At a conference called by the officers of the American Jewish Congress and attended by a number of Jewish members of the House of Representatives as well as by Jewish communal workers, held on Sunday, at the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Roumanian government was charged by several speakers with responsibility for the recent anti-Jewish excesses in Roumania and a resolution was adopted condemning the outrages and calling upon the Jews of America to give voice to their protest at public meetings to be immediately arranged for that purpose.
In the discussion regarding the action to be taken for improving the condition of the Jews in Roumania, Max D. Steuer, who presided, proposed that the atrocities being committed by Roumania against the Jews and other minorities be made the subject of an address in the House of Representatives in order to call the attention of the American people to the wrongs and injustices suffered by various peoples, Jewish and non-Jewish, in Roumania.
Mr. Steuer further urged more intensive activity on the part of American Jews to aid their persecuted brethren abroad and appealed that the American Jewish Congress be given the necessary means in order to carry its important work forward.
MEETINGS OF PROTEST URGED
Dr. Stephen S. Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress, opened the discussion by a recital of the recent occurrences in Roumania, saying that the facts in connection with the outrages upon the Roumanian Jews have been established and confirmed. He pointed out that Rabbi Zirelson, a member of the Roumanian Senate publicly condemned the pogroms, and when later, as a further protest, he resigned, the Senate accepted his resignation and voted to exclude his address from the Official Gazette. Dr. Wise proposed that a series of protest meetings should be held forthwith throughout the country. He also suggested that a conference be held in Europe next summer of representatives from all Jewish communities in order to consider the whole Jewish problem in Eastern Europe.
Judge Julian W. Mack reviewed the history of the American Jewish Congress, dwelling particularly on the activities of the Congress delegation, of which he was a member, in bringing about the insertion of the protective minority provisions in the post-war treaties with Poland, Roumania and other European countries. Judge Mack stated that the situation of the Jews in Roumania has now become intolerable and agreed with the suggestions for the calling of protest meetings as well as for a protest to be heard in the halls of the United States Congress.
Congresswoman Mrs. Florence P. Kahn of San Francisco and Congressman Sabath of Chicago, cautioned against taking hasty steps involving the United States Congress for the reason that the policy of Congress was not over-friendly toward interference with conditions abroad. Mr. Sabath thought that conditions in Roumania would improve shortly. Congressman Meyer Jacobstein of Rochester, while asking that all the facts be first ascertained, said: “As Jews in the American Congress it would not only be improper but harmful to make a protest against the atrocities in Roumania. We can, however, make such a protest as Americans against inhumanites.”
CONGRESSMEN PROMISE HELP
Similar sentiments were echoed by Congressman Perlman of New York. Congressman Dickstein of New York declared that he was aware of the facts, that he was prepared at the proper time to rise in Congress and point out that as long as Roumania will persist in its mistreatment of the Jews and other minorities she cannot expect the sympathy and help of America. Congressmen E. Celler of Brooklyn, as well as Congressmen-elect William W. Cohen and William I. Sirowich were also among the speakers. and promised their help. The following resolution proposed by Louis S. Posner was unanimously accepted:
“We utter a solemn protest against the persecution of our brethren in Roumania, as evidenced by the continual anti-Semitic agitation and demonstrations of animosity against the Jews, and more recently by the assaults upon the lives and property of Jews in the cities of Kishineff, Kalrash and Bucharest. Our protest is directed against the Government of Roumania which has done nothing either to punish the perpetrators of the outrages or to suppress the hideous efforts to provoke aggression upon the Jews, or to avert the calamities which are inflicted on the Jews of Roumania.
“Roumania has deliberately repudiated the obligations which she assumed under the Treaty of 1919, guaranteeing the full enjoyment of civil, political, linguistic and religious liberty to all of her inhabitants. Contrary to the letter and spirit of the Treaty provisions, voluntarily recognized by Roumania as the fundamental law of the land, the Jews of Roumania have been subjected to the most oppressive forms of discrimination. Jews of the new provinces are deprived of Roumanian citizenship. Jewish students are being driven out of the universities. They are denied equality before the law. Violence to Jewish life has become a common occurrence in Roumannnia.
“ROUMANIA STANDS CONVICTED BEFORE THE CIVILIZED WORLD”
“Roumania stands convicted before the civilized world as an habitual wrong-doer. She violated the Treaty of 1878. The suffering, which she has caused to be inflicted upon the Jews in the years following, aroused the profound sympathy of the United States, which found expression in the historic memorandum of protest against the Roumanian Government issued by Secretary Hay in 1902. Roumania has not changed her ways. She is likewise violating the Treaty of 1919.
“The crimes committed by Roumania against her Jewish population must cease! Roumania shall not with impunity continue to defy the law of nations as well as the elementary law of civilization! We carry our appeal to the court of last resort–to the judgment and verdict of an enlightened public opinion. To the end that the foal deeds of Roumania against the undefended Jewish residents of the land may be made known throughout our country.
“Be it hereby resolved:
1. “That the Chairman of this Conference be empowered to direct the publication and extensive distribution of a comprehensive statement setting forth the facts in connection with the ill-treatment of the Jews in Roumania:
2. “That public meetings be held forthwith in New York and other cities in order to give voice to the protest and indignation which have been aroused by the atrocities committed upon the Jews in Roumania;
3. “That the Chairman is authorized to direct an appeal to all Jewish organizations and the Jewish public at large to subscribe immediately the necessary means in order to carry the above resolutions into effect.”