Anti-Semitism watchdog sues Romanian mayor over Hitler haircut
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Anti-Semitism watchdog sues Romanian mayor over Hitler haircut

(JTA) — A Jewish watchdog group in Romania sued a mayor for allegedly inciting hatred by celebrating his Hitler-style hairdo.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, or MCA Romania, filed a criminal complaint last week against Radu Mazare, who leads the seaside resort town of Constanta, after he spoke to the media about his haircut, which resembles that of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Mazare in 2009 was photographed wearing a Nazi uniform.

MCA Romania’s complaint to the prosecutor’s office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice accused Mazare of inspiring pro-Nazi sentiment by celebrating the haircut. The complaint qualifies the mayor’s actions as an “outrageous, provocative and defiant” show of Nazi sympathies.

Five years ago, Mazare attended a fashion show with his son while wearing a fake Nazi uniform, which he said he bought because he liked how it looked. Mazare said he did not see the swastikas on the uniform. Critics disputed the assertion, as he climbed the stage with his son while marching in a military style typical of German soldiers.

In an interview published in the Adevarul daily newspaper, Mazare said he was surprised to learn of the criminal complaint filed against him and claimed his new haircut — which he adopted shortly before the first round of Romania’s presidential elections — owed to his desire to keep up with current trends.

“I got the haircut to fit in to the hairstyles I see people wearing on the street,” he said.