The Romanian Parliamentary debate around the Congress of Berlin (1878-1879) offers a bird’s eye view of the evolution of antisemitic speech in Romania. Naturalization of the Jews – an issue raised by the Great European Powers during this Congress – came into conflict with the wishes of the Romania political class, which presently exploded into a violent antisemitic campaign in the political debates and public speeches. The “Jewish danger” presented by many intellectuals and politicians will be accompanied by the accusation that the Jews constitute a state within the state, a nation within the nation, both devoted to world conspiracy. Amidst this welter of accusations, antisemitic discourse grew heavy with racial arguments. But by far the main characteristic of the Romanian variant of antisemitic discourse was the rapidity of its adoption in the parliamentary debates.

issue 03 / July 2012 by Iulia Maria Onac