(JTA) — The head of Romania’s state-funded Bucharest Municipality Museum published an op-ed that critics said promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Andrei Majuru, the director of the prestigious museum on history and art, suggested in his April 20 op-ed in the Adevarul newspaper that Romanian society is being ruined by descendants of the Khazars, an extinct Asian kingdom that according to one discredited theory had converted to Judaism.
Complaining of “diminishing of patriotism” and “assimilation with other ethnicities” in Romania, Majuru said these issues were caused by Khazars who “want their Khazarian homeland” set up on Romania’s ruins.
They act “very subtly through disguise and substitution,” he wrote, citing separatist sentiments by Hungarian-speaking Romanians known as Székelys. They are “not ethnic Hungarians, but ‘neo-Jews,’” he wrote.
The article was taken offline over the weekend.
The Center for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism in Romania, or MCA Romania, complained to prosecutors about the op-ed, calling it hate speech.
Maximilian Marco Katz, who heads MCA, said the op-ed followed a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Romania, including the destruction of dozens of Jewish headstones at a cemetery in Husi earlier this month.
Katz, who is Jewish and was born in Romania, recently received a letter from Bucharest Deputy Mayor Aurelian Badulescu telling him to “go back where you came from.”
The letter was in response to Katz’s opposition to a plan to move to the city’s outskirts what is slated to become Romania’s main Jewish museum once it is built.