Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea compared the slaughter of sick pigs to the murder of Jews at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, prompting calls for his resignation.
By: World Israel News Staff
Romanian Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea shocked viewers when, in a TV interview Tuesday, he compared pigs infected with swine fever to Jews who were dying in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
He was discussing measures to stem an outbreak of the disease at a breeding farm in southern Romania, where more than 44,500 pigs were killed.
“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,” Daea said in the interview.
The remarks prompted calls for his resignation and statements of dismay from Romania’s Jewish community and the Israeli embassy in Bucharest.
“We hope … that such an association was made by Minister Daea because of the lack of in-depth information on what the Holocaust and Auschwitz are, without the intention of dishonoring the memory of millions of victims,” the embassy said in a statement.
Romania’s National Council for Combating Discrimination said it would launch an investigation, AFP reported.
“These declarations are susceptible to violate human dignity and create a hostile climate, humiliating all those who remember the Holocaust,” the organization’s president, Csaba Asztalos, told AFP.
“It is not the first time this type of comparison is made in Romania, but it is the first time an acting minister has made this type of unspeakable statement,” Maximilian Katz, director of the Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania, said in a press release Thursday.
“I respect all the members of the Jewish community and clarify that I only wished to describe the difficult situation facing Romanian breeders due to the African swine fever,” Daea said in a statement on Thursday.