Search

August 22, 2003

SWC TO FRENCH HEALTH MINISTER AND ROMANIAN AMBASSADOR: "CANCEL PARIS HOSPITAL TRIBUTE TO ANTISEMITIC HATEMONGER"

Paris
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on the French Ministry of Health to cancel a 27 August tribute to a notorious Rumanian antisemite.

In a letter to Health Minister, Jean-Franois Mattei, the Centers Director for International Liaison, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested a ceremony scheduled at the Htel Dieu State Hospital in Paris aimed to redeem the reputation of its former employee, a Rumanian researcher in the field of diabetes.

The Htel Dieu press release claims that it was Nicolae Paulescu who, returned to Bucharest after a Paris hospital internship, "first described" insulin, and whose findings were reported by the French publisher, Vigot, in 1920. According to the organizers, the event will undo "the injustice" committed by the Nobel Committee in awarding its 1923 Prize to two Canadians for the same discovery.

Samuels suggested that, "Perhaps the Nobel judges did not wish to tarnish the Prize by acknowledging an antisemitic hatemonger, for, whatever his scientific pretensions, Nicolae Paulescu was a founding father of the Rumanian fascist National Christian Defense League - a precursor to the notorious Iron Guard. He added that, "Paulescu's articles inciting to murder contributed to the climate of hate, resulting in the massacre of half a million Jews in Holocaust-period Rumania."

The letter continued, "If the Nobel Committee in 1923 judged the entire persona of its laureate, then Htel Dieu in 2003 must do no less and conclude that Paulescu's brutal inhumanity nullifies any scientific merit.

The Center urged both the Health Minister and, in a separate letter, the Rumanian Ambassador to France, "to cancel this glorification of a purveyor of hatred and violence - a ceremony that, by association, would dishonor the reputation of the Hospital, of French medicine, and Rumania's credibility in dealing with antisemitic phantoms of its past."

For further information, please contact Dr. Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58.