The right-wing nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians party demanded that a law making lessons about the Holocaust and sex education classes mandatory should be scrapped.


The co-leader of AUR, George Simion (right), at a protest in Bucharest, January 2021. Photo: EPA-EFE/Robert Ghement

The Alliance for the Union of Romanians party, AUR said on Monday that the Holocaust and sex education represent “minor issues” and that teaching them in schools would ” undermine the quality of education in Romania”.

The AUR was responding after the upper house of Romania’s parliament voted  by a large majority in November 2021 for a law making teaching about the Holocaust and Jewish history compulsory in schools from 2023.

“The ideological experiments on children in Romania must stop! Real education is classical education, which makes citizens aware of their rights and responsibilities, their culture, history and origins,” the AUR said in a press release.

The party argued that introducing new classes on the Holocaust and sex education will reduce the importance of subjects like sciences, the Romanian language and literature, and national history.

The AUR has 13 representatives in the 136-member Romanian Senate and 30 in the 330- member Chamber of Deputies. It appears to have little chance of changing the law but is hoping to put pressure on the education ministry.

National Liberal Party MP Alexandru Muraru said that this was not the first time that the AUR has been “attacking the symbols of democracy”.

He added that AUR continues to deny and downplay the Holocaust, and that its members promote so-called neo-Legionary ideas and nationalist revisionism. Holocaust denial is illegal, he noted.

“This unequivocally demonstrates that this party has long gone beyond the legal framework in which it operates,” said Muraru.

The National Legionary State was a fascist regime proclaimed by the Iron Guard Movement (Miscarea Legionara) in Romania, which held power for several months in 1940-41. In 2015, Romania adopted a law banning the Iron Guard Movement.

Responding to the AUR’s comments, the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania said that “denying the Holocaust, behind parliamentary immunity, only perpetuates anti-Semitic hatred, the political consequences of which led to the Holocaust”.

Madalin Necsutu

balkaninsight.com

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