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article imageU.S. embassy in Romania criticizes central bank for racist coin

By Andrew Dyer     May 13, 2016 in World
Bucharest - The U.S. Embassy in Romania is criticizing the nation's bank for portraying the image of a former bank governor that ardently promoted antisemitism in the World War II era.
According to Yahoo News, the National Bank of Romania chose to honor Mihail Manoilescu, the former governor of the bank. Manoilescu played a major role in allying Romania with Nazi Germany and was an avid supporter of the Iron Guard, the far-right antisemitic political party in Romania from the mid-1920s to the beginning of World War II. Manoilescu reportedly financed the Iron Guards's newspaper unbeknownst to bank management. He would eventually become the country's foreign minister in 1940 and sign an agreement that would give a significant amount of Romanian land to Hungary and split the area of Transylvania between the two countries.
The U.S. Embassy called the decision to circulate the coin "disappointing" and in a statement said Manoilescu was "an active promoter of and contributor to fascist ideology and anti-Semitic sentiment." The National Bank of Romania countered by saying the coin was part of a series released to honor their former bank governors and that Manoilescu was the governor at a time of severe economic crisis. In a statement the bank said that the coins were not meant to offend any community or "send a message with an offensive, xenophobic or discriminatory nature."
Manoilescu was jailed in 1944 after the World War II Soviet occupation began. He was held without trial for 14 months and released in December 1945. In December 1948 Manoilescu was once again jailed by the Soviets and died in 1950 in prison from typhus and heart problems.
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