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Jewish National Council in Lithuania Issues Statement on Attitude of Lithuanian Government Towards J

The former Executive of the Jewish National Council in Lithuania, which has resigned as a protest against the action of the Government in prohibiting a meeting of the Jewish National Council, duly convoked by the President, on the ground that it is not a legally constituted body, has issued an official statement here in which it says:

On September 16th, the authorities by use of force dispersed the meeting of the Jewish National Council and thus violently put a stop to the existence of the highest Jewish national organ elected by the whole Jewish population and representing the whole Jewish settlement in Lithuania 150,000 Lithuanian citizens. The reactionary parties have long been digging a grave for Jewish national autonomy, proceeds the statement. There is a Bill now lying in the Sejm whose purpose is to destroy the democratically elected Jewish communities. Now the authorities have destroyed our chief institutions, the Jewish Ministry and the Jewish National Council. When the majority in the Sejm cancelled the budget of the Jewish Minister, there was no course left open to the Minister in the face of this insult but to resign. The President of the Republic accepted his resignation, but ordered him to fulfill his duties as provisional Minister of Jewish Affairs.

Notwithstanding this clear order by the President, the authorities have demanded that Dr. Rosenbaum should not fulfill the functions of provisional Ministor of Jewish Affairs. Close on the heels of this demand came the order of the Chief Administrator of the Kovno District that the provisional Minister of Jewish Affairs should cease to fulfill his functions. He was refused the right to convoke a meeting of the Jewish National Council and it was insisted that such a meeting must be called in the ordinary ways as if it were a meeting convoked by a few private individuals. This would reduce the highest national representation of the Jews of Lithuania to the status of a charitable organization. The last Government introduced into the Sejm a bill for legalizing the Jewish National Council as a public and legally recognized institution, but this Bill has to the present day not even been brought forward for consideration. The Jewish National Council can exist only as the organ of national autonomy.

The present authorities of the country have set at naught all the pledges and obligations assumed by Lithuania in the Paris Declaration of August 10, 1920 and in the Declaration of the League of Nations of May 12, 1922, regarding the

rights of the national minorities. They have raised their hand against the elementary rights of the Jewish population in Lithuania, but they cannot destroy the faith in our national powers and in our historically-forged power of resistance, the fountain-head of our national organization and unity.

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