The goose-stepping mayor
21 July 2009
The mayor of the Romanian city of Constanta has caused outrage after he and his son performed at a fashion show wearing Nazi uniforms:
A Romanian city mayor outraged Jewish and pro-democracy groups after he goose-stepped with his son in World War Two German uniforms during a weekend fashion show.
Wearing Nazi uniform is illegal in Romania, which denied participating in the Holocaust until 2004 when it accepted the findings of international commission that Romanian authorities killed up to 380,000 Jews in territories under their control.
The Centre for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism sent a letter Monday to the country's general prosecutor urging an investigation of Radu Mazare, 41, mayor of Black Sea city port Constanta, for breaking the law and instigating a child to follow his example.
Mazare said the uniform had no swastikas and was the uniform of a German infantry general and nothing to do with the SS.
"I was inspired from the Valkyrie movie ... I wanted to dress like a Vehrmacht general because I've always liked this uniform, and admired the rigorous organisation of the German army," newspaper Evenimentul Zilei quoted him as saying.
Under pro-Nazi Marshal Ian Antonescu, Romania became a German ally in 1940 but switched sides just before war ended.
Mazare later clarified his explanation: the uniform did have swastikas on it, but they were so small he missed them.