Romania / 01-05-2012
Romania to correct antisemitic definition
Bucharest - The Romanian Academy, the country's linguistic watchdog, on Thursday promised to change the definition of an anti-Semitic word included in a widely-circulated dictionary, after a Jewish group slammed it as "shameful".
The Centre for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania (MCA) had denounced the dictionary definition of the word 'jidan', a pejorative term for Jew, as merely a "familiar" term.
"Unfortunately, when the most recent edition of the dictionary was compiled, an error was made," the academy, which serves as the custodian of the Rominian language and culture, said in a letter.
"In future editions of the dictionary, definitions will be worded so as not to leave room for discriminatory interpretations."
MCA said that the definition was "harmful to Romanian society and likely to encourage nationalist and chauvinist propaganda".
"'Jidan' was the last word to be heard by the hundreds of thousands of Jews whose belongings were stolen and burnt and who were themselves crammed into death trains or killed like animals simply because they were born Jewish," the group stressed.