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Outrage after mayor parades as a Nazi

AN anti-Semitism monitoring organization in Romania has filed an official complaint with prosecutors against a mayor for taking part in a fashion show dressed as a Nazi officer and wearing a swastika.

Radu Mazare, the mayor of Constanta city, is no stranger to showmanship. He once appeared at a public event dressed as James Bond, and he has done fashion magazine spreads.

Mazare, a member of the opposition Social Democracy Party, was also charged last year, along with 36 other government officials, with carrying out illegal real estate deals that cost the country 114 million euros (US$143 million).

On Sunday evening, Mazare, 41, and his 15-year-old son performed on stage at the fashion show in Mamaia, a Black Sea resort town near Constanta, and both appeared to be dressed in Nazi uniforms. Television news shows later showed footage of the performance in Romania, where it is illegal to display swastikas and where people convicted of doing so can be jailed for three years.

The newspaper Evenimentul Zilei quoted the mayor as saying he was inspired to dress the way he did by the Tom Cruise movie "Valkyrie," in which a German officer "tries to free Germany of a mad dictator."

On Monday, the country's Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism accused him of wearing a Nazi uniform and displaying a swastika during the fashion show.

The center urged Romania's chief prosecutor to investigate. In Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Mazare to resign and apologize.


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