Jewish Journal


August 10, 2011

Romanian dictionary to change slur’s definition


Romania’s highest cultural forum, following a request by a watchdog group, agreed to make clear in the definition of an anti-Semitic slur that the word is a pejorative.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism on Tuesday had urged the The Romanian Academy to change its definition in the official DEX dictionary, or The Explanatory Dictionary of the Romanian Language, of the word “jidan.”

The word is described in the latest edition of the dictionary as a “popular” alternative name for Jew; in previous editions it is defined as a “familiar and pejorative” term, the French news agency AFP reported.

” ‘Jidan’ was the last word to be heard by the hundreds of thousands 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 center said in a letter to the academy.

At least 280,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews died in Romania and its territories during the Holocaust.

“The effort to gloss over the word’s pejorative content is an offense to the memory of the victims (of the Holocaust),” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement Tuesday.

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