”The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust” – recenzie de Lucian Turcescu

Semnalez o apariție importantă, mai ales pentru cei interesați de istoria Holocaustului românesc.

The present book is an important addition to the study of the Holocaust in Romania and also fills a major gap in scholarship on the Romanian Orthodox Church, the country’s largest religious denomination. Chronologically, the book begins around 1938, just before World War II, and covers the period until about 2015. The Holocaust was not discussed in Romania until after 1989, because Romania officially denied that the Holocaust ever took place on its territory, pretending instead that it was only Romanian Jews from the Hungarian-occupied territories who lost their lives in German concentration camps.

Nor was the collaboration of Orthodox priests with the fascist Iron Guard or Legionary Movement seriously considered in scholarship on Romania. True, in 1940, Romania lost northern Transylvania to Hungary, because Hitler decided to revisit the borders drawn at Versailles at the end of World War I and award some territory to its ally, Hungary. According to the official history purveyed under communism, Romanian Jews from northern Transylvania, including Elie Wiesel and his family, were deported to Auschwitz and other camps, but otherwise Romanians were very friendly toward the Jews. However, the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania (whose final report was commissioned by the country’s president, Ion Iliescu, in 2003 and adopted as the official narrative in 2004) and subsequent scholarship on the topic has amply demonstrated that the Holocaust did take place even in the territories Romania controlled during WWII (such as Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Transnistria), not just in those areas lost to neighboring Hungary. Let us not forget that during WWII, Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany. As such, it is now documented that some 350,000-400,000 Jews lost their lives in the territories still controlled by Romania’s war-time dictator, Marshall Ion Antonescu.

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