The U.S. Embassy in Romania is criticizing the nation’s bank for portraying the image of a former bank governor that ardently promoted antisemitism in the World War II era. The National Bank of Romania chose to honor Mihail Manoilescu, the former governor of the bank. Manoilescu played a major role in allying Romania with Nazi Germany and was an avid supporter of the Iron Guard, the far-right antisemitic political party in Romania from the mid-1920s to the beginning of World War II. The U.S. Embassy called the decision to circulate the coin “disappointing” and in a statement said Manoilescu was “an active promoter of and contributor to fascist ideology and anti-Semitic sentiment.” The National Bank of Romania countered by saying the coin was part of a series released to honor their former bank governors and that Manoilescu was the governor at a time of severe economic crisis. In a statement the bank said that the coins were not meant to offend any community or “send a message with an offensive, xenophobic or discriminatory nature.”
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