Miklos Kallos

  • Photo taken in:
    Cluj Napoca
    Country name at time of photo:
    Country name today:

This photo was taken in 1985 or 1986. I was living then on Emile Zola Street in Cluj Napoca.

During the revolution of 1989, I looked through the window at the masses who were marching and burning the photos of Ceausescu.

I got out in the streets, I went to see them, and I listened to Mrs. Cornea right here on Victoriei Square, on the first day of the revolution.

Of course, I was glad. I mean, I was glad about that specific situation, glad because we had got rid of Ceausescu and his regime; I didn't realize the entire system had collapsed.

I gradually figured out what the big picture was; I became aware that, on the world scene, the Berlin Wall had disappeared, the Soviet Union had fallen apart, and so on and so forth.

Getting rid of Ceausescu's regime was a progress. Then we got used to the democratic life, so to speak.

This alleged anti-Semitism is no fairy-tale - it is real, even now. Of course, there aren't any anti-Semitic laws. On the contrary, there are laws that condemn xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

So one might claim that there is no State anti-Semitism. But I look at the legionary magazines and books that are published and I look at the legionary organizations that activate - all despite a legislation that actually forbids them.

And they are all tolerated by the State. This is also a kind of State anti-Semitism. Indirect though it may be, it is still an official anti-Semitic statement. Not to mention the rhetorical anti-Semitism.

There are many books, newspaper articles, interviews and television shows which express anti-Semitic positions. I don't think I need to give names - you know who I'm talking about.

As for the anti-Semitism of the people at large, I couldn't asses it, but it is real too.

There were some sociological studies that attempted to determine the extent of this anti-Semitism: people were asked if they would like to have a Jew as a neighbor, if they would like their son to marry a Jewish girl and so on and so forth…

It must be real! I mean, an ideology, a conception that has been nourished for centuries couldn't just disappear. It hasn't disappeared.

There are also more recent forms, like that Holocaust denial routine. At first sight, there is nothing anti-Semitic about it, it's more of a scientific debate. Still, some of its roots and filiations are anti-Semitic.

Unfortunately, it is obvious that anti-Semitism survives in the absence of Jews in this country. The whole Jewish matter reduces itself to 5,000 Jews plus, according to the latest census.

The statistics of the Jewish communities speak of 7,000 Jews still living. Whether there are 5,000 or 7,000, it's the same thing. So what's all the fuss about 7,000 people, 80 percent of whom are over 70 years old?!

How can these people pose any threat to the Romanian public life, culture and economy? So we're obviously dealing with a plot here.

Interview details

Interviewee: Miklos Kallos
Cosmina Paul
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Miklos Kallos
Year of birth:
Decade of birth:
City of birth:
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1947–1989)
after WW II:

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Date of interview:

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