Letter: Fictitious hero

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The Independent Online
Sir: Tony Barber's article today ('Romanians cherish memories of their genocidal dictator', 23 August) suggests the recent cult of the wartime leader Ion Antonescu may be linked to his anti- Semitism. This is unfair. Most Romanians, in attempting to justify the Conducator to foreigners, make the claim that Antonescu was a protector, not a persecutor, of Jews. Historically, this is nonsense. The real Antonescu, who ruled Romania from 1940-44, was an anti-Semite. However, the fictitious Antonescu, who has become so popular in present-day Romania, is not.

Yours faithfully,

SEBASTIAN LAWSON

Cowes, Isle of Wight

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