed to the issuers, I wouldn't have much if any of a coin collection.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

translateltd

Quote from: WillieBoyd2 on October 12, 2010, 07:00:25 AM
I refuse to collect coins from Mongolia until their government
apologizes for the war crimes committed under Ghengiz Khan.

:)


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