U.S. Ambassador’s Statement on the National Bank of Romania’s Decision to Issue a Commemorative Coin for Patriarch Miron Cristea

I am very disappointed by the decision on the part of the National Bank of Romania to issue the coin commemorating Patriarch Miron Cristea. Cristea’s actions as Prime Minister – specifically his role in the revocation of citizenship for over 225,000 Romanian Jews – cannot be ignored. They contradict his professed religious devotion and must be evaluated alongside his positive contributions to Romanian history as Patriarch. Many organizations in Romania and the United States already have expressed their opposition to the coin. The fact that some Romanians were surprised by this criticism indicates that they remain unaware of or insensitive to well-documented historical events that happened here. Thanks to organizations like the Elie Wiesel Institute, Romania and its people have made great progress coming to terms with their past, and even today I remain confident that they will continue to do so.

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