(JTA) – Nearly a quarter of Romanian respondents on a survey on Jews said their country should have no Jewish residents.
The results of the survey among 1,000 Romanian adults were published last week by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania, which commissioned the Centre for Opinion and Market Studies to conduct the poll in June.
Eleven per cent described Jews as “a problem for Romania” whereas 22 per cent said they would like them only as tourists. Media reports about the poll did not specify its margin of error.
Romania used to have a Jewish population of over 750,000 before its pro-Nazi regime, led by Ion Antonescu, collaborated in the murder of about half of Romanian Jewry in the Holocaust. His troops also massacred 120,000 Jews in present-day Ukraine.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they had heard of the Holocaust – a 12 per cent increase over a similar poll conducted in 2007 – but only a third of those respondents who know about the Holocaust believe it happened in their country. Only 19 per cent of respondents who knew about the Holocaust and said it occurred in Romania said Antonescu’s government was responsible.
Those Romanians who survived the Holocaust mostly left for Israel and now Romania has only a few thousand Jews, mostly living in Bucharest.
Slightly more than half, or 54 per cent, of respondents in the poll said Antonescu was “a patriot.”