Romanian mayor urged to resign over Wehrmacht uniform
Radu Mazare paraded for a local fashion show in a wartime German Army officer's uniform accompanied by his son, who was also dressed in a Wehrmacht uniform.Jerusalem -- The Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Tuesday urged the mayor of a Romanian city to resign after he and his son appeared in Wehrmacht uniforms for a local fashion show.
Radu Mazare, mayor of Constanza on Romania's Black Sea coast, paraded in a wartime German Army officer's uniform accompanied by his 15-year-old son, dressed in a Wehrmacht uniform of a lower rank, the centre said in a statement.
"Dressing as a Nazi is totally illegal under Romanian law," the head of the Nazi-hunting group's Jerusalem branch Efraim Zuroff told AFP.
Zuroff wrote to Mazare demanding he step down as mayor of Romania's fifth-largest town.
"It would be hard to adequately describe the depth of the pain that your appearance caused, not only to Jews and other victims of Nazism, but to any person of moral integrity who knows the history of World War II," he wrote.
"Today it is well-known that the Wehrmacht played an active role in the mass murder of European Jewry and many other innocent victims."
"By dressing in a Wehrmacht uniform, you are expressing totally unwarranted support and nostalgia for an army which committed the most terrible war crimes and acts of genocide."
Zuroff called on Mazare to make amends for his "incredible lack of judgement" by sponsoring a Romanian-language version of an exhibition on the crimes of the Wehrmacht.
"At least in that case, some good will come out of your unfortunate mistake," he told the mayor.
Romania was allied with the Germans during World War II until its pro-Nazi dictatorship led by Marshal Ion Antonescu was overthrown in 1944.
About 270,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered in the territory administered by Bucharest during the war, according to a report drawn up in 2004 by an international expert commission under Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, himself Romanian-born.