Romanian minister slammed for comparing pig slaughter to Auschwitz

Petre Daea's remarks come amid rising concern over antisemitism in Romania


Jewish organisations and politicians across Romania have attacked a minister for comparing the slaughter of virus-infected pigs in farms to Auschwitz.

There were calls for Agriculture Minister Petre Daea to resign after he reportedly said on a late-night TV talk show: “There is no antidote, there is no vaccine, no medicine, the only way is to sacrifice them.

“The pigs are incinerated, it’s a terrible job. It’s like Auschwitz in there.” 

Marco Maximilian Katz, director of the Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism (MCA) group, said it was bewildering how such analogies were made.

"I cannot explain how these people think, how they come to such comparisons, and the only hypothesis is their ignorance, their lack of sensitivity and their lack of understanding on the subject of the Holocaust," he said.

In spite of laws intended to punish antisemitism and Holocaust denial, the situation in Romania is disappointing, he added.

"Antisemites and Holocaust deniers are free to express their views, and these opinions are not taken into account by those who make political statements when they address this issue in their international discussions", Mr Katz said.

Romanian courts have yet to convict a single person since 2002, when a law crimininalising Holocaust denial was adopted.

Alexandru Florian, director of the publicly-funded Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of The Holocaust, called Mr Daea's comparison made  ”obscene”.

The minister has since apologised following criticism from Liviu Dragnea, the leader of his own Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader, Liviu Dragnea.

But it is not the first time a senior PSD politician has generated protest for comments on the Holocaust.

In 2012 the party's then-spokesman Dan Sova was fired from his post for claiming that no Holocaust took place in Romania.

However, after being sent to Washington to the Holocaust Museum to brush up his knowledge, Mr Sova was appointed transport minister later that year.

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