New Europe? Romanian state TV broadcasts ugly anti-semitic Christmas carol

New Europe? Romanian state TV broadcasts ugly anti-semitic Christmas carol


norman lebrecht

December 11, 2013

The words go something like this (according to a  modified Google translate):

‘She gave birth to a beautiful son / Namely Jesus Christ / Only the Jews murmured against it. / Jidovan afuristit / would not tolerate the holy Lord / No heaven, no earth .. Only corlan [= horn] smoke, / There’s a good Jew, / exit end [= smoke] on the way’

The carol was shown on TVR 3 aired last Friday. It has been reported to the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) and the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) of the Group for Social Dialogue. The carol uses the word Jew many times more in an anti-Semitic context.
You can watch the filth here.


  • Christopher Slater-Walker says:

    Romanian and Bulgarian racial attitudes (I live with a Bulgarian woman, and I know a number of Bulgarian people) make the UK look like the very heaven of racial integration. Nevertheless I’ve heard a lot of complaining about discrimination against Romanians and Bulgarians coming from those same people. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Howard Wall says:

      Leave Bulgaria and Bulgarians out of it when speaking of anti-semitism – during World War II Bulgaria saved all of its 50 000 Jews from Hitler’s death camps, and no other country involved in that war has such an impressive record.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        That may be true, but that was 70 years ago and now we are talking about – now.

        • Howard Wall says:

          There is no “may be” about it. You do not get to water down such a courageous and humanitarian act, as Bulgaria saving its 50 000 Jews from the gas chambers, in defiance of Hitler’s orders.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            That may be true, but it still was 70 years ago and we are still talking about now. Whatever good some Bulgarians did 70 years ago is not an excuse for modern Bulgarians to be racist. That’s a pretty bizarre idea. Members of my own family died because they opposed the 3rd Reich – that doesn’t make me a resistance hero nor would it serve as an excuse if I voiced racist views. Or would it, in your view?

          • Neil van der Linden says:

            Things can change. But at least it seems that in Bulgaria there is not a virulent antisemitic tradition. However one must keep in mind that in those days such decisions were made by the king. Bulgaria was a kingdom then. Like the Danish king was courageous. Hopefully he reflected the sentiments of his people. And for instance the Moroccan King Mohammed V famously ignored the Vichy French command to expel the Moroccan Jews.

      • Bogdan says:

        I don’t think that there were so many Jews in Bulgaria. I know also that Bulgaria was not so keen to save the non-Bulgarian Jews from the foreign territories occupied by Bulgaria during the WWII. There is also a difference between the Bulgarian Sephardim and the Romania philo-Soviet Ashkenazim.

        It should also be known that the Romanian Jews who lived in the so-called Old Kingdom of Romania (the provinces of Wallachia and Moldova) had their security guaranteed by the Antonescu’s regime. Therefore they survived the WWII.

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    Antisemitism seems to be springing more and more lately.

    Very sad, Especially sad for those born in Romania.

  • sdReader says:

    There are some wonderful Romanian carols. I attended a beautifully sung concert in the Ateneul Român — a hall everyone should visit — three years ago and discovered music of several outstanding composers. Carols are a rich tradition in Romania, apparently.

    I have never understood how people who call themselves Christian can speak badly about Jews or Jewish tradition, and am relieved to see that those involved in singing these miserable (and in the end ignorant) texts are not the musicians I heard.

    The performance took place in Cluj, a regional capital, where presumably the people just don’t know any better. It would be nice to believe it could never happen in Bucharest. Still, this is sad to read about, and it rather sullies a positive memory for me.

  • Paul Mann says:

    There are stupid, ignorant people in all countries, unfortunately. But this is no more representative of Romanians than the equally disgusting racism we sometimes see in the UK is of us.

  • I’m going to run this by a Romanian friend.

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    Christianity by its very nature is anti-Semitic, or at least anti-Jewish, there is just no way around that. If one really believes Jesus, himself Jewish, was a divine figure and the “Messiah”, then the Jews are the people who fail to see that and who deny that he was the “Messiah”, that he was (or is) god – end of story.

    Nearly 2000 years of Christianity have made that very clear, no matter how much recent political correctness tries to explain that away.

    Best to just file away religion – all of it, not just Christianity – under tribal mythology which is what it is, nothing less, nothing more. Part of our common history, like endless tribal conflicts. We have gotten at least *a little* better at not having the tribal conflicts all the time anymore, but we still need to do a lot more, especially when it comes to the tribal mythology.

    • David H. says:

      Well said. Tribalism is humanity’s cancer.

    • Absolutely. In an age where even atheists embrace many positive aspects of monotheistic religions we have to ask ourselves if we need the whole rigmarole and the tensions they continue to create.

      • Neil van der Linden says:

        There is a lot to say for marginalizing religion from the public domain, except when it comes to performing the Verdi Requiem and Mahler II, and exhibiting Caravaggio, or visiting the Saint Peter, or the Taj Mahal, the Borobudur or the Hassan Mosque, or Cluny. Or if religion wants to go public, it should be ready to be criticised publicly.

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          Most art and music is either religious or has religious references in it. And that’s totally fine, after all, religion has played a dominating part in most societies in history until very recently, so it is all part of our cultural heritage, of who we are.

          Except we must not forget that it’s all mythology!

          I don’t believe in life after death but Verdi’s Requiem is one of my favorite pieces of music, not just as music, but also because of the subject matter. Except Verdi himself apparently was an atheist and the music isn’t about asking some imaginary supernatural beings to give eternal peace to somebody who has already died, it’s about consoling the living and as such it’s a very moving piece of music.

          • Neil van der Linden says:

            Yesl. Same for the Berlioz requiem. Which has been so magnificently used in the film Tree of Life by Terence Malek, by itself a very spiritual but also most probably atheist film.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      Because atheism racked up such a splendid record in the 20th century.

      • Neil van der Linden says:

        No war or holy battle was ever fought on behalf of atheism. It is just that some of the tyrants of the 20th century claim to have abolished or even were fighting religion

        But secular is a better word That leaves everybody the right to privately believe and enjoy Verdi’s or De Richafort’s Requiem.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        Atheism doesn’t have any “record”. It is not an ideology or belief system. It is the opposite, the absence of a belief system and therefore also of any ideologies based on a belief system. Atheism as such just means that one doesn’t believe in god or gods, nothing less, but nothing more either. There is no ideology that automatically follows from and builds on that, as there usually is with religions.

        Being an atheist is like being a vegetarian. Just because one decides not to eat meat that doesn’t mean that one automatically is a mass murderer. Hitler apparently was a vegetarian, that doesn’t make all vegetarians fascists.

        And no, Stalin is not an example of where atheism leads either. He may have preached atheism but he simply replaced religion with very similar forms of cultist worship centered around communist ideology and around his own person. He was a seminarian as a young man, so he knew exactly how religion worked and he just adapted those mechanisms to his new ideology, in order to control the masses more effectively – just like religion.

  • sherban lupu says:

    As a Romanian I am deeply ashamed and livid about this! I find it both abhorrent and deplorable that something like this could happen in the 21st century! I hope it is only a disgusting and revolting singular incident due to ignorance and stupidity! The local media authorities must take an attitude against this sort of thing!

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      I see no reason why you should have to be ashamed for something other people say and do, just because they happen to be from the same country as you are.

      • R says:

        That’s the only way to change things; stand up and say they’re not acceptable in a civilised society.

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          Very true but that doesn’t mean that one should have to be ashamed for something other people do or say, just because they happen to be from the same country.

    • Bravo, dear Sherban for taking a stand against an abhorrent and deplorable “cancer” in this world – anti-semitism – and expressing as the great violinist, sensitive artist and teacher you are, the shame the whole world must and should share in our present and past history, of that which continues to be reprehensible, stupid, bigoted, ignorant, and prejudicial racial and religious behavior and attitude from so many people of so many countries around the world in addition to your country. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and speaking out against the inhumanity, uncivilized, and vicious antisocial disease known as anti-semitism!! Incidentally, all your friends, such as myself, as well as students and colleagues here in the United States, miss you so much!! Please get in touch!

      • Bogdan says:

        Only anti-Semitism is “shameful, etc.”?

        What makes it, among all varieties of xenophobia, unique?

        The fact that you are a Jew?

  • dana says:

    Your translation in English is not good. “Corlan” means bakestone (“vatra sobei”), so it’s : only at the bakestone at smoke, there the Jews are good.

    • alex says:

      Agree with your translation.

      Lyrics are an absolute disgrace. Even if this was a “setup” (as some people try to say in their comments) this should never-ever show on Romanian TV- especially on the national channel. Some people should be ashamed and resign. And such thing should not happen again.

      I didnt hear this carol in Romania. Not sure where it comes from and how it turned up on national television.

      Kind regards from Romania to all.

  • dana says:

    Only an evil-minded person would say that this carol it’s about “burning Jews”. I doubt that.

    • avivadiva says:

      “Only an evil-minded person would say that this carol it’s about “burning Jews”. I doubt that.”

      What exactly is a ‘bakestone’- could it be an ‘oven’ by any chance? ?

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    Bizarre. But rather telling about the old antisemitism, which comes from blaming Jews for the death of Christ (regardless of the fact was a result of what the scripts had predicted anyway, while the Christ figure Jesus avoided any possibility for acquittal during his trial) than of anything contemporary, as most of modern Europe has become indifferent towards religion.

    • Bogdan says:

      The carol says that “only the Jews are not rejoicing in the birth of Christ”. It was a time when many Jews lived in Romania and there was an ethnic tension between Romanians and the Jews. Of course during the WWI we can talk of genocide against Jews.

      Nowadays such a carol seems bizarre as in Romania there is no extreme-right party that is anti-Semitic as there is in Hungarian the Jobbik party and very few Jews live in Romania.

  • Anca says:

    I’m a Romanian musician (living in the UK) and I’ve never, ever heard this carol before in my life, and I have no idea where it has come from.

    My gut feeling is that the whole thing is a set-up, considering it was live and it was the relaunching of a new TV channel (TVR3). The link Norman mentions is to a different TV news channel, condemning both the carol and original broadcast. If you read the top paragraph on Norman’s link, it says it has already been reported to three of the most important anti-discrimination organisations in Romania

  • alexandru Gavrilovici says:

    Stupidity seems to be eternal and brutal minded people too ….What Sherban Lupu says is extremely important .Romanian Authorithy must shaw an Attitude….

  • Yes it is true but the producer of this show is Adrian Rozenberg Mosaic origin who had the obligation to verify everything. It is not strange? A Jew producer of a show that is anti-Semitic?

    • avivadiva says:

      Muie: How exactly does this false association have any meaning to anyone? What are you trying to convey? Just because a last name seems common for a group of people does not make this last name specifically Jewish. It is shared by other ethnicities as well. ‘Schwartz’ is one example. What exactly is your point, Muie?

      • Neil van der Linden says:

        Alfred Rosenberg was a heinous ideologist of the Nazis and I am sure he claimed not to have Jewish roots.