Czernowitz, Bukowina (Sep. 4)
(By Our Czernowitz Correspondent)
A remarkable scene is being enacted in Bukowina: every day crowds of Jews who but yesterday were citizens queue up before the aliens’ registration centres in order to be registered as aliens in the country where some of them have lived 30 and 40 years. This is a result of the new citizenship law promulgated by the previous “Liberal” government of Bratianu and now being enforced in all its severity by the Averescu government.
It will be recalled that when the protests against the Bratianu government, which, in direct violation of the articles of the Treaty of St. Germain, refused to consider applications for naturalization from Bukowina Jews and deprived many Roumanian Jews of their citizenship, reached the League of Nations, the Roumanian government thereupon tried to allay the anxiety expressed by the public here and abroad by assuring that it intended in the matter of naturalization to proceed strictly in accordance with the law. In fact, new commissions were set up to re-examine the claims of those who had been deprived of their citizenship rights. But instead of facilitating the conditions for naturalization the commissioners made these still more difficult and began to deprive more Jews of their citizenship. People who had been living in the country for a generation or two were declared to be “aliens.” Nothing was of avail. Thousands of former Austrian citizens born in Bukowina and living there all their lives are regarded by the Government as “aliens” and are subject to all the legal restrictions in force against undesirable aliens.
Needless to say, the lot of these newly created aliens is much worse than that of the foreigners proper who, whether only on a visit or permanently settled, belong to a certain State which protects them against injustice, whereas the Bukowina “aliens” have no State to fall back on and are refugees in their own country. There have been cases of the alien-police demanding that the aliens of overnight whose parents were born in the country and whose sons served in the Roumanian army should send in applications for permission to remain in the country for a certain period of years. Thus tens of thousands of Jews have been outlawed. They are not allowed to move about freely in Roumania, nor have they any possibility of leaving the country and going elsewhere because no other Government will recognize them.
There were optimists who thought that this iniquitous citizenship law would be revised with the advent of the Averescu Government, but the new Minister for the Interior, M. Goga, who is notorious for his anti-Semitism, is doing his utmost to have the law applied in all its severity.
A couple of thousand Ukrainian refugees in Bukowina and Bessarabia are in still worse a position.
The United Evacuation Committee in Paris, it is true, decided that the problem of the Ukrainian refugees in Roumania and those in the Transylvanian cities should be liquidated and the emigration committee of Czernowitz was to have convoked an inter-party conference and to have created the liquidation committee, but so far nothing has been done. In the meantime the position of the Ukrainian refugees is becoming worse from day to day. The plan to settle these refugees in the Argentine and Brazil came to nothing. Many of the refugees want to return to Russia but the frontiers between the two countries are closed and to travel to Russia via any other country is too costly.
The intolerable economic position of the refugees is rendered worse by the campaign against them carried on by Cuza and his followers, who demand that all refugees should be at once deported on the ground of the economic difficulties in the country and the alleged lack of loyalty to Roumania among the refugees.
The Ku Klux Klan has established a business organization, with several suites of rooms elegantly furnished and a corps of well dressed men and women for its personnel in Washington, D. C. In addition to the regular program of the organization an insurance business is being developed.
The Imperial Wizard and his lieutenants are ready for political campaigns and their drive against the Catholics, it was stated.
The Klan offices are in the remodeled Brandegee home, at the corner of 17th and I Streets Northwest, near Farragut Square.
Bernard M. Baruch and his son, B. M. Baruch, Jr., returned last week on the Berengaria from a pleasure trip in France and Scotland.