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Racism Postcolonialism Europe$
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Graham Huggan and Ian Law

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312199

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315626

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Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and feminist activism in eastern Europe: a case study of Romania1

Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and feminist activism in eastern Europe: a case study of Romania1

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 3 Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and feminist activism in eastern Europe: a case study of Romania1
Source:
Racism Postcolonialism Europe
Author(s):

Elisabeta Zelinka

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846312199.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the ‘concentrationary legacies’ of state totalitarianism in Europe in the context of institutionalised anti-Semitism in contemporary Romania. It argues that anti-Semitism in present-day Romania does not yet approximate the anti-Semitism of the 1930s, when it prospered as a direct result of Nazi propaganda, but continues to be a major problem which is difficult to contain within mainstream Romanian society. The chapter looks at attempts, with a particular emphasis on feminist activism, to fight residual or emergent anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Romania, for example by introducing educational programs designed to tackle the everyday problems facing Jews, especially Jewish women, in Romanian society. It considers Romania's admission to the European Union as an opportunity to contain institutionalised racism in accordance with imposed political and economic agendas, but contends that it may take years, even decades, before the status quo can be altered due to the deep-rooted sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic discourses in today's Romanian society.

Keywords:   Romania, totalitarianism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Jews, racism, European Union, feminist activism, Europe, concentrationary legacies

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